Top 10 Old School Inspired Grooming Tips & Products for Men
As a Modern Man, there’s a lot of practices we’ve inherited from our elders. In terms of men’s style, the vintage inspired aesthetic of the 1940’s and 1950’s has made an eager return – with many men, wanting to embrace the traditional values of our forefathers.
In recent times, Traditional Barber Shops have made a return to the British high-street with services like beard sculpting, cut-throat shaving and facials, helping men get expertly groomed.
Following our article ‘Popular Vintage Men’s Hairstyles: The Man wants Guide’, we thought we’d investigate the other old school, grooming tricks which modern men should still be using, to get that sophisticated style.
Facial steams have been a staple in skincare regimes since the turn of the century and can help clear skin of dirt and residue. Although you can invest in a facial steamer, you can achieve the same effect from boiling some water at home. Steaming is a good way to open up blocked pores, soften the skin and allow for the careful removal or extraction of clogged pores, blackheads and excess oil.
Boil water and place into a bowl. Add an essential oil or herb to help relax or invigorate. Wash your face and put your face over the bowl, at a safe distance. Cover your head with a towel and allow the steam to lightly concentrate on your skin. Steam your face for no longer than 5 minutes and use a toner to close pores. Don’t steam your face more than once a week.
Traditional shaves always incorporate a hot towel. The skin on the face should always be prepped accordingly before shaving. Using a hot towel softens the skin and opens your pores, helping to eliminate irritation caused from shaving. Pop a few drops of essential oil onto a hand towel and run under a tap before popping it into the microwave for 20-30 seconds. Make sure the towel isn’t too hot before wrapping it around your face. Leave on your face for a couple of minutes and allow your skin to absorb the warm water. You will really notice the difference!
A traditional barber invests in his tools and although we have some modern replacements, some classic barbering and grooming utensils are hard to beat. Shaving brushes like a badger shaving brush is an essential if you’re looking for a professional shave. Using a shaving brush has many advantages – it gently exfoliates the skins surface to remove dead skin cells and debris, softens and lifts the facial hair away from the face and delivers a little heat to the skin to open pores and contribute to a smoother shave.
In modern times, shaving foam and shaving gel has replaced the traditional shaving soap. However, applying a foam means your shaving routine is missing out on plenty of essential steps. The previously discussed advantages of using a badger brush are missed if you opt in to using a shaving foam. A shaving soap produces a better lather and deeper hydration, which will leave the skin soft, smooth and with more equal skintone. The traditional shaving soap uses less chemicals and will cut though the natural oils left on facial hair with more kindness and efficiency. Swirl a shaving brush on the surface of your shaving soap to produce a thick lather.
Safety Razor & Single Blade Razors
In a recent article ‘Green Grooming – 5 Tips for Plastic-Free Grooming & Skincare’ we discussed the benefits of swapping a disposable razor for a metal safety razor or single blade razor. Besides environmental issues surrounding plastic razors, becoming a convert of the metal safety razor will help regulate not only plastic-pollution but quality control. With a focus on quality and precision, safety razors move across the skin at a gentler angle to shave without any irritation. However, if you’re after a top-notch shave, single blade razors and cut-throat razors cut very close to the skin for the smoothest shave going. Getting a close shave from a single blade razor also minimises the risk of ingrown hairs. If you need any tips on shaving with a single blade razor, check out our step-by-step guide ‘How To: Professional Shaving Tips for a Perfect Shave‘
In a traditional sense, aftershave is regarded as an astringent, scented lotion applied to the skin, face and neck after shaving. In recent times, aftershave has been referred to as any kind of fragrance or parfum worn by a man. Invented around the middle of the 18th century, aftershave was introduced as a way of ‘smoothing and smartening the skin’. Aftershave is an essential post-shaving, if you’re after that professional barber shave. Alcohol based aftershaves may sting a little bit, but they help tighten the pores, prevent infection and make you smell fantastic.
You may often overlook Talc Powder, as part of your grooming routine but Talc Powder was a serious staple for men in the 1900’s. Talc Powder has excellent moisture absorbing properties and is used to soothe skin in places of irritation. With other active ingredients like eucalyptus, peppermint and chamomile – Talc Powder is ideal for preventing unnecessary moisture, odour and discomfort. Dry your skin before applying Talc Powder and pop a little amount on the areas prone to additional moisture, feet, under arms, groin etc.
Believe it or not but Castor Oil has been an essential in men’s grooming regimes for generations. Castor Oil has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties which makes it great for targeting dandruff and scalp infections. Plus – Castor Oil’s ricinoleic acid content prompts increased circulation, improving hair growth. Massage a tea spoon of castor oil into your scalp and leave before rinsing. For best results leave it on as an overnight treatment.
Many modern men’s hair products like hair wax, hair spray and hair gel just don’t come close to the classic Men’s Hair Pomade. If you followed our article ‘Popular Vintage Men’s Hairstyles: The Man Wants Guide’ – I’m sure you will have been inspired by the classically inspired hairstyles of the 1930’s, 1940’s and 1950’s. These slick, sophisticated men’s hair styles often require one, versatile hair-styling product – pomade. Originating in the mid-1920’s is a water-based hair product which makes hair shiny and slick. An essential for a vintage inspired men’s hairstyle.
Take a leaf out of your Grandfather’s book and learn to start carrying a comb. Carrying a comb was an essential for the Man of the 1950’s and is needed to keep your hair in check, at-all-times. Once your hair has been perfected, a comb is the convenient way to ensure that your look never strays – try it, it will really make the difference.