Should You Shave Your Beard for an Interview?

Should You Shave Your Beard for an Interview, smartly dressed man with beard reading a newspaper, bearded man, bearded in in sunglasses, man reading the newspaper, beards for business

This is a tricky one.

On the one hand, you love your beard.

Then on the other, you probably could really do with that new job.

So the question is…

Do you take the hit on your man pride by shaving off your beard, effectively playing it safe – or do you go all guns all out – bearded, confident and dressed on point?

Ultimately, we think there are three major factors at play that you have to think about:

i) What does your interviewer think of your beard (and beards in general)?

Beards have become far more socially acceptable in recent times, that’s a given since the recent beard booms and what seems to be the undying trend.

Unfortunately, there is still a slight, albeit unfair stigma still attached to them. The typical one of course being – that a guy who sports a beard is lazy, unprofessional given that he can’t even be

bothered to shave. Harsh and largely untrue given that a good beard takes a lot more upkeep than just shaving every few days.

Of course, you won’t really know if your interviewer likes beards or not, but if you happen to know who you are going to be interviewed by, this could give you a little heads up.

It might be worth hopping on to your laptop or smartphone and do some classic ‘social media stalking’, checking out LinkedIn, Facebook – you know the drill and try and figure out if he is sporting one. If he is, it’s a good sign, he’s on your side. No beard? It could go either way.

The less risky route of course is to go shaven, if this is something that concerns you we will explain a little later why you should probably reach for the razor.

ii) Does it fit in with the ‘business culture’?

In some industries facial hair is just far more widely accepted.

Finance and law, it is almost an unspoken rule that wearing facial fur is pretty much forbidden. As with most things, there are exceptions to the rule but you best bet that those guys who sport their beards in such industries are incredibly well-kempt (again, this is something we will get into a little later).

Then there are industries that pretty much require shaven faces for health and safety reasons due to large industrial machinery or where they are a little frowned upon such as in food preparation areas (where they require you to wear beard nets and trust us on this – it just ain’t a good look).

Then there are much more beard friendly industries such as gaming design and development, photography and so on. We tend to find that with most creative jobs, they almost go hand in hand.

Ultimately, what we are trying to do is to encourage you to get your research on. Head to LinkedIn and check out the company you are applying to and other competing companies, and ask yourself does it look like many of their employees are bearded?

If so, take it is a thumbs up.

If not – it’s probably something you ought to think about.

iii) What do you think of your beard?

Of course, we know you love your beard.

What we really mean here, is do you think ultimately your beard will be working against you or not?

Whether it ‘actually’ does or not in reality, what you don’t want to happen is your subconscious screwing up your interview because you are stressing that the beard is not working in your favour.

If you are cool with it and don’t think there are any issues to be had, then that’s awesome. Keep that glorious man mane of yours!

However, if you think there potentially ‘might be’ an issue whether in fact there is or isn’t,, it could end up negatively impacting on your interview performance. In which case, we recommend you play it safe and get it shaved off. At least that way, your focus is 100% on the interview on hand.

That said, if that is the case though, we would raise the following question to ask yourself:

Can you go without your beard for the sake of your job?

I’m afraid, only you can decide that one.

iv) If you’re keeping the beard for the interview

First off, that’s awesome! We know it takes a bit of guts and we tip our hats off to you for that.

Now if you do decide to keep your beard and go ahead with the interview, you need it looking its best.

Even if your interviewer likes beards and is a beard friendly job – you still can’t turn up with it being scraggly with stray hairs sticking out all over the place. Tidy it up, apply some good beard goodies and have it looking its absolute best.

Here’s a quick step by step breakdown to have your beard looking awesome:

  1. Comb out your beard.

It’s a given, but the quickest way of dealing with tricky beard knots and generally making your beard looking neater and fuller is using a proper beard comb to help bring some order and get it all into place.

  1. Splash on some beard oil or a beard balm.

Make use of a high quality beard oil by thoroughly massaging it into your beard and skin to help moisturise and conditioning as well as to give you a great smelling odor. If you are still struggling with flyaway beard hairs, reach out for a styling balm that will help to give you some hold and control over your beard.

  1. Brush the beard and shape it up.

The final touch is just to help distribute the oils that you have applied and then helped to get your man scruff in order.

If your beard is looking particularly out of place we recommend heading to your local (and trusted) beard barber, they will help shape it up – take care of any neckbeard for you and ultimately give you a style that suits both your beard and your face. All you have to do now, is carry out the few steps we’ve just mentioned.

Like we say, it’s your call.

Play it safe and get a shave or stick it to the man and face that interview with a great luscious face forest.

Either way let us know how you got on.

5 Beard care tips for an awesome beard

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Before I grew my first beard, I had no idea what went into beard care. I figured that you just stopped shaving one day and let nature take its course.

I was totally wrong!

Now I know that taking care of a beard isn’t as easy as I once thought. It’s not difficult, either, but you do have to spend some time on it.

I’ve dealt with a scraggly beard, a beard that stopped growing at a certain point and a beard that wouldn’t fill out the way that I wanted it to. Over time, I’ve developed a routine that has optimized my beard growth and helped me feel confident sporting facial hair. I’m sharing my top five beard care tips with you today so that you can hold your hairy head high.

5 Beard Care Tips

The hair on our beards tends to be coarser, drier and ‘wirier’ than the hair on our heads. Facial hair needs a little TLC to stay in place and look presentable. If we don’t take care of our beards, the skin beneath them can also suffer.

Brush Your Beard

Combs and brushes will keep your beard free of tangles. Brushing keeps your beard tidy and clean because it removes dead skin cells, dirt, food particles and more stuff that your beard has accumulated throughout the day.

Brushing your beard also helps distribute the natural oils, preventing a greasy look and nourishing your hair. It can also prevent ingrown hairs.

When you brush your beard on a regular basis you’re basically training it to grow the way you want it to – so if you want your beard to grow in a certain direction just brush it in that direction.

Brushes with natural bristles are gentle on the skin but tough enough to get through my beard hair. I don’t recommend using plastic drugstore combs, these will do more harm than good. Combs that are designed for beard care have smoother teeth and won’t snag your facial hair.

You don’t have to overdo the brushing. Working a comb through your beard too often can damage the hair and create split ends.

To brush your beard, start at the bottom, working your way up toward the chin and cheeks. This will separate the hair and will make your beard look more voluminous. After the initial combing and separating, you can style your beard by combing it in the direction in which you want it to fall. Comb your mustache to the sides so that it doesn’t get in your mouth.

Tip: Use a beard brush to distribute beard oil after applying it to your beard.

Use Beard Oil

Whenever you start to grow a beard, it’s almost guaranteed you’ll go through the dreaded itching phase. Using beard oil helps prevent or reduce irritation, it moisturizes, nourishes and conditions both your skin and facial hair. It has many benefits.

A healthy beard grows best from healthy skin. Moisturizing and nourishing your skin with natural oil allows your skin and facial hair to stay healthy.

The oils can nourish the hair deep within the follicle. This is a bonus for those of us who want our beards to grow quickly and to their full potential.

When it comes down to it, beard oil makes your facial hair look better. A beard looks cleaner when it’s glossy and shiny. It’s less frizzy when it’s well moisturized. It also smells better when you use beard oil.

Plus, oil makes your beard softer. There’s nothing worse than wearing what feels like steel wool on your face. To top things off, the ladies love a soft beard!

Note: If you want to style your beard, consider getting a beard balm, some balms will condition and moisturize your beard, you will also be able to style it (depends on the balm).

Wash Your Beard

You don’t need to care for your beard in the same way that you take care of your hair. Of course, you want your beard to smell good and stay clean, but you don’t need wash it every day. Washing it too frequently can strip it of its natural oils, and dry your skin.

Everyone is different, however. Some people can use a daily washing, but I recommend washing it 1-2 times a week

Long beards require more maintenance, but they don’t need to be washed every day. The natural oils help moisturize and protect them.

Make sure you pick a product that is designed for beards, which means it’s natural and doesn’t contain chemicals. It doesn’t matter if you’re using beard shampoo or beard soap it’s all about what you like.

Trim & Style Your Beard

If you’re just starting out, you need some patience. I suggest to leave your beard alone and just let it grow for at least 8 weeks.

After 8 weeks, if you feel like your beard needs a trim then you can trim it a bit to make it look presentable. Your beard doesn’t grow uniformly and at the same rate, so by trimming it you can make it look good while keeping growing it out.

Make sure you have beard scissors, they allow to cut just a millimeter at a time and be precise. You can use the scissors to trim your mustache as well.

Some people prefer to use beard trimmer to keep their beards short. Make sure you start with a higher guard and not lower guard, you can always trim more if you think it’s too long.

You should also trim your cheeks and necklines. These lines define your face so you should be careful when doing it. You can use electric clippers or a razor to style them.  There’s no right way for the cheek lines, it depends on how your beard is and what’s the style you’re looking for. As for the neck line try to imagine a ‘U’ shape from your ears down and above your Adam’s apple, you should cut everything below it.

Men’s Journal provides these tips:

  • Trim the top, the tips of the whiskers, rather than cutting into the beard.
  • Work from the sideburns down.
  • If a beard is short, use clippers; if it’s long, use scissors and a comb.
  • Comb a small amount of moustache wax through a beard to shape, style, and hold.

Bio: Jason Hall blogs at Wisebeards.com about everything manly – With a strong passion for men’s grooming and self-improvement of all kinds.

Common shaving mistakes & how to avoid them

Harry's, Shaving, Men's Grooming, Grooming, Shave, High Street Gent

As avid followers, you know we’re keen on ensuring you look and feel your best for a good price. As our avid followers, you also know that you shave and have your different approach to it. The question is, is your way, the best way?

If you’ve been living under a rock for the past 6 months, you’ll have not heard of Harry’s…if you’ve been running around town, you will have.

Harry’s believe that you shouldn’t have to compromise when it comes to the products you use, so they’ve designed a grooming brand to be effective and to provide a great experience. The team of more than 600 engineers, designers, craftsmen, and chemists make Harry’s products from the finest materials and ingredients to ensure they perform as well as they possibly can.

We have to agree with what they mention in their mission statement. The craftsmanship of their razor, meant the razor glided over our skin and provided a neat shave. They’re so committed to a good shave, they’ve helped us devise these mistakes you may be encountering when shaving, and how to avoid them.

Mistake One: Poor Skin Prep
Many men and women don’t prep their skin appropriately before shaving. Splashing a few drops of water on your skin doesn’t do the trick, and over prepping can cause your skin to become irritated. Men with a bushy beard or heavy stubble do require a little more prep, but generally, prepping your skin doesn’t have to be complicated.

How to Avoid: Gentlemen, shave either during or right after a warm shower. Ladies, try to stick to shaving in the shower. The steam from the hot water allows the outer layer of your hair to soften, giving you a much cleaner and safer shave. If you have a beard, be sure to use an electric razor (set on low) to trim your hair before shaving.

Harry's, Shaving, Men's Grooming, Grooming, Shave, High Street Gent

Mistake Two: Not Paying attention to Grain Pattern
If you don’t know which way your hair grows, chances are you’re irritating your skin when you shave.

How to avoid: When your hair is growing out, slide your fingers across your skin so you can physically feel which way your hair grows. When you shave, you want to first shave in the direction your hairs because the hair is still long. Your second pass should go against the grain, since the hair will be shorter, thus relieving your skin from any tugging.

Mistake Three: Too Much Pressure
Despite popular the belief that pressing down harder will give you a closer shave, it actually leads to lots of painful cuts and nicks.

How to avoid: Gently glide your razor across your skin, being careful to avoid too much pressure. Using shaving cream can help the razor move smoothly, giving you a much closer shave.

Mistake Four: Using Too Much Or Too Little Shaving Cream
Not using the appropriate amount of shaving cream can have the same irritable consequences as not prepping your skin correctly. Too much shaving cream will cause your skin to become too slimy, leading to a higher risk for cuts. On the other hand, too little shaving cream will not allow your hair to soften up, leading to a rougher shave.

How to avoid: Always use an almond sized portion of shaving cream. If the area you’re shaving is larger, then it’s okay to add a little more, but be careful not to add a lot more.

*Helpful tip: Shaving creams that also provide hydration, like Harry’s shaving gel will give you soft skin and a smooth shave.

Harry's, Shaving, Men's Grooming, Grooming, Shave, High Street Gent

Mistake Five: Using Products Not Made For Shaving

Using body wash, soap, and shower gel can seem like a nice alternative when you’re out of shaving cream. However, products that are not designed especially for shaving can cause trauma to your skin and razor. Soap removes dirt and oils from your skin, contributing to a rougher shave.

How to avoid: Stick to products that are made for shaving

Mistake Six: Improperly Storing Your Razor

If you leave your razor on the shower ledge or bathroom sink, you’re accelerating the dulling process of your razor. Bacteria and excess water will quickly diminish the blade. However, leaving it in a drawer or cabinet can lead to the growth of bacteria.

How to avoid: Invest in a quality razor stand, such as this one. It’s designed especially for keeping your razor above water and bacteria, letting it dry before your next use.

Mistake Seven: Using An Old Blade

Using a dull razor is the easiest way to end up with lots of cuts and nicks, no matter how well you prep your skin.

How to avoid: You should be changing out your blades every 6-8 shaves. While that may seem like a lot of runs to the store, subscription services like Harry’s ensure you receive quality razors right to your door. You can even customize your own delivery schedule based on how often you shave, so you never have to worry about when to change out your blade again.

Try Harry’s for yourself and make practice, perfection. Start your trial for only £3.95 here.

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Men’s hair and beard trends for 2018

Now we’ve taken our first steps into 2018, AND we’ve got January and the skintest month of the year out the way, we can’t help but wonder what it might bring: A smooth and effortless Brexit withdrawal? Don’t hold your breath. How about jetpacks? We hope so. Perhaps a full blown Twitter war will break out? With Trump around, who knows!

Here at The Bluebeards Revenge, the one thing we can accurately predict is the amazing hair and beard trends that the next 12 months will bring. Below, we’ve asked some of Britain’s most influential barbers to embrace their clairvoyant sides and provide the all-important hair and beard insights for 2018.

Is long hair coming back into fashion?

“Recently I’ve had quite a few clients asking to keep their length on both the top and the sides,” says Adam Rossington-Smith of Scissor and Comb UK. “This opens up 2018 to some very versatile styles, with a blend of clean tapered edges and soft, textured waves on top.”

What does this mean for the super popular fade styles of 2017?

Adam says: “I highly doubt that we will see a massive reduction of fades next year. Part of the reason they became so popular was because they are clean and super easy to maintain, and lots of men still don’t like the thought of having to prune too much.”

Meanwhile, Tom Chapman, award-winning barber and founder of the Lions Barber Collective charity, believes that, “fades will remain fashionable, but more men will start to favour tapers; looking for a finish that is less sharp. More men will start to ask for their edges to be left a little more natural too.”

What hairstyling products will be in popular demand for 2018?

Adam says: “Medium and long hairstyles will give men more opportunities to experiment with products. Personally, sea salt sprays are my absolute favourite right now. They add texture and a light hold to fine hair, and volume to thicker hair. They help to create a natural look as well, which is very fashionable right now and will continue to dominate throughout 2018.

““Volumizing powders have become a big hit for men seeking a natural look too. They’re easy to use and pretty cost effective – a 10 gram container should easily bulk up flat styles for a few months.”

Tom says: “With the right education, I think a lot of men could return to hair gels this year. As a product, modern hair gels are massively undervalued for their styling capabilities: softer gels can be used as pre-styling products to give styles structure all day and barbers often use them while sectioning medium and long hair.”

[The Bluebeards Revenge Sea Salt Spray: https://www.bluebeards-revenge.co.uk/product/the-bluebeards-revenge-sea-salt-spray-200ml/]

Will barbers struggle with any of the new trends?

Adam, who graduated from Toni & Guy before specialising in barbering, says: “Barbers who have joined the industry in the last few years will probably find themselves facing styles that they have never really had to deal with.

“Shorter styles have dominated the barbering scene for so long now that new barbers have likely had little experience with anything longer than a clipper cut on the sides.

“Of course, with longer haircuts comes the chance to learn endless new techniques for adding texture and creating movement. The new fashions will help barbers to develop their scissor skills and will provide practice in handling and sectioning longer hair. They will also show the importance of proper blow drying techniques and require a better understanding of less conventional styling products.”

2018 beard trends

With the trends for the hair on our heads covered, it’s time to concentrate on the stubble and scruff that sprouts from our chins.

Will beards still be popular in 2018?

The masculinity, maturity and respect that beards give to men means they will never completely fall out of fashion, no matter how far into the future we go. Simon ‘Bones’ Bethel, from Sandyman Chop Shop in Exeter, believes we will still continue to see a steady flow of beards throughout 2018. He said: “While there are fewer men sporting big bushy beards these days, we still do a lot of short beard trims in the Chop Shop. I don’t expect this to change for 2018.”

Beard styles for 2018

Over the past few years, rough-cut, lumberjack styles have dominated the look books, but the next 12 months will see changes according to Bones. “Men are starting to wear their beards shorter and with more shape,” he said. “These styles mean that creating strong cheek lines with razors, and tapering these into the sideburns and hair line will be the way forward.”

As beards get shorter, designer stubbles are likely to gain a little more traction too. Ex-serviceman and current Master Barber Liam Hamilton, from Hamilton’s Barbershop in Cornwall, says these looks are “ideal for men who want to add a little masculinity to their look.” They also work particularly well for men who are attempting to achieve a more “rugged” style, without the same timely maintenance of a full beard.

Beard products for 2018

“The men’s grooming market is receiving huge investments at the moment, and products that were previously unknown to men are now becoming essentials,” said Managing Director of The Bluebeards Revenge, David Hildrew. “Now, more than ever, men are taking an invested interest in their appearance and this is causing beard oils, brushes and waxes to boom in popularity.”

Liam, a bearded barber himself, says: “The best beards have a shine and healthiness to them that can only be created with high-quality beard oils. A few drops of oil, combed through from the roots to the tips, will enhance any man’s beard and leave it smelling irresistible.”

[The Bluebeards Revenge Classic Blend Beard Oil: https://www.bluebeards-revenge.co.uk/product/the-bluebeards-revenge-classic-blend-beard-oil-50ml/]

Moustache styles for 2018

2018 might just be the year for full and fuzzy moustaches. Finally, they’re seen less like Charlie Bronson’s and more like Tom Selleck’s.

“The humble moustache can help to add balance to the right man’s face, soften a more dominant jawline, and compliment a man’s eyebrows,” says Liam.

However, lots of men still struggle to confidently wear this facial accessory. “If you’re lacking the confidence to wear a moustache in 2018, why not wait until Movember comes around? Then you can hide in the crowd,” suggests Liam. “Or, if you’re feeling brave, try growing your stubble out around it. This helps to frame your moustache and won’t leave your face feeling so isolated and bare.”

For the most up-to-date hair and beard trends, and for 2018’s most sought after products, visit www.bluebeards-revenge.co.uk.

What we REALLY want for Christmas!

Some people are ready to go over the top to get that special someone a gift of their dreams. However, spending excessively on gifts is probably not something you can do every month and definitely not something you can afford twice a month. Now, birthday, Christmas and anniversary are occasions where the price tag doesn’t matter. Still, this doesn’t mean that a good present is necessarily an expensive one. This especially goes when gifting us guy.

So, are you after that perfect stocking filler? But getting what you want is important (or, if your just buying for yourself this Christmas) here are a few great last minute ideas.

There’s still time lads and lasses, lets go-ho-ho-ho…

A fancy travel bag

SOMERSET_VINTAGE_LR_MODEL2_W

The Christmas trend for 2017 is for luxury personalised products. In the lead up to Christmas Farrar & Tanner wish to inspire choice for premium lifestyle products that can be beautifully monogram or engrave.

Forbes and Lewis’ traditional travel bag, the Vintage Somerset Holdall encapsulates the great British weekend away with a classic worn leather appearance. A generously spacious travel holdall with two large internal pockets, the Somerset has all the space needed to pack for a long weekend in the countryside or an important business trip.

Crafted from waxy buffalo leather, this bag has a luxurious finish steeped in history. The shoulder strap is adjustable for added comfort, wile a pair of large leather handles offer an alternative mode of carry. Lined with a cotton polyester blend, this is more than just a well-crafted bag but the epitome of timeless design crafted with premium ingredients. Enjoy the very best in luxury men’s travel.

This bag measures at 50 x 35 x 22cm.

Farrar-Tanner has in house, state-of-the-art engraving and leather embossing machinery, operated by skilled and experienced staff to ensure that your product is engraved with a perfect, striking and everlasting finish.

To order engraving please check the box “Personalised Engraving’. 

  1. Select position of engraving
  2. Choose your font
  3. Enter your message.

If you head over to our Twitter page, you can WIN this bag with personalised engraving worth £260.00 NOW!

View the T&Cs here.

Watch

watchcollection_451435

Some of these gifts are situational. For example, if you know that your friend, family member or a significant other has a job interview after the holidays, you may look for the way to help them out. Buying a full suit may be too expensive even for a Christmas gift. The right watch is much more than just a timepiece; it expresses who you are. Whether you are in a bar, at work, a formal event or even at the beach, your watch should be suitable for all occasions and it was for this reason that James Derby was born.

Manufactured with the highest quality Japanese movement in a stainless steel case, with sapphire crystal quality glass and genuine leather straps, each timepiece produced represents what the brand stands for with performance, charm, excitement, heritage and prestige coming together to create unique designs.

The high level of quality and excellence required from a modern day watch is paramount, which is why they have kept their collections small so they can ensure perfection across every single watch that they produce.

Ted Baker Grooming Kit

TGR_Product_LS_Group_HR

When it comes to immaculate style, Ted believes in taking it from the top; allow yourself a head start and the rest will surely follow. Introducing the new product range from Ted’s Grooming Room.

Infused with ingredients inspired by the ancient Ottoman Empire, this performance-led treatment regime has been authentically crafted to recreate the master barber experience. Perfected in London by Ted’s Grooming Room, these distinctive formulations honour the expertise of the traditional Turkish shave, using powerful, naturally active ingredients to transform the grooming ritual. Ted Baker’s modern design aesthetic is uniquely represented on the packaging. The traditional barbershop pole gets a luxurious update with metallic chevrons, contrasted against a pearlised base that leaps off the shelf.

Ted’s Grooming Room range includes:

FACE WASH, 150ml, £16
MOISTURISER, 75ml, £18
SHAVE GEL, 200ml, £18
HAIR & BEARD SHAMPOO, 300ml, £15
BEARD OIL, 45ml, £20
HAIR MUD, 100g, £14
COLOGNE, 200ml, £40

Chelsea Boots

chelsea_boot

The Chelsea boot is a great one to wear when the temperature drops, but when you still need something to wear that looks good in the office. These boots are laceless, so they are much better at keeping your feet and ankles warm, and you can find many great looking Chelsea boots that integrate modern soles, so they’re also extremely comfortable as well. Chelsea boots pair well with business casual clothing like jeans and cords.

There are many Chelsea Boots, but our company of 2017-18 has got to be Samuel Windsor.

Underwear

AVAJ

We hate buying it for ourselves, but all we want is manly or even funny underwear. It all depends on the particular person as well as if the gifted one (pun intended) is going to be on their own when they unwrap it. The underwear that caught our eye is AVA-J.

Gone are the days when men consider pants to be the ‘must not have’ Christmas present. That’s according to ava-j, a British internet retailer of luxury men’s underwear and Skincare products, manufactured in the UK.

Joe Goddard, Design and Operations Director at the Leeds based business says most men are now more than happy to receive such presents on Christmas morning, providing that the quality and style is top notch.

‘Men are more conscious about their appearance than ever before and that includes their pants,’ says Joe. ‘Traditionally it was only ever women who received nicely presented, stylish underwear, but we have now taken those core values of product, packaging and presentation into the male market and the reaction has been incredible, particularly from women buying for their husbands and partners.’

Sports Flask

hydro flask

For the adventurers who plan to be halfway up a climbing wall, mid warrior pose in the gym or doing the downward dog in 2018, the Standard Mouth Sports Cap from drinking bottle specialist Hydro Flask allows you to simply sip, refresh and go.

The American, award-winning company, which specialises in insulated drinking bottles, has added this versatile cap to its product range. It fits onto any of Hydro Flask’s Standard Mouth drinking bottles and is interchangeable. So it doesn’t matter whether you already own the 18, 21 or 24 ounce drinking bottle. One size fits all.

The Sports Cap is insulated, just like the drinking bottle, so any liquid kept inside will stay icy fresh for up to 24 hours offering unexpected refreshment. In fact, it’s the first-ever insulated sports cap specifically designed to keep water cold, sip after sip.

Its unique handle design means it can be used one-handed.

Socks

london sock exchange

Traditionally the most common Christmas gifts. Accidentally, they are also a perfect low-cost option for those who approach the holiday season on a tight budget. The London Sock Exchange offers socks, those with cutting edge patterns, tartan or polka dot motifs as classic as these presents get. However, if the person you’re gifting is a renowned jokester, you can even look for a prank-gift in a form of a particularly silly pair of socks. Needless to say, wearing these at any family gathering would be a great success.

Lets wrap this up…

As you can see, there is a great choice of great gifts for you to go through. The final choice comes down to your personal preference and what you believe your friend/partner would like. Choosing a great gift is not that hard, but in some situations great simply isn’t great.

Tomorrow we’ll be posting the perfect gift for her, if you’re struggling last minute. Keep an eye out!

How to maximize beard growth

Man wearing a white tshirt with dark hair and a big beard

This goes down as the most asked beard question going (especially online): “How can I make my beard grow fuller, thicker and faster?”

Well, there’s some good news and bad news. The good news? You can influence the growth of your beard. The bad news? Probably not to the state you would like.

See, the bulk of your beard potential comes down to your age (certainly as you pass through your teenage years), your genetics (might be worth checking out ancestor’s pictures to see how you might fair up) as well as your testosterone levels (which also has an influence on you losing the hair sitting on your head).

So what are some of the things you can to help with growing a beard:

Nutrition

High Street gent - Healthy Food

Like you’ve heard time and time before.

Eating right and getting the nutrition your body (and consequently your beard) needs to stay healthy is a must for making sure your beard grows to its full potential. Follow a diet that’s based on making sure your beard gets exactly what it needs.

Many beardsman take it a step further and take beard supplements to make sure they get everything they need – if that’s a route you want to go down, make sure to fully commit to some research surrounding the product beforehand. Generally, the best route is to always get what you need from what you’re eating.

Exercise

High Street Gent - Maximize your beard

Again, not overly surprising.

From lifting weights to losing weight, both can impact on your testosterone levels that as we said above can influence the quality of your beard growth.

Exercising in general will help to improve the circulation of blood of that is carrying the
supplied nutrition (you just sorted out above) more efficiently to your hair follicles. Plus,
exercise is shown to reduce stress which prohibits and causes your hormone levels to suffer – in turn reducing your maximum beard growth potential.

It might be even be worth getting into a routine of meditating daily to help deal with stress. Be you didn’t you think meditation would be on the cards for improving beard growth, did you?

Sleep

High Street Gent - Maximize your beard growth

Make sure you are getting enough Z’s.

A study conducted back in 1987 looked at the relation between sleep and beard growth. We don’t have to go into the details, however cutting back on your much needed sleep – harms the rate of your potential beard growth.
Aiming for around 7-8 hours a night should see you right.

Now other than radical treatments such as hormone therapy and facial hair transplants, all this will only get your beard so far (basically living a healthy lifestyle).

That said, it’s only half the equation. Since, that’s what can be internally, there are things you can do from an external standpoint too, that can help the beard appear fuller.

Mainly in the of goods specially formulated to help out your beard as well as an alternative styling products too.

Beard Oil

Now, if there’s any one beard product you want to be using, it’s beard oil. It’s a multi purpose styling agent that takes cares of helping to moisturise your beard, provide external nutrition and keeps the foundation of your beard (i.e your skin) fresh too.

Apply daily and you will be giving your beard the perfect habitat for a healthier (and in turn likely to be thicker beard). When you are using it though, apply it in a massaging motion – this can help to stimulate additional hair growth.

Brush

Particularly a boar bristle brush, as soon as your beard is long enough (around an inch or so) you will want to start regularly (about once a day) to brush through your beard.

This helps in quite a few ways: first it helps to separate the hairs so they don’t clump together (in turn making your beard look fuller), spreads sebum (the natural oil that resides on your face) to ensure your beard remains hydrated and well maintained (to avoid breakages and split ends from occurring).

Remember that, alternative styling product, it’s a little unorthodox but it’s worth a go. Try some hair clay on your beard.

Why hair clay?

Unlike the other hair styling products, this one tends contains a rather special ingredient.
Namely, bentonite clay. Not only does it help keep your hairs healthy – what it is particularly great at doing, is helping to add body to hair strands and makes your hair appear thicker.

Use it as a finisher and it will help to give you texture, create a matte effect and help to shape up your beard into place too. Tame down the flyways and bring it back into the bulk of your beard.

The Ultimate Guide to Shaver Options: Which Shaver is the Manliest?

Man shaving face in the mirror with electric razor

You will spend about 45 days of your life shaving. That’s 1 092 hours or 65 520 minutes of dragging a blade across your face and watching your beard go down the drain. The latest trend of full beards have picked up quite a bit in the last while. But many men are still clean shaven, either because they don’t like hair sprouting from their face or their employer would frown upon the bushy look.

The Manliest Shaving Method

Since the creation of the first disposable razor and thereafter the electric shaver, lots of men have opted for the convenience of these fancy inventions. But lately men are realizing that it’s not all about buying the cheapest foam and throwaway razor blades.

A lot of men are rediscovering the pleasures of an old-school wet shave with a straight blade razor or safety razors. Add a bit of fancy soap and a cool shaving brush, and you’ve got your very own barbershop at home! The Economist has reported that sales of disposable razors are falling. This includes prominent brands such as Schick and Gillette.

After a while shaving might start feeling like a schlep, a daily chore you are obliged to do. But when you remember that it’s your manly privilege to make hair sprout from your chin, you’ll start looking at shaving a bit differently again. Your daily shaving routine can be a moment of self-indulgence each morning or evening. Take a moment out of your busy daily routine to deliberately slow down and take care of yourself.

There is just something about the traditional straight razor that makes you feel like a real man. They are also sometimes called a “cutthroat” razor, living on the edge of getting it right or slicing your throat open. When you’re done, admiring your clean cut face, it’s a great moment of satisfaction.

You could also opt for a safety razor, which is a little bit less dangerous. You can pop in a fresh blade every few weeks. Both straight and safety razors are much more environmentally-friendly. There’s no plastic involved. And both razor types will give you a closer shave than any electric shaver ever could.

Selecting Your Gear

Shaving & Grooming from ManlyStuff.ie

The following are a few items that will make your straight or safety razor experience more pleasant. The razor, a scuttle and a brush. You can decide whether you want to use shaving soap or just stick with shaving cream from a can. And don’t forget the aftershave to keep the germs away after using an open blade on your face.

The scuttle is also called a “lather bowl”. It basically looks like a flat cup. This one is very important if you will be using soap, you can whip up a lather storm with your brush in it.

Next the shaving brush. Don’t go for the cheapest option you can find. Rather look for a badger or horsehair brush that will last you a lifetime if you look after it properly. You want a brush with a lot of hair packed close together to assist with the lathering process as well as applying the foam to your face.

The sharpening strop is important if you decide to use the straight blade razor. When do you need to sharpen the blade? When it starts pulling your hair out, instead of cutting it.

The debate of shaving soap vs. shaving cream is in the end a personal choice. But if you want to stick with the full-on traditional shaving experience, try investing in a good soap.

And then, selecting the actual razor. The following are a few options, including complete kits with all the gear you need to start experiencing the traditional shaving method.

BOG Shave Ready Straight Razor

A classic straight razor with modern appeal. This is a high quality razor that will offer you the best shave of your life! With the 4” stainless-steel blade you will be able to quickly tame your beard. The blade folds into the handle for convenient storage inside the tin carry case or safely in your bathroom cabinet. You also get a luxurious velvet bag to neatly fit into your suitcase when travelling.

Shop here.

Parker SRB Straight Edge Barber Razor

A professional grade stainless steel blade that is much stronger than cheaper aluminum. The snap/lock blade holder guarantees you insert the blades securely. Five Shark stainless steel half-blades are included with purchase. These are designed to fit in perfectly in straight edge razors. The end of the blade has a rounded tip to minimize cuts.

Shop here.

KingOfHearts™ Classic Barber Beard Shaver

Everything you need to start your traditional shaving experience! The shaver has a classic wooden handle with the straight 6″ stainless steel blade fitting tightly into it. This whole kit has a great vintage feel to it. The synthetic bristle brush will outlast your trial and error lathering attempts. The straight razor sharpening strap is made of split leather that will help you maintain an impeccably sharp razor at all times.

Shop here.

GBS 5 Piece Shaving Set

The set includes a stainless steel barber straight edge shaver and leather case, a badger-hair chrome brush and chrome stand and a chrome shave soap bowl. You also receive 25 free blades plus a GBS soap.  With this razor you can save money on expensive cartridge refills. The razor will not rust or tarnish. The stand is great for drying your brush properly after use.

Shop here.

Be a Man, Put a Naked Blade against Your Skin

Man shaving face in the mirror with electric razor

So, are you brave enough to switch to the traditional shaving method? Or are you too scared you might slice an artery and bleed out while trying to prove your manliness?
Once you’ve experienced the glorious feeling of an ultra-close shave, you won’t go back to any other method. In the beginning you might cut yourself a few times, but once you’ve got the hang of it, you will agree that using a straight edge razor is truly the manliest shaving method of them all.

This article was contributed by Andries from manomics/shaving. Manomics.com is a men’s lifestyle site that focuses on topics such as grooming, health and fitness.

The Art of Manliness

Man stood in forest in a suit with a bird of prey on his arm

When it comes to male grooming habits, there’s definitely been a shift in attitude over the years. Gone are the days when guys would just roll out of bed, hop into the shower, and be out the door in 5 minutes. Now, they rock a skin care routine that would probably give the average female a run for her money.

With 52% of male consumers considering their appearance to be either important or very important, the male grooming market is rapidly evolving, with cosmetic sales predicted to reach a staggering £121 million by 2018. Brands have recognised the growing market and the need for male-specific products that allow customers to feel comfortable in the beauty aisle. .

Over the years we’ve been fortunate enough to try thousands of male grooming products, from the ridiculously cheap to the ludicrously expensive. And, truth be told, in many cases inexpensive products are just as good as (and sometimes even better than) those that cost ten times as much.

Time was, a man who spent too long in the bathroom was met with a level of scorn and suspicion. Thankfully times have changed, but even now its easy to feel bemused by the overwhelming amount of advice, opinion and small pots filled with expensive goop on the market.

The trick isn’t to spend a fortune on a thousand different products, or to lock yourself in the bathroom for hours at a time. Rather, you should develop a daily routine that is quick and simple, with trusted products.

*Enter Harum-Scarum Male Grooming Range*….this brands straightforward marketing style, range that punches well above it’s weight and tried + tested, shaved off, grown back approach, is one that tops our list.

It’s raw masculinity  emphasises it’s purpose, whilst quality is obviously forefront, from first use to the last drop, it’s a brand that cares for your aging looks.

Here’s what they offer:

The Hair & Beard Shampoo and Conditioner

Men's grooming products lined up on a wooden bench

This is the first dual purpose ‘hair & beard’ shampoo/conditioner we’ve ever come across. Bottled in a generous 200ml bathroom safe plastic bottle, with an easy to use cap for use in the shower. The Shampoo lathers up very well and gets through any grease or hair gel / putty with ease. The fragrance lasted well too, it smells amazing!

Shop here…

Beard & Shaving Sets

Men's wash bag in bathroom ready for shaving

The Harum-Scarum range has both Bearded and Shaved Gent taken care of as they stock a wide range of beard care and traditional shaving products. From beard oils to balms, mustache waxes, moisturiser and shave solution – all of products are priced at rather reasonable £8.95 with the exception of gift sets, which are £49.95 (and come in lovely black gloss gift boxes with an absolute treasure trove of items in).

If you’re after trusting a brand and knowing you’ve got the art of manliness down to a ‘T’, Harum-Scarum is an outstanding male grooming brand and at sensible prices. The beard or shaving gift sets would make great presents (go on treat yourself).

Shop here…

Aftershave

Black bottle of Men's Aftershave in front of Box

For many guys, fragrance is undiscovered territory. After all, cologne is something worn mostly by continental types or, if there’s a ship on the bottle, grandfathers. Right? Wrong. Olfaction actually triggers both emotion and memory far more than sight and sound—so any man who eschews wearing a scent misses out on an important tool in his presentational arsenal.

Of course, telling the right story is essential. Pay too little attention to what you’re wearing, and your aromatic signature might be “teenager after P.E.” So how do you find that perfect match? Well, by getting yourself to a fragrance counter and patiently sniffing around.

How to Shop for a Fragrance

Scents react differently to different body chemistry, so what smells good on someone else won’t smell the same way on you. To properly shop for a fragrance, you’ll actually need to wear it.

To know whether you’ve landed on the right scent, don’t just sit at home sniffing your arms—make it an active day. And smell it accidentally: Suddenly someone brushes by you, you catch a whiff and… it just makes you happy. That’s when you know you’ve found your winner.

So catch a whiff of Harum Scarum here!

4 tips to help you care for your beard

Man in the bathroom caring for his beard with a razor and shaving foam

For men, who already have full beards, another thing that you should remember is to groom it. You have to keep your beard well-maintained if you want to look good with one. If you do not groom your beard, you will end up looking dirty and unkempt. So, if you already have a beard on your face, then you should follow these tips to ensure that it is groomed properly.

1. You can use a comb with scissors to trim your beard hair. Using the comb, you can run its teeth through your beard’s hair. This will detangle your beard, and also let you see which strands need cutting. You can use the comb to separate those long strands, to be able to cut it easier using a pair of scissors.

2. A beard trimmer is an absolute necessity if you plan to groom your beard by yourself. You should buy a good pair of beard trimmers to keep your beard nice and well-maintained. Using a beard trimmer is much easier than using a pair of scissors to cut your beard hair.

3. Wash your beard regularly. Oil and other body secretions can build up in your beard’s hair, and it is important to get rid of these. You should use specialized beard shampoo if you want to properly wash your beard. Using a beard growth cream is also great for your beard and work superb for revitalizing the connections and nutrients. If you do not regularly wash your beard using special shampoo, then your beard will look terrible and smell atrocious.

4. Maintain a healthy lifestyle if you want a good beard. This means eating right and getting enough sleep. Your body’s health can affect how your beard looks.

It is extremely important that you follow these beard care tips. If you do not maintain your beard, it will have the opposite effect. Instead of making you look mature and attractive, an unkempt beard will put many people off.


 

This article is a guest post by Dylan Lobo at Wild West Beards.

The Top 5 Men’s Hairstyles for 2017

Young man in the barber's chair having his hair cut in front of a mirror

Premium men’s grooming brand The Bluebeards Revenge has teamed up with leading barber Tom Chapman to identify the top five men’s hair styles/trends for the coming year.

A new hairstyle is one of the easiest and cheapest ways for a man to kick-start his confidence” says Tom Chapman, one of the most sought after barbers in Britain, owner of Tom Chapman Hair Design and co-founder of the Lions Barber Collective.

Below, The Bluebeards Revenge and Tom Chapman outline the top five styles for 2017, what you should ask your barber for and how to maintain the look at home.

Side-Parted Pompadour

An older man with a grey beard in a suit in front of a wood back ground

The pompadour is a classic barbershop cut that’s known for its versatility: it can add professionalism to your office antics, while also presenting a delightful suave to your evenings out.

Ask your barber for:

A tapered cut with plenty of length on top to create the classic pomp look.

How to style at home:

Apply The Bluebeards Revenge Matt Paste to wet hair as a pre-styling agent.Blow-dry your hair and use The Bluebeards Revenge Quiff Roller to mould your new style into shape making sure to create a side-parting. Finish by applying a small amount of The Bluebeards Revenge Pomade and comb through for the desired effect.

Scissor-Cut Contour

Dapper looking man in suit in front of wood background

With tapered cuts and fades being all the rage, a top-quality scissor-only cut will always stand out from the crowd, especially when it boasts this much texture.

Ask your barber to:

Put the clippers down and use scissors to create a textured look that’s longer on top and shorter on the back and sides.

At home:

Apply The Bluebeards Revenge Sea Salt Spray to wet hair as a pre-styling agent.
Blow-dry your hair and use The Bluebeards Revenge Quiff Roller to create volume and texture on top. Finish by scrunching The Bluebeards Revenge Matt Paste into your hair for a look that will last all day.

Tapered Crop

Dark haired man with beard in a suit in front of a wood background

The tapered crop is a style that’s easy to maintain on a daily basis, yet has enough texture and personality to leave you feeling on top of the world.

Ask your barber for:

A tapered back and sides that blends into a choppy, textured top.

At home:

Apply The Bluebeards Revenge Sea Salt Spray to wet hair and rough dry with a towel to create a natural look with added texture. Finish by evenly distributing The Bluebeards Revenge Matt Clay from the root up.

Disconnected Slick-Back with Burst Fade

Very smart young man with blazer over his shoulder in front of wood background

This cut sounds a little complicated, but in reality it’s a modern adaptation of the classic slick-back that provides a professional, classy style.

Ask your barber for:

A grade two on the back and sides that fades away to the nape; leave plenty of length on top so that it can be slicked-back to the crown.

At home:

Apply The Bluebeards Revenge Sea Salt Spray to wet hair as a pre-styling agent. Blow-dry the hair straight back towards the crown of the head using The Bluebeards Revenge Quiff Roller. Finish by running your fingers through your hair with The Bluebeards Revenge Matt Paste for added hold.

Caesar Crop with Surgical Line

A man with a beard wearing a white shirt in front of a wood back drop

The Caesar crop is a classic cut that’s been modelled by many celebrities throughout the years. This adaptation incorporates a surgical line for a more millennial finish.

Ask your barber for:

A drop-fade on the back and sides with a scissor-cut top and a fringe.

At home:

Apply The Bluebeards Revenge Matt Paste to wet hair and blow-dry it forward towards the fringe using The Bluebeards Revenge Military Brush. Rub a small amount of The Bluebeards Revenge Matt Clay between your palms and fingers and scrunch into the tips of the fringe.

Man having hair cut in the barbers chair by barber man who has tattoos

For more information or grooming tips, head over to twitter and follow The Bluebeards Revenge or Tom Chapman.