Sitting in high school biology, listening to the teacher drone on about
genetics, I snapped to attention when she used male pattern baldness as an
example of a dominant trait. My heart started pounding with fear - with bald
men on both sides of my mother's family as far as the eye could see, I was
doomed to have a chrome dome.
I remained anguished about the prospect of being bald for the next 20 years
as my hairline retreated and my hair steadily thinned. Bald men seemed
disfigured to me....
"We all -- men as well as women -- want to have softer skin, shinier hair,
whiter teeth, and to age gracefully," says Dana Persia, owner of DP Image
Consulting in Philadelphia. "And now it's more acceptable for men to pay
attention to these things."
Good grooming items -- which include both skin care products and hair care
products -- are among the most popular-selling items on the male lifestyle
webshop On-the-Fly.com, says president and founder Ami Arad.
Skin Care and Hair Products: They Don't Have to Cost a Lot
Men are more open to skin care and hair products in order to look younger
and fitter, says Arad. "They may not want to spend a lot on the products, but
they are willing to move beyond what they can find in the grocery store."
You don't have to break the bank to find skin care and hair products that
work well for you, says Persia. "You're not going to stock your shelves for
$20, but for $100 you can have all the essentials."
A more expensive product isn't necessarily better, says Persia. She points
out that one of her favorite skin care products is a relatively inexpensive
cleanser that is available at any drugstore.
On the other hand, she adds, companies that produce some of the more
expensive skin care and hair products often invest much more in research and
development. They apply science to the products they produce, such as creating
skin care products that fight free radicals.
Must-Have Skin Care Products for Men
"Most men have the very basic grooming essentials in their medicine
cabinets: deodorant, soap, shampoo," says Nada Manley, author of Secrets of
the Beauty Insiders. "But it's just as critical for men to take care of
their skin as it is for women."
Men may not be used to using facial moisturizers, for example. But it's an
important part of any skin care regimen, says On-the-Fly.com's Ami Arad, "if
you don't want to have a beat-up, leathery face."
Few men want to devote a lot of time to skin care, says Manley. So it's
essential to find multipurpose products that do the job with a minimum of time
and hassle. Sunscreen is the single most important element in any skin care
routine, she suggests. That's because it can be a lifesaver as well as a
Joyce Carboni, founder and director of Skinsational Spa in San Diego,
suggests minimizing the wear-and-tear of daily shaving with certain shaving
products. A shave brush, for example, is a great addition to skin care. It will
help with an even application of shaving cream on each whisker, says Carboni.
Both Persia and Arad recommend brushes made from badger hair.