Shaving for men is just a fact of life. Recently there has been an increased trend for men to shave more than just their face. Body grooming for men is a fast growing industry, as us men folk start to take more care in our appearance. There are numerous shavers for men specialising in all areas of the body.
Like most things, such as skin care, this is something women have been going for ages, us men are now being to take an interest. I would say we have gone past the rise of the metro sexual as some call it, and body care and grooming for men is just the norm. There was a time only about 20 years ago that a lot of men did not use fragrances on a regular basis. Yet now most men could rattle of their favourite Aftershaves down the bar without a flicker of embarrassment. Magazines and billboards are full of rugged sportsmen like Rugby players, Soccer players advertising the latest skincare range for men.
Cyclists have been shaving their legs for ages, for safety and medical reasons. If you tear up the tarmac going down a steep hill, you don’t want hairs clogging up any cuts and brazes.
It is clear shaving for men is more than just a question of the face. For some of the more hirsute of us, a bit of personal topiary can be a personal preference or a “request” by our partner. Don’t get me wrong, not all hair is bad, and ultimately it is a personal choice, but a bit of trimming here and there and keeping the garden neat never goes a miss, and will always be appreciated by the other half.
So once you have made that decision to shave the question becomes what bits do you do? Where do you start? and, perhaps more crucially where do you stop?
This blog will be looking at all aspects of shaving for men, whether wax for men is the best solution, what sort of razors for men there are and different techniques and shavers for men that are available – from head to toe including that sensitive bit in the middle.
Well it is official. The Designer Stubble look is the essential look for any right thinking men. But it is not just a case of stopping shaving. To get that real designer stubble look, you need to work at it, maintain it and get the right tools.
Never one to miss an opportunity, the shaver companies have jumped on the fashion band waggon and now make trimmers and clippers designed specifically for the Designer Stubble look and maintaining stubble. So we have decided to look at some of the best Designer Stubble specific trimmers on the market.
Remington see the PG410 High Precision Designer Stubble Kit as the ultimate in designer stubble.
Keeping your stubble in check is a piece of cake and it means you won’t need daily trimming to get that cool look.
It is called a “Kit” and for good reason as it provides a lot of versatility one portable package. Depending on your Designer stubble style of choice you can easily keep the three-day stubble effect for the sophisticated and modern man or you can shave clean to the skin for a tidier, business-like look.
The Basic Specs are as follows
Nanosilver and Titanium coated blades which are 300% harder than standard steel blades (versus Remington® Steel blades)
Specialised comb for short beard styles (1-5mm)
Two interchangeable shaver head
Precision trimmer for detailed styling
You can also enjoy the outstanding performance of the Remington PG410 for up to 40 minutes from just one charge.
Washable Trimmer and Shaver head
So how does it fair. Generally the trimmer element is very good, and can shave down to 1mm for that real close stubble look, and works well with short hair. Most beard clippers won’t give you precision at this level. It is light weight and economical and easy to use.
One draw back is lack of charged indicator light – but if you are no eco-conscious, then you’ll just keep it in its charger whenever you are not using it anyway.
From the makers of your girlfriend’s straighteners, this is geared up for short work as well, down to 0.5 mm they claim, with up to 30 precise length settings. This means you can be super accurate and get precisely the look you want. Again it is cordless and with the “auto-lube” system no need to oil the blades, which is good.
The Basic Specs are as follows
For every day stubble control
30 ultra precise length settings from just 0.5mm to 15mm.
Unique motorised comb with digital touch control, automatically adjusts the length setting in 0.5mm increments at the touch of a button Electrochemically formed blades with Titanium Revolutionary auto-lube system
Blades do not need to be oiled
The question is , how does if fair
There is some debate on whether it does go down to 0.5 mm, but at least there is the variety in length options. The settings are very precise, and the lcd screen is a nice touch – giving the perception of precision, as digital always appears more precise than something mechanical, even if that is not the case. Some people have reported issues with how long it holds a charge, but if it is kept in its charger when not in use there should not be a problem.
It lacks a carry case, unlike the Remington, but unless you travel a lot that is a minor quibble.
Overall I think this has the edge on precision, and gives you great versatility if you want to go very short with your stubble in some places, and longer in others.
Now this markets itself as a “beard trimmer”, rather than specifically “stubble”, but let us not get into semantics here. Philips marketing blurb tells us “that Philips Male Grooming products are designed specifically for men who care about their own appearance. Using revolutionary technology and cutting edge designs, these hair and body care products are the ultimate styling tools for you to take control of your style and discover a new you.”
Always in search of the new me, I was excited about this one. The thing that sets this a part is the mini vacuum cleaner, which is meant to suck up all the little hairs as you go. (With other trimmers I have to wipe round the bathroom and sweep the floor before my girlfriend gets in there).
Basic Specs are:
The Powerful Vacuum with Hair Deflector captures cut hair so, no mess guaranteed
Unique Flexing Comb follows the face contours for a precise trim
Clear View Hair Chamber allows you to see when it needs emptying.
Lock-in Length Settings
This looks the most technologically advance of all of them, all though I prefer the sleek minimalist design of the Remington. Again, like the Babyliss it has self cleaning and self sharpening blades which is a great advantage, and keeps the trimming constant. The length setting is not in the best place, and easy to move while mid shave.
The best bit has to be the turbo vac, which really keeps the mess down, although not as perfectly as they would have us believe. I have a few issues with the overall ergonomics (despite my view that it looks advanced). It doesn’t feel as comfortable as the others, and sometimes you can cover up the vents on the vac bit. That said, overall a good piece of kit, but a few minor design flaws.
Ultimately the stubble controller best suited to you will be based on your precise needs. If it is precision, then Remington and Babyliss have the edge. The Babyliss has the most versatility, but I think I would plump for the Remington, if you just have one short stubble style. If you chop and change your style check out the Babyliss.
Looking for inspiration for that Designer Beard and Designer Stubble look?
You know it seems the whole of Hollywood is flaunting the facial hair.
Here’s a little montage of Designer Beards and Stubble options I put together for your delight!
Check out the Blog entries on Designer Beard options and the Best Beard Styles to suit your face
When it comes to male grooming, and dealing with man hair, it seems that no place is free from a bit of topiary. Women have been keeping their lady bits hair free for years, so shouldn’t men keep downstairs a bit more tidy?
Porn stars have been shaving their balls for years, and the “sack and back” wax is becoming a staple on a lot of waxing and beauty salons. So why would you want to shave your balls, and more importantly, how.
Reasons You Might Shave your Balls
There are numerous reasons and many claimed benefits for shaving your balls. But ultimately nature grows hair around our balls for a reason, so why are we to question million of years eveloution. Well, like many things, it is down to aesthetics. Some people prefer the look of tidy tackle, and it seems popular with women. Porn stars have been doing it for years, and that is for one obvious reason. Shaving your balls gives the visual sense of adding some extra length you yur manhood.
There are claims that it is healthier, by I’m not so sure. I think ultimately it is a lifestyle choice, maybe taken inconjunction with your partner, who may prefer the look. But whether you just trim to tidy up the appearance, or go for the full shave it is a matter of personal taste. But just be warned. Once you start, you have to maintain it, as it can be itchy if left too long.
How Do You Shave Your Balls?
The thought of bringing a razor blade close to your crown jewells is enough to put any man off. But should you make the decision there are a number of approaches you can take.
If you are going to use a razor, then, it goes without saying be very careful, and take your time. You need to trim off the hair with a trimmer, DON’T USE your beard trimmer. That’s not just hygenic. There are plenty of “man groomers” specially designed for shaving bits of the body below the neck line. Invest in one of these to manage you body hair, and have a separate beard trimmer.
Once you’ve trimmed the area, apply a good shaving gel or cream. Then make sure you have a brand new blade (again, not one you’ve used on your face, or intend to use on your face. Yuk!) .Pull the skin tight, to flatten out the bumps etc, and gently take the balde across the hair, using short, light strokes. Take your time. Don’t push hard, and let the razor glide gently over. Here it helps if you use a good quality shaving cream, to help lubricate the smooth journey of the blade across the balls. Make sure you rinse the blade regularly. The whole piont is to make the blade glide gently across, and not get caught or drag.
Once done, splash with cold water to clear the residue shaving cream, and pat dry (don’t rub!). It is worth applying some moisturiser (as you would your face). Voila.
As stated before, you will have to keep on top of this, and once you decide to shave your balls it is something you will need to keep doing on a regular basis, as when it grows it can be itchy.
Alternatively, you can go for the old “sack n crack” wax. This is more painful, but the results will last much longer. Check out your local wax salon, especially those that cater specially for men. See if they have it on the menu. This is a bit personal, so is not for everyone, and ultimately you might like some stranger waxing your bollocks!
Whatever method you use, there is no harm in trying it once, and see how it feels. And ultimately, what response you get from your partner. You never know, you might both be pleasantly surprised.
I’m luck enough to live near this shop and they give a proper old school style shave, it feels like a real luxury. This guys is a qualified barber and knows what he’s talking about.
They’ve some great shaving for men products, including great DE Razors I’ve blogged about previously.
Shaving for Men has been a requirement since the first man found the idea of getting mammoth soup stuck in his beard an inconvenience. We’ve come along way since the Ancient Romans, who use to use iron blades. Razor technology is a multi billion dollar business, with the main companies constantly striving for the better razor. But what is the best way to get that perfect close shave. In general men have to shave everyday, and this demand has been met by the rise in disposal razors and replacement cartridges. Back in the day, the only way to get a real close shave was to rely on your trust gentleman’s barber, who would set to work with his finely sharpened steel open blade. The best shave is with a cut throat razor, but this is best avoided unless being wielded by a professional barber. The next best thing is the DE razor for men (the Double Edge Safety Blade) – and are much more portable than the straight cut throat blade. This are far superior than the myriad of disposable and replacement cartridges on the market nowadays.
This is the sort of blade you see being used in those old Black and White films from the 50′s and 60′s, or something maybe your Grandfather (or Father) may have used. The iconic image of a man shaving, is shaving with a DE razor. In old traditional barbers (when I was a kid) I could see packs of replacement blades piled high on the shelf. The blades last longer, and are usually made from steel. Unlike the replacement cartridge blades in modern razors which stretch the skin with their rubber strips to get that close shave feel, the DE blade is less harsh on the skin. You will find that if you switch you will get a much closer smoother shave, with less irritation. In addition, the using a DE razor is the cheapest option, as the individual blades last a lot longer than modern disposables. They are particular good with men with tough, thick hairs, or who suffer from ingrown hairs, since the blade cuts the hairs, and doesn’t scrape the skin The key to the DE razor is the main handle, and you can spend a lot of many on this, but it will last a lifetime. It needs to have weight, yet feel comfortable in the hand. One of the main manufacturers of these is the German company Merkur. They make a range of safety razors, and whilst they may seem expensive the main handle part is for life, and can take pride of place on the discerning gentleman’s bathroom shelf. Some come with a slanted blade and others utilise an adjustable screw that allows you to set how much of the blade is shown.
It takes a little getting use to but the benefits far out weight the initial effort required. You’ll get a closer shave, and the whole experience will feel much more of an enjoyable process. Check out the various videos and advice on using the DE razor before you start. But once you take the plunge you’ll never look back. After all, it is what real men use.
When it comes to shaving for men, if you are going for that nice smooth shave, then a long with the right razor and correct preparation, you need the right shaving cream. It is worth searching out for a shaving cream or gel that suits you. As we are all individuals, and certain applications work better with certain skin types.
At the basic level you are looking at a lubricant to help the razor glide smoothly over the face. This is the function of the shaving cream or gel. The smoother the shave, the less chance of causing razor burn, bumps or nicks. Also a good shaving cream or gel will help keep the skin moisturised, which is key, as shaving can dry out the skin.
So what are the options when it comes to shaving. Whether you shaving cream comes out of a can, a tub, or a tube, the quality and texture is key.
For a while shaving foam from a can was the main quick convenience source for shaving. It saved on having to work up a lather with a cream, and was easily dispensed for maximum convenience. The shaving gel is the new kid on the block, and a long with his even younger brother, the gel foam. Some of this maybe just marketing gumpf, but is a popular choice – and works on the basic principal of the convenience a can. Usually this comes out initially as a gel, and then works it self up into a creamy lather. Some gels remain clear and can be advantage if you are precision shaving a beard, as you can see where you are going through the gel.
I would avoid the aerosol can shaving foam, as this tends to make the skin very dry, and can clog up a razor very quickly, and doesn’t offer a smooth lubed shave. These also tend to be alcohol based, which drys out the skin, and full of nasty chemicals that are best not putting on the face everyday. It might be convenient, but in the long run it is not healthy for the complexion and drys out the skin. Ultimately this is not a true wet shave in the traditional sense. If you take your shaving seriously, you need to be moving on from the mass produced, all convenient shaving foam or gel in a can. You need a to be using something that gives you the necessary lubrication and moisturises the skin.
The shaving cream that you get from a tub or a tube, tend to not be alcohol based and their base is from a glycerin soap. These tend to be much easier on the skin, and help prepare the beard by softening up. This is what the true shaving for men expert needs to be looking for. Some can be applied straight to the skin, and some require working up more with the shaving brush. The fact that you use a shaving cream that needs to be used in conjunction with a brush is a good thing, as the brush has the added benefit of lightly exfoliating the skin and lifting the hairs. A proper moisturising shave cream will help protect the skin, and keep in the moisture. They tend to be good for all skin types as they do not contain some of the more harsh chemicals and alcohol that foam from a can does. A luxurious cream can give you that real gentleman’s barber feel, and make the skin feel soft, smooth and pampered after a shave. You will end up with a much closer shave and a lot less irritation.
Ultimately if you don’t have a shaving cream then a good quality facial soap can be used, and is still better than the stuff from a can. However, if you want to invest in your face, which after all is your main feature, then you want to be using a good quality shaving cream. So go a head and treat your face to a bit of luxury.
Some recommended shaving creams:
If you are new to proper wet shaving – then this is a great starter kit:
So you have decided to join the current trend of wearing your facial hair with pride. As discussed in previous blogs – The beard is back, and shaving for men is a big industry.
So how do you go about looking after that finely crafted and nurtured beard. If you have gone to the effort of growing a beard, then you should keep it tidy and neat and nicely groomed.
Here is my shaving for men beard grooming top tips.
In an ideal world we would all go and see our barber on a regular basis, sit back in the barber’s chair and enjoy the hot towel treatment here and there, and get the beard professionally trimmed and styled. Unfortunately this is not always possible, as we may not have an old school barber who deals in the fine art of shaving for men. However, if you are there getting your hair cut then you can always ask him (or her) to trim it down with the clippers or beard trimmer if they have one. This keeps the beard at a nice even length, as hair can grow at different rates, and that is when it can look straggle and unkempt.
If you, like me, trim it yourself, then get a good pair of beard trimmers or clipper. This can be picked up quite cheaply if necessary, as you don’t necessarily need a state of the art clippers. I have a dedicated set of cordless clippers, aimed at the designer stubble look, as I like to keep it trimmed down on a regular basis. Cordless clippers are the best, so there is no annoying wire getting in the way. You just need to set the trimmers on the appropriate length or grade, and trim all over making sure you keep an even pressure all over. If you have a precise line, you want to mark out where your beard is, remember not to cut t closely to that line, as you can always tidy up afterwards. Especially if you need to keep checking for symmertry.
Keep it clean, the beard with soup and breadcrumb hanging in there is not a good look. A good facial wash will do, and depending on the length you can use a conditioner. If you really are a beardy type with a bushy or long beard, then comb it out with a wide toothed comb. This will help prevent knots and tangles.
If you have a precisely etched goatee or precision beard, use a shaving oil or a clear gel, so you can see the lines. Take your time, and make small adjustments at a time, so you can keep checking for symmetry. There is nothing worse than a wonky beard!
So there you go some basic tips on keeping that trendy beard in shape.