Shaving Tips for Men with Sensitive Skin

Men with dry or sensitive skin often find shaving a painful and uncomfortable experience. Some skins types are sensitive to certain types of blades, causing razor burn, cuts and nicks. Small scars on the face can create an uneven or bumpy skin surface which can lead to cuts and nicks. Here are some shaving tips for men with sensitive skin:

 

Before You Shave

  • Wet your face and wash up with warm water and a mild facial soap before shaving. This will help soften the hair and open the pores
  • Apply shaving cream or gel to your face. This will help protect your skin from the razor blade.

 

Shaving

  • Use a sharp, clean razor blade. A dull or dirty razor can cause irritation and lead to razor burn.
  • Shave in the direction of hair growth. shaving against the grain can cause irritation.

 

Post - Shave

  • Rinse your face with cold water after shaving to close the pores and soothe the skin.
  • Apply a moisturizer to your face after shaving to keep your skin hydrated.

 

Following these shaving tips can help make the shaving experience more comfortable and prevent razor burn. Men with sensitive skin should also avoid using aftershaves that contain alcohol, as this can further dry out the skin. Instead, choose an aftershave that contains glycerin or witch hazel to help soothe the skin.

shaving should be a relaxing and enjoyable experience, so take the time to find the products and shaving technique that work best for you.

Happy shaving!

 

Photo by Sander Sammy on Unsplash

A Mens Guide to Home Haircuts

Okay, we've all been locked up at home a lot longer than we expected, and we're getting a bit shaggy. When I look at myself in the mirror I see a Sasquatch version of myself that hadn't shown itself since sophomore year in college, which is a sad because I liked that version of me. But times have changed (understatement!) and my unkempt appearance is not out of choice but rather out of circumstance. I could spend some time on YouTube watching home haircutting videos, but that would spoil this glorious opportunity to do something truly memorable and reinvent myself for a while. A chance like this won't come around again for a very long time, if ever. Sure, I could get out the kitchen scissors, cut cut of the tufts of hair above my ears, try and mimic what my regular barber does and use a comb and slice off a nice straight line from the top, but what is the fun in that? And because I believe that home haircuts are here to stay, I think experimentation and practice are the way to start. Soon we'll all be proficient in giving ourselves a passable haircut.

And so, this is my 'not your normal mans guide to cutting you own hair at home while the barber is closed' how to:

1. Don't let your Wife of Girlfriend do it

My wife, and I suspect many women, have been waiting for this moment for a long time. A fairly inconsequential chance to make over their man in their own image, in what version of him they want, at least hair-wise. This is why you can't allow it. They make most of the decisions already, and if they make this one, what is left? This isn't about you caring, because you probably don't care very much what you new hair looks like for your Zoom calls. Plus, you'll be able to go the barber soon anyway to fix whatever mess you make up top. But because home haircuts are here to stay, now is the time to practice, make mistakes, and learn from them.

2. Treat the First go as Practice

So why not get started by doing something really reckless and stupid? Nothing makes a statement like a Joe Strummer-style mohawk, so why not go for it? You can always fix it later. Nothing is forever, and as the saying goes, "The difference between a good haircut and a bad haircut is about 2 weeks."

3. Get Your Supplies Ready

Now that you brimming with consequence-free confidence, you will need some tools of the trade. You will need a comb, a trimmer (your dog shears will work too!), some decent scissors, a mirror and some potentially some booze. Oh, and those layer cutting scissors are also good to have. Home haircuts works much better when your inhibitions are lowered. It is also a good idea to attempt your first try when no one else is home, so your wife, girlfriend, daughter or really anyone can talk you out of it.

4. Go For it.

Start on one side, around your ear and clean-up the hair wings that grow over the course of a month. This is the part of your hairdo that drives the rest. Take off and inch or so, and then move up toward the top of your head. Now do the other side and shake off the hair new trimmed hair so you can see your work so far. Repeat this cycle until you've got an even looking cut. Now, cut the front hairline by your forehead to your desired length. Be a little conservative here in case you screw something up later and need to fix the front again. Finally thin it out with the thinning or layering scissors. It is hard to screw this part up, so don't be afraid to get aggressive here. Most of the time your hair is too thick anyway. Now it's time for the back. This is tricky since it is unlikely you'll be able to see the back of your head in a double-mirror set-up and keep both hands free. If possible, get someone else to do that back, but in the absence of a helper, try and angle the scissors perpendicular to your spine just cut across. Shake off the excess locks, dunk your head in the shower and admire your masterpiece. And don't worry, so one will see you (or care) and two weeks will go by quickly..

 

Photo by Matt Bero on Unsplash

Are Expensive Razor Blades Really Worth It?

At one point or another we've all gone into a pharmacy to buy razor blades and, depending on the store, the neighborhood and the time of day, have been presented with some sort of anti-theft mechanism. Yes, it is s sad reality that razors are now kept under lock and key, bolted to a wireless sensor or behind bullet-proof glass. Or all three. At $30 and up, a six or 10 pack of Gillette Mach 3 blades is now a line item on you monthly budget sheet. How did we get here? Are these fancy blades really worth the money? Do I need special blades for my skin type? Do I even need to shave anymore? The answers, in order, are 1) unlikely, 2) Maybe and 3) probably not.

I remember the old days when shaving was a must. I wore a tie to work every day (except Fridays during the summer! What a perk!), I showered, shaved, put on a pressed shirt and fought my way to work via the NYC subway. Having a clean shaven face was essential to giving off the right image when sitting through client meeting or buttering up you boss. By 7pm, knocking back drink at the local bar with a bit of stubble seemed like the only way. But, youth is wasted on the young. I worked in advertising and was even tasked to research the wet/dry shaver market for a new client pitch, and we ended up winning the business. As a reward for all the hard work, we all got a fancy electric razor that would work in the shower. You lathered up, shaved your face, and then rinsed it in the shower. Voila! It worked sort of, and while quite convenient I never got used to using it. I was told by the client that it took a week or so for 'your face to get used to it.' But my face never got used to it and I stuck with shaving the old fashioned way, with a razor. But I was working at an ad agency, and expensive blades drove me nuts. Sure, they did the best job, and if you combines fancy 3 or 5 blade razors with the right shave cream and after shave, well, it was a glorious thing. But inevitably I would tray and stretch the lifetime of the cartridge and ended up scraping my face with dull blades with the little comfort strip worn down to nothing. I tried different brands - Gillette, Schick, Bic, Wilkinson, etc - but on a per shave basis, it all kind of added up to the same thing. A great shave was pricey, so how much for a 'decent' shave? Enter Dollar Shave Club, Harry's and the era of razor blade clubs and well, for me it ruined shaving altogether.

So here is my advice for surviving and perhaps even winning the blade wars:

1) Look for coupons and discount codes. If you shave a lot and are willing to spend real money on blades, you might as well take advantage of the blade wars and save a little money. But be prepared to deal with cancelling subscriptions and swapping back and forth between brands.

2) Chances are your face is tougher than you think, and a lessor blade will not hurt your skin. Plus, a few days growth between shaves is a good way to get rid of ingrown hairs

3) Invest in an inexpensive trimmer like this one from Conair. You can add life to whatever blade you use by safely using a beard trimmer without an attachement to take your stubble all the way down. Then finish off with a blade.

4) Do the math. if you shave twice a week and can squeeze two uses from a Bic disposable razor, then you're golden. You really don't need to buy expensive Gillette multi-blade cartridges, and you don't need to worry about making sure the cartridge fits the handle. You can get a Bic value pack with 30 razors for about $13.00, which will last 5 to 6 months and equip you with some easy travel options.

Times are hard, don't make your razor purchase decision hard too. Go with the convenience and cost efficiency of disposable razor and you'll forget about the anti-theft, over the top costs of premium cartridges.

 

 

6 Reasons You Need a Great Tuxedo

So, I was invited to fancy black-tie wedding this past Fall in Los Angeles. I hadn’t worn a tux in a while and didn’t even know if I still owned one. But I dug through my closet and found the required supplies: jacket, pants, shirt, cummerbund and ties. I even found a sweet pair of my Dad’s old suspenders that were still functional. I knew my wife wasn’t going to let me show up (with her) in a less than acceptable set of duds to this wedding, so I had the jacket and pants professionally cleaned and the shirt pressed. I tried on my clean tuxedo and evaluated myself in our long mirror on the back of our closet door. Save for some minor pinching in the button of the jacket, it was as good as new. No threadbare spots. No tears. No stains. This tuxedo that had lasted me at least 20 years and dozens of boozy affairs was still serviceable. Plus I was still thin enough to wear it. It got me to thinking about all of the parties and weddings, a nostalgic journey where different women accompanied me to significant events though different times in my life. I dug up some old photos and reminisced about my college friend and fraternity bother Ken’s wedding where I broke out my guitar and serenaded him and his new bride. I thought about another wedding where my friends and I were forced to swim across a Cape Cod harbor back to our hotel at 3am. When we returned the next day to collect our tuxes, there they were, wadded up and stashed in the bushes behind the hotel bar we had closed down. And then there was the unfortunate incident at a particularly over - the - top fundraiser in Connecticut  that involved lots and lots of booze and a trampoline. I split the pants of my beloved tux that night, and yet somehow that repair job from the local tailor had held up. In fact, these pants were stronger now than they were when I got them. And then I thought about when and where I got my tux, and I remembered a little custom shop in Manhattan’s garment district where my father had taken me. My father loved clothes and knew all of the best spots in New York to buy them and have them customized. He was tall and handsome and knew what he liked. I was less so, but now, about his age then, I realized how important it is to have a suit that makes you look good and feel good. Of course renting is still an option, and you can do so here, but there are lots of great reason to consider owning a tux. And so here, without further ado, the six reasons to splurge on a nice, quality tux and take good care of it.

Comfort and Style

Looking and feeling good cannot be over-valued. If you are the sharpest looking man in a room of sharp looking men, then you are the king. And being the king has benefits. You’ll attract the right people, engage them in humor and wit that they will remember, and have fun doing it. Plus, if you play your cards right, the next morning you can sport the classic no tie and open shirt look that Daniel Craig has perfected.

Economics

If you do the math, own a tux and having it last 10 wears will probably be more economical. Renting a tux will run you between $75 and $100 for a night, and then you have to bring it back to the shop. I will never forget returning my own rented tux from my own wedding (As the groom, I had to wear a morning suit) and

Confidence

In life, there are moments where your nerves get the best of you. Maybe you get to meet Tom Brady or Derek Jeter, or maybe it is another moment. But your adrenaline will flow and you’ll feel a pit in your stomach. You will be trying to listen but you’ll be distracted by the nagging feeling that you’re

Accessorizing

Let’s face it, it is 2017 and people like spice up some old norms. Men these days like to try and push the envelope and trot out the rainbow cummerbund, the yellow vest, the t-shirt tux, the tux-with-sneaker look, novelty cufflinks or even the pink suspenders. If you are the kind of man who likes to show off your rebellious side without being too annoying or looking too ridiculous, then a black-tie event will provide you with the opportunity to do so.

Instagram

There will a lot pictures taken at black tie affairs, and they’ll find their way onto social media. The last thing you want is to see a photo and wish you had a better fitting, better looking tuxedo on. Pictured last forever, make sure you are looking your best.

James Bond

As if this needs to be said, there was a reason James Bond had a way with the ladies (and men), and it wasn’t just the martinis and the swagger, it was the tux. He looked so cool and he was cool. My favorite is the scene from Skyfall when Daniel Craig is inside the Macau casino and drinking the martini. He is so fit and his tux is snugly tailored, but he is a million bucks.

For more Men's Lifestyle content please visit ForMen.com, and for automotive content please visit DrivingToday.com

 

Razor Comparison 2017

So, in the old days when shaving was a boring, mundane daily routine that just had to be done and not really thought about too much, scrapes, cuts and razor burn just came with the territory. No one griped about it. But now, with fancy new technology (5 blades!), comfort strips and lubrication gel strips, shaving is more like a men’s home care New Year’s Eve party. And why not? The Men’s personal care industry has exploded in the last 10 years and many of the razor & blade manufacturers, shave and after shave balm makers and skin care players are all chasing market share. Heck, Dollar Shave Club is selling butt wipes for Pete's sake, so clearly there is opportunity for the brands to solidify their loyalties with their base. Proctor & Gamble, Unilever and Edgewell are the big players, but there are upstarts like Harry's who are competing to penetrate the coveted recurring cartridge subscriber. The irony is that despite the massive upgrades in gear, blades, cartridges, shave cream and aftershave lotions, people are shaving a whole lot less. Indeed, many of today’s ad pitchmen are bearded Millennials who apparently feel the need to remind the American public that they don’t have to shave for the jobs they may or may not have. But for now we are going to attempt to break down the question of which blade is best, both from a quality and performance standpoint, and from a cost standpoint.

Our collective jaws dropped last year when we read about Dollar Shave Club being acquired for $1 Billion by Unilever. And then we all scratched our heads when Harry’s went on a PR tour about the blade factory in Germany they bought. And it is worth noting that subscription-based services, like those offered by Dollar Shave Club, Harry’s and now Gillette OnDemand, are less about a quality shave and more about having your credit card on file to charge every month. There is a good reason the Dollar Shave Club founder Michael Dubin made such entertaining commercials: because he wanted your credit card.

Methodology

I did okay in middle school and high school science, and so I know a little bit about the idea of a ‘control’ to perform a proper scientific experiment. So I realized that before I lay out my findings on the increasingly costly modern shave set-ups, that I would lay out the rating systems and methodology so that there are no gray areas of misunderstandings. And, since this article will be published and translated into 5 different languages, I don’t want to offend anyone.

First, to establish a control I decided that each razor would shave three times: 1) the first time on a 72 hour beard, 2) the second time on a 48 hour beard (same blade), and the third time on a 24 hour beard. I wanted to do it this way to see how durable the blade was and how well it held up as its performance deteriorated and to measure the all-important ‘cost-per-awesome-shave metric’ I wanted to introduce. I say this because every man in the world who is reading this has extracted an extra shave or two or three from an old dull razor. And that is usually because he is out of blades, which is likely because they cost so much damn money and he didn’t feel like trading his financial security for a decent shave (this could also could explain why so many men are wearing beards these days.)

Quick sidebar: I was speaking with my father the other day about the 70’s when men his age wore sideburns and mustaches and long hair if they had it as a means of protest and display of civil disobedience. He told me that NOT shaving was never an option back in the day, and that men demonstrated their defiance and civil disobedience via mustached and hippie mullets (see season 1 of HBO’s Vinyl for a visual representation of this). But I didn’t care (and still don’t), but I do care about figuring out the best razor/shave set-up best for you, the reader.

Okay back to the methodology. I selected Jack Black’s Beard Lube as my shave cream/lube because I have used it in the past and I felt like its eucalyptus scent and cooling feel best represented what readers wanted out of a good shave. I also have noticed in my 30 plus years of shaving that I would rather have a slightly less close shave than a painful cut on my face, and that most men (or women) reading this this will agree. Blood is bad, comfort is good. Finally, to make each blade’s performance an apples-to-apples comparison to its competitor, they need to have the same whisker length and whisker toughness.

Gillette

I thought the Mach 3, the Dodge Charger Daytona of razors, was pretty great when it came out in 1995. And shaving with it was about the coolest thing I could have imagined. I never thought they’d get three blades into a cartridge, and then when they got 5 blades into a cartridge I figured the razor blade wars were over.  But those Gillette razor cartridges are not cheap, and still aren’t. A package of 8 new Gillette Fusion replacement blade cartridges goes for between $28 and $32 on Amazon. As usual, this was a great, comfortable shave. The lubrication strip lasted longer than I expected, and the blades stayed sharp through the third shave. The Fusion cartridges also comes with a blade at the top of the cartridge, above the comfort strip, that is great for getting whisker up under your nose.  I also like the design of the head for easy cleaning. Overall, even with Gillette’s new direct subscription option, these blades are pricey.

Dollar Shave Club

Dollar Shave Club has a 6 blade cartridge that sells for $9 per month for four cartridges. I really like this shave, and the blades held up well in three times I used the cartridge. What I didn’t really like is the silly marketing and overly complex pricing and subscription tiers. In general, I don’t like having my credit card getting hit every month for something I may not need. I don’t shave as much as I used to, and I want to buy razors when I need them, not when my razor company wants to charge me. Plus, as with any subscription business, there is the ever present lead generation and free sampling that bothers me.

Harry’s

Harry’s offers a few different options as well, but we used the 5 blade option for this exercise. The packing is nice (blue, orange or green handle), but until shaving gear becomes a fashion statement, then the color of the handle doesn’t and shouldn’t matter. What should matter is how close a shave you get, how many shave you can get get from one cartridge, and what the Cost-per-Awesome- Shave (CPAS) is. I liked this shave, but I noticed the blades wore down at a slightly higher rate then the others. I also felt like the website was clunky and didn’t really boil down the all-in costs of ordering a shipment. In general, anytime there is a shipping costs involved, there is room for padding costs.

Schick

The Schick Hydro came our in 2010 and has earned some respect among face shavers. Without over spending on branding and instead focusing on value and quality, Schick has been able to hold onto precious market share in the US while the Big Three beat each other up with media dollars. The truth is, Schick offers and excellent shave at a decent price, and enjoys brand loyalty not only in the US but around the globe. The Schick Hydro 5 performed very well in our comparison, and at $15 on Amazon for a package of 5 new blades, are priced reasonably.

Bic

Ahh the old standby. One blade, one use, throw away. Easy, no gimmicks, no flash, no commercials and, sadly, not a very comfortable shave. The blade will work fine with a decent shave balm on a 1-day beard, but any real stubble and you are in trouble. This shaving experience fit squarely in the ‘you get what you pay for’ bucket, and most men with a face will want to pay a little more for comfort.

  Comfort Durability Price CPAS*
Dollar SC 3.5 3.5 5.0 3.9
Gillette 5.0 5.0 3.5 4.6
Harry's 3.5 4.0 4.0 3.8
Bic 2.0 2.0 5.0 2.8
Schick 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.0

* We discussed putting in an actual dollar amount in here but given small price fluctuations, shipping, and free shave cream samples, decide to keep it simple and give an overall grade between 1 and 5. We also overweighted 'comfort' in the calculation of CPAS by @2X

 

To summarize, Gillette, Schick, Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s are making shaving a lot less boring and a lot more exciting for most men. But in the end, most men want a good shave (when they have to shave) at a reasonable cost without too many bells and whistles. We preferred Gillette, but as with everything, to each his own.