How to Grow a Beard for the First Time

Odds are you know whether or not if you can grow a real beard by now-so don’t fight nature if you suffer from boy face. But if you can (and would like to) acquire some facial fur, LA-based Baxter Finley barber Christian Olvera has some tips for doing it right. Hit the sweet spot (natural and groomed—not manicured) and a beard will look great with both a beanie and a double-breasted jacket this fall.

  1. Have Patience – “It’ll take most guys about a month to grow out a full beard,” says Olvera. Resist overshaping it in the early days until you can see what you’ve got going on. Do use a trimmer to make sure the hairs are all even in length, though. To calculate the exact amount of time you’ll need, check our handy growth period calculator.
  2. Accept the Itch – New beard hairs can feel like “a cactus poking your skin” says Olvera, but the prickly sensation subsides after a week, so stay tough. “It helps to brush the hair so everything grows in the same direction.” Try one of these ten grooming products—especially the beard softener and beard oil.
  3. Wash – It’s hair, so you need to clean it or dirt can get trapped underneath. Olvera washes his beard in the shower every time he washes his hair, about twice a week. Try a gentle shampoo and conditioner, like those from Chad Michael.
  4. Soften It Up – Hair that’s supple lays flat and won’t scratch your girlfriend. “I use Dude No. 1 Beard Oil for a little bit of shine and to keep my skin underneath moisturized,” says Olvera. If you’re looking for a fuller, thicker beard, you can also try biotin.
  5. Avoid Hard Lines – A beard shouldn’t end at your chin. Someone tell the NFL. Let the hair grow naturally up to about an inch or two above your Adam’s apple, then allow it to fade using a few different settings on a trimmer. In addition to a trimmer, here’s a full list of all the tools you’ll need.
  6. Shape Your Face – Round face? A more square beard can help define your jawline. “Everyone should aim to trim in tighter on the cheeks and leave hair a little longer where a goatee would be,” says Olvera. For inspiration, tips, debunked myths, and more, check out GQ’s modern man’s guide to beards.

Adapted from an article of the same name from GQ.com by contributor Kristen Dold.

The weather outside certainly isn’t what it used to be during July and August, and soon enough, you’re going to be reaching for the thermostat to turn up the heat—if you haven’t already. The trouble is, however, that the warmed-up air streaming out of your vents is very dry, and over the course of the colder months, can sap your follicles of necessary moisture if you’re not careful, leaving them dead and brittle. To prevent that from happening, make sure to condition regularly, with lathers specifically labeled as hydrating. Your locks will thank you later.

Rosemary Mint Conditioner

Chad Michael Rosemary Mint Conditioner, $24.99, amazon.com, is made with peppermint and rosemary oils that leaves your hair and scalp feeling rejuvenated and completely refreshed. It is also made with Jojoba seed and eucalyptus oils to replenish and restore your hair leaving it shiny and smooth bringing out your hair’s natural beauty. It has a light fragrance of Rosemary and Peppermint. Chad Michael hair care products like the Rosemary Mint Conditioner are made without sulfates, parabens, or alcohol and are completely safe to use on color treated hair.

Conditioning hair daily helps protect and moisturize it while soothing rough cuticles – the jagged, shingle-like shells that surround hair shafts. “People have been doing it backwards for years,” says Shorty Maniace, head barber at F.S.C. Barber in New York City. “We should be conditioning every day and using shampoo twice a week instead of the other way around.” Men with curly hair can benefit the most from daily conditioning, since smoothing the cuticles of kinky hair will help prevent that bed-raggled look, he adds. Just wet your hair in the shower, apply a light amount of conditioner, and rinse.

According to Mens-hairstyles.net, “Using the right hair products can make a significant difference to the quality, health and manageability of your hair. However, how many of you have put thought and care into the conditioner you’re using? While some men use their partners, some simply buy the cheapest stuff in the supermarket whilst many other chaps don’t use it at all. Hair conditioner works to smoothen, soften, nourish, hydrate and repair damaged hair from the daily elements and stresses of life such as heat and harsh winds.”

Cowlick

When it comes to having great hair, some guys get all the luck. Blessed with incredible manes—or at least a killer barber—they walk with their heads held high. It’s unfair, really. Because for the rest of us, things aren’t always that easy.

Take, for example, the cowlick. Standing on end at the most inopportune moments, these troublesome, gravity-defying follicles have a way of taking a winning ‘do and tweaking it just so. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, there are concrete ways that you can manage your unruly locks. Here’s a handful of them, in order of how much effort you’re willing to put in.
  • Embrace the Mess – Making the rest of your head look equally as disheveled, you can easily make your wandering strands look intentional as part of the whole picture.
  • Go With the Grain – The easiest way to get rid of a cowlick is to find the direction the hair grows in that area and account for it accordingly.
  • Use Stronger Tools – The best weapon in your arsenal: a blow dryer. If properly handled, it can effectively change the direction a hair points (at least until your next shower). Also, it may be time to invest in a heavy-duty pomade, like Chad Michael Styling Grease, to add a little extra extra hold to the area so it doesn’t come undone as the day progresses. Just apply it when the hair’s dry for best results.
  • Weigh It Down – This can be done a couple of ways. One, you can simply grow your hair out; in time, the mass of the follicle itself will drag it down, effectively treating your errant tuft. However, if you don’t want to change hairstyles entirely, then the simple act of decreasing your shampooing frequency—while increasing conditioner— will allow the hair to increase in weight by building up natural oils, helping to remedy the issue.
  • Consult A Professional – Want to do real, permanent damage against a cowlick? Then get yourself to a barber, stat. Your barber will be able to assess what’s causing it, cut accordingly, and give you tailored advice on how to manage it going forward.

Based on a GQ.com article by.

Should Men Dye Their Gray Hair?

gray hair

There’s a huge gray area when it comes to the topic of, well, going gray, especially among men.

Certain celebrities have owned up to covert coloring — Matt LeBlanc admitted that he dyed his hair the entire time he was on “Friends.” Others, like Anderson Cooper, have embraced the sophisticated status derived from a platinum ‘do. And then there are the “silver foxes” of the world like George Clooney, gray since his 30s, who are proud of their salt-and-pepper hair (and put the gray in GREAT!).

Many men think to themselves, “Why bother?” It tends to look laughably bad when guys continue to color their hair, despite the deep wrinkles carved into their face. Maybe it’s sexist, but men and women weren’t created equal when it comes to pulling off dyed hair.

The Modern Man looked at this issue in great detail and had this to say about what women really think when you dye your hair:

  • You don’t even know what women find attractive about men
  • You lack self confidence
  • You’re not comfortable with yourself
  • You hide behind appearances
  • You’re embarrassed about your age

According to Dan Bacon, a dating and relationship expert, hair dye isn’t the answer to getting women to like you, love you, and want to stay with you for life. To be the man that women want, you need to approach the topic of dying your gray hair in a more authentic way.

Just For Men has an entire range of men’s hair and beard dye, from a full-color cover-up to a line called “Touch of Gray” that only adds a hint of color “for the man who wants the respect that gray hair commands, but wants to show his vitality.” Clearly, there is a debate over whether or not to dye.

Women are not shallow in the ways they are portrayed in TV commercials and will only truly find you attractive if you can be the man they yearn to have by their side. Here are some of the things that women won’t overlook, regardless if your hair is dyed with the latest men’s hair dye, if you are wearing an expensive designer shirt or the latest cologne.

  1. Low self esteem
  2. Mental and emotional weakness
  3. Lack of charisma
  4. Lack of ambitions and an indifferent approach to life

So, to answer my initial question of “Should Men Dye Their Gray Hair?” It really is a personal choice. But the key thing here is that hair dye doesn’t mean you have to live with that color the rest of your life – your hair will continue to grow (hopefully, but if it doesn’t see my other article on balding). Talk to your barber and they can tell you a color that looks natural for you. Give gray blending a in the color your barber suggests and see if it’s right for you. Many of the dyes for men’s hair is semi-permanent, meaning it will wash out before it has a chance of growing out. If you like it get a touch up every few weeks, otherwise, embrace your gray.

How Often Should You Get a Haircut?

One of the most asked question a barber gets is, “How often should I get my haircut?” As a general rule, the length of your hair is the primary factor which determines how often you’ll need to get a haircut to maintain your style as hair generally grows at the rate of half an inch per month (give or take a little depending on the guy).

I think the best groomed guys never really look like they’ve had a fresh haircut. So how often, exactly, should you be heading to the barber? Here’s my rule of thumb:

  • For any style where the shortest part of your hair is less than a half an inch, go in for a haircut at least every two weeks (weekly, if you can afford it).
  • Anything over an inch, add a week for each inch of length.
  • If your hair is four inches long, get a haircut monthly.
  • If the shortest part of your hair is eight inches long, head to the barber every eight weeks.

These are just some general guidelines on how often you should be getting your haircut. Again, I think you should get a haircut as often as your budget will allow and certainly before the haircut has grown to the point that it looks unkempt. I also recommend booking a recurring appointment with your barber and sticking to the schedule so you’ll always look fresh. Maintaining a recurring appointment also eliminates the hassle of trying to find an appointment (and possibly having to wait longer than necessary) every time you need a haircut.

Being a Better Client

Or How to Make Your Barber Not Hate You

 

Being a Better Client

 

It always surprises me that clients sometimes show such disregard for the person who is cutting their hair. They can often run late, be rude or disrespectful, and not fully appreciate the role the barber plays in their lives. Your hair is an important part of your look and self-image, so finding the right person and treating that person well, helps you get the most out of your barbershop visits and get the best haircut possible. The following are tips on how to become your barber’s favorite client.

Be Nice

Even if you are not the best tipper or if you have difficult hair, if you are nice to the person cutting it, that goes a long way. Being behind the chair for eight (or more) hours a day is hard work – it’s difficult on the back, feet, and wrists. You are covered in other people’s hair all day. It can be a pretty tough career, but sometimes that smiling face that walks through the door can make it completely worthwhile.

Know What You Want

It’s important to know what you want before you sit down. Of course, a good barber will help guide you to choose the perfect haircut, but if you’re not sure what you are after in the first place, that can lead to frustration. Once your barber has finished the cut, leave it alone (unless there are obvious errors). It is incredibly frustrating to complete a haircut and have a client say, “Can you take the sides a bit shorter?” Making this kind of adjustment sounds simple, but to take more off the sides or the top often requires more blending and finishing and can almost result in a complete second haircut. Barbers often run a tight appointment book and what they earn is directly tied into how many clients they serve. If you ask for “a little more off,” this adjustment will likely be rushed and the end result will probably not look as polished. Instead of asking for an adjustment, why not say, “this looks great, but next time I think I want to go a little shorter on the sides.”

Put Your Phone Down

Few things are more distracting than having a client talking or texting during a service. Communication with the person who is cutting your hair is critical and you can’t do that effectively if you are on the phone. It is also difficult to cut someone’s hair when they are juggling a mobile phone from ear to ear or looking down trying to send a text. Not only that, but it is disrespectful. Make sure to schedule your appointments at a time when you can relax and give your barber your undivided attention.

Be On Time

As mentioned above, barbers often work on a tight appointment schedule and nothing is more frustrating than waiting on a client who is running late. When a client is late, they often have to rush the haircut in order to run on time for the clients who come after. No barber wants to rush through a haircut (and you probably don’t want them doing that either). Plan your visit to allow enough time to arrive before your appointment begins. Of course, they realize things are often out of your control, so if you are running behind, call and let your barber know. Quite often, they can arrange things on the schedule so they can still accommodate you without upsetting the rest of the schedule.

Tip Well

This goes without saying, but tips are a big part of a barber’s income, so knowing how to tip is important. Like you would tip a waiter, the rule is that you tip more for outstanding service – 15% would be the minimum, but 25% would be the standard if you have received great service. Very few barbers would admit this, but they do give better service to clients they know tip very well.

Most great barbers will give you good service whether you are their favorite client or not, but if you really want that extra time and attention, treating your barber right, knowing what you want, and rewarding them for outstanding service is important.

Adopted from “How to Be Your Barber or Stylists’ Favorite Client” by David Alexander, a Men’s Hair Expert for About.com Style.

Balding, It’s Not The End

balding

We all fear the day when we find our hair clogging the shower drain or our partner points out the light spot at the crown of our head. Balding is one of the most horrifying things a man can endure. But you don’t need to give up all hope and shave it all off and become a Mr. Clean lookalike. Today there are many options available to men with thinning hair to either help slow the loss of follicles as well as reverse the trend.

  • FDA-Approved Hair Loss Treatments. Three options exist in this category: Rogaine, Propecia, and low-level laser therapy. Rogaine can be obtained over-the-counter and must be used for as long as you want gains, becuase if you stop using it all hair that came back or didn’t fall out will be lost. Propecia is a popular option that requires a doctor’s prescription, but can also cause erectile dysfunction (ED). Low-level laser therapy is the new kid on the block and can be done at home or a doctor’s office. Laser therapy takes longer to achieve the same results as topical solutions or medication.
  • Hair restoration surgery. This is a serious option that costs lots of money and can be painful since it involves removing hair plugs from one part of your body to another. Make sure you do your research to find a reputable doctor to avoid odd looking or infected plugs.
  • Hair thickening shampoos. Thickening shampoos and conditioners have ingredients that attach to each individual hair shaft and expand the diameter. This effect multiplied over the entire head can drastically change the appearance of your hair, especially if you just started thinning and still have some hair covering most of your scalp. It will make the thinning hairs that may be on their last legs to also appear thicker. Avalon Organics makes the most popular thickening products used by men.
  • Change your hairstyle. Talk to your barber about your thinning hair and they can suggest some different styles to minimize the appearance of your bald spot. A buzz cut is popular for muscular men, the high and tight is another. Shorter hair goes farther to hiding thinning hair then longer hair which tends to get lay down under its own weight and emphasize any balding areas. Comb overs aren’t fooling anyone.
  • Grow a beard. A beard helps draw the eyes away from your balding head, like Prince William did.

prince william

Above are some of the options that are available to the modern man. But if you take only one thing away from this article, just remember that a comb over like Don Rickles had in the 1970s is not an acceptable option – EVER!

Get The Exact Haircut You Want

Get The Exact Haircut You WantHumans are creatures of habit. Once we find a barber that we like we’ll return to that same barber time and time again. It’s not only because we like the service they provide but also because it helps not having to re-explain your desired style to a new person each time you get your hair cut. A good barber will recognize one of their cuts and what it looks like after growing out after several weeks – they’ll also know what to do to get you back to the original design without much hassle on your part.

But what happens when your usual barber is on vacation or no longer with the shop? Your instinct may be to put off the cut until they return, but then you remember you have that important meeting at work tomorrow or a first date on Friday night and you cannot put off your cut any longer. You sit in another barber’s chair and hope they don’t screw your look up. That is a legitimate concern, but with a little due diligence on your end you can convey the necessary information to the other barber to get the same cut you always have.

The easiest thing you can do is to bring a picture or selfie of yourself that shows your last cut when it was still fresh. This is a perfect way to show the new barber what you are going after. Or did you copy your look from a celebrity picture you found in a magazine? Bring in that snip-it of the picture to show the barber. They should know how to apply the same cut to your hair type.

The barber may ask some follow-up questions like, “how long do you want your sideburns”, or “do you prefer the back to be tapered, rounded, or squared?” Knowing these details will insure that you get the cut and style you want. Saying “whatever you think looks best” maybe different than what your normal barber prefers and you run the risk of getting something you don’t like as much. Pay attention to these details and if you don’t know – ASK!

Often the final question your barber will ask before they snap off the cape is “what product do you use?” This question is important because it’s often followed by a tutorial on how to properly style your freshly snipped hair. Meaning that, if you aren’t honest, you’re going to have to blindly figure it out on your own the next time you’re getting ready.

Hair Obsession

Hair Obsession

When we think of someone fussing over their hair, using the right products, getting the right cut, and styling it the right way – we tend to think of women as the typical culprits. However, the last several years has seen the trend of fussing over ones hair move from a typical female concern to that of a man’s obsession. More and more men are swapping time looking up their favorite sports stats at lunchtime and opting to look for a better styling pomade or conditioning treatment for their hair’s needs.

An Equire.com article cites that “2015 is the first year that there has been more interest in men’s hair than women’s hair on Google (by around 6%).” The market for men’s hair care is rapidly expanding. More on the Google report can be found here. Esquire reports that the influx of interest for men’s styling trends started with the dawn of the “man bun” by the same folks that brought the beard back into fashion – like Jared Leto, Harry Styles, and Leonardo DiCaprio. Esquire goes on to talk about another trend, specifically for the West coast, albeit more slow-and-steady than the man bun: the comb-over, which it seems to be Californian’s preferred term for the standard side part.

The Wall Street Journal reported that more and more young men are obsessed with their hair. The Wall Street Journal article also cited the Google Grooming Report that Esquire cited.

“This generation of men—on all aspects of how they are taking care of themselves—is caring much more than previous generations,” says Rob Candelino, vice president of marketing for hair care at Unilever, whose brands include Axe, Dove Men+Care and Suave.

Men’s shampoos and conditioners, along with styling gels, creams, and waxes, are driving growth of men’s personal-care products. More than half of men purchased a hair-styling product in the past 12 months, according to a January 2016 report on a survey of 963 adult men by market-research firm Mintel. Nearly three-quarters of men in the 18-to-34 age range made such a purchase.

An interesting point statistic that the Wall Street Journal article also brought up was that many of the newly obsessed young men don’t like to browse drugstore aisles and prefer to go to professional hair salons to buy their styling products. The article did make any assumptions as to why this is occurring, but it suggests that men want quality over cost – or is it that they don’t want to be caught spending too much time in the hair care aisle by someone they know…

 

pomade

Are you a fan of the latest hairstyles like pompadours, undercuts, quiffs, or the ducktail? Then pomade is exactly what you need for that look. Shun all your gels, waxes, and hairsprays and use pomade to have a great hairstyle.

A pomade, such as Chad Michael Styling Grease, keeps your hair from getting really stiff, which allows you to restyle your hair as needed. It offers a medium to strong hold and is gentle on your hair.

Chad Michael Styling Grease is a water based pomade and is extremely easy to wash out just like gels. You just have to rinse it once and you can get rid of it without using high detergent shampoo that could damage your hair.

Applying just a small amount of this pomade will make your hair stay the way you style it for an entire day. If you apply it on dry hair, it tends to give a stronger holding power than when it is used on damp hair. However, using a little water you can keep restyling your hair the entire day. This means that even if it rains and your hair gets a little wet, your hair will remain the same as you style after it dries.

Who doesn’t like shiny hair? Most pomades makes your hair look like you just dipped your head in oil, so it can be a little repelling for some. The shine is according to the amount you apply on your hair and easily washes out unlike other pomades.  The Chad Michael Styling Clay is a product for you that makes your hair look natural and healthy with a matte finish.

This was a short overview of Chad Michael’s Styling Grease, however the Chad Michael line also includes a gel, cream, and clay for different hair types and styling needs. Buy one today to rock the coolest hairstyle of your time and the time to come – available on Amazon.com and Chad Michael’s own website.