Most men are now happy to acknowledge that they care about their appearance. Here are some sensible tips for good grooming that will improve your image. Daily skin and hair care using the right shaving method for your beard takes just a few minutes but can vastly improve your overall appearance. For the occasional slip-up, there are some tips on dealing with a hangover.
Men tend to wear their hair shorter than women, with natural hair colour and shape. Overall, this means that they tend not to suffer from split ends and frizz. However, in order to style short hair, stronger styling preparations are required, such as gels and waxes. These can leave heavy deposits on the scalp, which needs to be cleansed thoroughly. Men also tend to suffer from dandruff, due to frequent washing of their hair. Dandruff is caused by a natural yeast, which can be triggered, causing the scalp to shed dead skin (seen as white flakes). Specialist anti-dandruff shampoos should be used regularly to control this condition. Mild formulas or 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioners are recommended for men that frequently wash their hair and do not use heavy styling products. For those who do use gel or wax, an anti-build up formula is recommended to cleanse any stubborn residue on the scalp.
To prevent thinning hair, or improve the appearance of balding hair, thickening shampoos can be used. However, this does not halt the progress of male pattern baldness. A drug called Minoxidil (also known as Regaine) can also be used to improve the thickness of hair, but it is not always 100% effective.
If your skin is dry, you will experience a tight, dry feeling after washing or shaving. In this case you should use rich moisturiser. There are many unisex ranges which offer this, as male-specific ranges tend to be quite limited.
Men who suffer from greasy skin should use a light moisturizing lotion or lightly scented aftershave balm.
If you experience shaving rash or razor burn (unsightly red bumps due to swollen hair follicles which are often itchy and irritated), use pre-shave cleansing and exfoliation to minimise the problem. If your skin still reacts, fragrance and colour-free products should be used. Cleansing is the first stage of the daily grooming routine, followed by shaving, finishing with moisturising. You need to cleanse and moisturize your face in the morning and last thing at night, even if you only shave once a day.
There are several choices when it comes to shaving. Some methods have a more profound effect on the skin than others, therefore it is important to find a balance between the comfort and structure of the epidermis, whilst achieving the closest possible shave. There are two main methods of shaving: wet shaving and power shaving.
Wet razors are either entirely disposable or just have disposable heads (the thicker the hair, the more often the heads need to be replaced). These slice off the hair at skin level, or just below it. It is particularly suitable for men with thick, coarse hair growth and is effective in removing longer hairs. However, razor burn is a common problem for those that wet shave and cuts often occur if full attention is not given when shaving. In order to maximise the performance of a wet shave, it is suggested that the skin is softened and lubricated first. Skin should first be cleansed using a facial wash, then a specialist cream, gel or foam should be applied to provide a smooth pathway for the razor. This prevents dragging and nicking. Exfoliation is also an important routine for men to do two or three times a week because it improves a man’s shave by preventing ingrowing hairs. Shaving should occur in a downwards motion in order to minimise irritation of the skin.
Power shaving involves using a mains or battery operated shaver to whisk the hairs off at high speed. It is suitable for all skin types and does not require shaving preparations. However, it is not as effective on tough, dense and very dark hair. For electric shaving, the face should be clean and dry with stubble not too long. The skin needs to be thoroughly cleansed beforehand and regularly exfoliated. A closer shave can be achieved by pulling the skin taut to encourage the hairs to stand on end and make them easier to trim. It can be difficult to reach some areas with a power shaver, such as beneath the nose and above the lips. Here, an integral trimmer is ideal.
Tips to overcome a hangover
Skin becomes very dehydrated after drinking alcohol, so ensure that you have plenty of water the next day.
Dehydration leads to irritation of the skin, so make sure that you splash enough water on your skin prior to shaving. Use an eye cream to reduce the puffiness and camouflage dark shadows.
Ignore coffee and stick to water for the remainder of the day.