Tag Archives: men’s grooming

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.

 

Product Review: Curve Black

“Cool. Sophisticated. Bold.” Does Curve Black live up to the hype? Read on for my review.

Curve Black is the latest creation of the team at Curve. Launching this month, Curve Black aims to offer the more sophisticated Curve aficionado another bit of depth to his cologne repertoire.

Curve Black claims to offer a distinctly masculine fragrance by combining fresh fougere with fresh florals and warm, woody accents. Sounds like a winning combination to me.

Fragrances are usually built with base, heart and top notes to create a dynamic and rich scent profile. This, in my personal opinion, is what allows for fragrances to work a little bit different for every person’s body chemistry. Certain “notes” will be expressed differently depending on person’s skin, body temperature, etc. It’s really interesting how that happens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are the notes for Curve Black:

Top notes: Italian bergamot, violet leaf & nutmeg
Heart notes: Includes lavender, clary sage and tree moss
Base notes: Tonka bean, teak wood and sandalwood

In my experience, Curve Black lives up to its promise. There is most definitely a cool, sophisticated scent profile. I am particularly fond of the woodier base and heart notes. There is a sort of fresh finish, which feels distinctly on-brand for Curve, to me.

Fragrances are meant for difference occasions and while I really love Curve Black it may not be something that I would wear on an everyday commute to the office. It seems a bit more complex than that, but of course I guess that also depends on your personality, style and environment. It’s a little sexier, which means it’s perfect for drinks or date night, without a doubt. And as far as that packaging goes, I LOVE dark and deep colors so this one definitely offers a lot for me.

Would you give it a try? It could even make a great gift for a recent graduate or a happy Dad on Father’s Day which is coming up soon!

You may purchase Curve Black as most mass retailers in the states now. Eau de Toilette retails for $47 (2.5 fl. oz./ 75 ml.).

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?

 

Product Review: Artis Brush

Disclosure: Product for review was provided courtesy of Artis.

Have you ever tried using a shaving brush?

When I first discovered that you can create a barbershop-type experience at home with a shaving brush, I was surprised. I thought that brushes were too fancy for home use. Brushes were an unnecessary tool. It was only a few years ago that I learned different.

Now when I shave, I ALWAYS use a brush to help spread the shaving cream or butter. I’ve found that brushes do a far better job at distributing products, and I think that I tend to use less product when a brush can help build up a quick and rich lather. For a while now, I’ve been using only one brush faithfully. That is, until the folks over at Artis sent over their brush for me to try out.

Read on for my review…

The Good

The Artis Brush is beautiful. It’s well designed with a smoky color and it is compact, which means that it will probably fit well in most average-sized hands. Its design is interesting as it requires the use of your entire hand, instead of how you typically hold brushes with a couple of your fingers as you swipe and flick away. This, I think, is part of what makes the Artis brush so unique.

For those of you with sensitive skin, the bristles are light and smooth. So much so, that the term bristles seems like a bit of a misnomer here. It FEELS so good on your skin.

But is it right for use with shaving cream or shave butter? That’s another question altogether.

The Not So Good

In my trials with the products, I’ve found that it’s pretty difficult to work up a good lather with this brush.  It doesn’t matter what shaving product I used (I alternated between a gel-based product and a soap-based product), Artis just doesn’t ever get there. Similarly, it doesn’t readily absorb water which makes it very difficult to use.

The brush itself, I think, would be a prime candidate for makeup application, which I think is its primary purpose actually. But for shaving, unfortunately it’s a miss for me.

If you’re looking for a shaving brush to add to your daily routine, I can’t say that I’m convinced this offering from Artis is the right thing for you. However, if you are a make-up aficionado then it might be something that you can really appreciate.

 

To learn more about this brush, you can visit the Artis website at artisbrush.com.

How to Quickly Grow Your Hair ft. Winstonee

As I mentioned in my previous post, my hair tends to grow VERY quickly but I realize that many folks have the opposite problem. Sometimes your hair won’t go quickly enough! Well, you’re in luck as I’ve some tips to share with you courtesy of YouTube personality Winstonee.

In the clip below you’ll gain the inside scoop from Winstonee on what techniques he uses to help grow his hair. And if you look at his other videos, you’ll see the proof in his mane.

Some of the tips you may be familiar with, while others may be new to you. The important thing to remember is that for most of us, it’s all about trial and error. Not everything is going to work for everyone. For instance, Winstonee talks about dry-detangling, which I personally find horrible. Give me a ton of conditioner on wet hair and finger detangling any day. But again, to each his own. Listen to your hair and learn what works for you. These steps, however, are a great starting point. And there’s some good hair education in there as well.

Enjoy and happy growing!

 

Fro Frustrations: Say That 5 Times Fast

MANE MAN is all about celebrating grooming and how grooming can be a great way for us to take of ourselves. Obviously, I spend a lot of time writing about all the products I get to try.  But today, I need to rant.

MY. HAIR. WON’T. STOP. GROWING.

And no, this isn’t a humble brag.  Seriously. I know that many of you are hoping and trying for growth. But, I’m annoyed (at the moment) that my hair grows so quickly.

Here’s what’s annoying about that…I got a haircut just a few weeks go. It was a sizable chop but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it was a “big chop”. As always, I felt a bit uncomfortable the first few days after as I thought it was a little too short. Fast forward to a few weeks later and it feels too big/too long already. WHY!?

This is annoying because, for me, getting a haircut is annoying. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not my stylist at all. She’s great. But, hair cuts take so much time. First, I have to be mindful enough to schedule the appointment. And with my schedule, things tend to be all over the place and varied. By the time I take a moment to sit down and think about life, I often find that I’ve forgotten to do something that is pretty essential. The haircut, by default, gets pushed back.

Then, there is the actual appointment itself. I can’t go in and be out in 20 minutes. I wish I could. It takes that long just to pick out my hair for the cut itself.  Then, I’m in the chair…usually feeling pretty warm (because I ALWAYS am) and thus, near to falling asleep in the chair. I feel a little rude because I don’t talk more, but then the silence also makes me comfortable and sleepy. I know, so many non-problem, problems.

I realize this is not a real problem to have. I’m fortunate to have thick hair that grows quickly. I realize that my hair is pretty healthy.

But, can’t it just slow down a little bit?

 

What are your fro frustrations or biggest hair annoyances? Let’s continue the conversation in the comment section below.

A Look at Grooming for the Simple Man

If you’ve looked through the product review section here on MANE MAN then you know that there are a LOT of grooming products out there. It seems that I’ve made it my personal mission to try just about everything. This means that when something new comes across my desk I want to share my experience with all of you!

I recently had the opportunity to try out Simple Man products. These products are described as “salon quality male grooming products”.

For my trials with the products I spent some time with two varieties of shampoo, conditioner and body wash; one formulated with tea tree oil and the other with lavender oil. I personally liked both scents but found it best to keep both body washes away from my face or eyes as the scents/oils can be irritating.

That being said, the products work pretty well. Overall, I think that the body washes were actually my favorite of the bunch, keeping in mind that I am pretty finicky about what I use on my hair. The products are solid, there’s no doubt about that, but for someone with hair as dense and thick (and long?) as mine is as the moment, I needed more oil and slip to these formulations.

I particularly enjoyed the shampoo formulated with tea tree oil as it is so good for your scalp. The gentle tingle of tea tree oil is one I’m familiar with and I like to revisit as often as I can. I generally find the scent nice as well as it seems distinctly fresh and masculine in my opinion.

It should be noted that the products that I have actually used the most thus far are: lavender oil body wash, tea tree oil conditioner and teal tree oil body wash.  These are the products that I found myself going back to again and again without so much of a thought. The body washes aren’t drying and leave a nice, lingering scent for both the lavender and tea tree oil varieties.

Here is what’s cool about Simple Man….you can purchase a set of their respective body care lines for $35.00. With that you get a 16 oz. body wash, conditioner and shampoo with the scent of your choice. That’s not a bad deal, is it? And for those of you who live in houses with a couple of gents in the home, these are good quality buys for a reasonable price. As always, you get what you pay for and when you opt for better products that include actual oils (and not just synthetic ones) you get better results like moisturized and nourished skin and hair.

If you’re looking to keep it simple, give Simple Man a try.  You can view more about Simple Man at simplemanbrand.com.

 

Disclosure: Product for review was provided courtesy of Simple Man.

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.