Just for the record — we think curly beards are pretty cool just the way they are.
Embrace your beard, it’s all yours, it’s awesome and completely unique to you — that’s exactly why I want this account of straigthening your beard to be seen more as a “styling” article rather than a “fixing” one. After all, you can’t really fix something that ain’t broken — beards are pretty much meant to be curly.
That said, let’s get to it.
If you are after keeping your hair tight and slick - whether it be rocking a modern pompadour or just a classic comb over, pomades should generally be your hair product of choice.
These days though, there are two main types of pomade to choose from the traditional classic oil based pomade and the new modern uptake: the water based pomade.
Should you be using a beard oil or a balm or both even — if you’ve got a short, long beard, curly beard? Do you use them together? Heck, what even are they and do you really need them? Today’s post is covering the lowdown on exactly when you should be using them, when and why.
When it comes to using beard oil, it’s by no means rocket science — that said you want to get it right (you know, not using too much — not using too little) that’s why we’ve broken it down into this guide a easy-to-follow simple 5 step process.
As a frequent beard oil user for the last few years now — I’ve gradually developed a list of my ‘preferred vendors’ — which I’m going to share with you today. 24 of them to be precise. So if you are wondering where to buy beard oil from next? Hopefully this list should help you out somewhat.
“Is beard oil a gimmick?”
“Is it really necessary?”
“Is it ‘even’ that good for your beard?”
Before, I ventured into beard oil myself, I asked myself those ‘very’ same questions (embracing the inner cynic), is it basically some sort of snake oil?
I mean some of it ain’t cheap, you can easily be looking at twenty bucks plus a bottle — so it’s only natural to consider:
i) what beard oil does (or at least claims to do i.e what benefits does it offer my beard) and ii) does beard oil work (and will it work for ‘my’ beard in particular).
An issue that the modern gent has had to deal with begrudgingly pretty much every hot blistering summer — especially when having to dabble in a bit of DIY by orders of the better half.
C’mon, you know what I’m talking about?
Bat wings, swamp crotch, sweaty down stairs — ya’ know, a general hot sticky, chafing and irritable nether region — that emits a rather potent odious and outright ghastly scent that no man should have to endure, day in day out.
Becoming ever more popular, hair paste has seen a decent rise amongst the men’s hair game and for good reason.
Unlike a lot of hair products out there — with a hair past there is no clear understanding of what it actually is. Of course, once you line up several of the best men’s hair pastes out there (like we have done just below) — and touch and get a feel for them, you do soon start to get an idea as to the general running themes between them.
With the hype of beard oil.
What often gets overlooked (apart from the savvy bearded amongst you) is the true versatility a beard balm has to offer.
(…especially if you “make the most of it” and apply some little known beard-grooming tricks, which we will get to in just a second…).
I like to think of beard balm as basically a quad-agent beard product that is literally just the dry version of beard oil.
Struggling with an itchy beard? It’s probably the most common angst amongst new beard growers, luckily there are a few quick fixes to help soothe the itch and keep irritation it down to a minimum. Today, specifically we will be discussing 8 ways to help you take a holistic approach to remedying your itchy troubles.
I gotta admit I am bit of a fan boy for Hanz De Fuko assortment of hair waxes, from their all natural ingredient (zero paraben) policy just to their minimalist looking design — they get a sure fire thumbs up from me.
Plus, they make some pretty cool unique products as well.
I’ve pretty much worked my way through their entire range, and after a reader emailed in asking “what I thought about them”, I’m going to use that as the perfect excuse to share my thoughts and experiences with each one.
You wake up. Go about your usual ‘getting ready’ routine, stare at yourself in the mirror…
And “Hot DAY’um!”
You can see from the off, you’re having one hell of a bad beard day.
It’s scraggly. Feels itchy. And is rough as toast.
It’s got you down. Not good.
Beard hairs are flying off in every other direction than where they should be — and man, it’s just a mess.
“What can we help you with today, sir?”
Let’s face it, “girl’s dig a trimmed up beard”
However, if you are a first-time beard grower heading to a traditional barbers to get just that, the above question can actually be a slightly awkward question — given you might not exactly be too sure as what it is you are exactly after or for that matter even what to expect.
- Do you tell them the shape and style you are after, pointing to a picture for reference?
- Whether you want it washing or not as well?
- Or just a classic trim down?
With the recent beard uprising — this is a question we’ve been asked about a few times now, particularly from undergrads:
“Should I shave my beard for a job interview? And is it really that important?”
Their story usually follows a somewhat similar scene: they’re gunning for a brand new job and have just landed an interview.
Although, I’d class it as a slightly more ‘advanced’ skill, once you’ve got the basics nailed down — the faded beard look is a great way of picking up some major beard style points.
It works particularly well with certain hairstyles such as undercuts and the like to get a seamless transition from one to the next. If you do visit a barber often to get your beard trimmed up — it’s certainly something I would ask about to start incorporating.
You’re about to embark on the bearded journey to full on beardom? Well, props to you it takes a whole boat load of patience and man determination, but one’s thing for sure — it’s totally worth it.
Of course as you might have come to realise there are a few different stages (specifically around about 6, but you will soon see they gradual overlap — so they aren’t completely distinctive) of beard growth each representing their own obstacles and challenges.
I think you will agree with me when I say: dealing with an itchy, scruffy beard ain’t all that much fun.
That’s where you need to make proper use of beard conditioning products to help reign it into a proper and manageable state as well as a solid beard grooming routine (and you’ll will have seen that I’ve addressed this in-depth a few times before).
Despite the “lazy” stigma that gets attached with growing and keeping a beard, any ‘real’ beardsmen (apart from the all natural beard folk) knows that to actually keep his man mane in check it actually takes a fair bit of time and effort.
And a fair wad of monetary investment too (beard products aren’t exactly cheap).
I’ll be honest.
When I first heard about a beard shampoo — I just another gimmicky beard product that’s jumped on the ‘beard oil’ bandwagon.
I knew I should be shampooing my beard, so it wasn’t a question of “should I or should I not shampoo”. It was more, exactly ‘what’ am I meant to be cleaning it with?
If you’re after a dedicated beard styling product.
Beard wax is definitely it.
Similar to a beard balm in the sense that it’s a solid form — but where a balm will act as a conditioner for your beard as well as offer some light hold to style your beard.
You’ve probably landed here off of the Youtube fever around (Blumaan) Joe’s first ever product.
And wondering is it just a gimmicky hair product or is it actually decent? There’s a lot of mixed reviews out there, so I thought I would just give an honest low down of my personal thoughts on it.
I’ve wanted to let the dust settle a little before I jumped straight into my personal thoughts and ultimately — my review of Original By Blumaan.
Are you with me on this?
Do you get a little stress on when you’ve been invited to an upcoming event and hear the dress code is “smart casual”.
It seems to strike a cord, because really no-one really knows what it means, although it’s probably meant to put them at ease — it sort of does the opposite, cause now you don’t know really what to come in. More of an interpretation than a given ‘style’, which leads the spectrum quite large. One man’s version of smart casual may well differ to another.
On the up and up, hair clays despite them being relatively new to the men’s hair product market — are quickly becoming a guy’s go to for fixing up a volumed based style.
What exactly is a hair clay?
To be fair, to be classed as a hair clay. It really just needs to be a hair based product with a clay type element or ingredient.
Have you caught yourself wondering exactly why are you even using an aftershave? Whether they are actually worth getting? And exactly what does an aftershave even do?
Whether it be in the form of a splash, lotion or even a balm, aftershave is being used by guys routinely when shaving without actually knowing exactly what it actually does.
Recently I’ve managed to get my hands (and beard) on Beardbrand’s new sculpting balm.
As you can gather from the name, it’s meant promptly for styling your beard rather offering it moisture that an oil would do and the texture gives me the impression it’s slightly like a beard pomade (given the fact that it can also be used, in fact encouraged to be used in your hair too — and gives a slight shine to it).
If you have been looking to any sort of beard product recently, I’m pretty sure you will have been somewhat chased around the internet with ads that come across something like the above image.
Where you see a guy on the left struggling with no beard — then insert magical ‘special formula’ beard product and bam, you’ve got yourself a fully blown up beard.
Often overlooked (even by the more experienced beardsmen), beard soaps.
A great alternative to a beard shampoo or wash and often come at a much more reasonable price too (well at least most are).
A beard soap will help out your beard too, to become less irritable and end beardy brittleness.
It was only until recently.
When one of my beardless friends came over and oversaw my collection of beard balms in the bathroom — and made the connection that he has “something like this at home” but is used more for the scent, did I really come to terms with what solid cologne actually is.
And since then, I’ve somewhat switched over from the traditional cologne to the solid versions. They aren’t exactly new either, they’ve been around a while but it’s only recent have they begun to boom in popularity amongst guys.
To a new beard grower.
It can be pretty daunting just how many different types of beard care products out there in on the market.
From the likes of beard balm, oil, butter and more — all claiming to do pretty much the same thing — it’s hard to figure out exactly what your beard needs.
Being a dad can be hard work.
However, it needn’t be.
I’ve wanted to write this little guide for a while now — and share it with fellow dads out there, so they can get the same work done — but have more time to themselves.
Hopefully you will be able to at least benefit from one and make life a little easier.
Put it this way.
If beard oil, beard shampoo and so on is one side of the formula for general beardy upkeep — then combing it regularly is the other side — to ensure a good looking beard.
See, here’s the thing:
So why grow some stubble.
- It’s a great look.
We only have to look to a couple of scientific studies to confirm that for us, one such involved 351 girls — who determined it the most attractive — compared to clean shave to full on bearded men.
There’s actually, many, many more like that too.
You’re gonna give the subtle ‘man nod’ of approval when I say:
“There’s literally nothing worse than trying to fetch out a full-on-bulging-wallet from your front pocket”.
We know women love beards.
They might even dig a hairy chest. Often they are usually willing to forgive furry hands and arms but what they aren’t likely to accept…
… is a hairy back and shoulders — even guys who are generally hairy all over aren’t ever particularly fond of their back and shoulder hairs.
I reckon you will agree with me when I say:
Owning an itchy, irritable and rough beard — certainly ain’t much fun.
It definitely isn’t when you’ve been dosing it with beard oil every day and it’s still not getting to the point you want it at. You’ve pretty given up all hope.
Do you really need to be adding product to your hair care routine?
Well, if you want to sprout a healthy set.
Then, yeah picking up a decent leave in conditioner will help you to achieve that — pretty quickly and easily.
You don’t need much imagination to muster up this scene.
You’re crushing it at the gym, rushing to and from work, picking up the groceries — and a result you just get outright sweat (and apart from the lucky ones), it results in you getting all stinky.
So, of course, what do you turn to?
I’ve been in that boat fella.
Whether you’ve set your beady eye on a new OCBD, pair of dark wash jeans or new set of white canvas shoes — in all likelihood it’s going to set you back more than you’d hoped.
And in the case for most guys, they’d give up or save up.
My urban EDC kit.
This is something that has been requested a few times.
So I thought, what it might make a pretty neat post as well — and can hopefully give some inspiration towards building your very own essentials EDC kit.
Wondering exactly what the difference is between foil and rotary shavers? And, to be honest is it even worth knowing?
Well to the second question, I can give a brief and short answer: yes, it sort of is.
I mean its not really something most guys even question, a shaver is a shaver at the end of the day, isn’t it? Well yeah, you’re right there.
This was actually a question that got emailed into me (after a reader took note of my recent account on ‘pulling off the casual look’, I did a little while back).
And as my reply got a bit long, I thought ahh what the heck.
It might make a half decent blog post, at least that way any other guys who are curious as to exactly what the difference between a sweater and a sweatshirt is — can find out.
Only if it was as simple as putting down your razor.
If want to start growing out your beard *hats off*, but you’re not sure where to start, then this little plan of action should help you out — specifically made for prospective beard growers who are about to embark on the wonderful journey that is bearding.
Right, so let’s get started but firstly, a word of warning.
This was no easy feat.
We’ve rattled our brains long and hard for a “beard ranking” beyond all proportions, searching far and wide to find some of the most glorious beards the world has to offer. From shape to colour consistency, even the way they sway with a slight and sudden breeze.
But, we are proud to say we’ve finally done it and the results are in, a list of 10 rock solid celebrity beards that are the thing of bearded envy (benvy, for short), the facial scruff women wish they could snuggle up to and men wish they could grow — and without further or do, let’s crack into it.
To put it blunt.
Most beardsmen will probably agree when we say:
“Beards really aren’t all that easy to style, are they?” Rarely do they fall into place just how we want them to.
But that does that need to be the case?
You will have caught me advocating the use of Clarisonic skin cleansers before in some of my posts around beard care, but what I must confess is that I have actually been using the Mia 2 from the better half.
After much, berating on her part — she decided to get me a “man’s clarisonic”, namely the Alpha Fit for my birthday which you see pictured above. After, suggesting the idea and reading up on beforehand — I approved (I know, I know, it’s meant to be a surprise).
If you have seen my ‘favorite’ water based pomades list, where I list the top 7 — you will have probably seen somewhat of a ‘mini’ Shear Revival Crystal lake pomade review already.
However, since it does rank as my ‘overall’ favorite — I thought it is worth a review all of its own.
It was actually a pomade that I found out of luck more than anything through a recommendation from The Pomp, shortly after trying the O’Douds water pomade too (which you might also seen doing a sweet solid cologne, I’ve only just reviewed.)
There’s two places you’ve likely come across the Beard King beard bib and that’s either:
- where they appeared on the shark tank episode
- or through their pretty clever and self-acclaimed “viral” videos.
(In fairness, some of their videos are actually pretty good).
Anyhow, I thought it was a pretty nifty idea, so I picked one up. As a result, here I’m going to share my honest thoughts with you, on whether it is truly worth the bang for buck? So if you’ve been teetering on the edge on whether to go ahead and get one — hopefully it will help you choose.
For this writer at least, shawl collar cardigans are one of the few essential men’s wardrobe pieces that can be pretty much combo’d with any piece, that you can get away with — and just outright work.
Why should you add it to your wardrobe?
Whether you are looking to layer up for oncoming bitter months (typically I couple it over other lightweight sweaters) in a bid for ‘smart casual’ or simply wear it instead of a hoodie as you stagger around your house in something you’ve just thrown together.
I’ve been wanting to do this post for a while now.
You may well have already come across this brand before — and I have certainly featured them here previously, namely in the fact that they make it on to my top 24 beard company list.
When it comes to creating a minimal desk set up — it’s basically that figuring out exactly what you can do with out.
And thanks to iMacs and the like, there is quite frankly not much excuse to have much sitting on your workspace. Papers, calendars, dictionaries, the fax machine, calculators even telephones (to some extent) can all be handled by the modern day computer.
There’s something about a piece of wall art, whether that comes in the form of an original work or an out and out fixture — it’s often the crucial element (yet hardest piece to nail down) to turning that apartment into your home.
Here’s to a few ideas on that dedicated wall space you’ve been eyeing up.
This modern apartment has strong tones of a Scandinavian based contemporary style that carries on right throughout the lay out.
As you can see right from the off, we can see that it is utilizing in a minimalistic way what is actually quite a small male living space, yet the open space carrying on from the living room (left) to the kitchen (right) gives the appearance of it actually being quite large which is impressive.
An often overlooked aspect of any bachelor pad, is the smell — although it’s not what necessarily ‘makes’ the room, it will add character and depth — and turn it into something that’s inherently inviting.
Here’s the thing:
You can have a darn sweet crib, but if it smells bad — no one wants to hang around for long. Flip up the other way around though, a pretty plain yet neat room but smells of leather, whiskey and tobacco — you’re pretty much set.
Yesterday I got an email from a reader asking for me to review his reading corner and the answer ended up growing and growing — it got to the point that I thought it would make a pretty neat blog post for something that really needs a little bit of attention broguth to it.
Given that it is a pretty oft-forgotten area, I’m hoping just a little bit that it inspires you to set one up of your very own for you to email in for me to take a look.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been getting a lot of pictures in from guys asking for advice on how to improve the look of their bedrooms…
…(which is great by the way, please do send more in — I’m more than happy to try and help out a fellow bachelor)…
… and although I am seeing them do a pretty darn good job of their general bedroom decor — where the major let down is more often than not, is their bedding. It’s bear, pretty much zero thought into how it’s being made up. A lot like the one of above (minus the pillow arrangement).
If you are looking for ideas to set up a minimalist sleek man-based bathroom where you can enjoy your ‘man business’ in peace and tranquility then the following ten bachelor based bathrooms should well and truly give you the inspiration you need.
Putting up a new bathroom cabinet is one thing, but going all out on your bathroom can soon make it your favorite room in the house.
Inspired by last (and somewhat similarly themed post on the entryway), I thought it would be appropriate to talk about perhaps what I regard as the second most missed opportunity with guy’s homes.
And just like the last post, this is going to be mostly a guide full of things you can actively do right off the bat (i.e implement today) but also how to improve your bathroom for future.
When it comes to designing your new home, I’m sure you have heard about the general points of consideration already:
- making sure that you get the bedroom just right, with the right furniture and appropriate masculine bedding.
- that you need to arrange bachelor pad wall art displayed throughout the house to bring it to life.
- amongst a range of varying tips on must haves and even ‘ultimate guides’ on how to inject ‘masculinity’ and style into your home.
Although your living room might look much more lived in than the one 3D illustration above, it really doesn’t take much to bring it up to a standard that most would deem impressive.
A few additions here there, re-organzing over there and you can help bring your living room to life — making for an inviting room to chill out and relax a little.
Hey, get this.
Imagine if you could just make one slight amendment to your home that didn’t cost a bomb or didn’t take up too much time, to dramatically improve its look.
Or better still:
There were 10 of the amendments you… and each consequent one improved the look of turning your apartment into a luxurious bachelor pad.
Considering it’s where you will probably ending most of your day, spending time on getting your home office — just right to not only embellish your creative and productive juices — but somewhere that actually reflects your bacheloristic tendencies (i.e a place you actually like hanging out).
I’ve already hit upon this similar topic a couple of times already:
As a result, it’s seems to have hit a little cord with at least some of you, as you have enquired a few times, exactly what else could sit upon the desk — as just a computer set up is making their battle station look a little on the bare side.
If you’ve ever wondered:
“Where to get started with my bachelor pad?”
“What are the core essentials to designing a sleek looking man pad?”
“How can I improve the look of my apartment?”
Don’t know where to start?
Looking for a bit of bachelor apartment inspiration?
You’ve got a living room that you want re-vamping?
All the reasons above are exactly why I’ve set out to create this piece an ultimate list of the best men’s interior design resources (for men’s bachelor pads) and as you can see we go through it room by room, from the living room to the bedroom.
It’s really great to see a little community building up around here.
Recently, I’ve been asked a few times what types of instagram accounts should you guys be following up for some inspiration (of course apart from my very own @bachelorinterior — which of course if you haven’t already, I would highly recommend checking it out — subtle self plug there).
I actually came across this neat infographic from Home Goods, whilst browsing through Pinterest.
Yes, I actually do that.
Where they basically conducted a survey on a 1000 people how the look of their house impacts their mood — keeping the story short they suggested six ways quick alterations that you can carry out on your house in turn making your more upbeat.
Granted, I’m no professional interior design myself.
However, like I say, I do like to dabble and it is a growing interest of mine (certainly over the last few months) that you can quite clearly see I like to document right here through bachelor interior.
About two or months ago, I’d made it a mission to drink more water.
I don’t need to go into the details of the benefits of keeping hydrated but I felt like had more energy, my skin was looking remarkably better and top it off I think my beard benefited too.
If you’re fancying the idea of a robot vacuum, however have been put off a little by the price of some of the more “established models” and looking for decent alternative - chances are, since you are here - you’ve come across this fellow, the ANker RobotVac 10 who sides on the cheaper end.
The RobotVac 10 is actually a fairly new model so you won’t see many reviews around as of yet, so hopefully this can go someway into helping you to decide whether to make the plunge or not. However, if you are after just wondering whether it’s worth the 200 dollars for a decent robot vacuum, then my short answer is yes.
Since my latest update on how my Anker Robovac is getting on and the recent debate as to whether to get the Roomba 860 or 880 - I’ve had some awesome feedback and questions, so thank you very much for that. But, there is a question that keeps popping over and over again…
“Should I go for the Anker RoboVac 10 or a Roomba?”
Are you comparing the two premium series 9 braun shavers, 9090cc and the 9095cc - but still don’t know what the heck is the difference between each model?
That’s because they are ‘practically’ almost identical in all features and aspects apart from one…
Put it this way.
If you’re a coffee lover, you’re gonna sure as hell love Keurig coffee machines - that much is straightforward.
However, what’s not so easy - is actually shopping for the right Keurig coffee machine for you. There seems to be well over 30+ different coffee machines, so when it comes to try and compare Keurig models against each other - in two words: it’s hard.
Ever since my recent article where I compared the Dyson V6 versus V8, I’ve had numerous emails sent in - asking them to confirm the differences between the other cordless vacuums too like the DC59, DC44, DC35 as well as the different versions between the multi floor, animal vs absolute and so on.
So I thought to make things a little easier for everyone I thought I would do a great big comparison chart of Dyson digital slims with all the different features and aspects so you can easily compare one off against the other and which one represents the best overall value for money.
There’s no doubt Keurig coffee machines certainly appeal to coffee lovers…
… I mean what’s not to love about hand free coffee making - with a simple plug in of a few buttons you’ve got access to a range of custom settings to brew the perfect cuppa.
A Keurig coffee machine is a sound way to go about getting a decent home brewing system, I should know I’ve had three already...
... and just invested in a new one, after the latest has been on its last legs for a while.
It’s come to that special time of year again, no it’s not my wife’s and I’s wedding anniversary or even my birthday - the coffee machine has been on its last legs for a while now and I think it’s just about time to get a new brewing system.
Fun times, ey? Coffee machine shopping!
You aren’t alone when trying to work out what on earth is even the difference between the Norelco 9300 and 9700.
And quite frankly when comparing them, there’s barely any difference to be had at all - they are literally as follows:
Debating whether to make the leap for the Roomba 860 or the Roomba 880? Or like I was, just a little confused about all the differences between the 860, 870 and 880 - basically just want some clarification and the best one to go for?
There’s been a new addition to the Roomba 900 series family, the 960 - in many ways it’s iRobot’s second most advanced robotic vacuum.
It’s the second robot vacuum in their family to have the wi-fi enabled system, which is pretty cool, as it basically allows you to operate the roomba remotely (without control) so it can be pretty much anywhere in the house and you can instruct it what to do - but more on that later.
Let’s face it.
Shopping for robot vacuums isn’t a whole lot of fun (unless you’re me).
Especially considering you are faced with what these days appears to be a whole bunch of options and models to pick from. Despite, the vast (slightly overwhelming) amount of choice, there is one brand that sticks out from the rest, Roomba.
Since my latest comparison of the Roomba 860 versus the Roomba 880, I’ve had a bunch of emails asking me about other Roomba models and like I’ve done with the Dyson comparison chart, I thought I’d make another one for the robot vacuums.
First off, a brief ‘thumbs up’.
Eyeing up a Dyson Hot + Cool?
Being a bit of a Dyson fan (pun, sadly intended) myself and then after seeing one of these at my friend’s home office about a week back - I’ve got to say, I’m keen to splurge on one too.
Struggling to work out ‘exactly’ what the heck is the difference between the Dyson V6 and V8?
Don’t worry, I’ve been in that boat already so hopefully should save you some major leg work here and actually answer “Whether it’s worth going for the V8 or V6?”.
Struggling to figure out whether a Dyson upright or canister is the way to go for you?
No sweat. Hopefully after reading this little comparison I’ve drawn up after going through a similar debate myself, you will be a bit clearer over which one is right for you.