The Rush Guide to Male Grooming
The men’s grooming industry is booming; by 2020, it’s estimated that it’ll be worth $60.7 bn (over £47 billion) worldwide. Today, brow waxes and facials aren’t just for the ladies; men everywhere are becoming increasingly knowledgeable about beauty (and finding out what a little manscaping can do for their confidence).
Here at Rush, we’re all about making people feel confident in their own skin. So, whether you’re a first time manscaper or a veteran brow-tamer, get to grips with all things male grooming. No matter how dedicated (or not) you might be, we’ve got your routine covered.
Men’s Hair Care
However short or long your hair is, maintaining its strength, elasticity and shine is key. Just as you keep fit and eat well to keep your body healthy, you need to do a few things to ensure your hair stays healthy too.
- Since we’re on the subject, eating a balanced, nutrient rich diet and staying hydrated is just as important for your hair health as it is for your physical health. In actuality, the health of your hair is generally a reflection of the overall health of your body; after all, you are what you eat.
- Drying hair incorrectly is one of the main causes of damage to men’s hair. Hair becomes weaker when it’s wet, and when it’s rubbed with a towel, the friction causes breakage (which happens much more easily when the hair is in a weakened state). Always pat your hair dry, rather than rubbing it with a towel; when blow-drying it, apply a heat protecting spray to your hair first.
- Avoid over-washing your hair. You’ve probably heard it before, but it bears repeating: don’t wash your hair every day. Shampooing strips the hair of its natural oils, which can leave it dry and damaged.
- Keep your hair (and scalp) moisturised by applying a conditioner twice a week. If you have long hair, you should condition after every shampoo; the longer your hair, the more easily the tips become dry and damaged.
- Look after your scalp, because healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp. Don’t shampoo and condition with water that’s too hot, and turn down the heat on your hairdryer; if your scalp feels dry and itchy, use a deep conditioning treatment to replenish moisture. Additionally, weekly exfoliating treatments will remove the dead skin cells and dirt that causes build-up on the scalp.
- Use the right products for your hair. It’s important to use the right styling products for your hair type and texture. If you have coarse hair strands or plenty of hair (i.e. thick hair), pomades and waxes are a great way to create a matte, messy texture. If your hair stands are fine, or your hair is thin (meaning there’s less density between the hair follicles), then you should use lighter products; apply a sea salt or texturizing spray to towel-dried hair before blow-drying to add volume and texture, then style with a matte hair clay to finish.
- Another thing to remember, is that a little goes a long way when it comes to styling products; too much of it weighs the hair down and can make it look greasy.
- Keep it trimmed. You may be wondering; how often should I get my hair cut? In truth, it usually depends on the style and how quickly your hair actually grows; ultimately, you know your own hair best. Typically, men’s hair needs trimming every 3-6 weeks, but this can vary. If your cut is starting to feel unmanageable, or if your hair has become damaged, book an appointment to get it cut with your stylist.
Men’s Hair Loss
It’s common for men to lose some of their hair as they age. The majority of men have experienced hair loss to some degree by the age of 30, and male pattern baldness affects about 50% of men by the time they’re 50.
If your hair is thinning, you should go for a shorter cut that’s tighter on the sides; by cutting off any wispy ends and reducing the length, you’ll balance out the length on top and make the hair look thicker. You should also use matte products on your hair, since these absorb light to create the illusion of fullness.
Men’s Skin Care
Your skin care regimen doesn’t need to be complicated. Whilst a monthly facial will certainly leave you looking refreshed, you’re not going to get much out of one unless your daily routine is in order.
Before buying the cheapest bottle of whatever from your local supermarket, it’s worth thinking about your skin type. Do you have oily or combination skin, or is it more on the dry side? Is it sensitive (do you suffer from skin irritation or blotchiness), or are you looking to tackle the signs of aging? Once you’ve ascertained which skin care products are going to work for you, you can then kick-start your routine to get a softer and smoother face.
1: Cleanse twice a day
Gently cleanse your skin (with a facial wash – put down that soap or shower gel!) when you get up in the morning, and again just before you go to bed. Cleansing is an essential part of any good skin care routine; it removes any excess dirt and oil to keep blemishes at bay, and will leave you feeling refreshed each day. What’s more, using a specially formulated cleanser won’t strip your skin of moisture (unlike soap). After rubbing on your cleanser, rinse it off with warm water; finish by splashing your face with cold water to close your pores. Pat your face dry with a clean, dry towel.
You always need to cleanse first, before using any other products on your skin; if you don’t, you’ll limit the effectiveness of a moisturiser, exfoliant or mask.
2: Exfoliate twice weekly
Exfoliating helps to remove any dry, dead skin cells which can clog pores and cause breakouts. Secondly, regularly exfoliating your skin will reveal the healthy skin cells underneath, to leave you with a brighter complexion – and minimise fine lines and wrinkles. Exfoliating can even improve your morning shave. You see, those pesky dead skin cells don’t just affect your pores; they cause matted hairs and obstacles for your razor too. Remove these, and you’ll benefit from a closer, cleaner shave.
Scrub your face twice a week with an exfoliating sponge or face wash; always do this after you’ve cleansed your face, and avoid over-exfoliating to avoid irritation.
3: Moisturise twice a day
After cleansing and exfoliating, it’s time to hydrate your skin with a moisturising cream. Moisturisers work to hydrate, soothe and protect the skin. They create a shield against everyday toxins (like smoke or pollution) that can wreak havoc on your complexion.
You don’t need to use a huge amount of moisturiser; slathering on any more than a hazelnut-sized dollop will just leave your skin feeling greasy. Always use one that’s designed for the face, as body moisturisers are too heavy to use. Apply a sensible amount of moisturiser to your face in the morning (to hydrate your skin after losing moisture during sleep), and again before you go to bed (to help your cells soak up moisture overnight).
4: Protect your skin: always use SPF
We all know of the damage that UV rays can cause to our skin, but sometimes it’s easy to forget that proper skin protection includes applying SPF to your face as well as your body. Sun exposure can cause sunspots (flat, brown spots on the skin), wrinkles, dry patches, burns and cancer.
It’s thought that up to 80% of UV rays can penetrate the clouds, so even on overcast days you should wear sunscreen when you’re outside for extended periods.
Though men have been removing or trimming hair on their bodies for years, someone’s only just come up with a name for it: manscaping. Whether you’re practically hairless or you just groom your body hair in one or two places, a little trim here and there never hurt anybody (unless you’re doing it wrong).
You can wax, shave or pluck excess body hair; it really depends on A) how much you want to remove and B) your pain threshold. You also need to think about the placement and shaping of your body hair (especially when it comes to larger areas like the chest).
Facial manscaping includes your brows, ears and nose. A trimmer with interchangeable heads is an easy way to keep on top of any strays protruding from your ears or nostrils; hot waxing is also an option – if it’s done correctly, it doesn’t hurt. Here at Rush Hair & Beauty, we offer a wide range of hair removal treatments for men.
For guys, brow maintenance is less about shaping and more about trimming; you don’t want to end up with overly manicured eyebrows, but you do want them to look neat. Every 1-2 weeks, take a pair of tweezers to any hairs between your eyebrows and pluck those that are nearing your forehead. The same goes for any hairs that are level to, or below, the sides of your eyes.
Beards and Facial Hair
In recent years, beards have definitely made a comeback. Whether you’ve got a little stubble or a full-blown beard, you’ve got to give your beard a bit of TLC.
What you choose to do with your facial hair is up to you, but (much like hairstyles) face shape does come into it. The main thing to remember is this: your beard and your jaw should work together to create a nicely balanced, oval face shape.
Those with round face should leave a little length at the bottom and keep their facial hair shorter at the sides to lengthen the face. Conversely, those with a rectangular face shape should keep the sides fuller and the bottom shorter; if you have a square face, your beard should be fuller on the chin and shorter on the sides.
To keep your beard looking well-groomed, you should avoid having hair on the neck; you want to define your jawline, not conceal it with facial hair.
Creating a beard neckline is actually really simple:
- Lifting your chin slightly, imagine a curved line between both ears, connected by another point above your Adam’s apple. You can locate this midpoint by placing two closed fingers just above your Adam’s apple.
- Using your clippers, trim everything below this imaginary line; you’ll need to adjust your clippers to be two settings below your beard length.
Even if you’ve got a full beard, you should keep the hair between your neckline and your Adam’s apple shorter. This is what’s known as ‘fading’ your beard; to do this, simply adjust your clippers again to a shorter setting. Targeting the same area above your Adam’s apple, clip the bottom half with this shorter setting, but leave the top half at the length of the first setting to create a gradient along your neckline.
To keep your beard in good condition, you should wash it regularly with a specialised cleanser or beard shampoo; condition it 3-4 times every week to keep it soft (and not scratchy). You’ll also need to apply a beard oil once every day. It’s best to do this when you’ve just got out of the shower, since your beard will be at its cleanest then; towel dry it before applying a few drops of your beard-beautifying elixir with your hands.