Shaving Your Beard for Summer? Read This First

While your beard once seemed like a good idea when the leaves were falling and 70% of your wardrobe consisted of long-sleeved plaid shirts, we’re willing to bet it’s feeling a little more stuffy now. When it’s hot and humid outside, the last thing you want is an extra layer of insulation. So around this time of year, many men make the decision to do away with their winter coats.

But before you touch that razor, there are a few considerations you should take into account. Since you spent at least couple of months growing that thing, unfortunately you can’t just shave everything off and expect your face to look exactly as it did pre-beard.

To ensure a seamless transition into a smooth, clean-shaven summer, read on for tips on how to shave your beard off with minimal discomfort, with a few portions abridged from Mike Gilman, founder of Groominglounge.com, via Men’s Journal.

What to expect: Differently colored skin under the beard

Solution:

Should you get a fair amount of sun exposure pre-shave, there’s a chance that once your beard comes off, the skin underneath will look ghostly pale in comparison. The only short-term solution may be cosmetics – Gilman recommends borrowing your wife’s tinted moisturizer for a day to blend the two skin zones together.

If you’d rather not go near the vanity, we suggest you suck it up for a day or two – the lighter skin will pick up pigment once you spend some time in the sun.

What to expect: Having to trim before you shave

Solution:

You shouldn’t take off your beard in one go. In fact, if your beard is longer than half an inch, trying to do so could give you lots of nicks and cuts, because the razor will fill up with long hair and end up pulling on your skin and hair. To make things easier, first whittle your beard down with scissors or a trimmer. This will make your razor far more effective, and save you some collateral damage.

What to expect: Prep work for the smoothest shave possible

Solution:

The best time to shave is right after the shower, when the natural steam will open up your pores and make your hair softer. Always shave with the grain, and use a razor that won’t tug on skin – we recommend the Merkur 34C HD Chrome Plated Safety Razor or the Dovo Best Quality, Half Hollow Carbon Steel, 5/8”, both of which are top-rated razors on RoyalShave.

Gilman says to “choose a quality shaving oil to ensure a smoother razor glide and less friction.” Our recommendation? Proraso Pre-Shave Cream in Menthol and Eucalyptus never fails to soften your beard, and can actually be used after your shave as a moisturizer.

What to expect: Dry skin after your beard comes off

Solution:

For a while, the skin that was under your beard will be drier than the rest of your face. So the first couple of post-beard shaves can be tricky. To minimize irritation and inflammation once you put razor to face, use a thick, lather-rich shaving cream (like Taylor of Old Bond Street Luxury Shaving Cream Bowl) and finish with a hydrating post-shave product (like Piccadilly Shaving Co. Sandalwood Aftershave Cream).

Feel free to overcompensate with post-shave creams and lotions, since your dehydrated skin will drink them right up. Try to avoid aftershaves with alcohol as they’ll sting and dry out your skin even further.

And if you’re one to think ahead, when fall rolls around in a few months, apply beard oil to your beard daily. Beard oil is your most effective tool for moisturizing your beard and the skin underneath, so your entire facial hair region will be in good shape. Try Grave Before Shave Beard Oil, which moisturizes and prevents dandruff.

What to expect: Unwillingness to part with the beard

If you’re attached to your beard, there’s no need to completely do away with it. Gilman suggests going to a barber for a comely trim, so you can have your beard without breaking into a sweat constantly.

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Interview: Rex Wax

Paul-Rex-Wax

Rex Wax founder Paul Branham’s journey to starting his own men’s grooming company involves some colorful twists and turns, including run-ins with the law while he was a traveling peddler of cannabis and a stint as a chef in Portland. Branham’s Long Beach-based line reflects his eclecticism, with beard oils and moustache waxes packaged in psychedelic prints and almost always featuring a miniature of his head as the mystical face of the brand. His products are exuberantly done and inventive in a market currently oversaturated with beardcare.

We recently had the chance to chat with Branham and discuss why he goes by the name Rex, the inspired process behind his first moustache wax, aesthetic influences, and much more.

Read on for our very elucidating interview with the founder of Rex Wax!

Where are you located?

I’m based out of Long Beach, CA.

When and why did you start this business?

It was 2009 and I had run out of moustache wax.  I was using two brands at the time, and against all odds, ran out of both, at the same time.  In my capacity as host of a popular restaurant, I had to maintain a certain image, and if I wanted to keep my moustache, I’d need some wax.

I had $25 to my name for the next two weeks, the cupboards were bare, and I had choices to make.  Being someone who never thought I’d be able to grow a moustache, I was keen to keep this one. It was born in the fire.

Essentially, the decision was made for me – I’d have to make my own moustache wax.  It took some trial and error, but I’m a fast learner, and came up with my first formula.   I made a few dozen tins and took them to work. I gave a few away and sold the rest over the weekend.  A business was born.  At that time, there were only a handful of makers worldwide who produced moustache wax.

You used to be a chef in Portland? Tell us more about that.

Portland is probably the best city in the United States for dining out.  The quality of food is unreal – the freshest,  most local ingredients at affordable prices.  You can go out to eat with a few friends at a top restaurant, order the entire menu (some places twice over), and have cocktails and only spend a couple hundred dollars.  The same experience in L.A., San Francisco,  or New York would be well over a thousand dollars.

That being said, the Portland food scene is hyper-saturated with restaurants and with eager, young, aspiring chefs.  This guarantees that you get worked like a slave and have virtually zero worker rights.  I also had a lot of fun, don’t get me wrong.

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How did you come up with the name of your company?

When I was younger, I used to be, shall we say, a traveling marijuana entrepreneur.  Part of my route took me to my hometown, and in an effort to keep my family’s name clean, I went by Rex.  A run-in with the DEA and half a dozen branches of law enforcement ended my career.  I had a lot of folks who still knew me as Rex.  As I was thinking of names for my new business, I decided on Rex Wax.   It was short and to the point, and it brought Rex out of the shadows.  Plus, Rex means King, and you can’t do better than king.

You have a very unique personal style.

Thank you.

How did you come up with your aesthetic and the aesthetic of your company?

My style evolved organically and draws inspiration from many elements, including: Georgian Era menswear, men’s work clothes from 1930s-1960s, and classic western wear, with a heavy psychedelic flair.  My company’s aesthetic follows a similar path.

What inspires you?

Beautiful music, magical books, epic films, and delicious food.

What are some of your accomplishments as a business?

I started with $25 and an immediate need for moustache wax. In a handful of years, I’ve grown Rex Wax into a respected global brand with an ever-growing range of products.

What do you believe makes a quality product?

A quality product begins with the finest ingredients available. They must be carefully chosen and masterfully blended.  Small-batch manufacturing ensures freshness and consistency.

What is one Rex Wax product every man should own and why?

Even though Rex Wax originated with a simple moustache wax, we have grown beyond the limits of facial hair to offer a full range of products, as we understand that not all men have facial hair.

But every man (and woman) has a set of lips.  The mouth is one of the most-noticed, most attractive features on anyone’s face.  If your lips are cracked and dry, you’re not making the best impression possible.   That said,  everyone needs a tube of Rex Wax Lip Balm; with its thoughtful blend of spearmint and peppermint essential oils,  combined with shea butter, mango butter, and beeswax,  Rex Wax Lip Balm refreshes, invigorates, and locks in moisture without feeling heavy or leaving your lips shining.

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What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Don’t start a bandwagon business.  That is, if you’re hearing a lot of press about a particular industry and hear reports of unbelievable profits, that’s not the place nor the time to jump in for your piece of the pie.  If you heard that story, read the article, or saw the TV show and then got the idea for your business, chances are, there are thousands who had the same thought at the same time.

Find something that you have an existing interest in or passion for and look for unexplored avenues, find the unmet needs and meet them.  The world doesn’t need more people regurgitating the same ideas and goods, over and over again.   Be bold, be different.

Invent something that makes me want to give you all of my money.

What do you have coming from Rex Wax in the near future?

Hard to say, I have so many products and ideas constantly in the works. I can say that I recently launched a special beard oil and moustache wax combo, the Longhorn Blend that is a fundraiser for The American Cancer Society.

Quick Question + Answer:
Right now, I’m obsessed with:

Canter’s Deli and figuring out how to get into doing voice-over work with the least initial investment.

I’d love to visit:

The French Laundry (a restaurant in Yountville, CA).

Rule I live by:

My motto comes from the play/film “Harvey”: “In this world, you must be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant. Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.”

Where can readers find out more about your company?

Our website is a great place to start; then head over to our Instagram and Twitter and give us a “like” on Facebook.

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Infographic: The Best Beard for Your Face

Well-trimmed facial hair has the power to completely reshape your face. And as you’ll see, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to beards and scruff. Whether you’re interested in growing out your facial hair or need a lifeline for your current overgrown situation, we’re here to help.

Check out Mashable’s infographic below for the best beard for your face shape. And in case you’re looking for some shaving implements, browse our selection here.

The Best Type of Beard for Your Face – An infographic by the team at Mashable

What is Beard Oil and How Do I Use It?

Beards are certainly a marker of style and sophistication nowadays, showing a man’s attention to grooming and good looks. The rise of the popularity of beards has spurred a number of boutique items to pop up, including beard oil.

Even if you’re a bearded lad who’s already armed with a tortoiseshell comb and stainless steel moustache trimming scissors, beard oil will round out your routine with vital moisture and shine.

Read on as we demystify the elusive beard oil.

What is beard oil?

Beard oil is a blend of extracts and essential oils that moisturizes your beard and the skin underneath. Typically you’ll find all-natural ingredients like jojoba oil and argan oil, both of which have been used for centuries for their excellent emollient properties. Top that emollience with fragrant essential oils like cedar and lavender and you’ve got a conditioner that doubles as a cologne or an aftershave.

Skin Benefits:

When you sport a beard, the skin underneath often gets red, dry, and flaky. That’s because beards wick moisture away from the skin. Beard oil hydrates skin to prevent beardruff (beard dandruff), which most gents would like to avoid.

Beard Benefits:

Beard oil penetrates the hair follicle with moisture, keeping hair healthy as it grows. It also acts as a styling product, taming flyaways and keeping your beard soft, tangle-free, and smooth.

How do I use beard oil?

Put a few drops into your palm and massage into skin and beard. It’s best to apply beard oil right after you wash your face since your pores are open and can more readily absorb the oil.

Using beard oil is especially important in the winter, when it’s cold and dry.

Not just for beards?

That’s right – you can use beard oil even if you don’t have a beard. Gents who prefer sporting a few days’ stubble benefit just as much from a beard oil’s moisture and shine.

A few of our beard oil picks:

Prospect Co. Burroughs Beard Oil Flask, TheStache.com

Prospect Co. Burroughs Beard Oil Flask, TheStache.com

Zeus Verbena Lime Beard Oil

Zeus Verbena Lime Beard Oil, TheStache.com

Brooklyn Grooming Company Commando Classic Beard Oil

Brooklyn Grooming Company Commando Classic Beard Oil, TheStache.com

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