To Grow a Beard or Go Clean-Shaven? The Pro Clean-Shave Thought

Beards have been very popular lately, enough for someone to coin the term “lumbersexual.” As far as terms go, “lumbersexual” isn’t quite as bad as “man bun,” but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still cringe-worthy. It shouldn’t be surprising, though, that facial hair has made a comeback. After the horrible things that happened to men’s fashion in the late ’90s and early 2000s, an over-correction was bound to occur.

In an attempt to get away from the pedicures and tight pink shirts of the “metrosexual” era, urban men moved way too far in the other direction, chasing a masculine aesthetic from a time when men were men and the infant mortality rate was through the roof.

The recent trend may have been one of growing facial hair in an attempt to emphasize your masculinity, but you may actually be better off going clean-shaven.

First, while popular culture has embraced beards on men, the business world is much less progressive. Yes, there are some office environments where facial hair is commonplace and an employee won’t stand out if he decides to grow one, but in general, the business world is a more conservative environment than Hollywood or the fashion industry.

There’s also limited evidence to support the idea that men who interview for jobs with beards get hired less often than men who interview clean-shaven. It could be that interviewers view clean-shaven men as less lazy for being willing to shave beforehand, but displaying a willingness to conform to traditional expectations is also probably part of it as well. Either way, if you’re interviewing for a job, it’s probably worth shaving.

Business executives also tend to be clean-shaven, indicating that you may limit your ability to move up in your company if you hold off on shaving.

From a dating perspective, you’re also likely better off with a clean-shaven face than with a beard. In the same way that well-done classic hairstyles for women are going to attract far more men than flash-in-the-pan trends like shaving the sides of their heads, following the beard trend may only work for you while beards are still popular. Barring certain trends, women have been shown to find clean-shaven men the most attractive.

There’s also the problem that comes with a trend becoming so popular that it feels like everyone is following it. The more common an attractive trait becomes, the less attractive it becomes, as well. A few years ago, men with beards were much more rare than they are today, leading the way for women who were frustrated with boyfriends who kept stealing their favorite honey apricot lavender moisturize to find those few bearded men exceptionally attractive.

Now, though, many social circles are inundated with beards, mustaches, and a few days worth of scruff. Growing a beard isn’t nearly as unique or rare anymore, which means you have to grow an even bushier beard or bigger mustache. The alternative, of course, is to stand out in the sea of beards by rocking the clean-shaven look.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with keeping your beard if you like it and want to do so, but at the same time, there are quite a few compelling reasons to do so. So what do you think? Is it time to embrace the clean-shaven look?

To Grow a Beard or Go Clean-Shaven? The Pro Beard Thought

Chances are, in this day and age, you have been contemplating growing out your beard. Many men think about doing this, but few are brave enough to do it. For those who do, they end up being very happy with their choice to give in and grow the beard. It may not be easy, but if you make it through the journey it will be worth it. Are you still on the edge? Below are a few reasons why you should take the plunge and join the bearded family.

For starters, it’s something brand new! Beards are a great way to switch up your appearance and add freshness to your look. Beards are an easy, as well as inexpensive, way to give your face a brand new makeover. Men can choose from a variety of different styles and ways to grow out their beards. Consult a barber to find out which beard shape will work for your face. If this is the first time you are growing a beard, the short length full beard is recommended.

Second, women love beards. Looks don’t mean everything, but having a beard has been proven to grab the attention of the ladies. Many bearded men will tell you that they saw an uptick in successful dates once they made the decision to grow a beard. The millennial generation has especially been known to appreciate a good beard. If you look at any major fashion line, or trendy gentleman’s website, you will notice that men with beards are pictured more than not.

This may come as a surprise, but there have been health benefits found in growing out your beard. Beards are known to trap allergens and keep them from entering your airway in the same way your nose hair does. This may sound out of the box, but if you suffer from allergies, this may be a helpful solution. You can also get extra protection from the rays of the sun, which will lower your chance of skin cancer. This may not be the main reason to grow out your beard, but it is an added benefit.

A beard adds to your look in many different ways, but most of all it adds to your masculinity. Beards have also been known to make men look smarter (according to their women counterparts). Studies have shown that men in the workplace with beards are perceived have more authority and knowledge in their workplace.

If you are now sold on the idea of growing a beard, now is the time to start! The next time you pick up a razor, think about all of the benefits a beard could add to your life. In order to start your beard, make sure you start with a fresh shave. In order to grow your beard faster, many beard experts suggest exercising, raising your vitamin D levels (by taking supplements or getting some sun). Once you have a substantial amount of hair grown, take a trip to your local barber shop to get a nice trim and consultation on next steps for your beard.

Grooming on the Go – Part II

We had discussed some tips for grooming while traveling in the previous post, now we are going to go further with a few more tips. It is essential to keep up any grooming habits you had at home while you are seeing the world. It will keep up your appearance in foreign places, as well as make you feel better all around. Now, on to some more guidelines!

When staying at a hotel or guesthouse, you may not feel comfortable shaving, or your back-to-back meetings may not spare enough time to do it correctly. Your shower time is a good opportunity to shave without skipping part of the process. The prep work is just as vital as when shaving your face. Start by warming your body in the shower and cleaning up thoroughly down there. If you are a hairy type, use shampoo.

A warm skin minimizes shaving incidents because it provides a closer shave. If you begin the shave without taming the mane, you will expose yourself to irritation and razor burns. Trying to work your razor among long hair can cause nasty cuts. Don’t forget to do a pre-shave for every part of the body that will face the blade later. You can trim them using a clipper after warming up then proceed with the razor. Regardless of your accommodations while traveling, you can make the most of the circumstances and ensure your grooming doesn’t suffer.

Hydration is a huge part of a great shave. Dry skin is likely to cause burns when it comes into contact with a sharp razor. When traveling, you may not have the luxury to moisturize your body properly to prepare it for man-scaping. Increase your water intake to compensate. Depending on your type of trip, your days may be filled with all sorts of activities. All that sweating will deplete your body fluids faster than you can replace them.

Of course, the climate present will matter also. Gauge the environment you will interact with in advance. Will your face be exposed to a lot of germs? In some instances, a simple wash with soap may be sufficient, but in others, you may have to use antiseptic to scrub off the dirt. Say, for instance, you are traveling to supervise a construction site. When shaving, you will need a thorough wash.

Good grooming is for more than just your appearance; it is for your health. A shave rids the body of bacteria and other germs that may be hiding in all that hair. Shaving for most men is a ritual- you have to use the right products, techniques, and preparations. When traveling, though it may be necessary to compromise on some of these norms. However, never forget to carry the appropriate products and tools on your travel; they make all the difference.

And there we have it, fellas. Now you should be prepared and understand what to do when traveling and seeing the world as a well-groomed man. Enjoy yourselves, and stay groomin’.

Grooming on the Go – Part I

Men are realizing the need to take care of the bodies, and that includes good grooming. Man-scaping has become a popular term, and it refers to body shaving, particularly the pubic area. Shaving the groin region may not be a favorite part of your weekly body care activities, but it needs to be done. Keeping it clean “down there” is not just healthy; it complements your personality during intimacy. The general cosmetic appearance of the private region matters to a lot of women, and a clean-shaven body highlights your best features. Traveling is one activity that can derail your grooming efforts, but only if you let it.

A little stubble occasionally may not be a problem, but when you are meeting new people, especially from another region, you want to leave an impression. Good grooming on your travels also ensures you stay fresh. Man-scaping while on the road may not be very easy, particularly when you don’t have the right tools with you. For a man who travels constantly, knowing a few tricks can help with your personal cleanup routine.

The devices you use for shaving will influence the results you get. Invest in a superior quality kit to avoid burns and rashes. Know your type of hair and the kind of scissors and razor it needs. If your budget allows it, you can buy a separate travel kit, so there is always one for the road. Otherwise, ensure that the shaving kit is the first in your suitcase. Never make the mistake of improvising.

For one, the razors and clippers you use to clean up the groin should never touch any other part of your body, as Men’s Health Magazine advises. The bacteria in your pubic region are different from any other of the body, and you want to avoid transferring them. So, while on your business trip, don’t think that you can get away with using the scissors for your head on the groin area. You may end up with irritation, burns, and rashes. Given the strict airline regulations on what you can carry, check first which tools will make it past security, such as electric and disposable razors.

The lotions, aftershave, and creams you use when shaving matter a great deal. Again, airline restrictions make it difficult to carry your preferred grooming products. However, small containers can make it through baggage check but consult the airline you are using first. You can transfer a little bit of everything you need into small containers to suit the regulations. If you have been manscaping for a long time, then you already have specific products as part of your grooming essentials. Make sure these come along.

Don’t risk switching products while traveling, especially for someone with sensitive skin. Even though your trip may force some compromises, don’t let your skin suffer because of it. For this reason, find more than one brand that works for your body; if possible, an international one. The point is to have a backup product you can turn to in a foreign country if the main/usual one is unavailable. Shaving products will be part of your man-scaping for a long while, probably your whole life, so choose wisely. Read reviews before deciding on the right shaving kit.

 

Trim Down Those Nose Hairs

Nose hairs can be unsightly, but unfortunately, we need them. Individuals who do not have a lot of nose hair actually are at a higher risk of developing asthma during their life. Plucking nose hair is not a good idea, but using a nose trimmer is a great way to ensure that those unsightly whiskers do not grow past the edge of the nostril. This guide will walk through what to look for when purchasing a new nose trimmer.

Another important consideration to make concerns the size of the nose trimmer. Not everyone will be taking this device on trips with them, so the portability of the unit may not be as important to them, but for some, it may need to fit into a small space inside of a suitcase. The other reason that size is important is because no one wants to trim their nose hairs with a big bulky tool that makes it twice as difficult to trim the hair.

Compact design allows for easy storage as well. In fact, most nose hair trimmers can easily fit inside of a medicine cabinet. Trimmers for nose hairs do come in a number of shapes and sizes, so make sure to find one that is easy to grip, especially if it is a waterproof device that will be used in the tub.

The first consideration to make when purchasing a new nose hair trimmer is the type of trimmer head that is needed. There are three common trimmer head options available today:

  • The Rotary Trimmer: This is the most popular option of the three types. It features a small, stubby tip that is simple to get into the tip of a nose or an ear and trim the hair. The tip is not long enough to reach too far into the nose, which means that it is nearly impossible to be injured while using the device. Under the tip, there are two razor blades that trim the hair.
  • The Foil Guard Trimmer: This device is designed just like a foil guard razor, but the bladed edge is sideways so that it can easily trim hairs inside of the nose. The blade of this unit is located under the guard for additional protection.
  • The Side Action Trimmer: This is a trimmer that is positioned on the back of a beard trimmer. It is convenient for those who want a two-in- one device, but this type of trimmer is not often designed as a dedicated nose trimmer.

Some nose hair trimmers are designed to be plugged into an outlet, while others run on battery power alone. Most of the ones that require batteries utilize AA or AAA batteries to function. Unfortunately, these devices also tend to use the batteries quickly, so having a spare or two on hand could be beneficial.

When searching for a nose trimmer, one of the things that are important to consider is how easy the device is to clean. Some trimmers may be difficult to trim when longer hair is involved, so if that will be a concern, make sure to take it into consideration.

Some nose trimmers are waterproof, which means that they can be rinsed out with water when they need to be cleaned, but others take a bit more effort. In fact, if the trimmer is not waterproof, the head and the blade will need to be removed to be cleaned properly. Fortunately, cleaning brushes are included to make the job simpler.

Plucking your nose hair is not sanitary; in fact, plucking the hair from your nostrils can lead to infection. This is why a nose trimmer that leaves a bit of hair inside your nostrils for protection is a great tool to own. Hopefully, this guide has helped single out the features to look for before making a purchase.

Why Should You Regularly Cut Your Hair

Whether you are looking to grow your hair our or wanting to keep your look sharp and well-groomed, you need to know how important it is to get regular haircuts. We recommend getting a trim at least once ever two to three months, sometimes less if you have been blessed with fast growing follicles. Having a haircut on a regular basis will help prevent damaged, tired and flat looking hair. The longest part of your hair is the oldest, it takes the brunt of any heat or chemical damage and can often leave your hair looking lifeless. Check out are top reasons for the importance of a regular haircut.

For starters, your hair will look and feel healthier! Healthy hair is easier to manage and that is a fact! The time that you currently spend styling your hair will be slashed with regular trims, leaving more time on grooming that beard.

Do you want people to look at your hair and think it looks rough and unkempt? Damaged hair can look like that. Your hair gets damaged over time from heat, sun, sea and chemicals, which in turn lead to split ends and damage. To help overcome this and protect your hair: always use the right heat protecting products and home hair treatments, your barber or stylist can you help out with this. Less split ends will keep your hair healthier and looking great.

Want your hair to look thicker and not like you are thinning out? If you are one of the unlucky guys who have thinning or receding hair, then regular trims could be the solution for you. Believe it or not but cutting off those wispy ends could trick people in thinking that your hair is thicker than it actually is.

It’s good to maintain a shape and style to your hair. The one accessory that you can’t change every day is your hair, if it doesn’t suit your face shape then you probably won’t feel as confident as you should. Regular trims will allow for better styling, we aren’t saying that you shouldn’t try new styles but always run the idea past your barber (and don’t change your mind mid trim).

There are a few other things you can do to ensure your hair is looking great at all times. Keep your hair clean, nutritional and full of natural oils with the use high quality shampoos, conditioners and treatments. If you want to keep that fresh barbershop look, make sure that you are using sulphate and parabin free products as they won’t dry your hair out.

We have said it before and we will say it again, always be honest with your barber or stylist and ask for hair care advice. These guys are the experts and deal with different shapes, styles, textures and colours every day. The best way to achieve a salon style look is to invest in some salon products, don’t be frugal when it comes to hair care as once it’s gone, it’s gone.

Caring for the Skin Under the Beard

As we get closer to fall, we get closer to the cooler weather and beard season. Now, we have talked about how to care for a beard before, and spoken on keeping your skin healthy, but what about both? You know how important general maintenance is in keeping your beard looking and feeling its best. However, it’s just as important to practice good skin care, as it can prevent some common (yet avoidable) issues, such as rashes, itchiness, ingrown hairs, as well as skin irritation. Another issue than can arise from inadequate skin care is an infection called folliculitis, which usually occurs in areas on the skin where the hair follicles have been damaged by shaving. Good grooming practices, such as the ones listed below, will keep all of these issues at bay while keeping both your beard and skin happy and healthy:

In the beginning stages of growing out a beard (or even just stubble), applying conditioner is absolutely key to keeping your skin free of dry patches, itchiness and redness. The hair on your face is not the same as the one on your head, so it’s a good idea to get a separate conditioner meant just for beards with nourishing oils. Use it in the shower, make sure to rinse well, and avoid this common beginner mistake. Your beard and skin will love you. With cooler temps comes dryer skin, and then you’ll be experiencing the terrifying “beard itch.” For those of you that have experienced it, you know how awful it can be.

This is a must if you want to keep the skin under your beard free of dry skin that can turn into flakes or dandruff – a look no-one wants. Exfoliating your beard means rigorously massaging it and the skin beneath with a facial cleanser to remove dead skin cells and allow your skin to breathe in fresh air. Instead of mistakenly focusing on anti-dandruff shampoos and conditioners that just deal with the symptom, exfoliate in order to focus on the root cause itself. You will be flake free in no time.

You read that right. Facials are for everyone – men or women. Men with beards frequently adopt this technique in order to keep their beards and skin, moisturized, hydrated and free of preventable issues. You can opt to get them done (at home or professionally) once a month or more, depending on your needs. Regardless of the method and frequency you choose, your skin and beard will stay nourished and happy.

So while beards will continue to rise in popularity, a well-groomed beard that takes your skin into account is what you should really be striving for. Your beard will remain healthy and full, and you can reduce common skin issues such as inflammation, itchiness, dry flakes, or even infections. Incorporate the 2-in-1 tips mentioned above and soon your beard will be the envy of the town!

What do you learn in Barber School?

A barber education doesn’t only equip you to get a job in a barber shop or salon but also enables you to actually open your own business! It is a highly entrepreneurial career and attending barber school will certainly teach you with the concepts and skills you need to become a barber and a business owner. In a typical barbering program, instructors will introduce you to haircutting and styling tools and techniques and shampooing techniques. You will also learn how to shave and strop and do permanent waves and chemical hair relaxing procedures. Students are also taught how to color and tint hair.

Aside from the actual art and science of barbering, you will also learn sanitation and safety practices, the laws of the state governing the practice of barbering and business skills that are important in running a barbershop. Business ethics, management and providing great customer service are topics that will be covered in barber school.

Barber school doesn’t require a lot of time investment. Most barbering programs take anywhere from 10 to 15 months to finish depending on the number of class hours that students are required to complete. The number of hours that a barbering certificate or diploma program required in a barber school depends on the number of hours that the state requires for students to become eligible to get the licensing test. Normally, this takes anywhere from 1,250 to 2,000 hours.

At Texas Barber Colleges and Hairstyling Schools, an undergraduate certificate in barbering is awarded to a student who has completed 1,500 clock hours. Students are required to clock in and clock out whenever they go to school unlike in other schools which use credit hours as the basis for completing a program. The program is designed to be completed in 53 weeks.

At Prestige Barber College in Greensboro, North Carolina, meanwhile, their fulltime program takes anywhere from 10 to 12 months to finish. It requires 1,528 hours with the student attending 30 to 40 hours a week. If you want to enroll part-time, it will take you longer to finish the course. Since you’ll be spending 20 to 30 hours a week in school, you’ll be able to finish your education after 15 to 18 months.

Aside from certificate or diploma programs in barbering, there are also some colleges that offer an associate of applied science in barbering programs. The main difference between these courses is that in an associate program, the student has to meet general education requirements. At Central Carolina Community College, the program can be completed in four semesters if the student enrolls in the day program while evening program students will be able to finish it in ten semesters.

At the Northern New Mexico College, meanwhile, students will be awarded an associate of applied science in barbering degree after finishing 60 credit hours. The barbering program itself is 41 hours. The student will take 19 hours of general education courses in communication, humanities, math/computers/lab sciences, social/behavioral sciences and health, physical education and recreation.

For Arkansas, where Arkansas College of Barbering & Hair Design is located, one must complete at least 1,500 hours of schooling and training before looking to get licensed.

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A Bit of Background on Barbershops

Have you ever wondered a bit about the history of barbering and what it was like back in the day? Got a little information here to give you a bit of an idea on barbershops and barbers in the last century and a half.

The 1880s to the 1940s were the golden age for barbershops. During this time, men socialized in all-male hangouts, and barbershops rivaled saloons in popularity. Visiting the barbershop was a weekly, and sometimes daily habit. Men would stop in not only for a haircut and a shave, but also to fraternize with friends and talk for hours on end.

During this golden age, barbershops were classy places with often stunning surroundings. Marble counters were lined with colorful glass-blown tonic bottles. The barber chairs were elaborately carved from oak and walnut, and fitted with fine leather upholstery. Everything from the shaving mugs to the advertising signs were rendered with an artistic flourish. The best shops even had crystal chandeliers hanging from fresco painted ceilings.

Despite this level of luxury, barbershops were homey and inviting. A memorable and heavenly man aroma filled the air. The smell of cherry, wintergreen, apple, and butternut flavored pipe and tobacco smoke mixed with the scent of hair tonics, pomades, oils, and neck powders. These aromas became ingrained in the wood and every cranny of the shop. The moment a man stepped inside, he was enveloped in the warm and welcoming familiarity. He was immediately able to relax, and as soon as the hot lather hit his face, his cares would simply melt away.

Sadly, all golden ages end. The first blow to barbershops came in 1904 when Gillette began mass marketing the safety razor. Their advertisements touted the razor as more economical and convenient than visiting the barbershop. The use of safety razors caught on, and during World War I, the US government issued them along with straight razors to the troops. Having compared the two razors side by side, upon returning home from the front many soldiers discarded both the straight razor and their frequent trips to the barbershop. Going to the barber for a shave became a special occasion instead of a regular habit.

In the decades after WWI, several other factors combined to weaken the place of the barbershop in society. Companies like Sears began selling at-home haircutting kits, and mom began cutting the boy’s hair. Then the great depression came around, and people cut back on discretionary spending like barber shaves. The loss of male lives in the two World Wars and Korean wars also shrunk barbers’ pool of clients. Then in the 1960s Beatle-mania and the hippie culture seized the country, and hairstyles began to change. Men started to grow their hair longer and shaggier, and their visits to the barber became infrequent or non-existent.

Even when short hair came back into style during the 1980s, men did not return en masse to the barbershop. Instead, a new type of hairdresser siphoned off the barbers’ former customers: the unisex salon. Places like “SuperCuts” which were neither beauty salons nor barbershops, catered to both men and women. Many states’ licensing boards accelerated this trend by ceasing to issue barber licenses altogether and instead issuing a unisex “cosmetologist” license to all those seeking to enter the hair cutting profession.

Nowadays, barbershops are becoming a homely place once again, and there are reasons to visit the barbershop once more.

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Finding the Perfect Cut

You’re approaching your graduation from high school, or you are newly graduated, even. You’ve decided you want to be a barber, and done all the research on the career field. Now comes deciding what to do for school. Choosing a barber school involves making an educational decision that will prepare the student for a successful career. The best school will provide a good foundation for the future by bringing a passion for barbering to life and fueling it with the proper education. Barbers mainly cut men’s hair, but some have a client base that includes women and children. Barbers can either work in a barber shop or in their own salon, and the average barber earns between $15,000 and $30,000 US Dollars (USD) per year.

The two main focuses of barber school are to provide the job skills necessary to succeed in the barbering industry and to prepare the students for tests and licenses. A barber school will typically focus on one of these two goals. To provide necessary job skills, a barbering program can either enhance basic skills already known by students or begin from scratch. In schools that are designed to prepare students for tests and licenses, the curriculum is catered toward the regulations for passing the state board examination, which will allow the student to obtain a license.

Before a student chooses a barber school, he or she should consider individual goals and basic knowledge of the field. A barber student should weigh how much theory he or she knows with how much practice will be needed. When looking at barber schools, each school’s curriculum and practical training methods should be explored. The laws of the state where the barber intends to work should be understood because most states require a cosmetology license to become a barber, but some grant a specific barbering license.

Additional factors to consider when choosing a barber school include whether or not the school is accredited by professional barber organizations, how closely the school fits the student’s background, how much of the student’s current knowledge in the field will be put to use, whether or not credits will transfer if the student has already had some related education, how rigid or flexible the curriculum is and how much fieldwork will be part of the program. Other factors involved in the decision include location, cost and times that classes are offered. All of these things must be juggled with the student’s current lifestyle and commitments. Most barber school programs range from nine to 24 months and cost between $6,500 and $10,000 USD per year.

Barber schools teach students how to cut and style hair, treat hair with chemicals, shave and trim facial hair, apply hair and scalp treatments, recognize skin diseases, use barbering instruments, follow sanitary procedures and learn the sciences of chemistry, anatomy and physiology. After the education is completed, a barber student is required to take a written and sometimes oral examination. Most states require barbers to take continuing education hours for additional training each year.

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