To Look Young Again

You’re not as young as you used to be, and your outward appearance is definitely changing. There are ways, however, to keep you looking and feeling youthful!

For starters, keep your style neat. That mop-top from your younger days may not work anymore. If you’re going bald, you have options. You can spend the cash in hopes of restoring your hair, trim it super short, or shave your head clean. A ponytail, especially if you’re balding, will make you look older, not hipper. If you want to cover your grays, choose a color close to your natural shade that way it doesn’t look like you got some crazy dye-job.

Nothing says “old man” like crazy eyebrows, ear hair, and a bushy back. Have your barber tame your brows, ears, and nose hair. You can also do it yourself with at-home trimmers. Keep your back and chest fur from peeking out of the top of your shirt by shaving, waxing, using a hair removal cream, or through laser treatments.

Most of the time, a closely shaved man looks younger than a guy with a beard and mustache. That said, there are no rules, just keep it well groomed. If you decide it’s time to cover your gray, use a dye that’s meant for men’s facial hair. A solid beard tone will look fake, keep the fade going so it doesn’t look like you just spray-painted your face.

To keep your skin from adding years to your looks, wear sunscreen, moisturizer, and lip balm daily. Retinoid can help you slough off old skin cells. You can find them in many over-the-counter products or get a stronger version by prescription from a dermatologist. They also stop collagen, the stuff that keeps your skin stretchy, from breaking down. This gives you a more vibrant, youthful look.

If you want to look good on the outside, you got to take care of the inside. You can’t act like you did in your 20s. You know the rules: Get plenty of rest, eat right, drink water, don’t smoke, leave the booze at the bar, and try to get some exercise most days. It can be a bit of an adjustment, but once you get on a solid routine it will be easy to keep this up.

A bright smile can make you look, and feel, like a million bucks. Guys who brush and floss regularly can up the wattage with whitening toothpaste. At-home bleaching strips or trays also work. You can also go to the dentist for a treatment. For a big change, if your choppers are stained, damaged, or crooked, ask about veneers. These porcelain shells cover the front side of your teeth.

Stock your closet with a few quality pieces like a good suit, a leather jacket, and dark-wash classic-fit jeans. Add some trendy items each season, but don’t hang onto them after everyone else has moved on. If you can afford it, have your clothes tailored for perfect fit, tailored clothing can really make a person look younger. Accessories are OK, but don’t overdo it with the bling.

 

Time for a Little More Grooming!

Take care of everything from the previous post? Good, now you can do some more!

Have you ever been talking to someone, and swear you could braid their nose hairs? So gross, and so easy to avoid! It’s literally thirty seconds with a trimmer to remove this incredibly unsightly element from your face. Dudes, please remember: the taller you are, the more people are looking up your nose instead of at it. That means tall guys especially need to be vigilant about their nose hairs. Trim them back so no one’s staring at those weird, scraggly hairs when they should be admiring your face. Trim the nose hairs. Just do it.

Now what about those ear hairs? Same theory as nose hairs, although it’s now the side-on view you’re worried about rather than the straight-up view. Once again, we’re talking less than a minute to trim, every few days or weeks depending on your hair growth. Well worth the time. The general rule of thumb for both nose and ear hairs is straightforward: the ends shouldn’t be visible. Trim them back until they’re not. That means trimming the hairs off inside the rim of the relevant opening, but you don’t have to go any deeper than that. When it comes to ears especially, you don’t want to; just trim the tips and call it a day.

If you like to zone out with a newspaper while your barber does his thing, you may not have noticed the work he does along the back of your neck. Most haircuts involve neatening up the nape, which is the bottom outline where your haircut ends, usually on the back of the neck. Guys with hairy backs will want to make sure their hairs aren’t creeping up to join the nape, or worse yet to be visible above the collar but below a naked, shaven strip of skin. Case in point, I always make sure my barber takes care of my nape.

However, any man can shave his neck at home with trimmers – the advantage here is you can work this 30-second job into your schedule and have the convenience of not having to travel across town for a touch-up before a special event. That keeps growth even and prevents the nasty “my back hairs and my haircut are engaged in trench warfare” divide along the back of the neck. Shaven smooth back there is the best way to go, from the point where your haircut ends all the way under your shirt collars.

Men with side parts, take heed: your hair is not supposed to be curling around and sticking itself into your ears. If your hair is at the length where it starts invading your ears, use a little product to either slick it back or help it curve around the ears in a nice, natural-looking arch. Ideally, your whole ear should be visible on both sides, but if you want to hide some of it, do it with hairs that end behind or beneath the ear, not in or on it. If product isn’t doing the trick, it’s time to trim it up. The good news is that you don’t’ have to wait for your next barber visit to keep your hair looking clean or sharp. When the hair starts to go over your ears, it’s a warning sign to pull out a clipper and tidy things up. Well made clippers have a number of guide combs to clean up around your ears as well as cut and blend the back, sides and top of your hair. This gives you the opportunity to extend the life of you haircut.

Follow some of these tips, and take care of it now before summer gets in full swing and you start heading out to barbecues and other parties!

Time for Some Grooming!

Social gatherings are more intimate occasions. That’s true not just emotionally, but also physically. People stand close together, and aren’t super distracted by their phones or papers, and tend to notice more features on someone’s face. Including your own.

That makes this the perfect time of year to fix some common grooming mistakes. Don’t feel bad if you’re making any or all of these — just take steps to fix them! Most are needs that don’t develop until after puberty, so none of us really got a chance to build the good habits early in life. Play catch-up now by identifying and eliminating these common grooming mistakes!

There’s nothing wrong with a sweet ‘stache or a big ol’ beard, at least as long as your workplace allows them, but a messy one? You’ll want to avoid that so you can maintain that professionalism. Trim the edges of beards and mustaches into shape on a daily basis. You know how guys without beards look scruffy and scraggly if they skip shaving for more than a day? That’s happening to the edges of your beard, too!

You don’t need to do anything fancy on this one. Just go lightly over the edges of your facial hair with a trimmer and the appropriate guide comb, cutting everything back to a uniform length and making sure the outline (where the hair ends and naked skin begins) is nice and crisp. It’s the difference between “sexy lumberjack,” which is a fantasy, and “hobo” which is more realistic, but decidedly less alluring. You want to look like you’d be natural holding an axe, not a shiv made with a thrown out plastic fork.

Should you trim your stubble?  Yes, men who sport the stubble look need to know how to keep it in check. Contrary to popular belief, the stubble and five o’ clock shadow is now an appearance men can use! However, men who prefer this look must know how to maintain it.  To make stubble work, keep it trim. Just because you have stubble doesn’t mean you are off the hook for maintaining it. That’s what causes you to look sloppy. To avoid the look like you partied too hard the night before, well-kept stubble is a must.  Use a stubble guard or a shorter guide when trimming your stubble.

Now… about those eyebrows. Does this one sound really pathetically nit-picky to you? Think again, what is one of the first things someone notices about your face? Usually the eyes, right? What are right above them? Human beings use them to express a wide range of emotions, and people will take notice. That makes a couple minutes of at-home trimming one of the best time investments you’ll make this year. Eyebrow threading can do an even better job, but at the very least use some trimmers to tidy up the outline of each brow and make a clear separation above the bridge of your nose.

Remember how Bert of Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street always came across as the more fussy, easily flustered one? Yeah, part of that visual coding was his oversized, drawn-together eyebrows. Think about it.

There are more grooming mistakes and fixes coming soon!

Beard Life – Part 2

So did you become one of those people who accidentally messes up your lines? Has your beard gotten really itchy? Are you at your wits end with your beard???

If you do accidentally mess up your lines, don’t worry! There are a few ways to deal with this, the most obvious being start over. Who really wants to start over on their beard though?! So, if you do mess up, we now play the waiting game. You have what the pros call the all-in method, and the iterative method. Basically, both methods require you to let the beard hair grow back which will in turn allow you to re-trim to your desired style. You will want to give the new growth some time to grow out so you can visualize where you want the new cheek or neck line. With the all-in method, you’ll want to allow the new growth to go for at least a couple weeks. You may look a bit scraggly, but it’s all worth it! With the iterative method, you can let it go for a couple days, and then slowly shape as time goes on. It takes a bit longer to get the beard shaped how you want, but you look less rough during the process.

Don’t let itching deter you! If you experience itching, keep your skin clean by daily shampooing (with a gentle shampoo) and optionally using a conditioner. Your skin will eventually adjust to the new situation. Itching should be only a temporary phase. If you happen to need more relief, try applying some baby oil or moisturizing lotion to the areas that are itching. That should help to soothe your skin while you go through the transition. There are also beard oils and balms you can buy that help alleviate the itching by keeping the skin under your beard moisturized. Your beard will also look real slick and smooth, so that’s a bonus!

Don’t give up! Set a target date. For example, give yourself a minimum of six weeks’ growth before deciding to abandon your beard-growing effort. Commit to not shaving before that six weeks is up. When you’ve reached the six weeks date, then you can decide whether you want to continue with the beard or get rid of it.

Invest in a beard trimmer and learn how to use it. Usually you should shampoo your beard with the same shampoo you already use for your head. Some may prefer to wash their beards with soap instead. You could try out soap and shampoo to see which you like best. Pat your beard gently dry with a towel. Blow drying is not usually necessary and is probably not recommended anyway.

If you choose to get rid of your new beard, the easiest way to dispose of it is to use a beard trimmer or other hair clippers. Use the trimmer or clippers to trim away as much hair as possible. Follow that with a regular shave. Be extra careful cause your skin may or may not have become more sensitive due to the beard growing process. Make sure to follow safe shaving procedures and enjoy being back to your baby face!

Beard Life – Part 1

While growing a beard is extremely easy, many  give up their efforts in frustration by falling into the trap of common mistakes and abandoning their newly-started beards too quickly. Growing a beard requires a commitment. The experience can even be a test of character as well as a surprising process of self-discovery. Do you have what it takes? In this two-part article on beard growing, we will discuss the process in detail!

Why grow a beard? Logically, the question ought to be: Why NOT grow a beard? But shaving is the norm and letting the beard grow is the exception. So, it may require a bit of courage to take the decision to grow a beard. Once that decision is taken, it is easily reversed upon second thought. And another would-be beard disappears. When you see a man with a full-grown beard, you know he made the decision to be bearded and he had the determination to stick with it.

Whether or not you should grow a beard depends in large part on genetics. Beard growth is genetically determined and there is not much anyone can do other than to accept what they’ve been given. If you have developed enough facial hair to allow you to grow a beard, then you owe it to yourself to grow it out at least once during your lifetime — even if only as an experiment. You may be so pleased with the results, even unexpectedly so, that you decide to keep the beard permanently. With myself, I grew a beard out several years ago, and haven’t gone back to baby-face since!

Now, the decision to grow, and subsequently keep, your beard is yours. The only opinion that really matters is yours. So, go for it! If you like it, keep it. If not, then shave it off. At the very least you will have given it a try and you’ll know what it was like to grow your beard. Make a commitment to grow your beard and stick with it. This is most important!

 

Consider starting your beard while on vacation. You’ll be more relaxed about it while away from your job. Don’t be overly concerned about other people’s potential reactions to your new beard. If you have a good beard, most people will probably react favorably, possibly much more favorably than you would have ever anticipated. So relax and enjoy the experience!

When starting to let your beard grow, just stop shaving, completely. Do not shave at all for at least the first four weeks of growth. One of the most common errors is to attempt to start shaping or sculpting the beard too early in the process. WHY let your beard grow for four weeks before you start to shape it — even if you are just growing a goatee? If you don’t wait, you might cut off more than you really wanted. Also, you might not have thought about going for the striking effect of an oversized goatee. You can always trim it down to a smaller size later.

After four weeks, you can start sculpting your beard. Usually, you’ll want to define a “neck line” along the bottom of your beard around the neck. This is probably best done by a professional barber or stylist. The hard part may be finding one who has a lot of experience in beard styling.

Generally the “cheek line”, the upper limit of the beard on the cheeks, is best left natural. Some men butcher otherwise excellent beards by shaving the cheeks into strange shapes. Unless your beard appears to be starting just below your eyes, you probably are better off not shaving or sculpting the beard on your cheeks!

Stay tuned for part 2!