Category Archives: Guest Post

10 Manly Summer Hairstyles to Rock in 2017

Summer hairstyles for men have always been intriguing and interesting to make. There are a lot of easy haircuts that fit well on every man. The saying “life is too short to have a boring haircut” explains everything. Why have the same old haircut every summer, when there are a lot of interesting options from which you can choose the one that suits you the best?

Since the summer can get very hot, shorter styles are a must. Here is a list of our top 10 summer hairstyles for men.

Caesar cut

The Caesar cut is a short hairstyle and it is named by Julius Caesar who embodied this hairstyle.  In Caesar cut, the bangs are cut short in horizontal direction and hair is layered in 2-5 cm lengths all over. This hairstyle was more common in the 1990s among Western boys and men. Famous people that have had this hairstyle during the years are: Brian Littrell from Backstreet Boys, Eminem, Antonio Banderas, George Osborne, Jon Hensley, George Clooney, Gilbert Gottfried and many more.

 

Brushed up hairstyle

The brushed-up hairstyle does not originate from any famous person or iconic name like some of the other hairstyles here, but it is easy to do.  It suits many guys and can be combined with different messy or simple haircuts, depending on your choice. This hairstyle looks like it has been brushed straight up. The longer it is, the more effective look you’ll get.

 

High and tight hairstyle

The high and tight hairstyle is one of the easiest hairstyles for men because it can be maintained with very little complication. It is pretty common for military men to sport this style. It shows off the shape of the head and tends to keep you pretty cool in the summer heat.

 

Taper fade haircut

The taper fade cut is one of the trendiest and iconic haircuts. It offers a masculine look with a stylish, professional touch. There are different types of fades that can be combined with other haircuts, such as the temp, bald, skin or mid fade. You can also combine the taper fade with high top, Mohawk, curly hair or afro to get a more modern hairstyle.

 

Pompadour fade cut

The pompadour fade cut makes you stand out from the crowd & it is intended for people who want something completely different. It can be a perfect choice if you are looking for a easy and stylish summer haircut.

 

Quiff hairstyle

The quiff hairstyle is another iconic haircut that is intended specifically for men. It looks good on pretty much any length of hair. You can get the quiff hairstyle by combing the hair with a fine tooth comb to make the part. Apply some hair spray and add a little texture to give accent to the styling. Finally, blow your dry with a hair dryer to make it look more voluminous. When the hair is dried, comb it again to make sure your hair is perfectly in place.

 

Short curly hairstyle

The short curly hairstyle is perfect choice for the summer season and looks amazing on a variety of men. It gives a fresh, unique look. It is a great trend for men who want to make the hair look voluminous and full with a casual look.

 

Short messy hairstyle

This hairstyle is very easy to style and requires less maintenance. You can use some styling products like wax, hairspray or pomade to make it messy and more texturized. See how singer Zayn Malik wears his messy hairstyle with class.

 

Shaved Sides Hairstyles

This summer haircut features shaved sides with longer hair on top. It is very simple, but still looks amazing when you add some texture to the cropped hair on top. The hair is simply brushed forward with a comb to form this amazing shaved sides hairstyle.

 

The short Mohawk hairstyle

The mohawk is a very creative haircut and it stands out! If you style your hair this way, you’ll definitely be getting a lot of stares. It is little bit difficult to maintain but looks great with some effort. There are also a lot of styling options available for mohawk hairstyles.

 

 

What’s your favorite from the list?

 

Relationships in the Digital Age: Dating Ironies in Today’s World

The face of dating has changed dramatically over the last decade. There are quite a few reasons for this: from the rise of mobile interactive media such as Tinder and Badoo, to the fast pace of life and our inability to approach dating with patience.

The rise of the digital dating age seemed to be the next logical step for our technology-centric society. And sure, while this has given hermits and reclusive people a chance at reproduction, it has also transformed the dating terrain for large portions of the population that grew up learning to meet girls at clubs, work or any other example of real-life.

However, whether you like it or not, digital dating is here to stay and it is growing in popularity. So, to prepare yourself for engaging in the medium of romance with success and not awkward terror, here are some sheer ironies for you to watch out for when using online dating platforms.

Whatever happened to face value?

While good looks do help with getting a foot in the door when it comes to dating, they will only get you so far. We have been raised in a society that teaches us not to judge a book by its cover, a man by his hairline or a woman by her waist line; and while we all like to believe that we are a little less shallow than that, dating platforms have been set up, and are used in a way that is contrary to our positive self -image.

So why then, is a user’s image on a dating platform the most important piece of information you can get? Sure, you don’t want to be surprised by a hot date with a blonde donning a swastika tattoo on her forehead; but surely getting to know someone requires a little more than a few photos, a generic one-line description and a list of unimportant interests like ‘handbags’, ‘makeup’ and ‘sleeping’.

Now everyone is photoshopped

You would think that the shallow nature of online dating would give those who are aesthetically challenged quite the handicap in the dating world; though not necessarily.

If there is one thing that has always been true about digital dating, is that you rarely get what you see. But as photo-editing software and applications become more advanced and user-friendly, it’s getting harder and harder to tell who is who.

You can straighten your hair, lose a ton of weight or clear up your skin with a swipe of a finger on your phone; and everybody knows it. So why then, are images so important in the first place?

Though it’s not even the image manipulation that is the most misleading. On social media, you can be anyone you like. You can be a philanthropist, mountain climbing rock star with super-powers, a billion dollars and a doctorate. Okay, not quite, but you get the picture.

People don’t talk about who they are online, they talk about who they would like to be; or rather who they would like to be seen as. You do it, I do it, even your nan who just discovered Facebook does it. It’s human nature, but that doesn’t help when the super-model you’re supposed to be meeting up with for drinks turns out to be an oil-rig worker.

You think it may be separating us

Not all of the irony behind online dating is negative (although that might be a perspective thing). It is generally assumed that the use of digital media is separating us since it stops us from interacting in the real-world. This is a logical assumption, but oddly enough, in the land of online dating, it isn’t always true.

And what do we have to thank about that? Honestly, I think it might be ethics:

Designers of online dating platforms need to be careful not to encourage user behavior that is openly prejudice, for example. When filtering your searches on most dating platforms there are a number of options which are available, such as income and race.

In a world where we all struggle to build and navigate cross-cultural relations, dating apps put people in a position where they can meet people from different walks of life which traditional dating (being subject to social circles) would rarely allow.

So, who knows? Keep at it and you might actually shack up with a princess.

Not looking for hookups

Different users of online dating platforms have varying opinions on why they exist in the first place. They are widely believed by men to be a great place for one-night-stands and booty-calls, while more than a few of my female friends scour them for prospective long-term partners.

The varying opinions are easily settled though, by looking at how the majority of users interact with the medium; that is to say, it is mostly for flings, short term regrets and a shot at something which will likely fizzle if you’re lucky.

So why then, is everyone online so coy about it? Just about every profile on Tinder talks about anything but sex. If you want to get to know someone you need to actually meet them; so why scare prospective dates off by telling them they need to commit to you when all they have seen of you is a poorly photoshopped picture of you standing in front of someone else’s car?

Okay, fine, so it isn’t only for sex, and I’m sure that some lucky people have met their perfect matches by swiping right on their professionally edited face.

While reports on why people use apps like Tinder are varied, their CEO would like you to believe that 80% of their users are looking for long term relationships. I wonder how many of them actually find them.

What are some of your biggest challenges in dating online? Weigh in with your stories in the comment section below!

 

Guest contributor bio: Terrence Kennedy is the man’s man on a journey to self-discovery. A traveler, extreme sports aficionado, an observant wanderer, a DIY man, an ultimate outsider and documentarist of culture, sex, dating, relationship, fashion, style and gentleman’s etiquette. He has learned a lot through his escapades and continue to do so, and is happy to pass that knowledge to you.

 

Just How Much Exercise Does Your Pet Need?

Animals, just like us humans, need exercise regularly to lead full and healthy (and longer) lives. Yet, how much exercise does your pet need? The amount of exercise will depend on what breed the animal is, the age, and the size, but what is a good benchmark for pet exercise?

Exercise and Pets – Being Responsible

Having a pet can add a lot of love and joy to your life, but also a lot of responsibility. First and foremost, the foods you feed your pet are important for their health. For example, a tiny toy breed like a mini Pomeranian does not require the same food as a giant breed like a German Shepard. The same goes for the different breeds of cats. Finding your pet the right food is the first step in achieving a healthy and happy pet.

Once your pet is eating right, you can ensure they are getting the right exercise and stimulation. While exercise is vital to your pet’s health, it is also important for their behavior and mental health. According to Dog Time, most dogs will require around half an hour to a full hour of exercise each day. Yet, this will vary depending on your dog’s size and your dog’s breed. If you have a high energy, working breed of dog, they will require more exercise than a calmer, smaller breed and even an older dog.

Since there are so many variants for exercising dogs, here are some general rules for you dog owners to follow when it comes to exercise:

  • An average exercise time should be 30-60 minutes and your dog should be slowed down by the time you are finished.
  • Active breeds will require a bare minimum of half an hour of strenuous exercise ideally each day.
  • Not all smaller breed dogs will get enough exercise since they are inside most often. For example, pugs are prone to becoming obese and will require more exercise to prevent weight gain.
  • While exercise is important, it is not always safe to go outside due to extreme temperature such as freezing temps or on an extra hot day. When these situations occur you can exercise your dog by playing a rousing game of fetch or running with your dog on the stairs repeatedly going up and down.

What About Cats?

Cats are often forgotten about when it comes to exercise, but it is still very important. Cats and obesity are two things seen together and this trend is on the rise. This is especially true for cats who spend their lives mostly or totally inside.

Cats who get outside can have the chance to wander their ‘territories’ and even climb a tree or two to get a bird’s eye view while they perch. And even cats who have access to the wild outdoors will still need to have interactive play.

According to Cat Wisdom 101, a great starting point for a cat’s exercise is about half an hour each day. Engaging your cat in exercise can be done by a walk (if you’re lucky enough to have a cat that enjoys a cat leash and a walk), chasing a laser pointer around the room, or playing with other engaging toys that have feathers, catnip, or resemble mice and/or birds. Of course, interactive play and exercise with your cat will depend on your cat’s personality and what they enjoy.

So get out there and engage your pet with the right amount of exercise today! What kind of exercise do you and your pet enjoy?

 

Sarah is the editor of crazypetguy.com. Growing up in a household with three dogs, two cats, and two parakeets, she learned to love and understand animals. Helping others with their animals by sharing her knowledge is something close to her heart, and she can’t think of a better life than having a pet by your side.

It’s Grilling Season Baby! Tips So You Don’t Get Burned Buying Your New Grill

It’s almost summer which means many of us are going to be spending a lot more time outdoors and hopefully grilling up some tasty food!

One often overlooked part of the experience is finding the right grill. Here are some tips from the folks a Napoleon Gourmet Grills to help you choose the best grill for your needs:

You get what you pay for $$$ – in most cases, BBQ’s are priced according to quality. Do your research, but if you want a quality grill that’s going to last a while, be prepared to pay for it.

Buy local! – When possible, search and buy local brands as that may cut down on costs and enable you to more readily get replacements parts in the future, should you need them.

Consider size, accessories and BTU’s – Don’t go into buying blind, think about what you will be cooking, how many people you will be cooking for and the space it will be sitting in. Going into a buy without planning can result in you getting the “ol’ car salesman” and buying something you don’t actually need.

Check the warranty – be sure to ask your dealer about what is/isn’t included in the warranty. A good warranty for grills will cover 10 years for burners, sear plates and castings, which are the heart of your grill.

Stick to your budget and take care! – Think about what you can afford, and what you need. Take care of the unit you purchase, and you won’t need to buy another one until technology changes again and you want the latest innovation!

 

About Napoleon

It all began in 1976 when a small steel fabrication business launched by Wolfgang Schroeter started manufacturing steel railings in Barrie, Ontario, Canada. At that time, no one could imagine the incredible future that lay ahead for Wolf Steel Ltd. and eventually Napoleon® Fireplaces and Napoleon® Gourmet Grills.

Guide To Growing A Beard: Realities and Myths

Guest post submitted by Giv of malegroomings.com.

When dealing with beard health, there are a lot of things that most guys don’t know. This guide with help you get familiar with all the basics you need to know about growing a lush and hygienic beard.

If you’re a beginner looking to live the dream of owning a beard that makes other men envious, follow the guidelines below.

Growing and Styling

Many make growing and styling a beard look like it’s a very demanding and complicated process, which in reality, it isn’t. Therefore, I’ll cut right to the chase and simplify it for you.

Put away the razor

As simple as it may sound, you will just have to let your beard hair go wild. If you’re a beginner growing a beard, you may have thought that there’s a very specific process you will need to follow. However, what you may have heard are nothing but just myths – ones that we will get to later in this guide. So forget everything, and just know that the best thing you can do to grow a beard is to just put away the razor and be patient.

Patience is going to be the key here, which is also the reason many give up on their beard-growing journey quickly. You may come across some challenges and rough phases, but patience, determination, and a good deal of knowledge about the basics of growing a beard will easily help you move past those early hurdles.

Know your skin

Something that most men growing a beard end up overlooking is their skin type. Although you may think it’s all about your beard hair, the skin underneath also plays a crucial role.

It’s important to know your skin type – whether dry, oily or sensitive. Knowing your skin type may help you figure out the beard type and styling options you will have.

Maintain the moisture

The journey to a full beard that you can be proud of can quickly turn from fun and exciting to a real struggle if you fail to keep your skin moisturized. Moisturizing your skin also goes a long way in helping prevent a skin disaster in case you suddenly, and abruptly stop (or have to stop) growing your beard.

When it comes to daily moisturizing, using a good, natural beard oil and coconut oil is something your skin will love. Besides providing your skin with the right amount of moisture, these moisturizing products  also come with all the nutrients to grow a healthy beard. They are also natural and smell great!

Go for your preferred shape and type

When you finally manage to fight all the obstacles and keep growing your beard for a month or so, you will want to shape it up. Of course, this is more about styling and your personal preferences than anything else.

Some guys go for a sharp shape, while others like to go for a more natural look. Some go for a look with stubble, while other men go for a much longer beard. The choice is clearly yours, and if you’re not sure, take a look at a beard style chart to see which one resonates with you.

When you’ve reached that shaping point, you should be sure of what type of beard you want, and get to styling it as soon as you have the length and fullness.

You can maintain your beard by using a solid and reliable beard trimmer. Your beard will become accustomed to the way your trimmer shaves, so be sure to choose one that is well-made and lasts long. It will save you money and time in the future.

Overcoming the obstacles

Oh, the obstacles! They are the most annoying, yet the most beautiful part of the beard journey.  They are annoying when you encounter them for the first time, but beautiful when you overcome those obstacles and grow a beard you can’t stop looking at. The challenges make you realize the value of a healthy, well-groomed beard, which also prevents you from taking it for granted.

However, the bottom line is that there’s no gain without pain. You WILL face at least some of these issues.  You’ve been warned!

With that said, though, let us take a look at a few of the most common challenges and how to deal with them.

Itchiness

Itchiness is precisely what makes many men reach for their razor, even before they are a month into their dream beard journey. And make no mistake, the itchiness is indeed very real.

However, you can get rid of it to a great extent with the right amount of moisturizing and shampooing. Make sure you go for natural products (and not the ones loaded with chemicals that may make your itchiness worse – especially if you have sensitive skin) for daily moisturizing. Your facial skin will soon make peace with your otherwise dominating beard.

Untidiness

Yes, we did say you just need to let your beard grow, but you will need occasional trimming at some point.

You can simply trim your neckline, mustache lips and upper cheeks to regain your neat look. However, if you’re going for an all-natural beard, you won’t be able to do this and would have to live with a slightly wild beard for a little while.

Dryness

Dryness is not as common as the problems mentioned above, but is usually a result of bad choice of products. If you’re going with our suggestion and only sticking to natural products, you will likely not see any serious signs of dryness..

However, if you do experience dryness for some reason, you may want to stop using any products that contain chemicals and replace them with all-natural ones. If dryness persists, use natural oils in your beard hair about once a week. This should be enough to get rid of the dryness.

And Don’t Fall for These  Beard Myths!

As mentioned at the start of this article, there are many myths about growing a beard that are often presented as facts. If you’re a beginner, it may be hard to avoid them as society will render you foolish by making you believe these inaccurate statements.

Here are a few of these common myths. Let’s clear them up with reality instead.

Myth #1: Beards are itchy

Reality: Most men would only feel beard itch within the first month of growing a beard, UNLESS they are not taking good care of their beard. After that, even when you trim you should not feel any itchiness. With that said, you should be moisturizing your facial mane with a beard oil daily to achieve best results.

Myth #2: Shaving makes your beard grow faster

Reality: This is a very petty myth to be honest. Why would you shave when you’re actually trying to “grow” your beard. It just does not make any sense at all, right? Yet, this one is pretty popular.

If you shave your beard while growing it, you will only be setting yourself back. The actual outcome you will experience is a delay in achieving the results you want. If you want your beard to grow, just wait.

Myth #3: Your beard should get thick in 2 to 3 weeks

Reality: For most men, it’s going to take at least 1 to 3 months to have a complete beard that they are proud of. Every guy is different, so the timeline can shift according to your genetics.

What are some of your greatest beard challenges? Weigh in on the comment section below!

How to Up Your Beard Game…AND Maintain It

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

Good news! If you’re planning on growing a beard or are having doubts about keeping one, it takes just a few tweaks to make a huge difference.

Facial hair needs some loving care. Your beard says a lot about you so it’s important to keep it well-maintained. It requires a little effort. Your beard is like a houseplant that needs just a bit of sunshine, a bit of water and it will do just fine.

It may take some time to grow that beard, but once it comes in, you’ll be glad you took the effort to grow it. It will give you the freedom of not having to worry about shaving. All your beard needs is a few basic ingredients and TLC. It will delight and surprise you in more ways than one.

Be Patient

The first thing you need is patience. You can’t just give up after a few days of growth. In today’s society we want everything fast and quick. But beards are a natural thing – and like nature they take time – but the wait is worth it.

How to Battle Beard Itching & Flakiness

If you have itching, redness or flakiness, the solution is to hydrate, moisturize and soften your beard with a beard conditioner. That way it will be much easier to maintain, comb and groom.

You can also try using a beard oil or beard balm (they both do the same job), it just depends on your preference. For what it’s worth, my experience is that beard oils are convenient and quicker to apply and work well for men with straight facial hair. Beard balms, on the other hand, tend to give you a stronger hold, but you need to rub it between your fingertips to melt it and then apply. This works better for facial hair that tends to curl a bit.

Keep in mind that the vast majority of beard oils and balms are scented with lime, mint, cedarwood etc., but if you don’t like scents or are sensitive to them, there are unscented products that will give you the same hold and look.

Regardless of what you use, don’t expect perfection. Just apply what works for you and comb downwards. You’ll get the best results right after the shower while your beard is still a little damp and easier to comb.

Keep it clean!

A number of beard shampoos and beard washes are readily available. Choosing a mild one that doesn’t strip away your natural oils will help your beard stay soft.

One of the great advantages of growing a beard is that it doesn’t have to look perfect. You have some room for that rugged look – even in the office.

Just remember, a little care will go a long way in keeping your beard sharp and well-groomed.

You are sure to get some comments, positive and negative. Ignore the negative remarks and soon your beard will become a key part of who you are!

About the author:
Adam is a beard enthusiast and does PR for Beard Care Products. He has 10+ years experience writing about beard care, growth and maintenance.

 

How to Have Softer, Shinier Hair without Salon Products

by Guest contributor Sally Wong

Is there anything more appealing than a thick, full head of silky smooth, shiny hair? Whatever way you choose to style your hair, whether you wear it pulled back or let your curly locks free, it always looks better when it’s frizz-free and shiny! Everyone knows that, but did you know why your hair can look dull and frizzy?

When you know the cause of the problem, it’s much easier to both treat and prevent. When your hair is healthy, it has an outer layer that contains natural oils that make it shiny and silky. When damage is done to that layer, it leaves your hair looking dry, dull, and unhealthy.

Several things can cause damage. Illness, not using an adequate conditioner, using harsh hair products, staying in the sun for way too long, nutritional deficiencies, high amounts of stress, frequent hair dying, high mineral content in your water, age, chlorine in pools, age, and using heating tools such as blow dryers, to name a few. Coily or kinky hair naturally appears duller due to light’s reaction to naturally raised hair cuticles but that can be remedied with the tips below.

Keeping your hair looking and feeling soft, shiny, and healthy takes a bit of effort – but it’s all well worth it! The only way to get great hair is to take care of it properly.

But salon products can actually be harmful to your hair if you use them for too long.

That’s why I have compiled a list of ways to get softer, shinier hair without salon products.

1 – Essential Oils

People have used essential oils for everything from medicinal rubs to beauty tricks. They’re still a very popular go-to for things like clear skin and hair health. There are a multitude of oils out there, but I will list out a few that are absolutely amazing for softness and shine!

  • Almond oil is a great moisturize for the scalp and hair.

  • Chamomile oil will give you unbeatable softness and shine.

  • Jojoba oil will replenish your hair and its glory by both stimulating your scalp and adding nutrients.

  • Lavender oil acts as a deep conditioner, making it ultra shiny.

2 – Unrefined, Organic Coconut Oil

Though oiling your hair may seem strange, it is crucial in providing nourishment to your hair. This will add moisture to dry, damaged hair.

Warm the coconut oil, then apply it to your hair, from root to tips. Massage your head and hair to ensure that it has an even application, then put on a towel or shower cap. After 30 minutes, rinse it out of your hair, then shampoo and condition as you normally would.

3 – Apple Cider Vinegar

Shockingly, this is a fantastic hair conditioner. Despite its brackish taste, it’s an excellent moisturizer and will make your hair shiny and soft. It also serves to combat dandruff and itchy scalp, as well as remove residue from your hair.

Use equal parts water and apple cider vinegar until you get the amount you need. Shampoo your hair, then pour the cider mixture onto your hair and work it into your scalp. Let it sit for a while, then rinse it out of your hair with cold water.

4 – Honey

Honey is magic to your hair. It’s a natural humectant, which pulls moisture into your hair and locks it in. This ensures that your hair gets and stays shiny and soft.

Use this awesome concoction once weekly for amazing results! To make it, all you have to do is mix two cups of warm water with two tablespoons of honey. Put it in a spray bottle and spray your hair down after shampooing. Slowly and thoroughly work the mixture over your hair and into your scalp for 15 minutes. Be sure to rinse it out with warm water.

5 – Avocado

Whether your hair is almost perfect or in dire need of some TLC, avocados are a great go-to for beautiful, luxurious hair. It is especially good for treating damaged, dry hair. It’s full of nutrients and deeply moisturizing.

Simply mix two tablespoons worth of extra virgin olive oil with a large, ripe avocado, then apply it to your damp hair. Work it from roots to tips, then put on your shower cap. Rinse and shampoo your hair after about 30 minutes!

Bonus Tips:

  • Avoid brushing wet hair (but combing wet hair while conditioning works well for curly/natural hair types).
  • Try to let your hair dry naturally.
  • Cut off split ends as they come up.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Drink a gallon of water a day.

 

About the author: Sally is a manual therapist who practices both Tai Chi and Yoga and believes strongly in the power of essential oils. She tries to visit China at least twice a year to see her grandmother, who teaches her something new about natural healing every visit. Follow her at ThinkOily.com.

6 Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe this Winter

I know that many of you out there have pets that you care for, so much that you might consider them your fur babies. As we’re now in the winter months and dealing with some real cold as of late I thought it might be helpful to share some tips on taking care of your pups in the colder months.

I’ve touched base with expert Erin Askeland from Camp Bow Wow for her tips for smart winter pet care. Check out her tips below!

Never let your dog off the leash in snow or ice. Although it may seem like a fun option to let your pup frolic in the snow, it can prove to be extremely dangerous. Dogs tend to lose their sense of smell in extremely cold weather and become lost. Believe it or not, winter has the highest rates for lost dogs!

Thoroughly wipe down your dog when he comes back into the house after being in the snow. It is common for dogs to ingest salts for melting ice as well as anti-freeze, which can prove to be very toxic. Not only is ingesting toxins a problem, but snow being left between your dogs’ toes can cause ice chunks to freeze on their fur, possibly causing your dog to rip their fur or pads.

Use Dog-Friendly/Pet Safe Ice Melt whenever de-icing outdoors. Again, the toxins in most products are NOT safe for pets or humans to ingest.

Similar to how you should never leave your dog in the car during the summer, the same goes for the winter; a car can act almost like a freezer in the winter, trapping heat outside and causing your pet to freeze to death. Likewise, a shelter is always a necessity! Whether always an outdoor dog or just outside to play, make sure to have a shelter for them from the wind and snow.

Consider getting your pup a seasonal jacket or sweater to help ensure they are both comfortable and fashionable as the temperatures drop.

Fresh water is a must at all times, as your dog may be more likely to lick ice and eat snow if he/she is thirsty from lack of water. Similar to the above point, it is common for dogs to ingest snow-melting-salts and antifreeze.

5 Tips to Keep Your Skin Healthy in the Winter

This is a guest post by writer Wesley Oaks of iManscape.com.

The winter weather can be tough on your skin. The dry winter air steals moisture away from the skin every moment you’re exposed. If you don’t treat your skin you could end up with dry skin, cracking, or bleeding and the colder it is the worse it can make the problem.

Things that we typically do in the winter can even add to the damage. Indoor heating robs the air of moisture. Hot showers & baths and over the top skin cleansers can also mean dry skin.

Giving your skin additional moisture indeed helps, but there’s more to do if you’re going to counteract the effects of winter and keep your skin looking healthy. Here’s a couple of tips to help reduce itching, redness, chapping.

1 – Choose Moisturizer Carefully

Some of the moisturizers out there have ingredients that will further dry your skin in winter months. Keep an eye out for petroleum-based moisturizers and dry to avoid them.

Choose a moisturizer with natural ingredients & is oil based. Oil based moisturizers do a better job of retaining moisture compared to water-based options.

2 – Use Lukewarm Water

No one’s going to argue that a hot shower during the winter doesn’t feel amazing. However, when possible, opt for a lukewarm temperature, particularly when washing your face, hands, or smaller area of your body. You’ll avoid stripping away natural healthy oils from your skin.

3 – Protect

Always protect your skin with gloves, scarfs, and other clothing. You’re already trying to stay warm so go ahead and grab a couple more pieces to do the job well. Also, don’t be fooled by the winter sun. It can be just as harmful as in the summer.

Grab a healthy sun screen and use small amounts. Products with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are great choices.

4 – Drink Up

We often forget how important water is when it isn’t so hot outside. We end up turning to a warm drink over water. Your coffee, cocoa, and warm teas are wonderful, but they aren’t doing your skin any good.

If you want the best of both worlds you may like to try warm water with lemon.

5 – Exfoliate

We tend to forget about exfoliating during the winter. It’s a very important activity that should always be done. By removing dead skin cells you’ll help moisturizers do a better job by being able to reach more of your skin.

If left alone, dead skin will layer over old skin and prevent your moisturizers from being as effective.

Conclusion

Hopefully this post was a great reminder to take care of your skin this winter. Life can always get busy and we sometimes forget we just need to take care of ourselves. Treat your skin right and it will keep you looking youthful for a long time to come.

Please let us know if you enjoyed the post and share some of your own skin care tips below!

 

Wesley is the owner of iManscape, a website for men, beards, and manscaping. For more from him visit his website or like iManscape on Facebook.

8 Reasons You Want to Touch Black Women’s Hair – And Why They Mean You Shouldn’t

Originally published on Everyday Feminism. Reposted with author’s (Maisha Z. Johnson) permission.

There are a million ways to compliment a Black woman.

You could tell me I look radiant. Say you like my lipstick – it’s hard to find the right shade. Tell me you appreciate how my mind works.

I’m not just fishing for compliments here. I’m giving you options to avoid the dreaded “compliment” of touching my hair.

I’m sure you’ve come across the warning not to touch Black women’s hair before. But do you really understand why it’s so important to keep your hands out of our tresses?

This is a super common racial microaggression, which is a subtle form of racism often done by someone who doesn’t mean to be racist. I’ve had lots of people (usually white people) touch my hair, and in most cases, the touch came with a well-meaning compliment.

But you probably don’t know what the temptation to touch Black women’s hair means in US society – or about the impact if you follow your urge.

The objectification of Black bodies has been part of US culture since slavery, and it’s still going strong as one of our everyday struggles. This behavior affects all Black folks, but for this piece, I’m focusing on racialized sexism against women.

But wait – when you touch Black women’s hair, you don’t have racist or sexist intentions. So how does this relate to racism or sexism?

The answer comes down to the one of our core feminist values, consent – respecting everyone’s agency over their own bodies, including their hair. Having our hair touched is just one of the ways Black women are often denied this agency in our society.

Let’s go through the most common reasons I’ve heard for touching my hair, and how they relate to patriarchal white supremacy.

1. You’re Curious

I went to a writing retreat where a woman was insatiably curious about how my hair feels. She’d never been around hair like mine before, and she stared until I thought her eyes would bulge out of her head.

I finally gave in to letting her touch it before the poor woman had a medical emergency.

She asked the same questions every curious white person asks: “Is it real? How do you get it like that? How do you wash it?”

I understand the curiosity. But do you know why you’re so curious? It’s because the texture of my 4C hair is often invisible in mainstream society.

Eurocentric beauty standards mean that white women are a lot more common in the media than Black women. The Black women who are visible tend to have chemically straightened hair. Even I struggle to find care tips for and images of my hair type. So it makes sense that you haven’t come across those, and I appreciate that you want to correct your lack of information.

But unlike the white people who don’t notice how unusual my hair seems until they feel the urge to touch it, I notice the invisibility of my hair type all the time.

And that invisibility sends the constant message that my hair is unappealing – which is just one of many media messages about Black women’s inferiority. It’s hard to feel good about yourself when popular images of “beauty” don’t look like you.

So if you really want to learn about our hair, find information through research instead of reminding a Black woman that her beauty is rarely celebrated.

If you know a Black woman well, you could respectfully ask how she’d feel about answering questions. Some women don’t mind, but you’re not entitled to her answers. The expectation to educate people can get tiring, so lots of Black women just don’t feel like talking about it anymore.

2. You Find My Hair Fascinating

Sometimes my hair evokes more than curiosity – it fills people, like the woman at my residency, with wonder. Here’s how being fascinating can be a bad thing.

Black women are often “othered” in US society – like being treated as if we don’t exist in the media. Our hair is othered with insults and misunderstandings like the interpretation of braids on Black people as “gang affiliations.

Even when the othering seems “positive,” it doesn’t feel good. It disrupts our efforts to simply exist without being treated like we’re abnormal. At the writing retreat, for instance, I’d hoped for quiet introspection.

Instead, I had a stranger’s hands in my hair. And “compliments” that essentially said, “Wow, you’re different!” And pressure to answer questions that basically covered why I’m so strange.

It was a little dehumanizing, even though she didn’t mean it to be.

When you rarely see Black women in the media, and even “positive” images objectify us, you’re influenced to treat Black women as objects. That’s not a good thing, even if we’re fascinating objects.

My hair is one of the ways I have control over my own image – it’s not just some anomaly for people to touch. Let me reclaim my own beauty and exist without being exotified.

3. You Want to Compliment Me

You may think this is my favorite reason. Who wouldn’t want a compliment?

This is tough, because I appreciate the good intentions – and then I feel bad for rejecting your compliment. Let me explain now so I don’t have to see your disappointment as you realize this is the wrong way to compliment me.

Say you’re at a party and I arrive with my afro combed out, shimmering, and on point. I wouldn’t mind at all if you say how great my hair looks. But then you reach out, telling me my hair is so beautiful and you’d give anything to run your fingers through it – and I have to stop you right there.

You’re shifting from a kind compliment into fascination territory. It’s not flattering to be exotified like some strange creature – even if you mean it in a “good” way.

Besides, if my hair’s looking good, don’t mess it up! I didn’t put time into it just to go around with a dent the shape of your hand.

Imagine a different scenario. You’ve crafted a beautiful, hand-made hat, which you’re proudly wearing at the party. I walk up, eyes wide with fascination, and say, “I like your hat.”

Then, before you can say “thank you,” I reach out and smash it with my palm.

Wouldn’t that be frustrating? Wouldn’t it be even more frustrating if you got upset and I replied, “You should appreciate it! It’s a compliment”?

That’s just rude. So please, respect Black women and stick to verbal compliments about our hair.

4. You Think It’s Not a Big Deal

Touching my hair is relatively harmless compared to other ways Black women are dehumanized, so I could try to “get over it.” But first, let’s be clear about what I’m “getting over.”

There’s the history of white people’s ownership of Black bodies. The obvious example is slavery, when Black folks were considered property, not people, by law. They had no power over their own bodies – which included being raped by slave owners.

That’s horrendous enough, but there are plenty more examples throughout history. Like the fact that Black people in the mid-1850s were considered such a deviation from the “norm” that they were exhibited in zoos and freak shows.

One woman, Saartjie Baartman, was displayed in a cage, mocked, and gawked at. Even after her death, scientists dissected her body to investigate the difference between the “savage” (Black) woman and the “civilized” (white) woman. Then her genitals and brain were put back on display until 1985.

“Jet-black and woolly was her hair,” a Victorian poet wrote.

Saartjie Baartman wasn’t buried until 2002. Amid racial tensions, her burial site in South Africa was recently defaced.

This is our history as Black women, and it hasn’t just stayed in the past.

White stars like Miley Cyrus and Amy Schumer liberate themselves by using Black women as props. Meanwhile, Black women experience daily microaggressions – including other degrading phrases meant to be compliments, everything from “You’re pretty for a Black girl” to “You’re not like other Black people.”

And while none of these acts alone may seem like a big deal, they don’t happen in a vacuum. They combine to give Black women the constant feeling that our bodies are always up for objectification, judgment, and othering.

By the time you take the seemingly simple action of touching my hair – no matter how well-meaning you are – I’m tired of being an object. It’s not a big deal to you, but it may just be the last straw for me.

5. You Wouldn’t Be Offended If Someone Touched Your Hair

If you treat others like you’d want to be treated, you should respect Black women’s boundaries like you’d want yours respected – even if their boundaries are different from yours.

I have a white friend who once asked me to put her hair in a french braid. She didn’t mind my touch, even though I was terrible at braiding it, because for her, it’s “just hair.” But when she wanted to switch roles and braid my hair, I stopped her.

Because for me and many other Black women, it’s more than “just hair” – it’s a vital source of empowerment.

For many of us, natural hair is a political statement of embracing our beauty instead of the idea that we have to change to be acceptable.

As a result, we’re called “ugly,” discriminated against in the job market, and profiled as criminals. We’ve been told since we were children, often from the women in our families, that something was wrong with our hair, and that the world wouldn’t accept it as is.

So owning and loving our hair is a revolutionary act of reclaiming our worth. It’s an integral part of our cultural experience. A white person touching our hair carries a different context than when you, as a white person whose humanity is affirmed far more often, have someone touch your hair.

This applies to all kinds of situations. People of different races have social conditions affecting them in unique ways. Usually, the question of “Would a white person be offended?” is not an accurate measure of whether or not something is harmful for Black folks.

6. You Have No Idea How Often We Have to Deal With This

Black women deal with people touching our hair a lot. Now you know. Okay, there’s more to it than that: Black women deal with people touching our hair a hell of a lot.

If you approach a Black woman saying “I just have to feel your hair,” it’s pretty safe to assume this isn’t the first time she’s heard that.

Everyone who asks me if they can touch follows a long line of people othering me – including strangers who touch my hair without asking. The psychological impact of having people constantly feel entitled my personal space has worn me down.

If you’re not a Black woman, and you’re doubting that this happens so frequently, consider that…well, that you’re not a Black woman, so you’ve never walked in my shoes, or under my afro.

Do me a favor and take my word for it – or find the many other Black women speaking up and writing about this for more confirmation. Then find some empathy for those of us who so often have our boundaries violated.

7. You Know Someone Else Who Didn’t Mind

Do you know a Black woman who doesn’t mind when people touch her hair? So do I! We all have different preferences, and I don’t claim to be the authority on all Black women’s boundaries.

Even my preferences vary. For instance, I’ve let curious children feel my hair because – unlike adults who should know better – they don’t understand why I wouldn’t want them to. Many Black women’s boundaries include no hair touching, but that’s not even the whole point of why you should keep your hands to yourself.

The point is that everyone deserves to have their personal space respected. As feminists, respect for consent is one of our fundamental values. That should include not assuming that a Black woman consents to touch, even if another woman didn’t mind.

What if you ask for permission? We’re used to consent meaning asking first, and proceeding if you get a “yes.”

But just like sexual consent includes things like body language and inebriation status, getting consent to touch a Black woman’s hair includes more than just asking. You also have to consider the broader context. Even the fact that you’re curious points to a problem. It means you’ve internalized society’s othering of Black women – and you should work on that before you satisfy your curiosity.

There might be situations when Black women don’t mind touching. But there are also situations like that writing retreat, when I let the woman objectify me because I wanted to avoid any issues. And times when the person who wants to touch me is in a position of power, like an employer – and there’s a lot of pressure to be “nice enough” to let them touch.

So it’s better to err on the side of keeping your hands to yourself – even if you’d give the courtesy of asking before touching.

8. You’re Offended By the Idea of Not Being Able to Touch My Hair

Still think it’s no biggie to ask? Let’s talk about those “issues” that might come up if I say “no.”

Whenever I write about how white people can avoid being oppressive, some white people inevitably object to being told what they “can and can’t do.” You don’t want your freedom limited, but in many cases, this reaction isn’t about freedom. It’s about entitlement.

Touching my hair is the perfect example.

It’s an act that invades my personal space, and if I don’t want that – even if you don’t understand why I don’t – you should respect my choice. I mean, you’re trying to pet me. Even my cat sets her boundaries when she doesn’t want to be petted, so shouldn’t I, as a human being, have my boundaries respected, too?

As a woman, I’m subject to rape culture that says men are entitled to my body. As a Black woman, I’m under even more pressure to be available for other people to touch.

I’ve been called “uptight,” “angry,” and “overreacting,” for saying “no” to having my hair touched. Hopefully you’d never do such a thing. But if you take it personally when a Black woman doesn’t let you touch her hair, it’s time to let the defensiveness go.

Having people feel entitled to our personal space at all times puts us in a vulnerable position. We’re pressured to let you touch us, and then we’re demonized for asserting our boundaries.

So don’t act offended if a Black woman turns down your request to touch her hair – you really have nothing to be offended about.

***

Those are most of the reasons I’ve heard for wanting to touch my hair. Did you catch all the good reasons not to?

With this simple act of self-control, you can help change culture around, you including:

  • Helping Black women feel safer by respecting our personal space.
  • Preserving Black women’s fly hairstyles.
  • Being a more supportive ally.
  • Creating consent culture by respecting Black women’s boundaries.
  • Resisting the influence of white supremacy’s othering of Black bodies.

These goals are worth prioritizing before your curiosity. Next time you’d like to touch a Black woman’s hair, remember how your reasons, no matter how well-meaning, support white supremacy.

And if you see me on the street, feel free to let the compliments flow – I’ll be happy to accept them without your hands in my hair.

 

Maisha Z. Johnson is the Digital Content Associate and Staff Writer of Everyday Feminism. You can find her writing at the intersections and shamelessly indulging in her obsession with pop culture around the web. Maisha’s past work includes Community United Against Violence (CUAV), the nation’s oldest LGBTQ anti-violence organization, and Fired Up!, a program of California Coalition for Women Prisoners. Through her own project, Inkblot ArtsMaisha taps into the creative arts and digital media to amplify the voices of those often silenced. Like her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @mzjwords.