My New Favorite Shampoo

Many people talk of the benefits of coconut oil for hair & body. There’s even a pretty cool pin that you can buy to celebrate your love for the wonder oil. I, myself, have been a big fan for a while now but my love for coconut oil has recently been cemented in one of my latest discoveries.

Not only do I love coconut oil but I also have pretty sensitive skin. My scalp is even worse. I try a lot of products and keep in mind how both my hair and scalp react to different ingredients and formulations. Needless to say, finding a shampoo that works well for both has always been a bit of a challenge.

Then I stumbled upon Shea Moisture’s 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Daily Hydration Shampoo. It’s a gem.

For those of you who seek healthy, organic products, I have a feeling that you will feel as strongly about this shampoo as I do. It has all the things that you need, without the things that you don’t. It gives you a great amount of slip to help detangle dense, afro-textured hair like mine and frees itself of perfumes and scents that only serve to make you smell “good”. I find that those products are often scalp irritants, which is why this shampoo is the business.

It’s creamy and luxurious and soothing at the same time. It smells faintly of coconut and it just feels naturally created.  I think it is, by far, one of the best products I’ve ever tried from Shea Moisture and if you search through the reviews of this site, you know how many things I’ve tried (and mostly loved).  This is a holy grail product, bar none.

The only reservation I have about this product is one built on circumstance, it’s hard to find in store. None of my local stores carry it, which means that I have to order it online or hunt around the city to find it. It’s a new product, and arguably less popular, than the others. But, as more people try it I presume they will end up with the same conclusion as I have, it’s one of the best shampoos out there.

Give it a shot!

NaturallyCurly Book ‘The Curl Revolution’ Hits Shelves

NaturallyCurly is the largest site dedicated to caring for, and loving your naturally curly hair. On October 3, Naturally Curly will be releasing The Curl Revolution: Inspiring Stories and
Practical Advice from the NaturallyCurly Community!

This book will offer practical advice, hope and inspiration for curly girls and guys. It promises to be one of the coolest and informative books about textured hair out there.  It’s no surprise as NaturallyCurly has long been an advocate for advancing public perception of naturally curly, kinky, and coily hair.  In my opinion, this book release marks a significant time in our history and progress with mainstream acceptance of textured hair.

I was fortunate enough to take part in the book as one of their models and community members and I am incredibly excited to be a part of it. When I first started growing out my hair I was nervous and incredibly confused about what to do and what products to use. NaturallyCurly was THE site that helped me get my act together and understand my hair.  I’m excited that this book will offer another opportunity to learn about different hair textures and care practices.

Here’s a sneak peek of my photo shoot for The Curl Revolution!

You can pre-order The Curl Revolution at Shop.NaturallyCurly.com. I can’t wait to finally see the book in print and I hope that you all enjoy it!

Should You Use a Beard Shampoo?

This guest post is written by Jeremy from Best Men’s Shaver.

Are you thinking about growing out a beard? If so, you may quickly realize that it is not as easy as just sitting around and letting it grow.

As you begin to get some length on your beard, you may begin to itch or even see dandruff.

Keep reading to see how using a beard shampoo can help you grow a healthier, fuller looking beard.

Why You Need To Take Care Of Your Beard

As we mentioned, problems arise as your beard gets longer. Your body produces a natural oil to keep your skin and hair moisturized. This is known as sebum. When your beard is less than a half-inch or so long, your body doesn’t really have a problem keeping up with sebum production. However, as your beard gets longer your skin has a harder time producing enough oil to keep your skin and beard moisturized. This is when you may begin to notice beard itch and some guys will even get ‘beardruff’.

As you can imagine, this causes several issues. When the skin is not kept dry it can become itchy and flaky. When the hair follicle underneath the skin is not kept moisturized, it can lead to brittle hair growth that can break easier. This makes it harder to grow out your beard. Of course, if your beard hairs themselves dry out, they can break easier as well.

Why Not Regular Shampoo

Can you use the same shampoo you use on your head for your beard? Absolutely.

However, it is going to strip away almost all of your body’s natural oil that we were just talking about. This will either lead to issues with your beard and skin or require you to use more beard oil or balm to keep everything moisturized.

Humans have been using shampoo for hundreds of years. In more recent times, manufacturers have used lots of chemicals to make them appealing to us.

Chemicals like sulfates, glycol citric acid give the shampoo its abilities to:

  • Repair hair
  • Smell nice
  • Reduce irritation
  • Foam and rinse easily

Unfortunately, shampoos are also really efficient at stripping hair of your body’s natural oil.

Beard shampoos take a more natural approach and are less likely to strip away that oil that your beard needs. They usually contain mostly water, plant oils, extracts and juices.

You can even make your own with equal parts Castile soap and water. You can then add your own favorite plant oils or extracts to make it smell nice and give it some conditioning properties.

How Often Should You Wash Your Beard

You should wash your beard about the same as you normally wash your hair on your head.

It is generally recommended to only wash your hair every two to three days. Now, this could be difficult if you workout and you often become a sweaty mess. If that is the case, try every other day and see how it goes.

When you combine a nice beard shampoo with this frequency, you are helping your beard retain more of its natural oils. This practice is going to keep your beard looking healthier and feeling softer in the long run and who doesn’t love a softer beard?!

Plus, using a beard shampoo everyday could be expensive. Most come in smaller bottles or bars of soap however, a little bit will spread pretty far.

Who Would Benefit From A Beard Shampoo

Anyone, with any length of hair, can use a beard shampoo. However, as we mentioned, as your beard gets longer than about a half-inch is when you may start to notice issues.

Some guys may feel the need to wash their beard everyday because it feels greasy. In doing so, it actually increases your body’s natural oil production. As the oil gets stripped away, the body thinks it needs to replace it and produces more oils which can clog your pores and actually inhibit moisture getting to your beard hair effectively. By slowing down the frequency to every 2 or 3 days the oil production will normalize. This makes washing your beard everyday unnecessary.

Anyone who wants their beard to smell nice would also benefit from a beard shampoo. They are usually scented with essential oils that will stick with you for most of the day.

As you can see, it may be worth a couple bucks for you to invest into a nice beard shampoo. Just like with your skin and the hair on your head, your beard needs to be treated properly.

Keeping the hair and skin moisturized under your beard will lead to healthier growth and a fuller looking beard. You should also notice less hair is breaking or falling out as frequently. And when you use a nice beard shampoo together with a beard oil or balm, you are setting your beard up for success.

Do you use a beard shampoo? Let us know how you like it in the comments below!

 

How to be Confident & Stylish with Your Hair Loss

This is a sponsored post submitted by Skalp.

Whether you started losing your hair long before you expected that you would or you had a feeling this process was coming, you still aren’t thrilled about it. Instead of allowing hair loss to drain your confidence and style, consider ways to maintain your good looks and to feel pleased with your appearance.

Know You Deserve Confidence

Building confidence is such an important part of handling physical insecurities. For example, you may think that it is impossible to look stylish and attractive with the loss of hair, and this state of mind is the first mistake. When you decide that a certain demeanor is impossible, then it becomes impossible. The first step is to recognize that you can look good without making changes to your being. Recognize the fact that you deserve to have confidence. You can even look to images of other individuals who are attractive and confident despite their loss.

Purchase Hats

Even if you’ve never been much of a hat person, now is the time to explore some new styles. When you think of hats, you may envision baseball caps, leading you to wonder how you could possibly wear a hat in a more formal environment. Plenty of hat styles are popular now. You don’t have to be going to a sports game or even have any athletic inclinations at all to put a hat on your head. The fact that you lost all or some of your hair might even push you in the direction of a new style. If you’ve never considered hats before, you may now feel more drawn in that direction.

Seek Permanent Replacement Options

Another option is to look into a hair tattoo, such as Skalp, a micropigmentation procedure. You might think that your hair has been lost forever, but you can actually restore the look of it with one of these procedures. If you are familiar with the concept of permanent makeup, then you may have a sense of what this procedure may entail. You may have some skepticism about how realistic the hair will look, and browsing through some photos can convince you of the procedure’s ability.

Skalp procedure, before and after.

Research Temporary Replacement Options

Maybe you’re still deciding if you like your new look or if you want to go back to your old style. You could look into purchasing products that inspire the regrowth of your hair. Once your hair has started to growing back, you will likely need to continue using these products on a regular basis to keep the hair in place. You may decide that you actually like the loss! Some people prefer to have less hair to take care of.

Dye Your Remaining Hair

If you have minor loss of hair, then you could consider dying what is left the color that you have always wanted. Instead of having to worry if people are thinking about the loss of your hair, you can show off the new color. This method is one that can help you to build confidence and to check an item off of the to-do list.

If you have an abnormal loss of hair or you suspect another problem is at the heart of this trouble, you should speak with a doctor. You may be able to resolve the issue, restore the growth of your hair and treat an underlying medical condition.

 

Product Review: Harklinikken Hair Hydrating Mask

Disclosure: Product for review was provided courtesy of Harklinikken for the purposes of this review. The opinions listed herein are mine alone.

I have to admit it. When it comes to the natural hair care team…I’m a slacker. I honestly can’t remember the last time that I deep conditioned my hair.  While I’m not opposed to it, it just takes too long to do it normally, but I decided to give it a try when the folks at Harklinikken reached out with their Hair Hydrating Mask.

The promise:

The Mask is a revolutionary product for dry, damaged hair that opens the hair shaft adding intense hydration without the use of substances that leave a film on your hair. The Mask promotes softer, healthier hair improving elasticity and shine.

Does Harklinikken deliver?

Pretty much!

Let’s me start by saying that I don’t think I’ve ever followed the directions to use a product so closely. They aren’t complicated though. The instructions advise you to apply the mask on wet hair (or damp hair) and let it sit for 10 to 30 minutes and then rinse with only warm water. I let me mane marinate for about 12-15 minutes with the mask and detangled using my trusty Ouidad Double Detangler.

The result?

Shinier, hydrated hair.  While I tend to opt for quick fixes for taking care of my mane, Harklinikken has made me realize that maybe there isn’t something to the idea of actual deep conditioning. And what’s so great about this product is that it doesn’t come with the “junk” that you often see in much less expensive products such as “cones”, petrolatum, etc. All those ingredients have their place in my opinion, but I have to say that when I rinsed out this product my hair felt soft, uncoated and healthy.  And for those with sensitive noses or skin, this product is light in smell and my sensitive skin and scalp had no issues whatsoever. Simply put, it works.

To check out this Hair Hydrating Mask ($56, 8.5 oz) for yourself, you can visit the Harklinikken store to purchase.

Prewedding Grooming Tips for Grooms

 

When it comes to weddings, the star attraction is usually the bride, and they never disappoint. From hiring the best beauty experts for their makeup and getting the best gown for the ceremony, brides are known to go the extra mile to ensure they look their best. Grooms, on the other hand, should not be left behind in the grand scheme of things. 

Since it’s their special day as well, grooms have an obligation to look GOOD. Some grooms, however, take a passive approach to grooming and show up on the wedding day looking like they just walked out of a hole. This has the effect of taking the shine out of the ceremony and making it a lot less glamorous. The wedding photos also end up looking less than stellar. To help men look their best on their wedding day, we have come up with a few grooming tips that will help in this regard.

Get a facial

Most men consider facials to be feminine and that’s why most men hardly get them. However, men,  just like women, get impurities on their face when they are outdoors. The impurities range from dust, pollen, and smoke. All these combined with the secretions from your glands make for a very dirty skin. That’s where facials come in handy.

A good facial will extract all the dirt and grime on your face leaving it clean, smooth and glowing. It also opens up the pores for circulation and effective excretion. On your wedding day, your face should be glowing and you can achieve that with a facial.

Book a facial appointment a few days before your wedding so as to give your face enough time to recover from the chemicals. If you are not sure where you can get a facial, consult your bride and she will direct you where she usually gets hers.

Manicures are not feminine anymore.

You’ve probably witnessed your fiancée getting manicured every week or so and you have come to the conclusion that manicures are just for women. Well, modern men do get manicures and if you’ve not been getting them, your upcoming wedding presents you with an opportunity to get one. Your hands will be getting a lot of attention on the wedding day and you should make sure that your hands are in the best possible condition. Other than trimming your nails and removing cuticles, you will receive a massage when you are getting the manicure. The massage will help remove built up pressure and stress brought about by the wedding planning.

Get your teeth whitened.

You will be smiling a lot on your wedding when taking photos and when receiving guests. You should, therefore, make sure that you are smiling correctly and you can give your smile a great lift with a clean set of white teeth. You can use whitening strips for this purpose but for more impressive results, visit your dentist and have your teeth whitened professionally. It may be a little bit costly but the advantage is clean white teeth that make for great pictures.

Get a clean cut.

Of all the appointments a groom should make prior to his wedding, none is as important as that with a barber. For your wedding, you should be in a clean cut that portrays you in the best possible manner. Shave just a day to your wedding for the best look on the exact day. When you are getting the hair on your head shaved, get overgrown facial hair trimmed as well. Your beard should be trimmed neatly and overgrow hairs on your nose and brow plucked as well.

Don’t forget to manscape.

The wedding ceremony will be followed by intimate moments involving you and your spouse. For this, you will be wise to get rid of the unwanted hair on your body such as the hair your back and shoulders. Waxing is one way to achieve a hairless body but we all know how painful and uncomfortable waxing is. The best option would be to have your hair removed with an IPL hair removal machine.

Men should look good on their wedding day and the above-mentioned tips will help you achieve that!

 

Author Bio: Fredrick Cameron is a fashion blogger and loves sharing his views on latest fashion trends. Also he enjoys reading fashion magazines in his free time. He recommends https://www.glo-minerals.com/ to get high quality makeup products.

First Look: Imperial Barber Grade Products Pt. 1

Created by LA Master Barbers Pedro Zermeno & Scott Serrata Imperial Barber is a grooming brand that prides itself on creating high quality products that are all 100% American made.  With extensive experience in LA and NYC, the founders have created an impressive line of products that can meet just about any gent’s needs. I recently had the chance to try out Imperial Barber’s Travel Assortment and am sharing some thoughts on some of the products today.

Imperial Travel Assortment ($45)

Gel Pomade: This,  by far, is my favorite product of the bunch. It’s a great styling product for summer and I imagine would work well on a a variety of hair types looking for some control and increased definition. It worked well on my hair given it’s tacky, yet spreadable consistency.

Freeform Cream: Out of the products that I’ve tried so far, Imperial’s Freeform Cream comes up second for me. It’s a lightweight, water-based, styling cream which works well for a more natural look. It worked well on my afro-textured creating a lot of softness. For guys going for a more natural look and feel, this one is a great bet.

Classic Pomade: Non-oil based pomades work out just fine for my hair but aren’t necessarily my favorite. This is, in large part, that afro-textured hair can look duller due to its structure. The Classic Pomade provides great control as it has strong hold so fly-aways or frizzy hairs are less present when using this one. It’s particularly good for really humid days or if you’re prone to looking extra frizzy.

Imperial was kind enough to send along three other products to sample in their Travel Assortment pack but I haven’t had the chance to dive into them just yet. Keep an eye out for my reviews on Blacktop Pomade, Fiber Pomade and Matte Pomade Paste.

You can learn more about the Travel Assortment in the Imperial Barber shop.

Which product seems like it would be a good fit for your hair?

 

Product Review: Garnier Whole Blends Honey Treasures

Every now and then I think it’s important to switch up your hair care products, no matter how much you love the ones currently on rotation. Today, I’m sharing with you one of my latest drug store finds.

As much as I love a high-end grooming product, I definitely have an affinity for everyday, drug store brands. Honestly, it was I end up using most often because who really is spending more than $20 on a bottle of shampoo on the regular? Not me!

A little while ago I came across Garnier Whole Blends Honey Treasures, and fell in love…much to my surprise.

The ingredients list could use a bit of natural ingredient plumping, no doubt, but don’t sleep on this one. For you kinky hair folks, both the shampoo and conditioner are great, cost-effective products for your hair care routine. There’s a LOT of slip and my hair is SUPER dense so it’s something I need. Most times, I’m able to finger-comb my mane with a load of shampoo in it. Yep, that good.

There are two things that are less than favorable about this line of products for me. First, naturally I would like the ingredients list to be a bit more organic. On the other hand, I also imagine that this is, in part, what keeps the products as affordable as they are.

Second, I think that the scent, while pleasant, is a little too artificially fragrant for me. That being said, I know that I’m particularly sensitive to smells so maybe most of you won’t find it to be a problem at all. But, as always, take a whiff while you’re in the store just in case.

I’ve found that my hair really loves honey-infused products. Yours might too. With Garnier Whole Blends Honey Treasures you get to try it out for less than $10 and when is that ever a bad thing? Check out your local pharmacy or grocery store out to give it a shot!

How to Get Started Growing a Beard

Guest post written and submitted by Adam of Beard Care Products.

For men who decide to grow a beard there are many resources out there to understand all the various aspects that can go into maintaining facial hair and properly taking care of it.

The recent trend in growing beards and their popularity are encouraging more and more men to stop shaving and getting rid of the daily razor grind with its cuts and burns. Many men actually like this aspect of growing a beard a lot. They don’t want to deal with the redness and the tenderness any longer and to be honest – and who doesn’t want to save 5-10 minutes everyday in a society pressed for time?

While it is true that you do save time everyday, but (and you knew there was a but coming!) at the same time you need to keep in mind that you have to take care of your beard as well. Some men have to deal with itchiness or ingrown hairs – others have to contend with beard dandruff (a.k.a. beardruff) and a host of other challenges that can make maintaining a nice beard seem difficult. However, in reality, it all boils down to making a commitment to a regular routine and sticking with it.  

The obvious advantage is that maintaining a beard doesn’t have to take the 5-10 minutes that shaving takes everyday, but you should have combing and oiling as part of your daily routine so that your beard does not seem unruly or unkempt.

So where do you turn for advice whether you are a novice or a veteran beard grower? With the baby boomer generation, beards were never very popular, which means that Generation X and Y have to experiment and figure out on their own grooming rules and rituals. That knowledge was lost and gone with the earlier generations.

That gap erased a lot of respect and natural affinity that men have for beards and we grew up without really knowing how common it was for our great grandfathers to have beards. Its only recently that men are now starting get back into growing beards and they find themselves at a starting point with zero experience and not really sure about how to move forward.

Fortunately, there are many sites and forums that you can turn to and get advice for your beard related issues.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the advice and tips out there, so you want to start out with something palatable and applicable. First and foremost, read 4 Ways To Give Your Facial Hair The Best Beard Care Possible because not everybody can afford expensive beard care products and grooming routines. Men easily get discouraged when comparing razor prices to the price of a 2 oz. beard conditioner. The trick is to look at what you can do, and so all it takes are a few steps to get going, whether you’re a millionaire or a struggling artist. As a starting point, disregard the horrors of a patchy or itchy beard and just think about getting started. That’s the biggest hurdle. Once you clear it, you will be able to conquer the smaller challenges just as millions of men before you have done.  

One of the more established beard boards is Jeff’s where you will find many people sharing their beard growing stories and experiences. If you’re facing a particular issue just ask on the forum and someone will be sure to help you.

Some men might be bald or have a receding hairline but that should not stop you from growing a beard. In fact, growing facial hair is a great psychological boost for men facing premature hair loss. This is not an issue that is discussed a lot – and many men facing this condition assume that there is no help for them. But in the age of the internet there are  many men who are able to grow beards in spite of the issues they face with the hair on their head. A really great resource is Sly Bald Guys. Their website has a forum specifically dealing with issues bald men face – including tips on growing a beard and much more.

So there you have it, a quick starter guide to get you going, a forum for general growers and a more specific site for men with hair loss. Take time to read and most importantly – don’t go overboard.

Product Review: Artnaturals Bluetooth Diffuser

Disclosure: Artnaturals was courteous enough to provide sample products for the purpose of the review. All opinions listed herein are my own.

Everyone likes to have a home that smells welcoming to guests (and frankly helps cover up any food scents or other odors).  Most of us rely on candles but diffusers, now growing in popularity, may be a better and more sustainable option.

Many of us are somewhat familiar with diffusers. Often they come in sleek little bottles that sit on our desks at work. But what if you had one that gave out a pleasant mist in controllable increments and worked as a bluetooth speaker?

Artnaturals Bluetooth Diffuser does just that.

Previously, the folks at Artnaturals sent me their bluetooth diffuser to try out in my home office space. After using it for a while, I thought I’d share my thoughts with all of you.

Let me begin by saying that I’ve never actually owned a diffuser of my own but had been thinking about purchasing one as I’ve become increasingly interested in the use of essential oils (thanks hair care research) especially as it relates to managing mood and energy.  This opportunity gave me a chance to really see how I felt about it.

What I Loved

I think that the Top 16 essential oil pack is a great selling feature of this combo. What’s best about that is that with the purchase you also get, what I call, a recipe book that provides some potential mixes for you to try out in your space. It helps provide a strong foundation to work from, and to be honest I haven’t tried even half of the mixes and I’m already a few months in.

I also think that the design of the diffuser/speaker itself is neat. If you watch closely, you can see the mist escaping from the top of the spout when the diffuser is on. It also has a clock which is a nice add-on, especially if your diffuser is in a space without another visible clock.

But, by far, having control over the diffuser is the best-selling point for me. You can simply have it turned on until your water-oil mix runs out and/or you can put it on specific time increments such as 1 hour, 3 hours or 6 hours. This makes it great for creating a specific feel in an environment, whether that’s the work place or your home.

There is also a feature that allows the diffuser to show different colored lights when it’s on. Again, you have control over this so you can opt for no lights or opt for one color the whole time which can add a little ambiance if you’re looking for that extra little touch.

And ultimately, the diffuser with 16 essential oils retails for less than $60. That means you’re getting a diffuser, bluetooth speaker, and a nice set oils for a damn good price. It’s a great value.

What Could Use Improvement

I don’t think that the bluetooth speaker has the best sound quality., to be honest. I  didn’t expect it to provide super high quality sound. But, it works just fine for ambient and instrumental music. Surprisingly though, it can get quite loud (it has volume controls) so it has that going for it on the plus side.

Overall, I think that an electronic diffuser is a great idea because it gives you a lot of control over how often and how much you diffuse in your space. I wish that the smells lingered more often, but then again, maybe that’s just to the fact that we tend to assimilate to smell very quickly.  Needless to say, my home office nook smells pretty good and it’s fun to play around with different scent combinations to create different moods.  I personally think the set I tried out would make a great gift for someone who’s learning more about oils and their use in the home or office. And, the style is simple, yet decorative enough to not be so disruptive to most spaces.

To learn more about Artnaturals and to buy the Top 16 Essential Oils and Bluetooth Speaker set.

 

A modern man's lifestyle guide to hair, health and everything in between.