While women of color have their Miss Jessie's and Carol's Daughter hair products, their has been a particular lack in products for men of color, created by a person of color (from start to finish), well, Frederick Benjamin has arrived to fill that void.
Inspired by his grandfather, Michael James (founder of Frederick Benjamin) wanted to create a simple, timeless grooming line that evoked the same sense of pride men had in the 40s and 50s. "My grandfather (Frederick Benjamin Schumpert) was the epitome of style, grace and finesse. At an early age, he taught me the importance of looking your best and being prepared for what life has in store for you. When I began developing the line his words and image was the inspiration that helped me bring the brand to life.” Inspiration from your grandfather ,huh? well, we're pretty familiar with that around here (see: T.U.G logo).
Left: Frederick Benjamin Schumpert, Right: Michael James, founder, honed in his hair care expertise by working with companies like L'Oreal and Revlon for over a decade.
As discussed in The Urban Gentleman Grooming Routine, men of color must be particularly sure to use conditioning products that add nutrients to the hair, instead of stripping away its natural oils (which creates dry scalp and dull hair.) Frederick Benjamin's line of natural products are free from all things that damages hair: drying alcohols, synthetic fragrances, and petroleum distillates: petrolatum & mineral oil. Instead there are natural ingredients like spearmint, clove, hemp seed, and nettle that cohesively work together to invigorate the scalp, create lasting hydration, restore softness and bring a natural matte shine to the hair. And although created with multicultural men in mind, the products works well with all hair (curly, straight, wavy) and scalp types.
The Frederick Benjamin line of products is lightweight, grease-free and can be used on a daily basis. Shampoo, Conditioner, and Daily Hydrator. Each product retails for $12.00 each, purchase here.
T.U.G Review: What can I say, I crossed my fingers hoping it would deliver and it did. First off, the smell is great, it's minty so if I wash my hair in the morning it gives me a relaxing wake-up and if I choose to wash my hair at night, it has a faint calming effect which helps after a stressful day. The immediate results of The Frederick Benjamin line of products is softer hair, then after a few washes you really begin to see the natural shine. All in all I recommend those searching for a new line of products to give it a try.
Of course we want you to experience this new line of products as well, so follow us on Twitter and Facebook for a chance to win a Frederick Benjamin Travel Kit (we'll giveaway 5 total over the next few weeks).
Most of the time when men think about updating or simply changing their look, they think about clothes and shoes. But it goes beyond that and can include your hair too. Check out the latest updates in hair cuts from Urban Gents David Beckham and Zac Efron.
Zac attends the 2011 People's Choice Awards.
Zac Efron is consistently switching up his hair cut, and I love it. He hands down does one of the best job of stylishly changing up his hair compared to other famous celebs with his hair type. Zac's new hairstyle is a simple, clean tapered/crew cut, which is very different from his last cut. I wonder if he's playing in an army movie or something? That would possibly explain the total opposite new look.
Zac's mid to end of 2010 hair cut. This was one of my favorite looks from him… with the full beard and mustache — it was very masculine, but in a more polished than scruffy way (which I liked). I honestly thought he would keep this look all winter.
The new cut is very Matt Damon-like, huh?
David sports his new hair cut as he watches the Detroit Pistons vs Los Angeles Lakers game at the Staples Center
Though we all love the style of David Beckham, I just can't get with his latest hairstyle. The part in the middle with medium length hair on the sides… idk, it doesn't suit him.
The usual David Beckham cut (the one he had for over a year, 2009-2010). This has become a common stylish haircut option for famous entertainers.
The more I look at it, the more it sooorta grows on me. But I just feel like the hairstyle takes away from his look. I guess it's very surfer/California like…. which goes along with him being in Cali. There's also this sorta of satiric English gentleman type thing about it too, and I guess that's the part that is throwing me off.
More Photos Below –> CONTINUE READING MORE >>>
So imagine this… I pull up to a nice semi-exclusive neighborhood, get out the car, glance over at my friend’s black on black Porsche Cayenne as I walked up the driveway (I’ve always loved that car). I get to the door and am met with happy salutations by this friend, and of course he looks nice as always. Fresh shape-up, sea-sick waves, he has on part of his ensemble… well, just the shirt… I believe it was some sort of unique Burberry or Ralph Lauren jean button-up with a club collar. He says to me, “I have to get finished getting dressed”, and just as he turns to go upstairs I glanced down at his feet, and was Highly disturbed at what I saw. Long chipped toenails and ashy semi-crusty feet. I thought to myself, it should be a crime to look good on the surface of things, but then have major grooming flaws underneath it all.
He later came downstairs smelling of YSL, looking dapper from head to toe… he had completed his ensemble with slim fit jeans, desert boots, a custom jacket, and vintage eyewear… but I still couldn’t erase the image of before.
Being stylish, fashionable, wearing well-tailored clothing and all things alike are indeed muy importante, but it almost means nothing when the underneath isn’t matching. Just like women have their beauty routine men must have their grooming routine. And no I’m not saying you should have five or six different specialty cremes and spend as much time grooming yourself as a woman, but you should have a few key basics things that you do on a daily or weekly basis that will keep you a well groomed urban gentleman.
When I first thought of creating the outline for the urban gentleman’s grooming routine I couldn’t help but get constant flashes of Christian Bale in American Psycho. I haven’t seen that movie in years and I only saw it once, but for some reason it stands out as one of the most specific and detailed grooming routines I’ve seen in a film. Though admirable, such a detailed routine may turn some men into narcissists– and no one likes a narcissist. So this routine will be well-balanced, not over the top or bare minimum.
Let’s get started….
The Grooming Basics will always be the same: hair, nails, skin, teeth. Every gentleman must deal with these four key areas.
The hair routine for each man will greatly differ, depending on the hair texture and chosen hair style.
Men with STRAIGHT HAIR, WAVY HAIR, or a LOOSER CURL PATTERN (European-American/Caucasian, Asian, Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, Mixed-Race):
- Should wash their hair on a daily basis or every other day if the hair stays clean and there isn’t a large amount of oil build-up.
- It’s been a long-standing tradition for men with this hair texture to get their hair cut once a month, but it all boils down to the rate at which your hair grows back, the chosen hair style, and the budget you set aside for hair care. I find that many men with straight hair need a cut after about 3 weeks. *It’s very important that your barber knows how to cut your hair so it grows out evenly and looks great for the entire month between cuts.
Shampoos & conditioners:
Axe 2 in 1 Shampoo and conditioners, Patene Pro-V, MenScience Daily Shampoo, Billy Jealousy Fuzzy Logic Hair Strengthening Shampoo and Conditioner, American Crew shampoos, conditioners, and styling products. Redken for men, Baxter of California, there’s so many to choose from.
Men with CURLY HAIR/TIGHT CURL PATTERN (Men of Color/Black Men, Mixed-Race, Hispanic/Latino):
- Should generally wash their hair every couple of days or once a week. It is important for men of color to maintain the moisture in their hair so shampooing/conditioning once a week, then washing the hair with a conditioner twice a week is a good routine to acquire. For example: Shampoo/condition your hair Thursday morning while in the shower then get a haircut or shape-up later that evening. Wash your hair with a conditioner Sunday and once again on Tuesday. (If you’re maintaining a certain hairstyle, like if you’re trying to process your waves for the first time then you may want to wait a week and half between washes until your waves process).
- Hair should be lightly moisturized on a daily basis to keep hair from becoming dry and breaking off.
- Again, the frequency at which you cut your hair depends on the hairstyle, rate at which your hair grows back, and budget. I generally recommend a hair cut every two weeks and a shape-up the week between getting your hair cut. So basically, if it’s in your budget, you should be visiting the barber every week: hair cut, shape-up, hair cut, shape-up. Most guys I know have a specific day they go on each week (the more routine your visits are the better).
Shampoos & conditioners:
Patene Pro-V for Natural Hair shampoo and conditioners (in the bronze bottle), ORS (Organic Root Stimulator) Olive Oil Replenishing Conditioner, Creme of Nature shampoos and conditioners.
Xotics Sweet Jamila, Nairobi Essentials Botanical oils (purchase at a high-end black/of color american salon, online, or in some beauty supply stores), Softee Extra Virgin Olive Oil Hair & Scalp Conditioner, and ORS (Organic Root Stimulator) has a great line of carrot and olive oil hair moisturizers, and of course Bronner Brothers (BB) makes great products for extra curly hair (purchase the last three at most major stores or at a local beauty supply store). Basically look for natural hair conditioners and lotions that have natural ingredients.
Also, consider a sheen spray, especially if you have braids, dreads, or a thick head of hair. Mizani, Bronner Bros, Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil, and Palmer’s Olive Oil hair spray are great choices. Lightly spray your hair each morning.
For more tips on hair styles for different hair types go here.
There really isn’t too much to say here, but to just get in the routine of cutting your nails every week. It literally takes no more than 5 minutes to cut both your finger nails and toenails, so this can be easily fit into a Sunday morning, Monday evening, or even a Friday night before hitting the town.
I’ve been meeting a plethora of guys who have cut nails, but maintain the preferred nail length by biting them off instead of cutting them off. This is a habit that many men and women share alike, it’s more common than I realized and is quite unpleasant. The best way to stifle this habit is to simply keep your nails cut so that there isn’t any nail to bite.
If you have the budget, getting a professional manicure and pedicure may be an option. If you do have the budget this should be bi-monthly, weekly if you’re a nail biter.
Skin is such a broad topic to cover. There’s the face and the body and both areas need to be washed and moisturized. This means every man should have a cleanser and moisturizer for the face and soap/cleanser/wash and moisturizer for the body. The type of product you use depends on your skin type, and each person’s skin type varies of course.
A basic routine for normal skin could be: Noxzema or Cetaphil as the facial cleanser and moisturizer, Dove Men + Care or AXE bodywash, and Nivea for Men lotion or Palmer’s cocoa butter as body moisturizers.
Another routine for normal skin might be: L’Oreal for Mens Expert Power Clean face wash, Jack Black Double Duty facial moisturizer, Billy Jealousy Ocean Front body wash, and Kiehl’s Deluxe Hand & Body lotion.
(MenScience Daily face wash and Kiehl’s Facial Fuel moisture treatment are also popular choices.)
Raw african black soap is also a popular natural product to use on your skin (thanks YH for the info), especially those with extremely dry skin, eczema, or come in contact with harsh chemicals on a daily basis.
Choosing the correct product can be difficult because there’s not a shortage on choices. You can start with recommendations from friends or our website then pay close attention to how your skin feels and reacts immediately after using the product(s) and 7-10 after using the product(s). This is usually enough time to see whether a product is making your skin better, smoother, clearer, etc.
Body scrubs, exfoliating gels, facial masks, etc go beyond the basics, but there are many of those type products for those that are interested in a more detailed routine. You can usually find products that are a combination of many types of products ie. a moisturizing and exfoliating body wash. As a man the less product you have the better, so a combination grooming product is usually the best way to go.
It is recommended that you exfoliate your skin up to twice a week (so atleast once). A few scrubs many men love: LAB Invigorating Face Scrub, MenScience Face Scrub, Anthony Logistics Facial Scrub, Anthony Logistics Sea Salt Body Scrub.
There’s no big guidelines to keeping your grill fresh. Brush twice a day or after every meal, floss atleast once a day, and use mouthwash (listerine) everyday. If your teeth are dull, stained, or just out right yellow use a whitening kit. Check out one of our previous ‘whitening’ post.
We’ve had plenty of articles on manscaping, and our main one breaks down each section: the Face (head, mustache, beard, nose hair) and Body (chest, armpits, groin, leg/arms, back, and rear) as well as options on whether to wax, trim, or shave.
We’ve technically covered hands and feet since they would be included in nails and body, but it doesn’t hurt to go a little more into detail.
Let me first get the point across that men shouldn’t have extra extra extra soft hands, your hands shouldn’t feel like a woman’s hand, but it should be smooth and well-moisturized.
Firstly, be sure to moisturize from top to bottom when you lotion-up each day, that means from your chest to the soles of your feet.
If you have calluses on your hands, depending on the severity, a simple hand creme may work: Jack Black Industrial Strength Hand Healer, Nivea Hand Smooth Indulgence Hand Cream, Kiehl’s Body Care Ultimate Strength Hand Salve, Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream.
If your hand calluses are very hard and tough use a callus shaver or pumice stone. Just be sure to be careful when using a callus shaver on your hand– focus on removing the hard callus not the softer skin around it.
Heal Tastic Intensive Heel Therapy will quickly smooth out rough cracked feet.
One of the quickest ways to soften/smooth out/heal dry cracked feet is to simply moisturize your feet each night before going to bed. Generously apply vaseline/petroleum jelly, cocoa butter, or natural shea butter (raw, pure, or organic) to both feet then promptly put on socks. When you take the socks off in the morning you’ll notice how much better your feet look. This is a very “old-school” method, but it really does work.
So now that we’ve dished it all out, lets organize our thoughts. We know what is needed and included in The Grooming Routine, but what will the actual routine be. There’s millions of urban gentlemen out there, different schedules and lifestyles so it would indeed be hard to customize the routine for each and every person. We will however provide a rough draft that will aid and guide you as you customize your own.
Brush teeth, floss, rinse with mouthwash
Wash & Moisturize Body
*Wash & Condition Hair
(if you have straight/wavy/loosely curly hair)
Wash & Moisturize Face
*Lightly moisturize hair
(men of color/black men)
Brush/Comb/Style Hair (including facial hair)
2-3 dabs of cologne
Brush any dirt from underneath nails
(men of color/black men):
Hair cut or shape-up
Manscape (trim excessive body hair if desired)
Exfoliate face and body
Notes: Men with straight/wavy/loose curly hair should wash hair daily or every other day. Hair cuts every 3-6 weeks.
The Grooming Routine is all about discipline and efficiency. Having a set routine saves you time, sharpens your organization skills, and most of all makes you more of an urban gentleman.
Lastly, grooming goes beyond the products but extends into having a healthy diet and exercise routine. Having an at minimum quickie calisthenics workout each morning and/or night will go a long way. To maintain healthy skin, hair, and nails eat foods or take vitamin supplements with Vitamin E. Most importantly drink lots and lots of water.
Feel free to share your grooming routine and favorite products below.
But the HeadBlade giveaway isn’t just for those who prefer a bald head, it’s also for those who like to keep their face hairs freshly shaved…. be sure to enter!
Who says a straight razor is always best, the human head is round right? So why shouldn’t there be a razor designed to match the contour of the human head. HeadBlade’s clever razor seamlessly hooks around your middle finger, creating a secure grip while you shave. Did I mention it has wheels? Yes actual mini wheels, that will make on-head shaving navigation a breeze, while seriously decreasing your chances of any accidents– just one smooth ride (i.e no nicks and bumps).
A ton of bald celebrities use HeadBlade– ranging from MMA fighters to retired NBA stars, some choose to go hairless while the rest would rather have no hair their some hair. Check out the celebs who enjoy HeadBlade products Here.
If you need more details on how their products work, get schooled in a little HeadBlade 101 at headblade.com. You can buy their products at Amazon, Headblade, or at your local drugstore.
1 HeadBlade Sport (with the 2oz samples in the zipper travel pouch)
1 FaceBlade (with the 2oz samples in the zipper travel pouch)
You guys know the drill…
1. Leave your name and email address
2. Answer the question: Do you want to be considered for a headblade product, a faceblade product, or both?
If you want to have a higher chance of winnings you can also:
- Fan us on facebook
- Tweet about the contest (then tell us you did via “comments”)
- Follow us on blogger
The more ways you enter the more chances you have to win. So I suggest atleast commenting on this post then choose any of the other entry ways.
Contest ends next Friday.
Fun Fact: HeadBlade Classic is actually a part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art– for its design. Just another reason why you should enter to win.
Shampoos, conditioners, and styling gels will come at a later date, besides we've reviewed many of those items in the past. Today, we'll focus on styles.
So here's a collection of men's hair styles, many of them great, some creative, some okay. I know every guy has a different hair texture, but these days with the massive amounts of styling tools and products, most of the hair looks below can be achieved on almost any hair type: curly, straight, or wavy.
This is a looser longer version of the hairstyles above. Also very handsome especially with a little 5'oclock shadow.
In this photo, Zac's hair is also cut short with a side part. But the part is less obvious and the hair is cut in more layers on top, then swept backwards. Also, one of my favorites.
The slightly spiky hair is a staple for most celebrities these days. It's pretty easy to style and maintain without having to go to the barbershop or hair salon. Cut it shorter on the sides, longer in the middle, then use your favorite product to create fun messy spikes. When you're done it's suppose to look like "neat messy bed-hair"– if that makes any sense.
I think I'm just a sucker for classic men's hairstyles because, like Zac, I think John's hair looks the best like this.
1. Men of color/African-American: Curly/wavy hair textures
2. Asian/Pacific-Islander/Indian: Straight/wavy hair textures
3. European-American/Caucasian/Latino: Straight/curly hair textures
Everyone shouldn't attempt to wear this hairstyle. It's take a certain attitude, personality-type, and overall style to successfully pull it off.
You can't go wrong with a mini shaped-up fro and dark taper.
Kanye West (side view)
Kanye West (back view)
Kanye West with artistic swirls cut into his hair.
This design was only on Kanye's left side.
As you can see John's hair is usually the same,
he only makes changes to the thickness of his beard.
Very-low afro-fade, with strategically cut side-burns.
Actor Daniel Henney (from X-Men Origins Wolverine)
Actor James Kyson Lee (from Heroes)
Daniel Dae Kim (from tv show LOST)
I often find that a person's hair looks best when they work with the natural texture of their hair.
Daniel Dae Kim
Kal Penn sports a very subtle faux-hawk.
It's as if the style above just fell.
Keeps his hair long with loose natural curls.
Matt Damon with his usual tapered/crew cut.
Ryan Seacrest is probably one of the originators of the spiked hair trend.
He's had every hairstyle in the book from short crew cuts
to mohawks to faux hawks, as pictured above.