Sulfate and paraben-free products are dominating the women’s beauty industry. Praised for their chemical-free, naturally derived ingredients and wholesome benefits—it’s not surprising that these shampoos and conditioners are saturating women’s shower routines across the country. However, few sulfate and paraben-free products exist for men, and if they do, the organic product comes at a cost with bottles typically costing upwards of 40 dollars.
About seven months ago, Ryan Bodenheimer, co-founder and president of the New Man Revolution Company, felt this frustration with market availability and costly male grooming products. He found shampoo aisles offered either “manly” products filled with synthetic ingredients or health conscious, natural products targeted to women—with feminine aesthetics and smells.
However, no product bridged the gap between health consciousness and “manliness,” forcing Bodenheimer to purchase a feminine or costly shampoo if he wanted great results.
This frustration, paired with a recent loss within Bodenheimer’s family, encouraged him to disrupt the male grooming industry and create a shampoo he could be proud of.
“My uncle died from prostate cancer when it could have been prevented because he was powering through; he wasn’t being honest about the things he was feeling in his body,” Bodenheimer said.
This experience taught Bodenheimer that men should not “power through” issues, but should instead be proactive about addressing them.
Sick of accepting the standard, chemical filled products and using his uncle as a driving force, Bodenheimer decided to change the status quo of synthetic products established within male grooming.
Men Unite to Create a New Man Revolution
Bodenheimer presented his ideas to friend and fellow F-15E fighter pilot Dale Wood, now co-founder and vice president of logistics for the New Man Revolution, and found that Wood also felt underrepresented as a male within the grooming industry.
Eric Deegear, currently co-founder and marketing director of the New Man Revolution, decided to join the company shortly after trying a sample of the product while it was still in the concept phase.
“A lot of problems with (competing products) are that they coat hair with sulfates and parabens,” Deegear said. “It makes the hair feel and look good afterward, but that’s soon stripped away because when you wash it again, it pulls the natural oils out, so you get a nice coat on there, but it pulls off more than it gives.”
The trio immediately began working on their vision for the company using both a “multi-tiered” approach and Bodenheimer’s late uncle as cornerstones for their revolution. This “multi-tiered” approach requires each product produced by the New Man Revolution to be manly, healthy and socially conscious.
Create a Manly Product promoting Men’s Health
One of the company’s main goals of creating a “manly” shampoo is to revolutionize stereotypical thoughts of male grooming by promoting the concept that males can be conscious of their health without compromising their masculinity. The company believes that a male is most “manly” when he is taking care of himself and his health.
The New Man Revolution uses masculine packaging, bold smells and effective ingredients so males will be proud of the product they are using.
The owners use the New Man Revolution as an awareness campaign, educating males on the harmful effects of sulfates and parabens, after finding that few males even knew the chemicals existed. They challenge men to be aware of the products they are using and the ingredients contained in them.
“We may watch and be concerned with the food we eat, but we’re willing to lather our entire body in a chemical and our body just as easily absorbs it, “ Wood said.
The company believes that a man must first take care of himself before anyone else, and by doing so he not only empowers himself, but also his community.
A Socially Conscious Product Geared toward Community Betterment
The company prides itself on being socially conscious, which is reflected by the statement printed on the back of every bottle “more than profit.”
Ten percent of the profit of every New Man Revolution product sold is donated to “empower” combat veterans and help with cancer research. Bodenheimer and Wood have a personal connection to aiding combat veterans, as they both serve in the military and have experienced deployment.
The owners believe the “right thing to do” is to give back to the community. They have witnessed the power of giving back first hand when they visited the Boise Rescue Mission last month and met with combat veterans to see how donations have improved their lives. They were able to see community dollars at work, as the veterans revealed new skills they were being taught, opportunities for education and the funding of new computers.
The New Man Revolution also aims to change the rigidity of males and society by exposing the detrimental affects of what they call “powering through”.
“For however many decades, you’ve got your bar of soap, strong cologne and that’s all they use— they power through things,” Wood said. “I’m an EMT and men typically have heart attacks, they won’t call until they are going to kill themselves, that’s the kind of stubbornness of men; traditionally we have to suck it up.”
The company calls on men to make it the new status quo for males to actively take care of themselves and stop powering through health issues. Underneath this New Man Revolution mission, Manpoo and Manditioner were born.
The Process of Creating the New Man Revolution Product
The three typically spend around 200 man-hours producing one thousand bottles of Manpoo and Manditioner. Each has a full time job and must dedicate free time outside of his job to the New Man Revolution. Due to the limited amount of time each has in a given week, the process of creating the shampoo and conditioner must happen in stages.
The owners first begin with a plant base that is formulated by chemists from around the U.S. While this base is being created, the three spend countless hours researching and testing essential oils for their smell and purpose. Synthetic shampoos contain thousands of gallons of synthetic fragrances, which give them their powerful scents, but New Man Revolution scents are solely reflective of the ingredients within the product.
When the base arrives, it is odorless and gains scent only when blended with essential oils; because of this, the process of selecting oils is often intricate and can take up to several weeks, as the triad collaborates on every oil to ensure it is a purpose driven ingredient.
The three then sanitize the kitchen in which they plan to blend together the plant base, essential oils and secret family recipe. Upon completing a day of mixing and blending, they will generally call it a day and specify another day to meet for bottling.
The process of making Manpoo and Manditioner has now become routine, but starting out, the men had to dedicate lengthy days to develop the system they have now. Before the launch of their first batch, they spent around three weeks studying and researching oils by using a 300 hundred-oil sample pack as their primary tool of learning.
Typically using Wood’s house as “home base,” they spend around ten hours blending ingredients, pouring the product, and testing each batch for consistency. On bottling days, they spend additional hours pouring the product, cleaning the outside of bottles and ensuring the product is up to New Man Revolution standards. Then they divide bottles amongst themselves and do label application at their individual houses—generally labeling two or three hundred at a time.
The bottles are from Eagle, Idaho and the company is currently transitioning to locally made labels, as they strive to procure as many local components as possible for their products. New Man Revolution is eager to have the plant base and essential oils formulated locally as well—something they are hoping will be a possibility in the near future.
Each owner acknowledges that the New Man Revolution has come a long way from the nascent concept stage and is quite different than they first envisioned. They had originally planned for the company to be completely online.
However, the three quickly realized this was not plausible because people wanted to smell and see the product before purchasing it. The men changed their “restrictive” online business model for their company and have instead implemented a fluid relationship-based model.
They each realized the power of relationships when first creating awareness for their product, as they had to rely heavily on building a positive rapport with the Boise Co-Op—a company that now regularly sells their product.
The three place a high value on personal relationships with anyone that interacts with their company, which they exercise through events, such as the Hyde Park Street Fair and Green Fest. They believe these events create a personal interaction with the consumer, something that is a high priority for the men. They encourage consumers to provide as much feedback for them as possible, through e-mails, social media and they even offer discounts for customers that are willing to provide their opinions on tested products.
“We do what’s best for men, we’re growing based on feedback from men,” Bodenheimer said.
The trio attributes much of their success to the power of building personal relationships with not only consumers, but with fellow businesses as well. Each owner takes turns visiting local barbershops to promote their product, finding that through this process of walking the streets of Boise, two local barbershops and a barbershop chain in Colorado now carry their product.
“You never know what relationships are going to explode into massive growth for the company,” Deegear said.
In response to high demand, the three have also been working on an orange, peppermint oil and aloe vera infused body wash called Manpower that will be released during TreeFort this month.
New Man Revolution currently has two lines of Manpoo and Manditioner called “Going Commando,” and “Firm Handshake.”
After receiving inquires from men all over the Treasure Valley, the three are eager to expand their product lines to include beard-grooming merchandise in the future.
However, their ultimate goal is to have health food stores all over the U.S. carry their products within the next few years, so that men from around the country can join the New Man Revolution and have access to the same manly, healthy and socially conscious products Idahoans enjoy regularly.
“I get a little bit of dry scalp, I’ve noticed that I don’t get this with Going Commando Manpoo. I noticed that my hair is softer, more manageable, less dry, and maintains its’ shape and body a little more after using Going Commando Manditioner,” said James Powell (New Man Revolution user for 5 months).