Meridian Grooming’s trimmers tackle nose and ear hair plus all places down below
WHENEVER I put anything sharp close to my nether regions for the sake of hygiene, I imagine that a mistake would mean I’d have to change my name to Hilda and settle down with an honest truck driver named Steve.
Steve will have to wait, because Meridian Grooming has launched in the Philippines. The brand has a set of electric, rechargeable trimmers meant to address grooming needs, and, yes, especially those down there. There’s the Trimmer, the Trimmer Plus (the trimmer, but with a charging pedestal and a guiding LED light), and the Up-Here Trimmer, for your nose and your ears. The products were developed in 2019 by Pangaea Holdings, founded by Darwish Gani and Richard Hong in California. Pangaea Holdings is also the company behind Lumin, a line of skincare products.
In the Philippines, Meridian Grooming was brought to the country by Origami Retail Philippines in 2021, launching through online channels. The brand’s Eastwood Mall kiosk was launched on Aug. 24 this year. During the launch, Origami’s CEO, Uael Canoy, told BusinessWorld in an interview, “One of the many claims that we really put out there in the market is no nicks, no cuts.” We asked him if it were a 100% guarantee. “Yes.”
We took him at his word and tested it that night. I gave the trimmer a try while listening to opera — after all, if things go south on my south, I may finally have a shot at a new career where reaching high notes would prove to be a plus.
“Anything that cuts can cut,” said Mr. Canoy. “The way the product is designed is when you intentionally want to cut hair on a flat surface, you’re guaranteed not to get nicks or cuts.” We trusted the product demo where they used the trimmer on a kiwi and it came out all right, not to mention the hosts and the influencers at the event running their fingers through the blades, emerging unscathed.
“But if you want a challenging problem, if you want to put it on your uneven skin, such as the tip of your ear, it can cut. But that’s not where hair grows. That’s not normal human behavior. But if you just focus on your daily mundane routine of trimming, it’s already guaranteed to have no nicks or cuts,” he said.
Each of the products share a specially developed ceramic blade, and the ergonomic design makes it easy to handle. The secret is all in the engineering. “The problem with other razors in the market is they’re operating on the open-knife type. Meridian does not use metal, it uses ceramic. Ceramic is duller on surfaces that are thicker than hair. If it cuts skin, it’s duller; it doesn’t cut as sharply as metal.”
When I was using the Trimmer Plus, sometimes the blade would touch skin and I would wince — and then sigh with relief, for I could see that I had drawn no blood. It did, however, teach me why rebukes are called “sharp,” as if the trimmer was admonishing me not to tempt fate. All in all though, I’ve done twists and turns I’d never have attempted with an inferior trimmer, thus going to depths I could not have dreamed of reaching. I emerged from my bathroom lighter, happier; ready to show the world the man I have become. I’d show you a picture, but this is a family-friendly space.
Cleanup with the Meridian is a breeze. The instructions on the manual said nothing about soap, but we didn’t want to risk letting the blades breed anything. After using the provided brush to dust away the traces of the evening’s activity, I patted it with a bit of lavender-scented soap and placed it under running water (it’s waterproof!). I once permanently destroyed an electric trimmer doing the same thing.
Mr. Canoy spoke about his own experience with the Trimmer Plus. He uses it to trim down there too, but also on his facial hair, with his beard and sideburns having different lengths, which he achieves with the adjustable guiding comb. He bought his first trimmer because of the minimalistic design, but then, “I was surprised that it was easier than I thought, in terms of using. Literally, it’s just a glide,” he said in English and Filipino. “Ganon-ganon lang (it’s just like that). I don’t even have to look at it.” (He was talking about his facial hair.)
He discussed the reason he brought the product to the Philippines: “In the Philippines, around 90% of the market is really about manual razors. We saw an opportunity, especially during the pandemic, that people are now taking their grooming routines at home. Sometimes, they don’t have access to good grooming products.”
Developed as it was in LA, the product’s design also appeals to Filipinos. “In terms of the type of hair it’s capable of addressing, it’s very similar to how Philippine hair is,” he said, referring to the diverse populations in LA.
We pointed out that procedures like waxing and laser hair removal are still very much about, but he said, “They provide different results.” Both procedures mentioned completely remove hair. “But this one really isn’t about removing hair, but just managing it; and making sure that you’re happy with that kind of management.”
It is a bit expensive: the Starter Package with the trimmer and the replaceable blade costs P5,757.75, and it goes up from there with the accessories. Mr. Canoy however, says, “It is a premium brand in terms of price, really… we’re really paying for the engineering behind it.
“It might be expensive, but we make sure that the product delivery is at par.”
The average electric trimmer in the market costs about P1,200, without the bells and whistles.
Mr. Canoy noted as well, “If you look at it from a savings perspective, if you buy razors on a monthly basis, and the more premium razors out there cost around P600 to P1,200; if you aggregate that in a whole year, (the Meridian) is a bit cheaper than buying your razors.”
Should you buy this? Yes. The P5,000 and up figure may put some off, but peace of mind always comes at a price.
The Meridian trimmers are available in Watsons stores in the NCR, its website (meridiangrooming.ph), Shopee, Lazada, and TikTok. They also have physical pop-ups in Robinsons Magnolia, Uptown Mall, Eastwood Mall, Robinsons Manila, and The Podium. — Joseph L. Garcia