Tag Archives: men’s grooming

Keeps Helps Men Halt Hair Loss

Did you know that 66% of American men experience hair loss by the age of 35 (American Hair Loss Association)?

It’s no wonder that so many men are terrified at the prospect of losing their hair as they move throughout their 20s.

Keeps, Minoxidil (topical solution).

In the past, if you were concerned about hair loss most people waited too long to talk with their doctor out of shame or embarrassment. Keeps helps you avoid the embarrassment of meeting with someone face to face and having to pick up a prescription at the pharmacy. Keeps offers you convenience and the ability to consult with a medical professional who will diagnose your  problem online and send your treatments right to your doorstep. It’s hair loss prevention for this day and age.  And Keeps comes in a very cool, clean package that will fit right in on your bathroom shelf.

Keeps helps provide their customers with prescriptions for  Finasteride and Minoxidil which help men  hold on to their hair and stave off hair loss related to male pattern baldness (sorry ladies, Keeps won’t work for you).

One huge benefit of Keeps is that the prices are extremely reasonable. Imagine paying $35 or less per month to help keep your hair. With Keeps, you don’t have to imagine, it’s a reality. And you pay nothing for your initial doctor consultation and just $30 thereafter (which can cost $100+ for traditional face to face appointments).

To learn more about Keeps and start your consultation, you can visit their website at keeps.com.

 

Product Review: SheaMoisture Beard Care

Disclosure: Products for review were provided courtesy of SheaMoisture.

Beards have come a long way in the past decade or so. What was once a style relegated to Dads has turned into one of the modern-day staples of masculinity, even for young gents.  And it’s not just hipsters either.

Image source: DrugstoreNews.com

To help men care for their beards, SheaMoisture developed a comprehensive beard care line for all beard grooming needs. The line-up includes:

  • Maracuja Oil &Shea Butter Face & Beard Wash ($9.99) – Deeply cleanses beards of dirt, flakes, and odors without drying out facial hair and skin.
  • Maracuja Oil & Shea Butter Full Beard Detangler ($9.99) – Conditions and softens thick, coarse facial hair, providing great slip to ease out knots without tugging.
  • Maracuja Oil & Shea Butter Beard Conditioning Oil ($9.99) – Absorbs quickly to soften and condition full beards, while restoring moisture to dry facial skin.
  • Maracuja Oil & Shea Butter Beard Balm ($9.99) – Shapes, smooths and defines facial hair for a well-groomed beard all day long.

I’ve long been a fan of the SheaMoisture line for men. And more broadly, the brand, as it helps empower women through Community Commerce in sourcing product ingredients. It’s a call back to the brand’s roots when grandmother Sofi Tucker sold shea nuts in Bonthe, Sierra Leone. Their shaving products are particularly good and you can read my previous reviews here and here.

I was excited about the new beard care line-up for SheaMoisture but the reality is that I don’t keep a beard often. It’s a very rare thing for me to have anything beyond a stache and goatee so I asked a close friend (who is always bearded up & rarely uses products –  we’re working on him folks!) to weigh in and here’s what he had to say:

My favorite thing about the products is the scent. The beard wash lathers up well so you don’t have to use a lot of it, which means it should last a while. The beard detangler is great after showering. It makes combing my beard easier and helps make it look neater. I imagine it’s even more helpful when you have a fuller beard.

I found it superfluous to use both the balm and the conditioning oil at the same time. I took turns using each product and prefer the oil. The balm is a little too hard and takes a while to soften in your hands before you can apply it. Overall, I would definitely recommend this line of products.

There you have it!

SheaMoisture has to be one of my favorite personal care brands. The variety of available products is well, incredible. There is something for everyone. Every brand has its hiccups but with its founder Richelieu Dennis’ acquisition of Essence, its clear that SheaMoisture (and its parent companies) demosntrate a big committment to communities of color, and Black women in particular.

You can buy SheaMoisture products online at their website or at most drugstores and large retailers.

 

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!

 

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.

The Best Way I Beat “Frizzy” Hair

We are officially in the middle of a heat wave here in NYC, which means it’s super hot and SO HUMID. We do a lot of walking around these parts and in-between that frequently go underground to catch the subway. Needless to say, it’s no bueno.

And obviously, my hair also suffers in the process.

While naturally curly and kinky hair is prone to frizz, that doesn’t mean that a little extra control can’t be helpful on days like these. In the middle of hot, humid summers I often rely more on gel (as opposed to creams or puddings like in the cooler months) to help manage my mane. Even though it’s bit shorter now (hello, summer cut!), it’s still good to have a little extra control to make sure my mini fro holds up during the day. The last thing I need is to be looking unintentionally frizzy and uncontrolled when that’s not the look I’m going for on that day.

Lately, I’ve rekindled my love affair with Kinky-Curly Curling Custard and even though it’s costly, I’m reminded why it’s one of my holy grail products. It’s perfect for summer and offers up natural ingredients that provide control, moisture and a lot of nourishment. Recently, I’ve also been using Giovanni LA Natural Styling Gel. It’s not too shabby either. Otherwise, I always seem to have Old Spice products on deck so their Swagger Gel works pretty well too.

Hopefully, between these three I can keep my hair looking its best during this heat wave.

What are your favorite go-to products for dealing with humidity and heat?

Product Review: ArtNaturals Men’s Body Wash

Disclosure: Product for review was provided courtesy of ArtNaturals.

Let’s face it, there are a LOT of options out there when it comes to men’s body washes.  Does anyone else remember the days when it was less “manly” to use body wash and you had to use bar soap to be a real guy? I do. And Im glad those days are long gone.

ArtNaturals, as the name suggests, is a personal grooming brand focused on bring its customers high quality, natural products. They craft everything from body washes to essential oils (and diffusers!), lotion, shaving cream, etc. They basically have anything that you might need for your grooming needs.

The folks over at ArtNaturals shared some of their goodies with me and I’ll look forward to sharing all my thoughts with you. Today, I’ll talk about my experience with Men’s Body Wash.

You may have noticed by now, but I’m a sucker for a natural ( or mostly natural) product. I figure, why not use mostly natural products as much as possible, right? They can often be more expensive than products with a lot of synthetic, or man-made chemicals, and that’s often something to consider. But, I think it’s worth to cut back in other places when you can have more knowledge about putting better ingredients on or in your body.

It is exactly this reason that I really enjoy what I’ve tried from ArtNaturals so far. You can smell and FEEL the natural quality of their creations. They are effective, but not harsh. Fragrant, but not overwhelming in any way. In short, they hit my natural product sweet-spot.

The Men’s Body Wash is a great example of this. Formulated with aloe, cocoa butter and shea butter, it’s evident from the second this stuff touches your skin that you’re not only being cleansed but also being nourished. It has hints of that nutty shea butter smell and has that smoothness that cocoa butter and aloe provide so well.

For those use to super soapy and sudsy washes, this isn’t going to seem to be a great cleanser for you, but I think it is. It cleanses well without completely stripping my skin. It’s one of the reasons why I think it’s  perfect for summer. Imagine that you’ve been at the beach all day reading a book, playing in the sand or diving in and out of the ocean. It’s hot and you get home about 3 shades darker than when you left (I’ve been there!). You KNOW your skins is parched even though you used sunblock and tried to say hydrated. This Men’s Body Wash is what you need afterwards. The combination of ingredients offers your skin the nourishment that it needs, without the stripping element of your average body wash.  It’s a winner, in my eyes, and I think that if you try it, it will be one for you too.

For more on ArtNaturals Men’s Body Wash and their line up of products you can visit their website and shop.