Top 3 Tips for Beard Hygiene

1. Wash it

As a beardsman your facial hair is going to get grimy from time to time. If left unaddressed, the build up of daily grit and naturally occurring skin oil (sebum) could wreak havoc on the skin beneath your beard, potentially leading to skin irritation or a break out of spots. That’s why the first and most important tip for a healthy beard is to wash it!

To begin your beard cleanse, it’s important to wash it with water. But be selective with your water temperature. Cold water might not be the best choice, as tends to reduce the effectiveness of your beard wash. And very hot water dries out hair follicles. Like Goldilocks, the perfect temperature is in the middle. Lukewarm water enhances blood circulation and opens pores, ensuring that every wash is effective.

Pro tip: Avoid washing your beard with body washes, face washes or regular soap. These cleansers are too strong and tend to strip your beard of its natural oils and awesomeness. Try using a mild soap, cleanser or beard wash instead. They’re designed to gently clean and maintain your fuzz, while energizing the skin beneath your beard.

2. Moisturise it

Harsh weather conditions tend to drain natural oils from your face, leading to dry and split ended beard hairs. To keep your beard soft and healthy consider using a moisturizer or beard oil (Beard oils have been used for centuries to help mimic natural skin oil). Of course you could use natural oils too. For instance coconut oil is known widely for its ability to moisturise and nourish hair and skin.

Pro tip: Did you know beard balm is also an excellent way to moisturise and nourish your beard. High quality balms contain some of the best natural ingredients around including coconut oil, Shea butter and vitamin E. These ingredients are included to not only feed those facial follicles and nourish the skin but also tame stray hairs and shape your beard.

3. Trim it

Another way to keep your beard healthy is to groom it regularly. Grooming and maintenance might not be your thing but it helps tame those split ends..and women dig it.

Pro tip: Trim your beard while it’s dry. This will help you get a better length estimate. Also brush or comb your beard daily to help distribute any beard oils evenly, untangle and get rid of any unexpected crumbs.

Hair Care Tips to Follow

Hair can be a difficult thing to care for especially if you have always had trouble with your own hair. There are certain routines that should be implemented depending on the type of hair you have.

Shampoo does tend to dry the scalp. You need to find the correct chemically balanced product that suits your scalp or use oils before you wash the hair. Oil will hydrate and strengthen the hair follicles and it also promotes healthy growth. You should also avoid washing it on a daily basis as it could dangerously dry out the scalp.

Don’t roughly dry the strands with the towel. You might pull some of the hair out and create split ends that eventually make the tips look frizzy. You should also consider leaving the towel on your head for less amount of time as it eventually does feel like the follicles are being pulled by the head. Many professional hair stylists say that it is best to use a micro-fibre towel or a light and thin T-Shirt.

Don’t brush wet hair. It will create longer split ends and it is generally not healthy for the hair. Use a wide toothed comb to detangle the hair in the shower and then let it dry naturally. After it has completely dried, you should be able to use a normal brush without creating damage.

When combing the tangles out, start from the tips and make your way to the top of the head. You will be surprised to know that this is less painful and it works three times faster without the frustration involved.

Always use heat protection when you need to use heat products such as blow dryers, straighteners, electronic curlers and curling tongs. When styling your hair, use the blow dryer to get the hair on the top of the head straight and full of volume. If you use extreme heat on the roots, you are at risk of thinning your hair.

Avoid tying your hair too tightly. Not only does it create teeth grinding headaches but it also destroys the follicles. The look might be sleek, elegant and modern, but always remember that some styles will only work to a certain point.

Tips on Changing Your Barber

Picture this… You badly need a haircut, and so you call your barber of 3 years to set an appointment. Unfortunately, he tells you that he is not available. Since you cannot wait till the next day, you decide to try another barber within the same barbershop – one whose work you’ve seen before. You sit, give him instructions, and he executes them better than your barber. In your neighbourhood, everyone asks where you had your haircut. That’s when you begin thinking whether if changing your barber would be a good idea. As difficult a situation as it may seem, one thing you have to remember is that that’s your hair we are talking about. Whoever you choose to work on it, therefore, is a decision that should be respected. That said, the moral aftertaste of such action is often too strong to ignore. To eliminate possible awkwardness, use the following tips whenever you are thinking of changing your barber.

Give them a Heads Up – We are all human and as such have the freedom to change our minds if we deem it the right thing to do. However, injecting some decorum to the decision will not hurt anyone. Give your barber a call and let them know of your decision. If they are professional, then they will respect and appreciate the heads up. Do not just show up two weeks later and walk straight to your new barber’s seat without informing the soon-to-be old barber. Although they will not show it, it usually is an awkward feeling.

Be Open to Try out All Barbers – This tip works best if you have just moved to a new neighbourhood. After shopping around and settling on a barbershop of choice, make it known to the barbers that will at one point try each barber’s skills. This leaves you a bit of room to change barbers whenever the need arises. The downside to this is you will have to give instructions more than a than a couple of times to each barber. You, therefore, want to make sure that they are all qualified and that their hair cutting skills are not just above average.

Tips to Maintain Virgin Hair and Their Benefits

Are you looking for an option of hair extensions? Do you want to try a pure form of hair extension or hair replacement? Virgin hair is a pure form of hair extension taken from a single donor without any chemical processing and dying. Check out the benefits and different ways to maintain them.

Virgin hair is donated by a living individual person that is not chemically processed, styled or coloured so that they possess the natural qualities and feel 100% natural with your own hair. They are often straight as they are not permed before use. In simple words, they are exactly the same which was on the donor’s head.

These are often harvested from young women with long, full healthy hair, which will be clear of greys, split ends and other damages. They are usually collected in ponytails so that their cuticle remain healthy and already show shiny, soft texture. Virgin hair is the highest quality hair extension option available in the market.

When saying chemically untouched or not at all permed, it is meant the same before collecting the hair from the donor as well. Even prior to donation, the hair should be not styled, relaxed or not exposed to any type of hair treatments. These types often show an undamaged cuticle, which in turn results in the softer and natural texture of the hair extension or replacement.

Cuticles are the vital part in your hair. Once they are damaged, it may cause serious problems like tangling, dryness, frizziness, to the hair, whether your own or the extension you use. So it is important to maintain them or to choose the best quality product. Cuticles may be replaced by silicone, but they fade away quickly.

Once used by the accepter, these extensions can be an easy styling component as they are too soft and easily manageable when used with appropriate products. If you want to maintain your hair’s natural quality as such, just follow some basic habits while styling occasionally.

Instead of using chemical permanent dyes or colours, you can use temporary and conditioning dyes. These temporary ones can affect your hair less harshly than those permanent dyes and help to retain the natural quality. However, to get lighter shades of hair temporary hair dyes are not advisable as they need to be bleached.

Also, to get curly and permed hair, adopt natural or less wary methods that don’t affect the hair very much. For example, to get curls, instead of permanent methods or harsh heating equipment, use temporary methods. Just braid or twirl your damp hair and pin it for a night to get temporary curls without damaging the natural beauty.

These donors may also donate their hair for patients who lose their hair due to treatments.

The Modern Man’s Guide To Grooming

How important is mere appearance to a man? Well, a man can’t lie to himself – very important. A dermatologist takes a close look at the products and processes designed to make a man nice to be near to; and spell out the A-B-Cs of good grooming.

Is your bathroom mirror a location you approach with trepidation each morning for fear of the tale it will tell? Namely, that your appearance could do with a bit of sprucing up?

Well, stop worrying that pimple, and quit reflecting on that bald pate. If you really want to turn over a new look (and women don’t have the monopoly on good looks!) there’s nothing to stop you.

Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty:

HAIR

In dusty cities and other polluted areas, it is a good habit to wash your hair every day. “Daily washing does not ruin the hair,” says Dermatologist. “In fact it is hygienic and makes the head less prone to infection.”

Many men shy away from shampoos believing them to be exclusively a woman’s beauty aid. But, basically, shampoo is for hair and hair has no gender. Shampoos produce lather better than soap and, because the surface tension is less, it makes it easier to clean the hair.

Conditioners break the disulphide bonds of the hair, thus making the hair more manageable and easier to groom. Today, shampoos are available with built-in conditioners, making them a convenient cosmetic aid.

No woman likes a man with a dandruff problem. Dandruff is one of the great put-offs. But, contrary to popular thinking, “dandruff is not a disease,” informs Dermatologist. “It is an accentuated physiological problem. That is, the skin is shed regularly under normal circumstances and when the shedding is excessive it is called dandruff.” Most so-called anti-dandruff shampoos available in the market only wash away the dead cells from the scalp. The exception is selenium sulphide, an ingredient that reduces the turnover or formation of cells, thus retarding, though not curing the problem. The best advice you could follow is to keep the scalp clean by daily washing.

A balding head – every man’s Achilles heel! Quite a few ‘losers’ have turned to minoxidil as a hair restorer. While regular application of minoxidil does sprout fine hair on bald areas of the sclp, as soon as application is ceased, the hair begins to fall off again. Even more important, minoxidil affects the heart, and cardiac problems. Therefore it should be used only under a doctor’s supervision.

Go for a haircut to your neighbourhood saloon and in most cases you will be given a head massage as a perk (sometimes you pay extra). Indeed, the massaging action does perk up blood circulation, but it is mistakenly assumed (and assured by hair-dressers) to also improve hair growth. “That is a myth,” says Dermatologist, “for the growth and life of your hair are determined by your individual genetic pattern.” So, enjoy the relaxing effects of the massage by all means, but don’t expect miracles to sprout above your hairline.

FACE

Now for blood and tears, otherwise known as shaving. Your grandfather probably used soap, but today it is more fashionable to use shaving creams. There are the conventional ones which have to be lathered on with a brush, and there is also the spray variety which spreads foam at the press of a button. Essentially, however, “soap and water would do as well,” argues Dermatologist. Like shaving creams, they simply fulfil the basic requirement of softening the hair for a better shave. The only advantage that a shaving cream has over soap is that it produces a thicker lather which does not drip or dry as quickly a s soap does.

Use a sharp-edged blade while shaving. A dull-edged blade can cause irritation because of the repeated friction on the skin. Stroke with the grain and wash the razor clean after a shave – a dirty razor can cause skin infections. “Fungus on the shaving areas of a man’s face can almost always be traced back to an unclean razor,” says Dermatologist.

After-shaves are big business. They are advertised as a lifestyle. But he main ingredient in all of them is a high concentration of ethyl alcohol. The only differences between one and another lie in the percentage of ethyl alcohol and in the additives used (cologne, lime, musk, etc.) After-shaves are advisable because the ethyl alcohol performs two functions. It is anti-bacterial, meaning it destroys germs and bacteria on the skin’s surface. Secondly it is an astringent, which means that if you nick yourself (rather a common occurrence during shaving), the after-shave will cause coagulation of serum in the cut areas. This seals off the wound, making it impervious to external infection. Finally, an aftershave and when you smell good, you feel good, too.

Coming to skin care, more and more men are going in for facials and related treatments these days. They steam, massage and even bleach their faces at beauty salons. Steaming improves blood circulation because of the warmth, but more important it helps to soften plugs (white and black heads), making them easier to remove. Please note, bleaching cannot change skin colouring because pigmentation goes much deeper. Bleaches only lighten the melanin in the dead layer of the skin which sloughs off within 7-14 days when a new layer forms.

A facial massage, done by expert hands, helps to stimulate and tone those muscles that are not exercised in daily living. But while the massaging action may be beneficial, the oils and creams used as lubricants can form residues on the skin surface and block pores. “I’ve had many cases when the oils used become comedogenic (causing blackheads) and acneigenic (causing acne) after facials.” That is why, if the skin reacts adversely to a massage, it is best avoided.

UNDERARMS, HANDS & FEET

The human body has two sets of sweat glands. The apocrine glands – which lie in the armpits and the genital areas – are the ones that give off odour. The secretion they exude reacts the surface of the skin, releasing what we know as body odour. It is therefore advisable to keep the area clean and dry a much as possible. Since hair provides a retention site for the sweat, the problem can be greatly lessened by shaving off underarm hair.

The other set of sweat glands are the eccrine glands, which lie all over the skin’s surface. Their main function is to control the body’s temperature. When the temperature rises, sweat serves to cool the body surface. The eccrine glands do not produce odour, but if skin areas are allowed to remain moist, fungus can set in.

Are there men who do not suffer from sweaty feet! One good hygiene habit is to wash and dry feet as footwear is taken off. In a hot and humid countries, cotton socks are a better choice than nylon ones. Cotton absorbs the sweat, leaving the feet dry.

Again, because of the sweat, shoes remain moist. Most men use just one pair of shoes for daily wear. Often, the gap between the time a man takes off his shoes and puts them on again is not enough to allow the leather of the shoes to dry. This dampness can lead to fungal infections on the feet. You may never have thought of this before, but it might be a good idea to have at least two pairs of shoes to be used on alternate days.

Keds and sneakers are popular footwear today, but the PVC/rubber soles, as well as the other material used in these shoes generally retain heat. Hence the feet tend to remain moist. If you sweat too much, place cotton wads between your toes. The cotton will absorb the sweat and, by keeping the toes apart from each other, will reduce friction between them.

Broken or dirty finger and toe-mails are an ugly sight. Give yourself a regular manicure to keep your nails trim and clean.

Finally, watch your style! Your lifestyle, that is. Unsightly bags or puffy eyes can be the result of too much partying or too little sleep. Alcohol, cigarettes and drugs can also be to blame.