The changing nature of male grooming over the past few years has been an interesting phenomenon to watch. Put simply, there is a stampede underway to appear relevant, with the industry rapidly disowning the dated alpha-male tropes of old-school razor ads and instead trying to chime with the sensibilities of a more enlightened modern male.
Saunders & Long is a brand that understands this. Founders Jonathan Long and Nick Saunders have created products that focus on functionality. Their mission: to simplify grooming. Or, as Jonathan told me: ‘we wanted to fill a gaping hole in the grooming industry, as everything is either heritage or new-style barbering.’ And there really is a radical simplicity at the heart of their range: a standout example is The Long Weekender, a five-in-one shampoo, conditioner, body wash, shaving cream and dry groomer, perfect for everyday convenience, and in particular, for travel.
Jonathan explains that instead of spending on ad campaigns and social media, Saunders & Long’s strategy is to invest in working with the very best cosmeticians. Its chief chemist is Stephen Musumeci, former chief chemist at Kiehl’s, and its master perfumer is Francois Robert, a fourth-generation perfumer with more than 40 years of experience. Long says that by ‘spending 10 years testing products in my London salon and tweaking in Stephen’s US lab’, Saunders & Long exploited an opportunity that gives the brand standout in a sector that often over-concentrates on marketing.
This simplicity is intriguing, as the men behind Saunders & Long are anything but uncomplicated. Jonathan Long is a live wire hairdresser and serial entrepreneur whose salon, Lockonego on the King’s Road, numbers many male celebrities among its clientele, including Theo Walcott and Mateo Kovačić. Meanwhile, co-founder Nick Saunders was educated at Harvard and Oxford and has, among other things, worked as a Hollywood film producer.
The Saunders & Long range is thus the brainchild of two men who appear to have discovered a vocation making practical, unfussy grooming products, and in doing so they may well help make the life of modern man simpler, so that he may find his.
Four Saunders & Long products to simply your life:
The Long Weekender
A five-in-one shampoo, conditioner, body wash, shaving cream and dry groomer. Its creators describe it as ‘as essential to travel as your passport.’
Condition & Groom
Both a styling product that conditions the hair, as well as providing a memory hold. It is the perfect way to get a naturally styled look.
A gentle foaming cleanser that can be used for the hands, face and body. It differs from a traditional body wash, with a liquid base that foams through an aerating delivery system to provide a rich, but thorough cleanse.
Designed to do the ‘heavy lifting’ on the day-to-day build-up of product, pollution and life.