Electric vs Manual: Manual


Previously
, we discussed the pros and cons of electric shaving. Electric shavers are faster and more versatile but they are also higher in cost and won’t give you as close of a shave. This time we’ll explore the benefits and drawbacks of traditional, manual shaving.

Pros

Easy to Use
One of the greatest conveniences of a handheld, manual razor is how easy it is to use. There is no need to plug them in, there are no attachments to worry about, and they are accessible from just about any store that sells hygiene products. It is often the first tool men are given to begin their shaving journey and for some, it’s seen as a right of passage for those newly gifted with facial hair.
Closer Shave
Manual razors are the best way to get the closest shave you can possibly get when shaving at home. There are no guards or thick blades to prevent the blades of the razor from fully reaching your skin. This means you can look forward to having a cleaner looking shave that lasts longer.
Easily Replaced
Unlike with electric shaving devices, manual shaving tools are much more easy to replace. You can go to almost any store that sells hygiene products and you will very likely find shaving razors. The cost of replacing them is much less expensive than buying replacement parts for an electric shaver. While there are disposable options, you can also opt for replaceable razor heads- all of which are cheaper than replacing an entire electric shaving tool.
Products are Easier to Find
On top of being easily replaced, the products that you would need to achieve a great shave are also easy to find. You can readily find shaving cream and aftershave where you find your razors as they are commonly found together in most stores. Often times you can even find bundles of shaving products together, making getting everything you need in one trip quicker than before.
Easy Travel Care
When traveling, the last thing you want to have to worry about is toting around your electric shaver. Sure, it’s easy to use but without an outlet, you’re out of luck on getting your shave in. With a manual razor, you are saving space since the razor is small. Keep in mind, though, that you will have to make room for your shaving cream and aftershave. Luckily these all come in convenient travel sizes. Manual razors are also much easier to keep clean on the go.

Cons

Time Consuming
The process for shaving with a manual razor is a little more time consuming than with an electric shaver. There is an involved routine each time you break out the razor, which for some men could mean a daily thing. Between wetting your face, applying shaving cream and actually shaving, you have to carve out a portion of your getting ready routine to dedicate to this process. For some, this is easy as they have no qualms making the time. However, there are men that don’t have that kind of time and prefer the ease of an electric razor.
Risk of Nicks, Cuts, and Ingrown Hairs
Shaving can be a dangerous task if you aren’t careful. The blades on your razor can cause nicks and cuts that might be noticeable if they are bad enough. Using this shaving method can also cause ingrown hairs if you shave over the same spot more than one time. These can be painful and unsightly. This can be avoided by using a sharp blade and a lot of practice over time.
Gets Dull Quicker
An unfortunate side effect of using a manual razor is how fast they get dull. Unfortunately, a lot of them are made this way to get you to buy more quicker. Thankfully these products can be cheap to replace and will be plenty sharp to give you that close, fresh shave.
Require a Wet Shave
One mistake you will want to avoid making is dry shaving with a manual razor. This is a quick way to get cuts and nicks all over your face. Using water only will help remove the friction but it won’t help avoid the cuts and potential ingrown hairs. Using shaving cream will provide you with the best chance to avoid unseemly facile accidents.

So while manual shaving tools might take a little more time and product, you’ll get a closer shave with a tool that is easy to use. As there are many things to consider when choosing your method, make sure you do your research and make the choice that suits your needs.

Electric vs. Manual Shaving: Electric Shaving

When it comes to getting the best shave, there are many products on the market to help you get there. Today we’ll discuss one of the different types of shaving tools that most commonly used for home shaving and their pros and cons.

Let’s start with Electric Shavers.

These can be found at most retail health and beauty stores, as well as cosmetic and drug stores. These are commonly seen in salons for shaving down beards and for cutting down large amounts of hair away from the scalp. They often come with attachments to customize the length in which it trims down the hair it is being used against. While this is great for hair, these attachments won’t be used when it comes to getting the clean-shaven look. Here is what you want to consider when it comes to using an electric shaver.

Pros
Faster shave: An electric shaver requires less time to use. This tool can be primarily be used for dry shaves which can cut down the time it takes to apply shaving cream and any aftershave you might need. There is also less of a need to go over areas more than one time, giving you the chance to finish you shave in record time.
Portable: Electric shavers can come with a cord as well as cordless. Both are still highly portable and can be a space saver when you’re traveling as you won’t need all of the extra items you would need for a wet shave.
Versatility:  While this tool works great on short facial hair, it has so many other uses. This includes full beards, sideburns, and the hair on your head. If you aren’t against the idea, this tool can be shared with your significant other for her leg and underarm hair, reducing the amount of money you might spend on a second shaver for her.
Reduces Nicks and Cuts:  A great benefit for facial hair shavers new and old is that electric shavers reduce the amount of cuts and nicks in your skin. They also cut down on the amount of ingrown hair but they might not totally eliminate the razor burn so you’ll have to keep an eye on that.
Wet Shave Capable: Now, the ability to do this might vary from product to product but if you have a preference for using shaving cream, there are some brands that offer a safe option for this.

Cons
Not A Close Shave: The biggest downside that turns a lot of men off of an electric shaver for facial hair shaving is that it doesn’t give you the close shave a manual razor provides. The blades of an electric shaver do not get close enough to the skin because of the added protection installed for use on other hairy areas.
Takes Practice: This might not be something you want to hear, but using an electric shaver can take some getting used to. It isn’t used entirely the same as a manual shaver and you might have some added skin irritation as a result. This will be lessened over time as you become more familiar with how this tool works with your skin.
Not Waterproof: Unlike manual shavers, most electric shavers cannot be used in the shower. Now, this isn’t to say there aren’t waterproof models out there, but most of the time this tool isn’t one you’ll want to take in the shower with you. Besides, unless you keep a mirror in your shower, there’s no guarantee your shave is even until you get out anyway.
High Maintenance: While you won’t have to worry about replacement cartridges, shaving cream, and aftershave, there are still items that will need to be maintained in order to keep this tool in optimal condition. The blades inside the tool will need to change from time to time as they can also get dull. These replacements can cost more than you might think.
Wait Times: Now, I know it was mentioned that this tool is a huge time saver, and it is, trusts me. However, if you get an electric shaver that needs to be charged, there will come a time that the battery will die on you and it is going to be frustrating. Fear not, a lof times they only need five minutes on a charging dock to get you back in motion but it will still be five more minutes than you were expecting to spend.

So, there you have it. The pros and cons of an electric shaver. As always, you want to carefully consider what will work better for you and the look you are going for. There are many different options on the market and there might be something better suited to you.

Proper Barber Etiquette

Like with most places in life, you are expected to behave in a certain way. You wouldn’t run around a library blasting air horns or cheer like you were at a basketball game during an opera, would you? When visiting your stylist you really want to keep in mind that there are certain behaviors that are not acceptable and will do you no favors when at the end of your visit. Here are the major ones that will cover most salons.

Arrive on Time
This one is a no-brainer. Making an appointment with your barber is making an obligation. They are clearing a specific slot of time to take of you. Always arrive up to five minutes early to account for checking in and taking any precautions they might need. If you think you might be late, give the shop courtesy call and let them know. If you are running late and they aren’t notified, they might give your slot to someone that was early or even a walk-in. If you need to reschedule, make sure you give your shop plenty of notice. They might not appreciate the last minute call to cancel.

Clean Hair
Something to keep in mind is that you want to go into your appointment with your hair as clean as possible. That doesn’t just mean washing your hair. Most hair is easier to cut if it hasn’t been washed close to the appointment and if it does need that shampoo, your stylist will take care of that for you. Avoid hair products and hats before the cut as they will alter the natural shape and texture of your hair. This will make getting the style you want to take a bit more time as the stylist will have to work around the unnatural shape.

Be Decisive
Don’t let those reference books on the waiting lobby tables throw you off. Know what you want as soon as you walk in. If you’re going for the same cut, you’re in good hands. If you want something new, do your research and make sure the style is manageable for you and your lifestyle. Be absolutely certain it is what you want. Bring in reference pictures if you need to. Barber’s cannot read your mind so make sure you have made up your mind before getting in the chair.

Do Not Dictate the Cut
One of the biggest faux pas is telling your barber how to do their job. If you’re going to a shop to have your hair professionally cut you are paying for your barbers years of study and experience. You’re supposed to sit back and they do the craft They have taken the time to learn. Also, bear in mind that directing what tools to use is also looked down on. Just because you might prefer electric clippers to be used, it doesn’t mean that manual shears won’t get the job done just as well, if not better. Your stylist is trained to know how to handle all types of situations so sit back, relax, and trust the professional.

Be Patient
Cutting hair is a work of art and it takes time. Getting the right look that suits your needs isn’t going to happen in ten minutes. When making your appointment, be prepared to carve out an hour or two of your to devote to getting your hair cut. Also, remember not to rush your stylist. You never want to sacrifice quality for convenience when it comes to a part of your appearance that takes a while to grow back out and fix.

Don’t Move
Moving while your stylist is working can be the biggest mistakes you make while in the chair. When you’re asked to sit still and hold your head in a certain position, there is a good reason for it. Doing things like nodding your head during in a conversation or even being on your phone can cause your stylist to take a miscut with their tools. When this happens you’re either left with a cut you hadn’t intended to get or, in best case scenarios, it’s an easy fix. You can’t always count on the former to be the case so always be careful with your head movements if they are unavoidable.

Get Personal
There is something to be said for those who build a relationship with their barbers and stylists. Building a working friendship can bring you some great benefits. Being friendly with your barber means they might be more willing to work you into their schedule last minute or hold you a spot if you are going to be overly late for an appointment. The better the relationship, the better your stylist will treat you and more care they will take with you and your hair. This being said, you want to converse with them while they are working, while avoiding moving your head if you can. Stay off of your phone. It’s rude in any group setting and especially when you are being worked on.

Speak Up
It was mentioned before not to dictate how your stylist is doing their job. This is true. However, if they are doing something you didn’t ask for or going away from the look you are trying to achieve, speak up. Make sure your desire is known and you aren’t being ignored on what you want. Be polite, ask questions. Don’t lose your temper over something that could be fixed with some polite words. Remember, being rude will do nothing good for you down the road.

TIP
This is universal for most service jobs but you really want to keep it in mind when your experience is over. Tipping your stylist shows them just how well they did their job and how much you appreciate their work. It’ll go a long way towards your next visit if you tip well, usually around 15-18%. If possible, hand your tip directly to the stylist. There’s no promise they will see the full amount if you hand it off to the receptionist or sign for it if you use a debit card.

The Best Beard for Your Face

Thinking of growing your beard out? There are many things that you need to consider when taking this step forward from the time you have to manage your look to the actual style. When picking the type of style that is best for you, you definitely want to keep your facial shape and structure in mind. Your facial hair should work to give your face an oval appearance, even if it isn’t your natural facial shape. Every person has a different facial shape and you want to play to the strength of that shape to make your face look as symmetrical as possible. When determining this shape, there are four features you want to measure: Forehead, Cheekbones, Jawline, and Facial Length. Based on these measurements, you want to note what was the longest and compare it to the descriptions and suggestions below.

Square Face–  Men with thicker, wider jaws and short, angular chins would fall under the category of having a square face. This isn’t to fret, these facial shapes are seen as the strongest and boldest of the shapes to be found. When it comes to the type of style you want to look for, you want to keep in mind that you want to keep the hair narrow to avoid making your face seem wider than it is. Narrow styles lengthen your chin and accentuate your jaw. Try a goatee, circle beard, or even a traditional mustache. Need some inspiration from a well-known face? Brad Pitt and Dwayne Johnson both have square facial features.

Round Face– If your cheekbones are wide and your chin is short you might have a round face. Styles to shoot for should be shorter on the sides and longer on the bottom. These help to narrow out the face and create that oval effect. Good looks for round-faced gentlemen are goatees and the Dick Van Dyke style. Celebs with this facial structure include Jeremy Renner, Mark Wahlberg, and Leonardo DiCaprio.

 

Heart Face– Did you find that your cheekbones were wider compared to your jaw and chin? You might consider that you have a heart-shaped facial structure. Heart-shaped faces should bear in mind that your face may appear smaller than other shapes. It wouldn’t do you much justice to try for a full beard as it would only further shrink the size of your face. Instead, aim for a perma 5-O’clock shadow or similar stubble. You want to keep more facial hair below the chin to give the narrower appearance. Tom Hardy is a perfect example of someone with a heart-shaped face.

 

Long/ Rectangular Face– Wider jaws and squared off chins with longer facial length indicate a rectangular or long face type. Aim for facial hair that is fuller around the cheeks and neater on the bottom, avoiding looks with a pointed chin. The goal is to draw attention away from the length of the face while making it look fuller. A full, but narrowed chevron mustache or full beard would suit this structure well. Clint Eastwood, Robert Downey Jr., and Idris Elba are all men with rectangular facial shapes that make it work.

Oval Face– Last but certainly not least, if your cheekbones were wider compared to your collar bones and your chin was proportionate with your forehead you are the lucky ones. Men with oval faces have relatively proportionate facial features and this is only going to work in their favor. Most any facial hairstyle is going to work as it is only going to accentuate the features you already have. Try and aim for short styles, though, or even go cleanly shaven if you need a fresh start. Kevin Hart and David Beckham have the oval facial structure.

 

At the end of the day, you want to look on top of your game. Following the shape of your face and working your style around the features you already have are going to give you and your style a boost. However, how you choose to look is up to you and what makes you feel good about yourself.

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Your Best Home Shave in a Box

One of the challenges men face when trying to get a great home shave is finding the right products to use. There are so many options when it comes to the right shaving cream and razors that it may be overwhelming to the newcomer. Thankfully, there are now options to help makes those crucial decisions on shaving care a little easier.

Over the last few years subscription boxes have become one of the latest trends to hit the personal care market. It is an easy and convenient way for companies to advertise their products to broader ranges of audiences. Luckily for you, that means you can have the opportunity to try different shaving and grooming merchandise for a fraction of the cost each month. By partnering with the curators of subscription boxes like the Luxury Barber box  and the Dollar Shave Club, organizations can sample products ranging from shaving cream and body wash to razors and shaving brushes. The sample sizes of these products can save the subscriber a lot of money every month while they determine what works best for their skin.

Here’s how they work. The first step is to determine what provider is going suit your needs as far shaving and skin care are concerned. There are websites, like My Subscription Addiction, that have already compiled pages and pages of options, complete with overviews and reviews from actual customers. Once you have determined the provider, the next step is to look at the box options. Always be aware of the costs of each subscription. The more product in a monthly box, the more it might cost. After you’ve selected your option you’ll be asked to input your payment method, subscription length, and shipping information and then you will be given a shipping date. Most providers ship on the same day each month and will generally take an automatic payment if you’ve opted for a subscription longer than one month.

As far as affordability, there are a few options available. The Dollar Shave Club has subscription packages for razors, including refill blades. These options range from $1 for the first month and up to $9 for the following months for larger razor packages. Their product bundles can be purchased separately for the low price range of $6-$16. The Wet Shave Club is another popular option. It is the next step up in price but it has much more to offer. In these subscriptions you can receive 10 blades from the current sample collection as well as the shaving brush and soap, pre and aftershave, and  a few extra grooming products. You can expect these options to range around $49.99 as well as the cost of shipping. The Luxury Barber Box  is possibly the most expensive option on the market. The options for the company include an all over grooming box, shaving  only, hair only, and grooming body care only. Each are going to start at $32.00 for a singular month and $320.00 for an annual option. If you’re feeling more daring and will to shell out the extra cost, you can build your own box. However, keep in mind that these boxes can range from $60-$422 depending on what you decide to put into it.

One of the great things about the curators of these websites is that almost all of them keep shops alongside of their subscription options. It provides customers the chance to order past boxes if they were missed and even the chance to purchase individual items. However, the catch to buying these items individually is that they may cost a little more than the sample size in the end. The benefit to these shops is that, often times, the products they sell can be less expensive than if you were to purchase them off of the shelf. Keep in mind that some sites carry products unique to their brand and you may not be able to find them elsewhere if you decide to shop around for a better deal.

At the end of the day, these subscriptions can open up the world of shaving products to the newcomer or even the more experienced shaver looking for a change in routine. The variety of product offered to users can lead to a better, healthier shave.