It’s been a couple years in the making but its finally here. We’re continuing 2019 giving you guys the most authentic and original material possible. A barbershop series has been a personal passion project of mine with two years in the making. The goal of the series is simple: tell your truth and leave it all in the chair.
I had the opportunity to travel out to Washington DC and step into the creative “dojo” of renaissance man and artistic entrepreneur Amir Browder of Homme DC. His studio stands as a communal ground that visually showcasing independent and emerging artists. From collection releases from designers, DJs, video screenings to even dinner parties, Homme DC is a platform with limited creative boundaries and has strings of creative works that fortify a strong community base.
Watch below the first half of this two-part debut as Amir describes why he built this place, what it means, and how developing a grooming routine is integrated in his as a stylist, business owner, son and more.
Be sure to check out more of Homme DC in the latest Washingtonian article here.
By now, the winter season has had you buried in your house with little to no, muscle movement. I understand its dropping to the single digits with no sign of outdoor heat in sight. Nonetheless, that does not mean we can neglect all those drunk grooming promises you made NYE that evening (Polish’d Promise). As I handle clients day to day and observe my cold surroundings, I witness a pattern of behavior that we’re going to have to change to keep this winter season going strong. Don’t let your grooming habits fall apart this winter and lets bring the heat wherever we go with these quick reminders!
Snap, Crackled, Popped – Some of us are giving pimples & oily skin a free pass with the massive amounts of dry skin build up. We think as long as we don’t look like skeletor before leaving the house “as is” we’re good…Nah! Fuel your skin with that facial moisturizer or grab your loved ones. A great one can easily clear the face of access oils, cleansing agents that reduce pimples, protect skin from the strong winds, and overall gives a visibly pleasing & healthier-looking facial profile. This daily habits also minimizes any chances of skin conditions like dermatitis (eczema), fungal infections like cellulitis or even more severe like type 2 diabetes.
Broken Beard – Don’t try to convince me that the Game of Throne or Viking look is exactly what you’re going for. With their minimal resources back then, the have an excuse. Whether you’re a beard amateur or a veteran struggling on some hard times, don’t allow the cold winter to bury your follice-finesse. Get familiar with a beard brand that works for you and start to apply a shampoo (2x / week) and a daily moisturizer for immediate results. The beard is one of the most exposed parts of the face for direct winds to hit thus allowing for moisture to be quickly stripped. Many enter the barbershop with a dehydrated beard lacking water, products or trimming.
Barber Tip:Beard balms (or creams) have known to be most effective during the winter with lengths over an inch (as opposed to oils).
Reusing Clothes – Before launching Groom Guy, I was that guy taking a second look at those pair of socks I just wore the night before, contemplating I can “James Bond” my way into wearing these again. I mean, who would know my feet would smell like hot dog water if I took them off in public? The simple answer is: Absolutely not. There is nothing sexy nor humorous about wearing the same undergarments twice. For the record, if you want to expose yourself to any bodily fluids or toxins you’ve encountered the day before, I hope you’re ready for the mayhem. So get that laundry day routine underway so always have a fresh pair of undergarments or simply put that order in for a restock.
Skipping Showers – I shouldn’t even be having to write this but unfortunately I have to. Those layers you chose to re wear are packed with sweat and fluids that’ll just remain on your body. Do I even have to say more (stay equipped here)? Shower. Daily.
Its that season again. It’s about that time to rummage thru that drawer of yours and dump those underwear. From little holes to the torn waist band straps, you should no longer subject yourself to that “undergarment torment.” It’s a Groom Guy principle that we work on ourselves from the inside out… so yes that does include the inside of your attire. Gone are those days of those same tired [often plaid color] boxers you’ve been sporting since high school & college years. After coping with this unforgiving heat and the daily sweat that builds up underneath, its time to put those undergarments into overdrive. Don’t count the holes in your collection to finally dump them. Elevate your game and experience the transformational power of premium underwear.
This year, I’ve taken a very detailed approach to buying the most comfortable underwear on the planet. Don’t believe the hype (sorry, not sorry, Calvin Klein) and get ready to load up on 100% comfort. Below is some of the most important gems when purchasing your first premium set of underwear that’ll have you never wanting to take them off (literally).
Waist band control
This is the “crown” of under garment wear. There is absolutely no excuse you should wear loose ones that don’t hug onto the waist. It’s not a waist trainer so make sure it doesn’t suffocate your waist. At the gym, the waistband comfortably collects any sweat build up from racing down to the leg. You’ll want to ensure your waistband is wide and has a soft logo placement (doesn’t leave any marks). The stretch factor is important too especially…after those steak dinners.
Hit the “sack”
Your day can easily determined by this simple observation: Nicely & neatly tucked jewels. Believe it or not, but this is the bread and butter of underwear comfort. Nobody wants to blue balls (or red, purple or any other color for that matter). This should be a painless process fitting and shouldn’t require much maneuvering. Your jewels can sit comfortably with underwear that includes a contoured pinch for that ideal fit.
Cut the [cotton] Crap
Too many times I’ve purchase underwear only have to deal with the ongoing stress: rising up. This is one of the most annoying imperfections of the major brands (yes, Calvin Klein). They’ll counter by noting its “100% pure cotton” failing to tell you that the fabric is thin cotton and barely layers onto your waist with ease. You’ll feel like a sumo wrestler wearing a Fundoshi at the end of the day and wedgies as deep as the Grand Canyon.
Certain colors are recommended to be avoided (cough, white). They don’t rinse well no matter how many times and leave gross permanent stains that make it highly questionable to wear again. My recent safest and sexy recommendations include: navy, grey, maroon, olive green. Trust me, your significant other won’t be disappointed.
An active lifestyle calls for a superior fabric that’s conducive to daily movement:performance boxer briefs. These are the major key to comfort. Many of these underwear types are packed with a premium standard of flat lock stitching, a flexible stretch, flying opening for versatility and incredibly lightweight. Did I mention they’re extremely affordable! Don’t fall for the major brand marketing smoke and jump onboard to keep those jewels of yours in a case that always keeps it fresh, clean and even shining.
Be sure to email us: firstname.lastname@example.org for brand & store recommendations.
Lets admit it, a large portion of men don’t ever step foot into a salon for manicure or pedicure unless we’re dropping off our loved one or asking to you use to the bathroom… Some of us still struggle to pick up the nail clipper. Well the beginning of a new year should activate new practices in your routine. Take a good look at those fingers (deep into those cuticles) and chances are they need some love & affection this season. From cooking to everyday typing, our hands are used on a daily basis carrying various germs and build up. Sometimes that maintenance is a refreshing start into a work day or any activity. Its the details that matter most for Groom Guy (s) and its time to begin that journey.
It wasn’t until last year I was introduced to manicures and pedicures and its truly a blessing on the body. Like any man in uncharted waters, I was intimated by the flock of females in there. Luckily, I saw a guy (with calluses that could build a temple) and positioned myself alongside him. We chatted about sports and in minutes, I melted into my seat. One hour later, I couldn’t believe it was over only to ask how much additional services costs. The industry professionals (particularly women) will handle these tender parts of your body with some grace. You’ll be intrigued by how they use tools to get parts of the toes & hands you’ve never even touched. Excess skin, dryness, dirt buildup are all common skincare issues they’ll eliminate completely. From a little massage to a drink of champagne, its a super-mini vacation of bliss that’ll leave men feeling like polish’d Kings. Did I forget to mention there are tons of SINGLE people that dwell religiously in the salon as well? So if you’re looking to step your game up, you may want to make this a new home.
Groom Guy Tip:For beginners, a regular visit for manicure / pedicure once a month is fitting for the body & the wallet. A good, professional manicure service starts at fifteen dollars to twenty five & pedicure between twenty five to thirty.
As part of our new grooming series, we’re talking with some of the best barbers in the business to bring you the tips and tricks to staying handsome, from the boardroom to the bedroom.
Looking sharp isn’t rocket science, but it is something that needs a little attention. For our first installment we caught up with master barberJulien over at the Blind Barber in New York about the best ways to start your manscaping adventures. From scoring the perfect cut to the must-have tools for keeping that mane looking tip-top, ensuring your New Year gets off to a fresh start.
When considering a grooming regiment, what should guys do to affect the health of their hair and skin?
Men are usually simple creatures. We tend to not over do anything and stick to keeping it simple. Sometimes that leads us to forget some key things. One big thing that I’ve seen many men do is leave product in their hair at night. Some think it’ll be one less step they have to do in the morning when they’re getting ready, but they’re not doing themselves any favors. Product you leave in your hair at night gets on your pillow. When you lay your face on your pillow it picks it up leading to clogged pores, pimples, or overall bad skin. You should always rinse your hair out at night to remove any product, even if you aren’t shampooing daily. Clean hair = healthy hair = beautiful face.
When deciding on a new cut for the new year, what are a few things to keep in mind when talking to your barber?
A picture speaks a thousand words. Showing your barber a few photos of something you’d like can help remove a lot of the “guess work”. Pictures give the barber a better understanding of which direction you’re leaning for your hair. But, remember that some hair types appear different in person than they do in a photograph. It’s best to start with a clipper size that leaves your hair a little longer. You can always go shorter, but you can’t magically grow hair mid cut. Most of the popular haircuts you see nowadays have some variation of a fade. So you can say you want a high, medium, or low fade depending on the look and style you’re shooting for. Your barber will know the difference. Tapering your hair is always a go to. “Squaring off” or “rounding out” the neckline will give your hair an unnatural look when it’s growing back out. Asking for a taper is a classic move that will ensure that every cut you get, will leave you looking fresher longer.
What are a few products or tools every guy should own that will keep him looking fresh?
Every man should have some sort of styling product. From a pomade, to a wax or cream, a leave in conditioner, mousse – you name it. We all have bad hair days and every man can appreciate a helping hand in holding over until the next cut. If you don’t already own one, you can borrow a hair dryer from a friend or main squeeze. Blow dry your hair in the desired direction until the style you want is achieved. Hair dryers are life savers especially for those tricky cowlicks. Water based products are best for your hair. They do not damage it by drying it out or causing flakiness. Plus, they wash out easily. These water based products are best to use after the shower when your hair is towel dry. They go in evenly and won’t have you looking like Cameron Diaz in that one movie… Blind Barber’s 90 Proof is perfect if you’re looking for a matte finish with a stronger hold. It’s ideal for men that desire a natural look that lasts all day. For a little more shine, Blind Barber’s 60 Proof has an amazing finish with enough hold to define and enhance your look. Great for bringing out texture and reducing frizz.
We’re moments away from kissing the winter cold goodbye. It’s about that time to dump those wool sweater / jackets into storage and retrieve those windbreakers. But its in the midst of the seasonal wardrobe change, your grooming routine needs the same, if not MORE, love and attention. Remember when you promised yourself you’d do a better job this year? Well, here’s your shot!
But before we welcome all the and exciting products to stock up on, I had to make sure your aware of the foolish habits that have to be recycled this spring. Out with the old…..and just STAY OUT!
Trim down the body hair
It was probably cute in the beginning. You had your date really getting amused twisting your body hair but now its about that time. The more body hair you keep on during this season is a welcome ticket to sweat and body odor especially if you’re juggling an alleged athletic schedule. So be sure to trim in all places (including in your basement). Trust me, she’ll thank you later. The Wahl Hero trimmer is one I keep in my personal arsenal and absolutely love! It’s powerful and takes clean all types of air evenly for a valued price.
Be sure to tidy up that facial hair especially my bearded men. Don’t wait until you’ve got Gandalf’s Lord of the Rings beard for a touch up and simply show it some clipper attention every two weeks.
There’s tons of slack that can be given to the elongated fingernails during the winter. We can’t hid in the dark forever. Tis the season to pull out that nail clipper making sure to cut down at least once a week. If you won’t, that day in the sun will reveal it all….all that dirt packed up in your nails. Don’t be that person getting caught trying to remove the dirt from one nail using the other!
Change your toothbrush
Although we can celebrate your toothbrush has been steady since 2015-16, we can also celebrate the amount of germs that have contaminated on the bristles. American Dental Association explains exactly why and also other helpful tips to extend the life of your toothbrush.
In some circumstances, you should replace your toothbrush even if the bristles are not visibly frayed. When you’ve been sick with a cold or flu, or have had a mouth or throat infection, sore throat, or a mouth sore, you should replace your toothbrush even if it’s new. Doing so will help prevent re-exposing yourself or others in your household to germs that could cause an illness.
I’d be lying if I said hole habit in the sock is tolerable and I haven’t done it….because it’s totally not. We set ourselves up for shame once your significant other takes sight of that. It showcases poor effort & showmanship in oneself. It also allows for possible fungal odors as sweat buildup increasing during the warm spring weather. Your winter socks have been thru an mild, odor war. It’s time to give them a facelift with some new 100% cotton love of fresh socks. Don’t be weary of popping your sock game with some color too. A little goes a long way!
Since the cold front has been in recent full force, its no surprise that my routine had to be kicked up a notch. I reviewed some problems and careful evaluations of my skin. I also developed some immediate solutions that can beef up my skin back to its shine & balanced moisture levels. I thought I’d share along with you some of the ongoing issues I go thru on a weekly / daily basis
Dry skin (especially around the nose and forehead)
I’m sure we’ve all had our fair share of bing weekends catching up fully on the new TV series that hit Netflix a month or so ago Luke Cage. Mike Colter dives well into the superhero role seeming to open a can of whoop ass throughout the entire season. But besides being an enormous super sized muscle head, Luke Cage allows us to draw up some helpful grooming tips that may assist you along your journey. Super hero or not, we’re all trying to gain climb that ladder of style immortality. Here’s what we were able to configure:
#1 BALD GOD
Throughout the entire season, I was able to spot a single spot of stubble on that man’s head. After being shot at I’m sure those bullets burn those hair particles right off but it seems like every episode he keeps baldness maintained and polished. The real question, when does he have to time shave at all. He hasn’t been home all 12 episodes….
#2 HOLE-Y SMOKE
Now I’ve taken noticed to the recent hole-in-shirts trend that seems to emerge in the rock star fan base but Luke Cage clearly draws the line. It seems he may be pushing the boundary here on grungestyle and we can label it just plain ol’ dirty. The continued bullet holes in his shirt should not be mistaken for a Yeezy concert tee! So if you can count half as many holes in your shirt as Cage does in a single episode, treat your to a fresh one in your closet.
#3 FREQUEST BARBER VISITS
We can agree that Luke Cage had no excuse for looking dusty especially in those first couples episodes. He literally works in a barbershop so he gets shown no grace here. He once again reminds us that if you’re going to wear muscle tees and flirt with chocolate women periodically, you can at least make sure that facial hair and head is polish’d which he maintains effortlessly. Like Pops, some barbers anticipate your next visit for a clean up and good conversation.
#4 MR. STRAIGHT RAZOR
At first glace, spending the money on a straight razor shave can be looked at as a luxury but for some that service is timely. A barber’s hand is sometimes just the finisher we need to professionally present for that next job opportunity, camera appearance or to just have a light night score. Be sure to keep that barber visit on your radar every 2-3 weeks for that polish’d style like fictional character below: Cottonmouth.
#5 ALWAYS “PREPARED”
Between his cameo appearance on Netlix’s Jessica Jones to the female characters on his own sitcom we can draw the conclusion that Luke Cage keeps a dime or two “buddies” in his back pocket. Thanks to him, this is a constant reminder to always be prepared for those unpredictable nights as well as making sure the “boys” downstairs are cleaned and ready to work for what can be a festive evening. He reminds us to make sure we don’t leave the house without those Trojans….
Whether you recognize it or not, your bathroom is your sanctuary. Gone are the days of having it look like a gym locker room. Here’s some helpful necessities that can transform your bathroom & shower routine into the manly kingdom we know it can be.
#1 Body Towel
I couldn’t understand why on earth my mother bought this for me during my college years. What I thought was a lazy college, going away gift actually turned out super helpful. The body wrapped towels give spa-like vibrations that set the perfect finish to your shower. Some include a velcro attachment allowing an easy wrap and ability to multi task throughout your morning get up.
#2 Facial Cleanser
Lets hope you can notice your pimple outbreak before she can and tackle it. Applying a facial cleanser to your skin while in the shower assures the most effectiveness. Why? The skin is completely wet and with a combination of steam and hot / warm water your pores can fully open up for maximum results. Apply your facial cleanser in the shower and let it sit in your skin allowing both the steam and product to work simultaneously. We’re all familiar that cleanser generally rids your oily skin, acne breakout, ingrown hairs, and those nasty blackheads.
Recommended: Billy Jealously Facial Scrub, St. Ave facial scrub, Cetaphil facial cleanser
#3 Body Brush
It’s time to rid yourself of those body rags. On top of the fact its lived in your shower collection since you moved out of your parents house, it has tons of germs still sitting on the fabrics of it (even when you do wash it). Your mother’s body rags don’t properly clean the skin anyway and actually spreads dirt along the body. Body brushes contain strong bristles that exfoliate and lift the dirt & dead skin cells from the anatomy while boosting circulation and overall glow. I swear by this product which relieves my skin of any daily toxins that may have reached my oily skin. The long handles brushes are perfect for heard to reach areas too.
#4 Foot Exfoliator
Blisters. Calluses. Corns. They’re all on the foot hit list. It’s time to rid yourself of those disasters before that summer heat. I was introduced to a new device: Micro-Pedi Man. From the description, it gently and effectively buffs away dead, calloused, hard and dry skin in seconds. Classic metal scrapers can be dangerous & harmful since the metal can potentially cut the skin. Elevate your shower experience with this new device at a valued price of $19.99 via Amazon. Special shouts Alex Bracetti for the reference on this!
#5 Soap Dish
Soap dishes are simple yet helpful household accessories that benefit users in many ways. In shared bathrooms, for instance, they are perfect for storing soap after having a bath. Nobody wants to share that bar soap amongst all their roommates. Instead of placing soap on the floor or on the countertop of your bathroom, a quality model will never disappoint you. For those that hate bathing with mushy soap on the other hand, soap dishes have well-draining systems that keep soap dry.
If you’re like me, then you think you’re invincible from any sickness or cold 99.9% of the time. My stubbornness gets the best of me most of the time thinking I don’t have to properly prepare for the cold season thats amongst us. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way coming home to full tidal wave of nasal congestion. It wasn’t until my girlfriend had to make the trip to the nearby corner store that made me call out of work and realize: damn, I’m sick.
I was trying to replay in my head all of the potential symptoms that could have led me to this point and maybe can be helpful for you during this cooler season:
Lack of vitamin intake
Wearing improper clothes aka wearing a JACKET when I should have never left the house with just a sweater.
Lack of layers (note: pull out those scarfs now)
Thanks to advice from my girlfriend and ability to focus, I was able to uncover some immediate remedies that quickly healed my congestion and killed my flu symptoms before they even started. Tis the season to stock up on any of these items below or any others that keep you flu free!
(Note: You’ll want to add ginger root to this collection especially if you’re looking to make a honey lemon tea).