Grooming Tips from 2017

Here we are, about to close out 2017. It has been a heck of a year right? Let’s start off 2018 with a look back on all of the new, or reinforced grooming tip that came out of the last year that we can bring in the new year with!

Take Colder Showers
Alright, no one likes hearing this, especially in the winter when it’s cold enough outside as it is. Hear me out, though. Taking colder showers will reduce the amount of moisture lost in your skin and it will keep your pores closed. Hot showers cause the natural oils your body produces to wash away and the steam from that hot water will evaporate that moisture you need to keep your skin from being dry. If you really must take a hot shower, only use hot water for about 10 minutes and then finish with lukewarm water. Make sure to follow up with a moisturizer so you aren’t facing dry, itchy skin once you’ve dried off.

Shower After Your Workout
This might seem like a given but there are many men or people in general, that will go from their workout to start their daily errands or even go to work without a shower. This isn’t only a matter of hygiene but also a matter of skin care. The longer the salt on your skin sits and soaks in, the more it will irritate your skin. This can lead to rashes and those are unpleasant as it is. Once you’ve finished your workout, take a shower as soon as you can to make sure your skin stays healthy.

Replace Your Toothbrush
Most dentists will recommend replacing your toothbrush everything three months. This is because the bristles can wear down to a state that they are ineffective at cleaning the bacteria and plaque from your teeth. It may not seem that way from where we look at it but the bristles wear down finely at tips. It is also recommended to replace your toothbrush every time you have gotten over a sickness like the flu or strep throat. This will minimize the spread of those germs. A good alternative to having to replace your whole toothbrush is to purchase an electric toothbrush and stock up on replaceable heads that you can change out at the end of those three months.

Invest in More Sunscreen
It might only occur to use sunscreen in the sunnier months (looking at you spring and summer), you also want to keep it in mind in the winter. While your skin might see less sun, it is exposed to more harsh elements that will do more damage to your skin than you might realize. So before you head out for the day, make sure you apply the sunscreen to the parts of your skin that are going to facing these elements the most like your face, head, and hands.

Don’t Wash Your Hair Every Day
If you’re in the habit of washing your hair every day, you might want to reconsider. Using these shampoos strip away the natural oils your pores produce and leaves your hair dry and damaged. Instead, wash your hair every second or third day and rinse it through the days in between. If you feel the need to wash your hair, there are products available that can clean your hair without damaging it.  

Beard Care is Just as Important
Beards have become more and more popular this year. If you’re part of the population that can grow one, take care of it! Your beard hair is just as important as the hair on the top of your head. Invest in a good beard oil to keep the hair moisturized.

Keeping Your Beard Maintained

We’ve talked a lot about beards from Finding the Right Beard for Your Face Shape to the Pros of Growing a Beard. If you have made the choice to grow your beard out and have found the look that suits you and your needs, you’re going to need to know how to take care of it. While a beard might seem like an easy look to keep up, there is actually a lot more than goes into keeping it up than you might think. It’s not just about the hair on your face either; you have to also take care of the skin underneath. When making a first impression it is very important you look your best and keeping your skin and beard in good shape will only help you.

Start by keeping up with regular trimmings. This can be done by you at home or even a professional. Keeping your beard trimmed at any length will help prevent split ends, much like keeping the hair on the top of your head does. Once you’ve determined the amount of hair you prefer for your beard you can use a comb and trimming shears to keep it in shape.  Make sure to invest in a decent comb. Using a comb during trimming will help keep everything even and, if used outside of trimming, it will encourage the hairs to grow straight out instead of a potential curly mess. When you’re trimming your beard or even shaving keep your face as relaxed as possible. This will ensure that your beard will be even for any and all expressions.

If you are of the mindset of needing to remove the beard hair during upkeep instead of keeping the hair and skin healthy, you might be inadvertently putting yourself at risk for irritation, infection, and razor burn. To avoid these skin irritants, make sure your pores are open beforehand and sealed afterward. You can open your pores with hot steam from a shower or even running hot water in the sink. Once you’ve finished your upkeep routine, splash your face with cold water to seal your pores and provide an extra wake-up boost. After you’ve splashed on the cold water, consider applying a beard balm. Beard balms are a styling agent that add volume and shape to your beard. This is not to be confused with a beard oil. Beard oils serve to moisturize and condition the beard hairs as well as the skin underneath.

Now, something you might not consider (but really should) is exfoliating. This isn’t something just girls do. Exfoliating will scrub away all the dead skin cells as well as the build-up dirt and oil. Try and pick up something that specializes in keeping your beard and your skin moisturized for a two-in-one effect. You’ll also want to shampoo that beard. How many times has food gotten lost in that chin mane? If you spread some of the lather you’re already building on your hair to your chin, you won’t be wasting more shampoo than you already need. If you really want a soft beard you can pick up beard specific conditioners as well. You won’t need to use this more than one or two times a week, really.  

Grooming Product Ingredients to Avoid

If you were to ask the casual man what ingredients are in his grooming products, chances are he wouldn’t know. Usually, the men that do know are very conscientious of what they apply to their skin, hair, beards. Knowing what is in these products is very important and not being aware can lead to problems like dry, flaky skin and allergic reactions in some cases. Since your face is one of the first things to make an impression, you want to keep it in good condition and protect it from harsh chemicals. When you’re shopping there are key ingredients in the products you use that you want to keep in mind and avoid.

The first ingredient to avoid is Phyhalates. Now, this a blanket term for perfumed products. If the label reads that the product is scented or perfumed, be warned: Phyhalates will be that blanket term that hides what the actual ingredient is that is perfuming your grooming product. While you might expect the scent to come from a natural oil, the producing company may actually opt for a scented ingredient that is cheapest to use. The next ingredient to avoid are Sulfates. This is a common term on the watch list for a lot of things these days. Sulfates are what causes our products to foam up and for some reason, we have been deceived to think that our grooming products have to foam if they are going to work. This simply isn’t the case. Sulfates also strip away the sebum from our skin. Sebum plays an important part in protecting our skin from drying out and being harshly damaged by the elements of the outside.

Parabens are the next ingredient to be on the lookout for. This is another ingredient that is making its way into popular vernacular. Parabens are preservatives found in most shelf-ready products. They extend the life of the products it is found in by a wide enough margin that by the time it reaches shelves, there is no telling how long it has actually been sitting in a warehouse. This can cause a decrease in potency of the product and cause long-term damage to your skin. Now we move on to Triclosan. This ingredient is found in most things that claim to be antibacterial. In reality, this is another skin destroyer, removing that layer of sebum that protects our skin. Good news on this one, though! It is becoming a banned ingredient in the US.

Don’t let the name of this next one scare you too much. We’re giving a little shout-out to Formaldehyde. This ingredient is often associated with preserving dead bodies and medical specimens, not with the grooming products we use on a daily basis. And the worst part is that the manufacturers won’t put this as an actual ingredient. Instead, they’ll list ‘formaldehyde releasers’ which are chemicals that produce formaldehyde. The side effects of this chemical are long just as frightening so be on the lookout. The last product we’re going to mention is Alcohol. This simple ingredient is a major cause of dry skin and dry hair. The components of this ingredient are harsh and can leave long-lasting effects even well after use.

2017 Gift Guide

By now we’re all experiencing the bite of winter as the weather grows colder. While this means bundling up and kicking your feet up by the fire or heater, it also means something else: Christmas is on the way. Now, if you’re a man of simple needs and might be looking to expand your range of grooming products, the holidays are the perfect time to drop some hints and get ready for a new look for the new year. There are many new products on the market to consider so here is a round-up of some of the top rated grooming sets for men that you might want to drop some hints about.

The Side Part Hair Grooming Kit
This kit is available in an Altoid-sized tin. Inside you’ll find hair wax, a mini comb, and a parting string.However, if the side-part isn’t your look, you can also find that this brand offers a Man-Bun Kit with the same travel convenient size.

Port Products Daily Essentials Travel Kit
A little more on the pricier side, this kit includes a Detoxifying Facial Cleanser, Face Saving Shave Formula, and a tube of Balancing Facial Moisturizer. This kit is perfect for men that find themselves traveling often. Since hotel soaps and moisturizers can be hard on the skin this is the perfect gift to keep their skin looking healthy.

Aesop Impassioned Wanderer Gift Set
This kit is the perfect stocking stuffer. In it, you’ll find a low-foaming facial cleanser, a  Moroccan Neroli Post-Shave Lotion, and a Coriander Seed Body Cleanser. This is a popular kit so if you’re interested you might want to act fast as it seems to sell out pretty quickly. If you aren’t interested in the whole kit, these products can be purchased separately.

Herbivore Botanicals Beard Tonic Kit
Unable to shake the efforts of No-Shave November? HInt at this kit that includes cedar scented natural oils that stimulate new growth and keep your beard hydrated through the winter months. Keep your beard healthy while smelling like a lumberjack.

Proraso Vintage Collection
This isn’t your ordinary gift kit. This set includes full sized products such as a Refresh Preshave Cream, Refresh Shaving Cream Tube, and Refresh Aftershave Balm. Instead of having just a sampling size of these products, enjoy them in their full-size packaging.

Olivina Men Bourbon Cedar Exfoliating Bar Soap
If you’re looking for another perfect sized stocking stuff, give this product a shot. The bar is easy-lathering and crafted with organic shea butter, red kaolin clay, and certified sustainable palm oil. The bar is infused with a blend of a warm bourbon scene and spicy cedar notes to keep you smelling great throughout the day.

Brickell Men’s Purifying Charcoal Soap Bar
We’ve all seen charcoal make it into the spotlight this year with their highly praised cleaning qualities. This bar soap will draw impurities to the skin and then protect the cleaned skin with a mix of organic coconut and olive oil. The added peppermint and tea tree oil is a kick at the end that is sure to wake you up in the morning.

Imperial Barber Bergamont After-Shave
This after-shave refreshes and smooths the skin using macadamia nut oil that also protects skin cells that might have been damaged during the shave.

These are just a few of the great options out there that are great for the bearded, or non-bearded, friend or family you still need to shop for.



Beard Transplants

Men with baby faces know all too well the struggle to be taken seriously in the workplace. While some men can hide their softer features with a beard, there are some men who don’t have the luxury. This isn’t their fault, they have the genetics to blame for being unable to grow a beard. They can take solace in knowing that men that cannot grow beards are less likely to go bald compared to the beard-full counterparts. Of course, that isn’t always a comfort overall so here is an idea if you’re really craving the rugged look that comes with a beard: Beard Transplants. This isn’t as widely known as, say, hair transplants which take hair from the back or the face and implanting it into the follicles on the scalp.

SOURCE: Foundation for Hair Restoration

Beard Transplants take hair from the back of the head, where hair grows the thickest, and implants them into the follicles on the face.Dr. Jeffrey Epstein, a dermatologist at Foundation for Hair Restoration, has found that hair from the back of the head grows very much like beard hairs and make the perfect temporary substitute. While the color of the hairs may differ from what grows on your face, the difference isn’t noticeable enough to be worrisome. You won’t even have to settle for the goatee area as the hairs can be transplanted to the neck and sideburns if you are so inclined to go out that far.

SOURCE: Foundation for Hair Restoration

A decade ago, dermatologists only executed these procedures maybe five times a year. Nowadays, these specialists perform these procedures over five times a week. Beard transplants are done using single hair follicles transplanted to the face. A decade ago this wasn’t possible as hair transplants were done using plugs. These plugs, once placed on the face, would leave the patient with a cobblestone-like skin in the aftermath. The follicle transplants leave the patient with a more natural looking beard in the end that can be shaved and re-grown to the wearer’s liking.

SOURCE: Foundation for Hair Restoration

Now, if you’re wondering about the costs, these transplants can run up to $7,000 for one procedure. This might seem costly but if your goal is the single look you go in looking for, it’ll be the only amount you’ll spend. Be warned, the transplanted hairs will fall out after two weeks. However, within three months your face will grow a natural beard that you can shape to your liking. If you’re looking for something fuller, later on, having started from a smaller look, you might have to shell out another $4,000 to achieve it. If you’re struggling with a baby face this might seem a small price to pay. Just make sure to bring in a reference for the look you want so you won’t be at the mercy of the surgeon. Also, keep in mind that you might have to take a sick day as these procedures can take two to five hours depending on what look you’re going for.

SOURCE: Foundation for Hair Restoration

Make sure you consult your dermatologist if you’re thinking of looking into getting a beard transplant. While there are many speculated home ‘cures’ for those who struggle to grow a beard, this transplant is, by far, the safest and proven route to go.