Ask Doc Handsome
Common Questions For Doc Handsome
Everyday in our DC and VA stores, we have men come in who know a lot about government, business and sports – they’re just a little perplexed about the nuances of good grooming.
Below please find answers to the most commonly posed questions Doc gets from our guests about anything and everything men's grooming and lifestyle advice.
Men's Shaving Frequently Asked Questions By Category:
- I'm thinking about buying my first shaving brush... How do I start?
- My significant other wants me to grow out my beard, but after a week it becomes uncomfortable and I bail. Help?
- I get razor burn and ingrown hairs regularly and need some tips for stopping this cycle?
- I’m new to double-edge shaving and need some tips so I don’t regret the decision?
- Is there a product that can fix dark circles under my eyes?
- I’m flying a lot and my skin and body always feel subpar during and after. Suggestions?
- Do I need to use a face scrub and how often?
- My forehead is a little shinier than me or my girlfriend would like it to be. How can I shine a little less brightly?
- I got a facial recently and the skin care therapist mention my "T-Zone" several times. I pretended to know what she was talking about, but really had no clue.
- I’m going to shave my head for the summer and need some quick pointers.
- I bought a bottle of cologne and now it smells completely different from when I tried it in the store. What gives?
- What does SPF actually mean and do high numbered SPF's last longer?
- What's the difference between a deodorant and an anti-perspirant?
- I'm heading to the beach in a few weeks and am showcasing some hair in places I'd rather not -- specifically my back side. What to do?
- I’m not going to beat around any bushes. When it’s hot out or I’m exercising, my private areas start feeling and smelling quite unpleasant.
- What should I do if I run into someone I think I've met before, but can't remember their name?
- As the weather warms, I like wearing shoes without socks? What's your take on this and how do I avoid sweating and stinking up my shoes?
A: The two most important factors to consider when embarking on your first shaving brush purchase are usually quality and price. Higher-quality shaving brushes, such as Best Badger or Silvertip brushes, usually feature softer bristles that retain larger amounts of water and are softer on the skin. As for price, a less-expensive brush made with Boar or Horse hair won’t generate the same lather and feel as soft as a Badger or Silvertip version, but they’ll still provide a quality shave and intro to the world of brush shaving. Generally speaking, if you’re going to brush with greatness, we recommend starting with a Pure Badger Brush or better as you’ll get a great solid of quality, price and longevity.
A: This is the most common complaint we hear amongst early beard sprouters. As beards grow, the hair often becomes curly and dry, as does the underlying skin. The result is itchy, flaky dermis and the desire to reach for the nearest blade to remove the annoying growth. Most of this discomfort (and the unattractiveness of the dry stuff that goes along with it) can be remedied by consistently using a beard balm or lotion. Grooming Lounge Whisker Sauce or a comparable solution will provide whiskers and skin with the needed moisture to hydrate and soften and keep scratching and beard abandonment at bay.
A: The first step might just be to let things calm down by taking a couple days off from shaving. This will get your skin back to a baseline where it's not constantly irritated. From there and moving forward, put more importance on shaving prep -- the work you do before razor hits skin. First, shave right after a warm shower or after letting some heated water soften your skin and open up your pores. From there, soften whiskers and get ready for enhanced razor glide by applying a shave oil and allowing it time to sink in. Next, aggressively work in a gentle shaving cream on top of the oil. Then, using a clean and sharp blade, shave in the direction of hair growth, making certain to rinse the blade often. After whiskers are removed, splash the face with cold water and slather on a healing product like The Shavior to reduce and eliminate ingrowns and razor bumps.
Q: I’m new to double-edge shaving and need some tips so I don’t regret the decision?
A: Patience is of primary importance young shaver. You’re not going to be a pro the first time you use a new safety razor – so allow for a slightly stubbly learning curve until you get the hang of it. As far as suggestions, watch how much pressure you apply during your initial adventures. Even with light pressure, these razors can do great work. The angle of your razor is also a key. Typically, a 30 degree angle when making passes with a safety razor is best. Another solid tip is to stretch to-be-shaved skin with your off-hand in order to create as smooth a razor surface as possible. Lastly, watch a bunch of videos on the subject – like this one.
Q: Is there a product that can fix dark circles under my eyes?
A: Skin under a guy’s eyes is very thin and delicate and therefore very susceptible to dark spots and fine lines. You obviously know a little something about this. Targeted eye creams are great for adding relief and inspiration to tired eye zones. For best eye results, combo a high-end daily eye cream with 8 hours of sleep every night and a healthy intake of H2O. You’ll never say “eyes carumba” again.
Q: I’m flying a lot and my skin and body always feel subpar during and after. Suggestions?
A: Dehydration is a major challenge when in the air and probably the cause of most of your issues. Being in a high-pressure cabin reduces your oxygen levels internally and consequently, your skin is left dry and your body thirsty. As a special bonus, because the mucus in your nose membranes become dehydrated (yum!), your ability to trap bacteria and viruses diminishes -- hence why many get sick after a flight. Our tip is to bring a big-ass water bottle and make sure to drink throughout the flight. Also, take a stretch every hour or two (grab an aisle seat so you don’t get your aisle mates salty)to increase blood flow. Finally, make sure to use a moisturizer before takeoff and after landing to keep dermis supple and non-itchy.
Q: Do I need to use a face scrub and how often?
A: Yep… you should be using a Face Scrub. They’re one of the Big 3 in a proper skin care routine along with Face Wash and Moisturizer. Face Scrubs clear away deep-rooted dirt and oil that a normal cleanser just can’t pick up. They’re also great for shaving results, as the scrubbing particles do a swell job of up-rooting pesky ingrown hairs. Did I mention that they’ll also improve skin texture, tone and balance. 2-3 times a week is ideal for a Face Scrub and the best bang for your buck is to scrub prior to shaving.
A: Fear not slick friend -- you're not alone. There's a ton of men out there with greasier-than-desired skin and a lot of remedies for this oiliness as well. A common solution is an oil-reducing mask such as Brickell Purifying Charcoal Mask. From there, it's time to choose and use a moisturizer -- either one that's targeted as anti-shine or oil controlling. These hydrators are formulated to rebalance skin’s oil levels, absorbing excess oil and shine without over drying.
A: The good Dr. gets this question a lot. The T-Zone area runs from the bridge of your nose and across your forehead, forming the shape of a T. This T-Zone serves as a good indicator for what type of skin you have (dry, normal, combo, oily) and the type of products you should be using. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and pick your skin care pro's brain when you get a facial (or even your barber/hairstylist when visiting them). Or, just give us a ring/email and we’ll happily provide some pointers to keep you in the right zone.
A: Whether you're trying baldom to reduce heat or as a fashion choice, there's a few heady things you can do to make the process as easy and painless as possible. First and foremost, grab an electric trimmer to trim the hair as short as possible before reaching for the razor. We'd recommend ditching the cartridge razor in favor of the Headblade Moto, which is specifically designed with a flex head to adjust to the tricky contours of a skull and ensure not a single hair goes unclipped. Incorporating a shave oil will help immensely as well by providing a slick surface for the blade to glide over. One last piece of advice for the hair deficient: Sunscreen is essential! Your dome will now be under direct attack from the sun and requires a layer of protection.
A: You're not alone with this scent "bait and switch." Odds are you got drawn in by the "Top Notes" of the fragrance. This is where guys often make the “rush to judgment” mistake, as this first whiff doesn’t accurately showcase the way things are going to smell after the scent settles in. The “Base Notes” are the lasting scent -- and those don’t really kick in until about 30 minutes after application. So, before you buy, try some on, grab some lunch or watch some Netflix and see how things smell a half hour later. If it smells dope, that's your scent.
Q: What does SPF actually mean and do high numbered SPF's last longer?
A: SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and it’s a relative measure for how long a sunscreen will protect your skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Imagine that your skin normally begins to fry after about 10 minutes in full sun without any protection. A 30 SPF sunscreen would provide 30 times the protection of no sunscreen. That means 30 times longer before you start to burn, or in this case, 300 minutes. We strongly recommend using a sunscreen as much as possible, sun damage is the number one reason for premature aging. And, use a sun screen even when it’s no super sunny out – those rays are still attacking your skin.
A: Well, they both go about trying to make you smell less funky a little differently. Deodorants are made to fight odor, while antiperspirants contain ingredients, such as aluminum that clog pores to stop or minimize sweat. Most Deodorants contain either alcohol or a botanical blend designed to eliminate the bacterias which cause the odor. If you have sensitive skin or you’re just looking for a deodorant with a healthier vibe, we recommend going with an aluminum-free and alcohol-free option such as Grooming Lounge Greatest Pits.
Q: I'm heading to the beach in a few weeks and am showcasing some hair in places I'd rather not -- specifically my back side. What to do?
A: For those with wookie-like qualities, the best way to remove unwanted back hair at home is with a proven product like the BaKblade 2.0. This easy-use, “rake-like” razor sheds excess fuzz with zero pain, boasts a long-handle to reach tough spots and is a game changer for overly hirsute men. If you're in the DC area though, the Doc certainly recommends you come see Claudia or Christina for a professional waxing.
A: Sweat and odor in the neither regions is a common problem – but the good Dr. has you covered. Our main suggestion is to start using a body powder ASAP. Just grab a quality talc or such and sprinkle where the sun doesn’t normally shine. You might also want to look at spring trimming down there to make sure excess hair isn’t a haven for bacteria and odor. Lastly, wear loose fitting clothes too so the boyz can breathe.
Q: What should I do if I run into someone I think I've met before, but can't remember their name?
A: First off, it might just be easiest to say "hey, how are you, nice to see you again." That always beats the "nice to meet you" line that could be insulting to someone who remembers having a conversation with you. Beyond that, it's not the worst thing to ask the person, "I'm sorry, I just can't seem to remember your name... can you remind me?" If you try to "get away with it," it could backfire if you need to introduce them to another person later in the conversation. What is the worst thing to do though is refer to the human as "chief," "boss" or "dude."
Q: As the weather warms, I like wearing shoes without socks? What's your take on this and how do I avoid sweating and stinking up my shoes?
A: Going sans socks is a personal choice, but we've got no problem with that here. The only issue is sometimes the sweat and smell you allude to, but that can be avoided with the assistance of a quality foot powder or spray. Just spray or sprinkle some into those kicks before heading out and you're a "shoe in" for a good time.