Tried and tested for over 2 months. Here’s my honest review of Original By BluMaan Styling Meraki.
There’s been a lot of buzz around this product on YouTube… but is it worth the hype?
I was sent Original By Blumaan in March this year but have held off posting a review until now. I wanted to ensure that I could give the product a fair trial and that I was in a position to concisely and honestly comment on this product.
In this review, I’ll cover:
- What is it?
- What does it say it does?
- How does it feel?
- Is it thick or thin?
- How easy is it to apply to your hair?
- What can you do with the product?
- Does it have a strong hold?
- How does the product compare to other hair products on the market?
- Would I recommend it?
- Would I buy it?
The product is called Original By BluMaan Styling Meraki and was created by the BluMaan team.
It doesn’t label itself by traditional hair product terms like a wax, clay, paste or putty but instead calls itself a Meraki.
What is Meraki?
Meraki is a greek work meaning to leave a piece of yourself in your work.
To me that means: Great – love the sentiment, but what does it do to my hair?
What does it do?
The group behind the product say that this can be used as a pre and post-styler, so that’s how I’m going to judge it .
For a pre-styler, I’m looking for something that plumps my hair, gives it volume and prepares it for styling.
For post-styling/styling, I want a product that adds structure and definition to my hair without making it look saturated and greasy.
The product packaging also says that it has a long lasting hold with a natural finish.
The packaging is sleek and masculine. A black plastic tub with white logo and text.
It’s not going to win any design awards but it will sit neatly on the shelf in your bedroom or bathroom cabinet.
The product has a definite mint scent to it. It’s inoffensive but pretty strong.
It smells similar to American Crew’s Molding Clay and also Kevin Murphy’s Night Rider.
For me, scents in hair products are not massively important. It’s more about how the product works.
For me, this is what lets the product down.
To look at, it appears to be rich and creamy, but it’s actually very thick and viscous.
It feels quite cheap in formulation and more like a styling fibre than anything else.
You can see from the GIF above that when you rub your hands together, the product starts to break off in fibrous strands.
The product has no usage directions on it but instead relies on users watching one of the many videos online to see how to use it. Great if you’re in the loop, but not so good if you’re just an ordinary guy who wants to style his hair!
A member of the BluMaan team sent me instructions on how to use it and said:
Alright! A couple of tips:
For most people it works really well as a pre-styler. It’s usually said that you should only use a little bit of wax as a pre and then more as a post but with Original it’s actually the other way around. So adding a decent amount as a pre-styler and blowdrying it in place and then adding a small amount afterwards to keep everything in place works best for many ppl.
When you take it out of the jar don’t rub it between your palms too much or try to “warm it up” like most products, it get’s sticky that way. Just lightly spread it to your hands and then apply.
I tried it the way that they recommended and also tried rubbing it into my hands and applying.
As the product is so thick and sticky (even before applying to the hair), it’s actually pretty hard to apply to your hair.
Each time I used it, I was unable to evenly distribute the product throughout my hair.
I applied a tiny bit of product both to damp and dry hair, and used a hair dryer to build volume into my hair.
Even just using a tiny bit of product made my hair look greasy and put my hair into strands. Not what I want from a pre-styler.
I want a product that plumps and thickens my hair without affecting its natural texture. Hard to come by but it does exist (Label M’s Grooming Cream is a great example of this).
The product dries pretty fast, so you need to move quickly.
If you can get your desired style quickly then you’re good-to-go, but if not, it will be a bit of a mission to actually do anything with this product.
As the product dries so quickly, the hold of the product is actually pretty impressive. It’s firm and doesn’t really move.
That said, you want the hold to be on a style that you really like. Because it dries so fast, I wasn’t able to create the style I wanted.
The product is pretty pricey.
It retails at $19 on their official site and with shipping in the US, it totals $24.
If you’re in the UK, you’ll be paying $27.50 in total, which is roughly £19. It also retails on Amazon for £19.99.
For this price, I would really be expecting a premium hair product.
The only way to truly review a product is to compare it to others on the market.
I mentioned American Crew’s Molding Clay earlier in the review. This product is probably the closest match to Original By BluMaan. They have a similar smell, packaging, texture and consistency.
American Crew does, however, retail for £12/$15.50, so it’s a lot cheaper. The product is also a lot easier to apply.
I’ve also compared it to Label M’s Deconstructor which I’ve used as a pre-styler and for styling. It’s a lot lighter and far easier to apply. It retails at £11/$16.50 which – again – is quite a bit cheaper. It doesn’t, however, have as firm a hold as Original By BluMaan and requires a hairspray to fix the style into place.
Kevin Murphy’s Night Rider provides another good comparison. It’s around the same price as Original By BluMaan but works far better with my hair type (fine and flyaway). This product plumps and smooths the hair whilst providing a medium hold.
The verdict is actually the least important part of this review. It’s so subjective! What works for me and my hair type will (probably) be so different for you.
That said, I’ve tried loads of different hair products and I know what works.
Would I buy Original By BluMaan?
No, I wouldn’t. I find it thick in consistency and even harder to apply. It also sets too quickly and doesn’t allow me to style my hair in the way I’d like.
I’m sure there are loads of guys and girls out there that will love the product, but it doesn’t work for me.
I think what the BluMaan team are doing is really exciting. I love the way that they’re shaking it up by bringing a totally new concept (Meraki) to the haircare market. It really is very admirable.
Although I didn’t enjoy using this product, I’m excited to see what else the BluMaan team release. I would love to try it!