Tag Archives: shaving

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!

 

Van Der Hagen Premium Shave Set Review + A GIVEAWAY!

Every gent needs a good shaving system as some point in his life. I recall the days when I first started shaving and struggled with nicks, cuts and just using whatever the cheapest shaving products was out there. As the years have gone by, and I’ve been exposed to a wider variety of product choices, I’m glad that I’ve been able to try Van Der Hagen’s line up from time to time.

Shaving soap is something I’m still not all that familiar with, as I’ve mostly tried out gels and creams, however there is something to be said to using a tried and true method like the Van Der Hagen Premium Shave Set.  It comes complete with a shaving brush and soap which is housed within a nice ceramic bowl.

After washing your face, and exfoliating which I recommend, you wet your shaving brush with warm water, lather up the soap in the included bowl and then brush your face in a gentle circular motion. This part is important, especially for gents with curly or coarse hair types. Applying shaving soap in a circular motion will help lift those stubborn hairs reducing irritation and nicks.  From there, you shave as normal.

The Van Der Hagen Premium Shave Set is affordable at about $13.99, which means it works as gift for anyone, especially someone who may not have used a brush or shave soap before. It’s a great value.

My only qualm about the product is that, at times, the brush sheds a few hairs, which can trip you up at shaving time so be on the lookout for that. Otherwise, the set presents an affordable and quality option for gents looking forward to having a better shave without breaking the bank.

I’ve also teamed up with the folks at Van Der Hagen to bring you the opportunity to win a shaving set for Father’s Day! Enter in the widget below for your chance to win. Winners must be U.S. residents and one winner will be chosen one week from today, on June 5.  Good luck!

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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.

Harry’s Truman Shave Set GIVEAWAY!

Happy November all…or should I say Movember?

If you’re not familiar, every year men and women around the globe raise millions of dollars for men’s health initiatives. Movember focuses on raising awareness and funds for men’s health concerns such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, suicide prevention and mental health.

To honor Movember, and maybe get you the shaving tools that you need for the month, I’m partnering with Harry’s to give away a Truman Shave Set to one lucky winner! The set includes:

  • 1 Truman Razor Handle
  • 1 Foaming Shave Gel (4.0oz)
  • 3 German Engineered Blade Cartridges
  • 1 Travel Blade Cover

As a bonus, the winner will also receive a daily face lotion from Harry’s to hydrate their mug after shaving. This also has SPF 15 which is great to use to combat wrinkles year round.

The winner will also receive this bonus Harry's Daily Face Lotion!
The winner will also receive this bonus Harry’s Daily Face Lotion!

Enter your giveaway below. There are multiple ways to enter and you may tweet up to once per day for additional entries! The winner will be announced on November 8, 2016 here on the blog.

Good luck and happy shaving!

 

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Men’s Grooming in the New Age

man-with-face-in-hands

This is a guest post by freelance writer Mark Greene.

Since we have entered the new age of men’s grooming, more and more products have appeared on the market. Their main purpose is to help you look and feel great, but are all these products necessary? And which ones are better than others?! Here are some ideas you should try to keep in mind!

Shaving soaps

Shaving soaps are great because not only do they offer you a very good value, but they also protect your skin. Not only do shaving soaps make facial hair easier to remove, but thanks to shaving soaps you also have the ability to moisturize your skin.

Face wash

Daily face wash is one of the product types that has historically been geared towards women, but there are many men that still use it without a problem. Opening up the pores is crucial if you want to look at your best. Choosing the best face wash might be a little difficult if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Experimentation is key so try out these products and figure out which one works great for you.

lip-balm

Lip balm

Sometimes men can struggle with having smooth, soft lips. A good lip balm can come in handy in your grooming regimen.  Lip balms can range in price but getting a high quality lip balm is usually not that expensive. These days,  your neighborhood grocery store or pharmacy probably has plenty of good options.  

Facial lotion

A good facial lotion, or daily moisturizer,  will help you better deal with the UVB rays not to mention it can eliminate the effects that comes from UVA rays as well. Facial lotion with SPF can help protect your skin from ongoing damage. Some options that include glycerin and other ingredients, like aloe vera, can help you maintain fresh and healthy looking skin.

Facial scrub

A good facial scrub will eliminate dead skin cells and smooth your skin. This helps will keeping your face looking bright and fresh. And depending on what facial scrub you use, you can also harness the power of ingredients like citrus, menthol, caffeine and many others.

Anti-fatigue eye gel

It might not sound like much at first, but this type of gel is actually very helpful. Eye gels, or creams if you prefer, enable you to hide the under-eye bags or dark circles making your face look brighter for your early morning meetings.

These grooming staples are products that offer you an immense value and outstanding results that you will appreciate right from the start. While good grooming products can be hard to find, this list of product suggestions for you to try can help you find what best fits your needs.

 

Mark Greene is the owner of one of the well visited men’s blog on the web today: Men’s Axis. He is a lifestyle professional writer and digital nomad with a keen interest in men’s mental and physical health, life hacks, grooming, men’s fashion, sex, dating, career and overall day-to-day solutions for men. The world, according to him, is what you make of it. So go out there and make it amazing.

 

Product Review: Remington Beard Boss™ Grooming

Disclosure: This is a sponsored review by Remington. Products for review were provided courtesy of Remington. All opinions contained in this post are mine, and mine alone.

Every guy needs an effective trimmer in his life.  From the ‘stache squad to #beardgang, to be a well-maintained gent you must have the right tools. This is where a company like Remington comes in. With a well-established reputation in the grooming community, Remington has long offered men grooming tools to keep us looking stylish and feeling suave. Today, I’m sharing with you my thoughts on two of their latest, The Crafter and The Beardsman.

The Beardsman ($54.99) is a full grooming kit that enables gents with sizable, and thick beards to maintain their facial manes. It features:

  • 120 minute runtime
  • 3 length combs
  • Zoom wheel
  • Detail trimmer
  • Quick-release blade
  • Brush and scissors

So let’s talk about the Beardsman!  For me, I find that the Beardsman is one of those trimmers that works best for people with a lot of facial hair to maintain. As someone who generally rocks a goatee, there’s not a lot I need in a shaver.  So for a week or so, I let the facial thickness set in and gave The Beardsman a try. I was pleasantly surprised.

While I still think that The Beardsman is for gents with really lush beards, it does work really well for shorter hair. It feels substantial in the hand and has an ease of use about it which makes it really comfortable. It’s not complicated, odd or gimmicky. It’s just what a gent with a well-coiffed beard needs. It comes with an XL grooming comb made for guys with long beards but also offers up the use of smaller combs for less than full faces. While I have yet to really master the practicality of the zoom wheel, the bonus brush and grooming scissors are a mainstay in helping me keep those edges in check.

The Crafter ($49.99) is a bit more of a maintenance type of product that you can use more regularly for the details in keeping your face smooth and tidy. It features some pretty nifty features such as:

  • 180 minute runtime
  • Titanium coated blades
  • Waterproof!
  • Turbo mode
  • Adjustable comb
  • Extended neck
  • Bonus detail trimmer with attachments

On a day-to-day basis, I find that The Crafter offers more of what I need to keep myself looking good. Its focus on style and detail helps you maintain clean lines and edges and provides attachments to clean up those pesky nose hairs and any other strays may be floating around. It doesn’t quite have the heft of The Beardsman, which is to be expected. It is also waterproof, so that  means that you can also take it into the shower with you if you need. Or, at the very least, if it falls into the sink you won’t immediately freak out that is automatically ruined.  It’s a versatile product with a pretty lengthy run time.  As an added bonus, it comes with a nice little carrying kit, which means its great for guys who need to maintain their stylish scruff on the road.

Overall, I think that heavily bearded gents would definitely benefit most from The Beardsman, which is an effective all in one kit for maintaining a lush beard.  For those of us who tend to go more minimal, The Crafter will likely be sufficient. And, at a slightly lower price point, its the more accessible tool of the two.  Either, however, would make a great Father’s Day or Graduation Day gift.

You can learn more about Remington’s line up at RemingtonProducts.com.

 

Product Review: Bevel Shaving

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Shaving has long been the bane of my existence since I hit puberty many moons ago. That’s why an important part of this site has been trying out the best, and sometimes lackluster, that the grooming world has to offer. I’m always on the hunt for the “perfect” shaving regimen.

Bevel is a men’s shaving line designed for men with curly and coarse hair. I’ve learned that in the past I’ve ignored my hair type when it comes to shaving. It honestly wasn’t something that I considered previously. It turns out that men with curlier hair types run a much higher risk of razor bumps due to emerging curls re-entering the skin (e.g. ingrown hairs). Shaving ingrown hairs can be painful and that’s why it’s important for men of color to use shaving and face products that exfoliate and lift hairs while providing tons of moisture and slip. That’s pretty much what Bevel’s line up does. Here’s a quick rundown of my notes of Bevel’s starter kit:

Priming Oil: Created with sunflower and olive oil (among others) Bevel’s Priming Oil is one of the best I’ve used to date. The thick, viscous primer is step one in the shaving system and is awesome at protecting against razor irritation and burn. It smells great and a little goes a long way.

Shave Cream: A nickel sized amount of this cream is more than enough to shave a full face. Formulated with aloe vera juice, shea butter and glycerin this shave cream works up a nice, smooth lather that helps manage skin irritation while shaving. With the aid I the shave brush, I got very consistently good results and I followed the system directions to a t.

Restoring Balm: For post shave care, every guy should use some moisturizer to help soothe the skin. Bevel’s Restoring Balm offers up some of the same great ingredients that the other products offer. That being said, of the lineup, the balm was my least favorite. While I think it’s good, and perhaps slightly above the average post shave solution, it seems to not offer as much as the priming oil or shave cream does.

Overall, in my experience, Bevel delivers on it’s promise of helping men with curly or coarser hair types tackle shaving with ease. In addition to the easy to use system, the ingredients are mostly natural and are just stellar. I had the chance to try their razor as well and it is miles ahead of my safety razor I personally purchased last year. The weight distribution makes it incredibly easy to shave and minimizes my need to put in work to shave effectively. That ability to avoid applying unnecessary pressure has helped me limit nicks and that is definitely something to be excited about.

Disclosure: Products for review were provided courtesy of Bevel.  All opinions listed herein are solely my own and have not been influenced by the brand in any fashion.

*Editor’s note: MANE MAN subscribers keep a look out in your inbox for a special discount on Bevel products. They’re perfect for Father’s Day!

Product Review: Dreadnought Cooling Moisturizer

dreadnought cooling moisturizer shaving solution box

You may have checked out my previous post on Dreadnought shaving products (I liked them!).  This time the folks at Dreadnought invited me to take on their newly released Cooling Moisturizer and of course I was all too eager to oblige.  As a bonus, they sent along “The Shaving Solution” which is much like their Dreadnought Shaving Cream.  Given that, most of this post will focus on the Cooling Moisturizer. Read on for the review!

With the Dreadnought signature smell, the Cooling Moisturizer is an easy to use overall daily moisturizer. I found that it’s a pretty solid addition to a grooming routine. It has a slick texture, likely due to castor oil as the second ingredient next to water. Bonus points for using a list of good, and pretty benign, ingredients.

The great thing about the Cooling Moisturizer is that a little goes a very long way. I’ve probably had my 3.4 oz bottle for a month or so now and still have plenty left. The ease of getting the product out of the bottle via the pump is a much welcomed addition to the Dreadnought line up.  I find it made using the product even more enjoyable.  I found this to be the same with the Shaving Solution as well.  It really just makes for a cleaner use and easier clean up instead of wasting product by sloshing it around or having it slip out of the jar and down the sink when you’re getting ready to use it. For me, these are the things that make using a product all that much more enjoyable.

Overall, I have to say that Dreadnought is one of the most consistent men’s grooming brands I’ve used so far. Often I find myself loving one product while hating another but I really don’t seem to have that problem with Dreadnought.  The Shaving Solution is basically a revamped Dreadnought Shaving Cream but with an easy to use pump.  That’s nice because you get all the product’s benefits without the mess. The Cooling Moisturizer is effective, super slick feeling and full of good-for-you ingredients.  Simply put, Dreadnought is where it’s at.

Disclosure: Product for review was provided courtesy of Dreadnought for the sole purpose of this review. All opinions listed herein are mine and mine alone.

Product Review: Boots No7 Skin Care for Men

Boots No 7 men

Men have thicker skin than our female counterparts so often men need products that strike a balance between being tough and non-damaging for sensitive or dry skin.  Boots No7 Men aims to strike that very important balance.

I’ve recently had the chance to try out the Boots No7 Men skin care products.  Check out my review below:

Energising Face Wash: Made with a combination of traditional surfactants (cleaning agents) like sodium laureth sulfate and more recently developed ones like cocamidopropyl betaine, the hypo-allergenic wash leaves you with a refreshed feeling.  After using the wash several times, I didn’t find the product to be drying despite the ingredient list. The consistency are scent are mostly what you would expect from a face wash although I must admit that the scent is a little artificial for my taste.  All in all, it works well and gave me that “squeaky-clean” feeling that many of us might be looking for. 3/5

Energising Face Scrub: Much like the Energising Face Wash, Boots No7 Face Scrub has a pleasant, if not slightly artificial, clean smell that bodes well for early morning showers.  The refreshing feel from the wash is here too, but with the added benefit of castor oil which provides a little bit more lasting moisture.  While the product does a pretty decent job at cleaning, I don’t think the scrubbing beads are tough to effectively lift beard/facial hair in preparation for shaving. The scrubbing beds dissolve pretty quickly and unfortunately few are far between.  In my opinion, there are simply better scrubs near this price point, or lower, that will get the job done. 2/5

Calming Anti-Friction Shave Gel: I’ve tried many shaving gels and creams over the past few years here on MANE MAN so I find it difficult to find one that stands out from the pack.  Unfortunately, the Calming Anti-Friction Shave Gel is not a home run but it’s a solid double and works relatively well for the value.  The gel’s consistency is medium to thin, and clear, which makes it especially visible during a daily shave.  The gel also has castor oil which makes it silky and smooth and helps the razor blade glide across your skin while causing little irritation.  It has worked pretty well with my safety razor and would likely fair well with most razors on the market too. 3.5/5

Calming Post Shave Recovery Balm: Unfortunately I don’t have much to say about the Calming Post Shave Recovery Balm.  The product consistency and scent are pretty average among the company’s competitors. It does an OK job of reducing irritation and providing much needed moisture after a shave.  My big qualm is that when I tried the balm it tends to sit on top of the skin versus readily absorbing into the skin which is definitely important to me as the more humid months are quickly on their way.  2/5

Overall Impression: As a whole, I think there are plenty of reasons why the Boots No7 Men skin care line would work.  It’s affordable, hypoallergnic and makes for a simple, no-fuss morning routine.  The Calming Anti-Friction Shave Gel and Energising Face Wash are standouts while I personally feel the Calming Post Shave Recovery Balm and Energising Face Scrub leave a little to be desired. But at a moderate price point, its hard to imagine that most guys wouldn’t want to give the products a try. 2.5/5

Disclosure:  Products were provided courtesy of Boots No7 Men for the purpose of this review.  All opinions represented herein are mine and mine alone.  Boots No7 products are available online at Walgreens.com.

Product Review: Art of Shaving Sandalwood Shaving Cream

AOS Sandalwood
Art of Shaving Sandalwood Shaving Cream

The Art of Shaving is one of the big names in the shaving and men’s grooming game which often makes it an ideal  special gift for yourself of someone else. Unfortunately, with products at a higher price point, many gents tend to ask, “Is it worth it?”

Price: At $25 for 5 ounces of product, Art of Shaving creams are well above what most guys are willing to pay for an everyday shaving product.  That being said, I think that if you feel the value isn’t worth your penny, it definitely makes a great “special occasion” product and you can stretch out its use over time.

Consistency:  The shaving cream from Art of Shaving is where the $25 really starts to make sense.  The skin feel is incredibly luxurious and by far the smoothest shaving cream I’ve used so far which is probably largely due to the high level of palmitic acid.  I found the smoothness of it to be unparalleled and it also softens facial hair amazingly well, making for an easy and comfortable shaving experience.

Scent: Art of Shaving has a variety of scents for their shaving creams which make is easy to tailor your shaving experience into a more personal one.  I chose the shaving cream with sandalwood essential oil and I love it.  Sandalwood is an earthy and masculine scent that’s classic and probably won’t ever go out of style.  The scent is warm and smooth and fits perfectly within the rich feel of the shaving cream.

Overall Impression: My experience with Art of Shaving has been a largely positive one but I had to admit that the price of the product itself is a bit of a deterrent. On the other hand, I’ve used the shaving cream quite a bit and it looks like it will last a very long time as a little does go a long way.  If the price is also a deterrent for you then I’d suggest dropping some serious hints around the holidays and your birthday to your loved ones. I honestly can’t imagine that you could use Art of Shaving products and not like them.  That’s just my two cents…happy shaving!

*Disclosure: Product for review was provided courtesy of Art of Shaving.