Urban Gentleman Basics: A Man’s Grooming Routine

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I visited a friend’s house a few weeks ago, and the image I saw while there, well, it’s still scarring my brain tissues.

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.

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HAIR

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.

Hair moisturizers/conditioners/oils:
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.

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NAILS

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.

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SKIN

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.

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TEETH

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.

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MANSCAPING

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.

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HANDS & FEET

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.

Hands:
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.

Feet:
If you have calluses on your feet use Ped Egg. (There’s also a Ped Egg for Men, which is a little bigger and more masculine looking).

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.

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Beyond the hair, face, and body products there’s: deodorants, lip balms, and colognes. I think most guys have those down pact, and if you don’t then just click on the links for more help.

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.

An Urban Gentleman’s Grooming Routine:

Daily:
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

Nightly:
Moisturize feet
Brush any dirt from underneath nails

Thursday
(men of color/black men):
Shampoo/Condition Hair
Hair cut or shape-up

Sunday:
Cut nails
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.

AXE Twist & Rise

 |  Grooming  |  1 Comment
Check out the latest in AXE’s grooming lineup:
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AXE Twist: The Fragrance That Changes

Developed by world-renowned fragrance experts – and a panel of guys and girls – AXE Twist is the brand’s first co-created product. AXE Twist starts with fresh hints of citrus and lime to make a memorable first impression, then adds more depth with earthy notes of cedar and sandalwood to keep guys smelling good – and to keep girls interested.

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AXE Rise: Conquer Morning Grogginess

Mating game opportunities can arise at any moment, but guys often miss important details in the morning because they’re tired. AXE Rise products helps guys conquer morning grogginess, allowing them to catch key details that are essential to having good game. AXE Rise Shower Gel has uplifting Himalayan minerals and Rise Deodorant Bodyspray features exhilarating citrus extract.

Urban Gent Review: 4/5. This is good stuff. The fresh, light, zestful fragrance of AXE Rise will certainly assist in reviving your senses in the morning.

Get AXE Rise here, AXE Twist here.

Free Shaving Kits from HeadBlade

Two more days to enter and win one of HeadBlade’s great shaving kits. 
We’ll be giving away ALL of the following:
- Executive S4 Shadow Kit
- Combo Travel Kit
- FaceBlade Travel Kit
- HeadBlade Sport (with 2oz products in pouch)
- FaceBlade (with 2oz products in pouch)
Go HERE to enter to win, 
 visit headblade.com  for more information on these products.
Executive S4 Shadow Kit
 Combo Travel Kit
 FaceBlade Travel Kit
We’re giving away 5 kits so your chances of winning are pretty high. Leave your name, email, and let us know if you want to enter to win a FaceBlade kit, HeadBlade kit, or both– Go Here.

Mini Gallery of Bald Celebrities: Taye Diggs, Vin Diesel, and more.

 |  Grooming, Hair  |  3 Comments
In conjunction with out super awesome HeadBlade giveaway, we want to post up a few photos of cool celebrities that have chosen to cut it all off.
Mini Gallery of Bald Celebrities:
LL Cool J
Vin Diesel
Tyrese and Terrell Owens
Chris Daughtry
Billy Zane
Neyo
Taye Diggs
Joey Lawrence
a little more Vin Diesel

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!

Simple Revolutionary Shaving: The HeadBlade Giveaway

 |  Grooming, Hair  |  93 Comments
Not too long ago, we did a post on Fresh Cuts and Stylings that featured a variety of hairstyles for every type of guy. A day or so after that article went up we received a few emails from guys praising the article, but wanting us to show a little more love to the men that prefer to be hairless up top. Well,  before we could cater to your concerns the kind folks at HeadBlade came to us and would like to present The Urban Gentleman readers with a chance to win some of their great products.
Taking simplistic functionality to fun and award-winning levels HeadBlade razors are designed to give those desiring a smooth dome the best results…
HeadBlade’s pride and joy, the Limited Edition gun metal S4 Shadow

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).

Guys you know you love your gadgets, the HeadBlade razor is sort of like a toy with a purpose, a purpose that focuses on you looking good. But their products aren’t just for hairless urban gents, they also have the FaceBlade which makes shaving your facial hair easy.

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.

Alrighty, lets get down to the good stuff, we will be giving away 5 items:
1 Executive S4 Shadow Kit
The new Executive S4 Shadow Kit is the most prestigious kit HeadBlade has to offer. It includes a padded TravelShell, Limited Edition gun metal S4 Shadow, TripleBlade replacement kit, Groomster (manicure kit),  and 2 oz. Travel Kit, which includes the famous HeadSlick shave cream, HeadShed exfoliator, HeadLube Glossy, and HeadLube Matte. Try to win this top of the line kit below, or buy it for $116.
1 Combo Travel Kit
The Combo kit is the best introductory kit for those looking to dive into the world of HeadBlade.  It comes complete with the new FaceBlade, HeadBlade Sport, and the most popular creams in convenient travel sized 2 oz. bottles: HeadSlick shave cream, HeadShed exfoliator, HeadLube Glossy, and HeadLube Matte moisturizing lotion.
1 FaceBlade Travel Kit
The FaceBlade Travel Kit is designed for the non-headshaver and contains all the essentials for a non-headshaver to be part of the HeadBlade family. The FaceBlade travel razor is designed for the face or legs, or anywhere else (other than your head) you shave. The travel kit includes a nice TravelShell and a line up of creams: the wildly famous HeadSlick shave cream, HeadShed exfoliator, HeadLube Glossy, and HeadLube Matte. The creams come in convenient travel ready 2 oz. bottles and a nice zippered travel bag.

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:

- Subscribe to The Urban Gent (look on right column)
- 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.

Patrick Dempsey II Cologne

Sunday is the last day to enter to win the Patrick Dempsey II cologne. Enter to win, here.

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