It's no secret that women love beauty products — just check out our bathroom shelves. However, a recent surge in men’s skincare items proves that guys want to be as well-groomed as their female counterparts. In 2011, more than $964 million was spent in department stores on men’s skincare items and the demand seems to keep growing. We talked to Mr. Bee, head barber at New York City’s Frank’s Chop Shop and Dove spokesman, about why so many guys sport handlebar mustaches and how to get the perfect shave.
What is one major misconception about men and their grooming?
Men often assume that their grooming routines have to be painful, which simply is not true. Everyday men are torturing their faces by washing with soap, applying alcohol rich aftershaves, and overlooking the needs of their skin, which contribute to a man’s face looking worn, tired and neglected.
What are the top three products that you recommend for guys?
1. An alcohol free astringent to apply after shaving.
2. A post shave balm to follow the astringent, such as the Dove Men+Care Hydrate post shave balm, as it really helps relieve irritation caused by shaving and also soothes skin.
3. For those with facial hair, I’d suggest investing in a natural beard oil. This will help to retain the moisture in your beard.
What are some of the biggest trends in men's grooming that you've noticed?
Well for the face, there’s definitely been a renaissance of mustaches! Men have been rocking more late 1800s, early 1900s style mustaches — using mustache wax to create those twisted corners, also known as the “Handlebar Mustache.” As for hairstyles, I have definitely seen the return of the "Mad Men" style — the edges are very groomed, but there’s more hair on top — giving guys more freedom when styling. During the week this style can be groomed neatly for work, while on the weekends guys can let it loose and sport a more relaxed look.
Today we're seeing more guys sporting beards. Why?
I feel like in terms of style, whether it is hair, facial hair or fashion, everything comes full circle. There will always be a time when something old is back in vogue. Today, I think we’re moving away from the stringent, clean shaven, corporate look — people are loosening up, what may have been frowned upon ten years ago, is acceptable today. We are at a time where guys are able to express themselves more freely than ever before, and that has manifested into more men sporting beards, mustaches, goatees, etc.
How can guys get the perfect shave?
Every guy should know the key to a good shave is preparation, not necessarily what tools he is using. Preparation includes washing your face with warm water and a gentle cleanser, like the Dove Men +Care Hydrate face wash, and then getting the skin tender with a hot towel that has been soaked in pre-shave oils. This will also help to open the pores and lift the hair follicles so the hair will come off smoothly.