Last week I wrote an article that revealed my top tips for upgrading your grooming routine – which included advice on superior skin care, a luxury shave experience, fine fragrances and bolstering your body care products. The idea behind the piece was to focus on the small but significant changes you guys can make to your daily routine, in order to sharpen your look with minimal effort.
Following its publication, there were a number of readers suggesting that there could possibly be a ‘part 2′, and a request for some product suggestions for a hair care upgrade. With this in mind, today I bring you the second half of your grooming upgrade, trying to uncover even more hints and tips on how you can improve your routine.
As mentioned last time, this kind of article is aimed at the guy who already uses quite a few products, but is looking to take their routine to the next level.
What You’re Using: High Street Styling
It’s such an important part of your overall look, yet there are still so many guys out there using substandard hair products – and therefore getting substandard results. In fact, the jump between high street hair products and the professional equivalent is one of the most noticeable grooming upgrades a guy can make.
However, one of the difficult things about recommending hair products via an article is that each and every one of you will have different hair types, styles and required finishes. So rather than shoehorn in a varied selection of similar products, I’ve chosen to recommend one brand that has four product types that cover every base.
Established by hairdressing expert Scott Michaels in 2008, Hairbond has transformed the market through a range of high quality, professional grade styling products that have become some of the British grooming industry’s most prized assets. Starting with a relatively modest cult following, and driven by Scott’s enthusiasm (which anyone who follows the brand on Twitter will be familiar with), the products have become a favourite of footballers, TV stars and average Joes up and down the land.
It is no wonder that they feature regularly in FashionBeans’ own hair style articles – our resident stylist, Rob Baker, wholeheartedly recommends them and has used them on multiple shoots for us and other companies. With four products in the range, there’s something for every guy, whatever his styling needs.
The Upgrade: Professional Hair Styling Products
Moulder is the most popular, with a strong yet flexible hold that gives immediate grab, high density texture, separation and a matte finish. This is the product that I use, and it’s great for quiff/preppy styles that are still extremely popular. The texture is quite similar to a paste, and while the hold is strong, I find the finish to be really natural looking.
If you’re a fan of traditional clay products, the Hairbond Distorter is for you. This styling aid will give hair a strong to medium hold, allowing elasticity for easy use. This one is more suited to straighter hair types, and particularly shorter hair.
If a natural look with medium flexible hold is your thing, then Hairbond Designer gives great results on dry or coarse hair. This product will help provide your hair with a healthy texture as well as medium hold, allowing suppleness for easy application. It is perfect if you have longer hair and you don’t want it to look too ‘styled’. Also washes out easily and leaves no residue, which is imperative for those with medium to long hair.
Finally, Sculptor is a high density putty that is soft and gives great emulsion-type texture to the hair. Designed for separation and a lighter hold, it works superbly on dry hair and for separating thicker hair types. Gives great wet look styling results, which is perfect for those of you who like slick quiffs and a polished finish. Like the aforementioned Hairbond Designer, Sculptor also washes out really easily.
- Moulder Professional Hair Shaper 100ml
- Sculptor Professional Hair Putty 100ml
- Hairbond Designer 100ml
- Hairbond Distorter Professional Hair Clay 100ml
Consider: Upgrading Your Styling Tools
One final note on the subject of hair styling: if you are the type of man who already purchases the very best styling products that the industry has to offer, maybe it is time to upgrade your styling tools? Most men continue to style using just their fingers, when you could be better off manipulating your hair with a hairdryer, comb, vented brush or even straighteners.
This is especially true of sculpted or quiff-type hair styles, and although not necessarily something you would do every single day, for those special occasions (a night out, dates, work events, important meeting etc.) it can make all the difference.
For those who are wondering what tools you require in order to create your chosen style, take a look at Rob’s articles in the men’s hairstyles section. Here are some of the best on the market:
- Denman Large Tunnel Vent Brush
- Kent Handmade Mens Pocket Comb – Slimjim
- Kent Pocket Comb Coarse/fine – Ot
- Ghd Iv Styler Collection Mark 4 Mini Hair Straightener
- Wahl Max Pro Hairdryer
- Parlux 3200 Compact Hair Dryer – Black
What You’re Using: Simple Shampoo
Along with a top styling product, the secret to great looking hair also lies in your preparation – and of course we’re talking about a shampoo AND a conditioner. Cheaper shampoos (especially when used without a moisturising conditioner) tend to strip the hair of its natural goodness and can leave it lifeless, frizzy and difficult to control.
If you’re one of those men who is still using a shower gel instead of a shampoo, then it’s definitely time you upped your haircare game. Even if you have short hair, there’s still a real need for a two step cleansing and moisturising process.
Investing in a professional shampoo will help cleanse your hair and eliminate product build-up without removing the natural oils, whilst following with a complementary conditioner will add life to your hair and leave it in noticeably better condition. Just like your skincare routine, you can also get shampoos and conditioners that work to your specific needs, so this is important to bear in mind if you have a specific condition, such as thinning or greasy hair.
The Upgrade: A Shampoo & Conditioner Combination
These professional grade products are some of the best available, and yet still offer great value for money…
- Aveda Men Pure-formance Shampoo 300ml
- Aveda Mens Pure-formance Conditioner 300ml
- Redken Go Clean
- Men Cool Finish Invigorating Conditioner
- Bumble And Bumble Tonic Shampoo 250ml
- Bumble And Bumble Thickening Conditioner 250ml
- Redken For Men Densify Shampoo 300ml
- Redken For Men Clean Spice 2-in-1 Conditioning Shampoo 300ml
- Tigi Love Peace & The Planet – Love Peace & The Planet
What You’re Using: Alcohol Based Aftershave
Traditional aftershaves that our dads would have splashed on every day are now very dated, so if you’re still applying an alcohol or heavily fragranced product after shaving then you’re in need of a serious product upgrade. Not only can these products be overpowering, but a high alcohol content dries out your complexion and does nothing for post shave irritation.
Modern day gents should be using skincare focused products to get the very best from their shaving routine. Soothing stressed skin, eliminating redness and preventing ingrown hairs, these products are designed to deliver noticeable results, rather than just a heavy scent.
The Upgrade: Soothing Skin Care
These picks are all designed to do just that, and because they’re made by skincare or shaving experts (rather than fragrance companies) they’ve got the health of your skin in mind.
- Post Shave Healer 75ml
- Clarinsmen After Shave Soother 75ml
- No7 For Men Post Shave Recovery Balm
- Geo F Trumpers Coral Skin Food
- Truefitt & Hill No.10 Optimum Moisturiser 50ml
- Taylor Of Old Bond Street Sandalwood Luxury Aftershave Gel
What You’re Using: A Manual Toothbrush
Not the most obvious choice for a traditional grooming article but an extremely important factor in the upkeep of your image; good dental hygiene is an absolute must. And if you’re looking to ensure you’re keeping your teeth in tip-top condition, then an upgrade to an electric toothbrush really is advisable.
Research suggests that electric brushes trump their manual counterparts when it comes to removing plaque and preventing gum disease. Technologically advanced toothbrushes with bristles that oscillate are the ones to invest your money in, and many of the newer brushes on the market help ensure that you’re not applying too much pressure and are spending enough time on each segment of your mouth.
Like all the products recommended across the two articles, electric toothbrushes obviously require a more significant investment, but having switched from manual to electric myself recently I can testify that the upgrade is really worth it. There are also lots of top offers around at this time of year, so if you’re going to bolster your routine, now is the time to do it.
The Upgrade: Electric Expertise
- Braun Oral-b Triumph 5000 Five-mode Power Toothbrush With Wireless Smart Guide
- Colgate® Proclinical™ A1500 Electric Toothbrush – Exclusive To Boots
- Philips Sonicare Hx6972/10 Flexcare+ Rechargeable Toothbrush With Uv Sanitiser
So there you have it, and I think this time that’s finally it (unless you guys leave more suggestions of what to include in part 3). After writing both of these articles in the last couple of weeks, it’s abundantly clear just how easily you can tweak your daily routine and get so much more in terms of performance.
As always, if you have any questions about improving any aspect of your grooming routine, or indeed any grooming product related queries, drop me a comment below.