Beardcare, Shaving, Videos

Rapper Stalley Drops Gems On Facial Hair Growth + New Track

Previously written by Nate Ericksen on GQ.com 

 

No Shave November ended, but your scruff stuck around. Maybe your girl liked it, maybe it added some swagger to your step, or possibly you were just too damn lazy to pick up a razor. One way or another, that baby face of yours has some newfound growth that you’re just not sure how to maintain. You’re in luck. Ohio rapper Stalley happen to be the proud owner of one of the best beards in hip-hop. We hit up the Maybach Music / Blue Collar Gang rapper (and pick designer) to drop some knowledge on what you need to make a long-term commitment to facial hair.

 

GQ: So when was the last time you were facial hair free?

Stalley: In 2008.

 

GQ: What’s been the hardest part of maintaining your beard?

Stalley: Sleeping on it.

 

GQ: How often do you groom?

Stalley: Three times a week I’ll wash and condition it with Organix Shampoo and Conditioner.

 

GQ: Besides washing, what do you do to keep your facial hair looking fresh?

Stalley: I have a great barber named Sherman in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. He uses Andis clippers and a straight razor. He’s been cutting my hair for about 13 years now.

 

GQ: Any other products you use? Oils, etc.?

Stalley: No other products but pure confidence and a handsome face.

 

GQ: Lastly, what advice do you have for someone who’s looking to make a long-term beard-growth commitment?

Stalley: It’s pretty simple advice – just patience and let it grow.

Fast forward into 2017, the Blue Collar Gang CEO gives us a audio glimpse of his forthcoming album, New Wave, with the newest single below. You’ll want to make sure you’re pressing the gas with the windows down on this one.

Shaving

Shave Cream vs. Shave Gel

We know trying to decide a shaving lubricant is liking picking your favorite sports team – you have to let it choose you. It all boils down to personal preference and looked at subjectively. After reading, you have to ask yourself: what exactly do I look for in shaving?

We look for main shaving variants to provide the two important functions: preventing drying out of the skin & giving the smoothest shave and buffer between the skin and the razor.

Skin sensitivity is a common concern when we talk about shaving. Nobody wants the constant nicks, bumps, or skin burns. We’ve come to find that shaving cream has the best overall performance when it comes to a quality shave. From the richness and general application on the skin, its the perfect cushion needed. It usually comes in a tube or tub and works nicely with a shave brush. The shave brush is the key tool ensuring you cover all the grounds of facial hair you want removed. It also does the job of lifting the hair (when brushed in circular motions) guaranteeing the tough stubble is lifted & covered. Most experts say it may be healthier on the skin but be mindful of certain alcohol-based ones which may result in creams drying faster on the face thus re-applying already covered areas.

If you’re like me, time sensitivity is everything when using a product. If I can grab Dunkin Doughnuts coffee, drop off laundry, and squeeze a quick shave in, I’m a happy man. If you’re anything like that then I’d direct you over to shave gel. For those with a goatee or facial hair, shaving gel’s transparent texture allows you to know exactly where you wish the razor to go. It also prevents you from shaving over an area you already covered. I find shaving gel is a bit more travel friendly too. It’s a easy clean up for those accident spills and does not lather up. Ultimately, the best shaving lubricants are those that contain ingredients that not only protect your skin but also soothe and repair it. They provide moisture to keep your face soft and vibrant.

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Shave Cream:

  • You have the additional time of lather preparation (and clean up) during your routine.
  • Thick & full lather.
  • Willing to purchase a shave brush to fully maximize the cream’s application.
  • May be a bit more expensive.
  • Observant of the ingredients that makes the cream.
  • Mostly scented.
  • Generally longer clean up process.

Shave Gel:

  • You’ll need less of the product during the shave.
  • Aiming to clean up a beard line. Easier to see.
  • It does not dry up.
  • Easier to avoid cutting into sensitive skin (breakouts etc.)
  • Unscented most of time.

 

Shaving, Skincare

What are Razor Bumps (Explained) + Treatment

No one ever said shaving is a walk in the park. It’s hard enough having to designate the time before / after our workdays to actually get it done. So its even worse when we’re given  an invitation to one of the most torturous repercussions or what’s mostly commonly found razor bumps.

Nothing annoys me more, besides a crappy haircut, then those bacteria-filled reactions. We read countless sources and ask our local barbers whats the best way to avoid or just an overall solution, but thankfully, I’ve got something for us that may put your skin irritation at ease.

Key things to remember:

1) According to WebMD.com, razor bumps, or ingrown hairs, are small, irritated bumps on the skin. They happen after you shave, when strands of hair curl back on themselves and grow into the skin. They cause irritation and pimples. They also may cause scarring.

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2) Do NOT pluck or pop ingrown hairs or bumps. You have to fully come to terms that they are inevitable. This will be a key factor in permanent scarring and bacterial infection. So as tempting as it may be to pop that next ingrown…do not!

3) Everyone’s tolerance level is different when it comes to shaving. What works for you may not work for the next guy. Over the years, I’ve discovered that I can NOT use safety razor frequently. I’ve developed a system overtime that includes using a trimmer machine. So BE patient and aware of the journey, make mental markings of what seems to irritate your skin.

4) Listed below are some helpful tools that can instantly improve your overall shaving performance & defend yourself against any skin irritation / bump outburst (note: Be sure to contact me and ask any questions on application process or usage on products listed)

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Tend Skin Solution

 

Wahl Shaver
Wahl Super Close Shaver

 

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Thayer’s Witch Hazel

 

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Harry’s Daily Face Wash
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Kiehl’s Post Shave Repair Gel

 

Shaving, Skincare

4 Common Shaving Mistakes

I got the opportunity to spend some time with friends in Virginia this past weekend. As usual barber instinct, I asked how’d my friend’s shaving routine was coming along. Like many of you, he shared that its been a continuous battle of uncertainty of products or simply not knowing what he should & should not do.

Over the course of the past couple months, I was able  to retrieve some response from various guys what troubles them most about their shaving experience. Maybe you can relate to some & fall right in line on the shaving rollercoaster:

#1 SHAVING IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION

If you ever wish to give a personal invitation to razor bumps, you can simply shave (with a razor) in the opposite direction of your skin. Before you shave, its crucial to feel the direction of where your skin grows. For some it may flow downward and others upward but you must make sure that is clear before any razor touches the skin. Knowing this will help increase chances of a smooth shave & healthy regrowth pattern.

#2 APPLYING ALCOHOL

We’ve all experienced the barbershop at some point and been slapped with some classic rubbing alcohol after a close haircut. The truth is it may be a “disinfectant” but it is also another evil to dryness & razor bump development. Sterilization is important but there’s many more alternatives that do not strip your skin of its natural oils or feeling stone cold dry like Aloe Vera or Witch Hazel).

Fact: Surfactants and alcohol contribute to the problem of acne instead of preventing outbreaks while additionally causing dryness and irritation, according to a study by the National Institutes of Health in 2011.

#3 CHEAP BLADES

Gone are the days of your cheap BIC razors. Don’t become another victim to the conventional-shaving experience you get sold in TV ads and the “mens grooming” department at CVS or Walgreens. Treat your face with some respect and dignity. There’s currently a variety of upstart brands that are looking to redefine that shaving industry by first producing Grade A quality blades at a fair, competitive price. Many of these regular department store blades are poorly-produced and lack durability. Companies like Harry’s and Bevel stand at the forefront of the new shaving crusade. R.I.P. Bic Blades

Note: Both shaving products can be found in your local Target store.

R.I.P.

#4 NO SHAVING ROUTINE

I understand that every shave experience is different. Some may need more product then others but the fundamentals remain the same. The execution always starts with a pre shave and ends with an aftershave routine. Developing these healthy practices now will have a strong benefit in the long run & you should start seeing immediate results.