Grooming 101, Polish / Men's style

7 Essential Grooming Tools with Justin Lamarr

We can all use a helping hand when it comes to grooming. Whether it’s picking up tips from friends or consulting with professionals, men’s grooming is a team effort. With this in mind, Groom Guy’s Justin Lamarr shares a helpful list of everyday go-to’sWhether its gearing up for work, hitting up downtown Los Angeles or joining the homies at a house party, below is some gems that’ll even assist you on your next trip to the market, local Target, or the barbershop.

 

1. Raw Shea Butter

I don’t quite remember who put me on to raw shea butter but I definitely owe them. I’m a pretty minimalist guy so when I finally began using shea butter I instantly fell in love. I use it as a lotion, lip balm, skin moisturizer and even on my tattoos when I want them to look a little more vibrant. Raw shea butter can be a little off putting for those not use to its gritty texture, but once you warm it up a bit in your hands, it melts down and becomes a perfect all around moisturizer.

2. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has been a lifesaver for me. Growing up I used all kinds of greases and pomades on my hair to get the waves I wanted. Those products always left my hair sticky and harder to manage than before. Natural coconut oil is perfect for conditioning your hair without leaving a mess. Whether I’m keeping a fresh fade or growing out the curls, coconut oil always keeps my hair well moisturized and conditioned.

3. Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Soap

As you can tell from my first two essentials I’m pretty big on natural, organic products. My hygienic routine is no different. Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Soap is a certified fair trade product made with organic oils and no GMO’s. Because there’s little dilution in the soap, it can be extremely strong. Some dilute their soap with water before using, though personally I enjoy the strength of its cleansing properties when used raw, along with the fresh scent.

4. Beard Oil

I consider my facial hair to be a huge part of my personal style. I’m always rocking a beard, though the length tends to vary at times. Whether I’m going with the 5 o’clock shadow look or the Rick Ross beard I always make sure to apply beard oil. Beard oil is essential to keeping your facial hair conditioned while also moisturizing the skin beneath it. One of the coolest things about beard oil is the ability to mix and match scents. My personal favorite right now is “Opium Den” by The Bearded Bastard. It’s a manly scent with a hint of sweetness, perfect for a night out at a fair price of $30.00.

5. Straight Razor

Since my beard is such a large part of my style it was important for me to learn how to properly groom it myself. Working in the corporate world people notice right away when you’ve gone a while without a line up. Learning how to use a straight razor has been a thrilling and intimidating process, but there’s something unique about doing things the old school way. There aren’t too many things I enjoy more than grabbing my razor, turning on some music and getting my beard tight for the week ahead. (Groom Guy tip: Consult your local barber first for razor recommendations that best fit for your skin)

6. Altoids

So this one isn’t that big of a secret, everybody uses Altoids right? I was actually a pretty big gum person for most of my life until I took a liking to cigars. Smoking cigars is one of my favorite hobbies, though one of the drawbacks is the toll it takes on your breath when you’re done. After doing some research I found that Altoids were the PERFECT solution to cigar mouth. They eliminate the smokey feel and give you a minty taste in no time. I keep a pack of Altoids on me at all times.

7. Dior Sauvage Cologne

I really shouldn’t be giving this one away but hey, each one teach one J. Colognes can be tricky for the simple fact that everyone’s natural chemicals react differently to various scents. What smells great on one guy might smell terrible on another. Thankfully I found my go-to cologne a few years ago and haven’t looked back since. Dior Sauvage is understated yet commanding all at once. I always recommend guys take the time out to find the cologne that’s right for them, maybe Dior Sauvage might be the one for you as well.

To follow more  of Justin Lamarr visit his official site. 

Haircare

Summer Madness: How Heat Directly Affects Our Hair

We know the summer time means burying the jackets and slapping on some SPF. Summer brings various levels of freedom but also seasonal challenges and bodily responsibilities. Being a hair stylist is not only about providing quality cuts but also about knowing how to increase the lifetime of my clients’ haircuts. I tell my clients, this means having to do the work when it comes to hair protection in the heat.

It’s simple and easy to justify that the warm season makes everything a bit more care-free but we don’t want to underestimate the power of the heat and the impact it has on our hair. The sun’s heat reigns supreme as one of Earth’s most dominant forces, so I advise having a defense plan for your hair when going up against mother nature.

The sun does 3 critical things when your hair is exposed to its power:

  1. It dehydrates and strips hair of moisture (leading to split ends and breakage).
  2. It hardens hair.
  3. It damages the scalp.

 

Unprotected overexposure to the sun can cause big problems for your scalp and hair, similar to that of hair conditions like dandruff and eczema; all ultimately leading to dry, brittle, damaged hair. The power of the sun’s rays has the ability to break down the inner molecular structure of your hair, thus making it difficult to grow naturally, causing hair to grow into a barb wire-like pattern. This means your hair and beards will have first class invitations to frizz and complete styling malfunction. It’s important to know your hair’s heat tolerance. Some hair types – coarser, thicker, wavy, or loose curly strands – can handle heat styling better than others, long term.

Thankfully, there’s a handful of products on the market which serve as heat protectants, including sprays, lotions, creams, and conditioners. Scotch Porter’s Conditioner is chemically designed to retain moisture and hydrate your scalp after it’s been shampooed or exposed to heat. You can mend hair damage by applying a conditioner which will restore moisture and serve as a first class flight to hydration. It’s your call, but I suggest, the next time you feel that ultra light beam on your scalp, follow up with the right products.

This article can also be viewed on Scotch Porter Journal

Beardcare, Polish / Men's style

Hands Dirty, Nose Clean: Grooming Tips We Learned From Hit Show “Power”

It seems like only yesterday we saw Omari Hardwick’s Jamie be on on top of the world playing the high-profile entrepreneur / gangster who sounded like he had everything under control. If you’ve missed out on the highest rated show in Starz channel history, you may want to grab that channel. Jamie continues on his tumultuous journey of fatherhood, moving past infidelity, and constant avoidance of police interference and those within his own drug-run empire. There’s never a dull moment for Jamie but somehow he is able to to maintain his dashing style and supremeness (yes, thats a word).

Somebody tell James Bond to step aside & take notes. We were able to compile some helpful tips from Omari Hardwick’s character and learn a thing or two about getting your hands dirty but keeping your nose clean.

1. Frequent tailor visits

A basic suit can read “stylish effort” but a well tailored one signifies “sophistication.” It’s no surprise Jamie was a successful nightclub owner on the series and had to show for it. Whether he was conducting a deal, legally or illegally, the man made sure his suit game was proper and his colors coordinated. From a simple three piece suit to modeling an outfit with just a vest, we learned that its important to have access to counsel on the best styles that suit you and your personal preference. Let a tailor or someone you trust take over in order to really sport that suit and address any additional mishaps.

2. Show & Tell (the beard)

Throughout the series, Jamie keeps his facial hair growth to a minimum. Opposed to growing a full beard, the character lets his light shine on his other strong facial features and the goatee stands alone on its on constantly shaped. From a barber’s perspective, there’s a guess that a razor is including on his goatee touch ups because those that shape is super crispy. If you’re one to grow facial hair, take a look in the mirror or consult your barber on the best style to grow it. From a full beard, goatee, or simple mustaches, there’s a selection to choose from that can fitting smoothly with your heard shape.

3. Hitting the gym 

Club owner by day and ruthless drug kingpin by night. We see there’s a never dull moment in Jamie’s life but somehow makes time to hit the gym. Power’s Omari Hardwick may rule his household with an iron fist but it seems as though he’s also built like it too. I guess all those hours in the gym pay and led to a character who looks like he exfoliates regularly. Sweating at the gym is a release of bodily toxins and results in fresh, vibrant skin tone like Mr. Jamie St. Patrick. His physicality, either on or off the show, remains as an model of the summer bod we’re still looking achieve. R.I.P. Hagen Danz ice cream!

4. Crown Royal

With a dark caesar and slight waves, Jamie’s  haircut is minimal yet majestic. He keeps his crown well maintained without a single spot of frizz or loose hair propping up. He must be using that Frederick Benjamin sleek water pomade. Either way, its a reminder that an outfit isn’t complete if the hair isn’t in place so keep your tools handy as it relates to this current summer heatwave.

Groom Guy Tip: It’s not only one to look like a boss but smell like one with 50 Cent’s Power cologne. Evocative of a lush forest on a cool, crisp morning, this scent attracts the attention of everyone who walks in your path and keeps you fresh and confident all day long.

You can stay updated with the latest from Season 4 now by signing up on Starz.com.

 

Bodycare, Featured, Haircare

The Blind Barber: 3 Easy Ways to Look Fresh in the New Year

This article was originally written on Edit Express

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 barber Julien 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.


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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.

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Blind Barbershop in Lower East Side, NY

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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.

Photo: Aaron Austin

 

Haircare

R.I.P. Dreadlocks + Major Key (Products) for “The Big Chop”

Many have flooded my phone (including Mom) asking the main question: Why in the hell did you cut your locs? 

I’ve  been a proud loc head for 6 years going thru life experiences that have forever left imprints on me. From cultural enlightenment moments to becoming an official hair connoisseur aka barber has gotten me to this point. But as I venture deeper in this industry called “men’s grooming,” I’ve learned certain limitations slow us down. Like visual artists or music producers, our hair is an open canvas into shaping the refined gentleman. Dreadlocks have taught me significant things about character and other helpful values (patience). But in order for me to truly understand hair at its finest and treat some of my prospective clients with solutions, I wanted to be apart of the learning experience and expand my product knowledge. My big chop has taught me an important lesson:

Every man, at some point in his life, has to be willing to accept the challenge of his own evolution. By doing so, he embraces the open doors of opportunity that can immediately begin to flow his way.  – Sunny, Groom Guy

Let the chop be a reminder of our value system here at GroomGuy.com in knowing that change is in the palm of your hand. You are the master of your own destiny and don’t allow outside forces to influence your decisions that require YOUR attention. Manhood has a variation of stages and I’m excited to see what lies in store for my next step in life.

In an effort to continue to inspire other big chop prospects, I want to make sure ya’ll have the proper arsenal of products that can lead to an easy, smooth transition into natural regrowth of hair. Below I’ve listed some personal recommendation of products that can instantaneously get regrowth back into a healthy formation for spring & upcoming heat weather.

Frederick Benjamin Haircare Collection 

I was able to recently get a full dosage of the New York-based product line and immediately soaked in the suds of Frederick Benjamin. The 3-combo hair collection is a great base to cleanse your hair. The signature chemical agent of spearmint penetrates the scalp allowing that easy tingling sensation that ensures cleanliness. The minty scent is not overbearing either. Conditioner remains a critical procedure in hair cleansing due to its specific job of combating dryness, split ends, and dandruff build up. According to Frederick Benjamin Journal, “hair cells are almost like fish scales, and conditioners not only smooth over the surface of them but they work done to the root to infuse moisture at the source of hair growth and close the hair cuticle.”

Get your hands on FREE.99 sample conditioner here.

J Carter Men Curl Activation

After the full cleansing, I came to realization that I have to start reactivating the curl texture pattern. J Carter is the new solution for achieving those curls and adding the natural oils back into the scalp and hair strands. Since I have softer hair, I jump immediately to the Drench & Curl Krush for that daily dosage. Its a lightweight consistency that doesn’t leave my hair drenched in cream or oils. Thats a turn off for me!

 

Curl Sponge

It’s no fluke. The curl sponge actually does wonders. Be sure to apply some scrub action for up to two minutes for full coiled curls. The key to a success curl is maintain the curl direction. So if you curl your hair to left stick to that rotation & vice versa. Be sure not to spend more then $10.00 for this bad boy.

Groom Guy Tip: Grab some household scissors for a little touch if needed.  You may catch some hair strands that refuse to fit into the head shape so we know they have to go.

 

 

 

Featured, Haircare

Hol’ the Phone: Scotch Porter Relaunches Hair Balm [WATCH]

It’s nothing to know as the diversity of hair and readership is amongst us, we spend a lot of time figuring out what products cater to our specific needs. Very rarely can be find something with a universal effect that gets the job done whether you contain straight, textured or curly hair etc. Look no further because Groom Guy-favorite Scotch Porter is here.

After watching the release video above, our guess is that the new & improved  hair balm has a universal capability to be the perfect finish to all hair types. According to the official site:

 Attention humans with frizzy, and or moisture-depleted heads: here is your remedy. Our Hair Balm immediately renews moisture and prevents frizz for healthier looking hair. Enriched with Marshmallow Root, Agave Nectar and Broccoli Seed Oil our Hair Balm creates shine, definition and texture without the stiffness and residue of a heavy pomade or gel. Leaves hair conditioned, silky, residue-free without weighing down your hair or irritating your scalp.

It seems as though all we can do is wait for the overall feedback. I am excited to see the potential of what this product can do so stay tuned for that review set to launch on product reviews page real soon!  Be sure to get your hands on it here.

Bodycare, Uncategorized

Funky Grooming Habits to Retire This Spring (Part 1)

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.

Wahl Hero Trimmer

 

Fingernail takedown

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!

C’mon bruh…

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.

Replace socks

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!

 

Featured

4 Reasons a Grooming Routine is Important

After spending over a year studying the haircare industry, I still tussle understanding the phrase “grooming routine” means or what entails exactly. We hear that phrase across various mens magazines, articles, and websites but quickly bypass it like a Donald Trump speech. But nonetheless, as I realize I still leave the house forgetting the little things like cleaning behind my ears, putting on just a tad bit more deodorant or simply wearing briefs over boxers (Wedgie, USA). These may seem like obvious responsibilities to you but you’d be surprised to know why its important to maintain a healthy routine..

1. LEARN SOMETHING

Balancing a regimen goes far beyond self reminders to brush your teeth before you go to sleep. There are plenty of us working 20+ hours a week not looking to be reminded to clip our toe nails but its this fundamental education that keeps us on the pathway of cleanliness. When we have the knowledge and basic understanding of our bodily hygiene, we’re able to combat it with the necessary solutions. You may think I’m exaggerating but the education can save a life, your armpits, and your wallet.

2. BETTER $PENDING HABITS

I love Tom Ford and Y’veslaurent like the next man but unfortunately the way my account is set up….clearly doesn’t allow me to restock happily when needed. You can diffuse circus trips to the pharmacy trying new shampoos and hair products if you have an idea of how much you’re willing to spend. A lot of your basic needs for general upkeep and cleanliness should not cost you more then what you know you can spend. If your able to tackle your budget, you’ll be able to get the most out of your experience.

photo by Slick Jackson
photo by Slick Jackson

3. MR. / MRS. RIGHT

I’d be lying if I said we didn’t launch this to make sure you get the girl (or significant other) of your dreams. With the proper routine, you can keep that special someone entertained and ready to drop it like its hot upon request. If we have expectations for our loved ones to have a respectable upkeep, its only right we give that right back to them.

4. PERSONAL PROMOTION

You may have the flyest resume on the planet but still wondering why your career has been falling short or working tirelessly to make your boss notice you. It all boils down to making that statement entrance. Many of us still make immediate judgements off personal appearance. In a matter of seconds, we scan people already making premeditated conclusions. Since we do that, its only right if you give people something to remember. GIVE PEOPLE SOMETHING TO REMEMBER. Your grooming routine can be set at such a high standard that it directly reflects how you want to be treated at your job. Maybe this time that sexy new assistant will notice you…

 

 

 

Lifestyle

Letter From the Editor | GroomGuy.com

Pursuing your dream while you live in comfort can be one of the most challenging circumstances to go thru. Before 2015, my career was sailing high with a career in the music business. I traveled the world, met some of my favorite artists, and didn’t have to pay for a concert ticket for an entire year (true story). I thought I had reached the level of career fulfillment and this was the path that was going to lead to that 401K.

Fast forward into the summer of 2015, it wasn’t until one of my best friends pick up a pair of shears and clippers at 12AM as he cuts his clients hair and we chat over some Modelo beers that it hit me….I want to be a [Master] Barber. It took all the energy in me to defuse my excitement and anxiety the following day….especially since I was gearing to tell me boss that I’m quitting my job after fours years in the music business.

“Quitting while your ahead is not the same as quitting.” – Chinese Proverb

My love for barbering, hair, and client relations grew stronger. I knew I wanted to honestly contribute something to society and if I were able to properly do that through self esteem building, then a pair of shears was truly MY way out. I started to grow passionate about men’s grooming and the education of general hygiene upkeep. If my friend was able to score that date because of that cologne suggestion or get that job because of his haircut, those were the moments that I wanted to create & replicate. There many men out there battling insecurity, anxiety, depression and various forms of fear living in the shadows.

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Our mission isn’t to commercialize “looks” or upkeep with trends, Groom Guy is an editorial platform of “manliness” information that is simply designed to make YOU feel better by looking better. Well, I’m happy to present Groom Guy to you…for us. If we look good, we feel good.

Stay Polish’d.