Grooming is not just for the ladies and with the plethora of men’s grooming products and services, I had a chance to ask Craig the Barber about men, their grooming habits, and more. Craig is a licensed, Professional barber, men’s grooming expert, and the owner of the Grooming Concierge, an on-location men’s barbering service. He maintains his blog, The Men’s Room, and is a contributor to Men’s Health Magazine.
Craig, great to meet you. So, what advice do you have for women who want their boyfriends/husbands to wax their back hair? Is this normal?
Waxing in general for men is very common, the back area, especially. It works for men because the removal of heavy body hair allows for a slimmer appearance in clothing, not mention it increases a man’s confidence at least at one place, the beach. However, it does come with a painful price. So when the question comes up as to what I suggest, I almost always suggest, laser hair removal. It is becoming very popular among men. In fact, Stephen Strasburg, pitcher for the Washington Nationals mentioned on Letterman that he blew his signing bonus on laser hair removal for his back! Most dermatologist offices offer this treatment. It saves the skin from sometimes very unattractive and painful irritation, such as ingrown hairs, the results last much longer and compared to waxing, the pain almost nonexistent. You know, there is a new laser hair removal system on the market that I am extremely impressed with and it’s called the LightSheer Duet. It’s fast, comfortable and treatments on a man’s back or chest take only 15 minutes, compared to an hour with other lasers. And, there is no need for the sometimes very messy numbing gels.
It seems normal for men to be metro-sexual these days with men regularly popping up in nail salons to get their weekly mani/pedi. Your thoughts?
Times have certainly changed haven’t they? The New Age of Man is what I personally call it. Men simply want to look and feel better about themselves. From the 25 yr old man, to his father and even his grand-father. They are all searching for ways to preserve their youth, be it looking younger or feeling younger.
If you notice, the men’s grooming market is now a multi-billion dollar a year business. And with this growth, barbershops are evolving into full service shops that offer more than the standard haircut and a shave; manicures and pedicures are just a few items on menu. To add more of a spa experience, at my barbershop I offer a 45-min. straight razor shave that not only relaxes and gets it close, it also incorporates a facial.
What’s the best way to encourage the guy in our lives to get healthier and not sit around eating nachos/watching the game all day?
The best way to encourage a man to change his lazy habits and get healthier is for the woman in his life to take the first step. If she begins to eat and live better, he will eventually follow suit. Especially when she begins to get more stares from other men, not to mention the fitter ones!
Guys are really hard to shop for. Can you give us some advice so we don’t end up buying him something that will waste away in his closet?
Hmm, that’s a tough one, because men have such a broad range of interests. But here’s some really simple advice… We men are creatures of habit, and it’s very easy to detect if he is interested in clothes, sports, gadgets or my favorite subject, grooming. So, if he is not into adding to his wardrobe, why bother? Father’s Day is meant for giving him something he wants (i.e. a day with the guys, a new iPhone), no matter how much you hate the habit or hobby.
These days, men are more into skincare than ever before. What are your favorite skincare products or do you just use soap?
A large percentage of my job is trying out new men’s grooming products, so of course I am constantly testing new skincare items. I don’t necessarily have a number one favorite, but I do have many that I like, each for different reasons! Here are some, in no particular order: Kiehl’s – Facial Fuel Moisturizer, Lab Series – 3-in-1 Post Shave, Anthony Logistics – Vitamin C Serum, Baxter of California – Facial Scrub, Malin + Geotz – Grapefruit Face Cleanser, Dermalogica – Intensive Moisture Balance, Proraso – Shaving Soap… I think you get the point, I can go on for days!
Now I know that is sounds overwhelming especially to your male readers, but remember I do this for a living. So, be comfortable in knowing that a man can do just fine with two grooming items, a face wash and a moisturizer!
We’ve gotten many questions from our readers about guys who want better skin, but are unsure where to begin. What do you say to them?
Great question! Well the best place to begin would be the most common grooming area, the beard. The beard can cover up to 50% of a man’s face. So, understanding how to prep the beard for shaving, prevent irritation by recognizing growth patterns, and how to treat the skin afterwards (see my Quick & Classic Shaving Tips), allows men to put more value into their skincare products, especially after they’ve seen and felt the results. Generally, once a man has mastered the art of the shave, and has come to understand the importance of this step by step process, then he is on his way to trying other skincare items. But on a side note, an internal change is also very important, so never discount a healthier diet and lots of water!
How often should you really apply sun block? Also…what’s the best SPF to use? 15 or 100?
It really depends on the daily activity of the person. There are many daily facial moisturizers on the market that contain SPF 15, which quite honestly is enough for your day to day activities in and out of the sun. However, enjoying the summer sun while at the beach, or doing other outside activities, should require more protection. Dermatologists suggest reapplying your sun block every 2 hours after sweating of swimming.
Choosing between an SPF 100 sun block or an SPF 50, should never be a hassle. Simplify the process with these 3 steps:
1. Determine how many minutes your bare skin can be exposed to the sun before it burns.
2. Divide that number of minutes into the total number of minutes you want to remain in the sun.
3. The result is the SPF you should look for in a sun block.
Considering that we just celebrated Father’s Day, what is one memorable piece of advice that your father gave you?
Wow, out of all those many pearls of wisdom I have to choose one? Well, it would have to be the phrase “Know yourself”. Simply because, if you know yourself, the decisions you make in life cannot be altered by any one person’s actions or opinions.
How can one achieve his/her best self?
I do not believe that anyone can ever ultimately achieve their “best self” because there will always room for improvement even when you don’t think so. However, striving to maintain a positive attitude everyday and taking life one step at a time is one way we can get very close.
Thanks Craig! For more information on Craig, his grooming tips and more, check out his site, “CRAIGTHEBARBER.COM”