Summer unofficially arrives in a few days which means it's finally time to abandon the long sleeves and layered looks for skin-baring shorts and shirts. Of course, this means more sun exposure which, as we all know, is both a blessing and a curse.
"Summer can wreak havoc on your skin and hair," explains Lauren Rachel of The Boardroom Salon for Men, a swanky chain that provides haircuts, shaves and other spa services in their twenty locations scattered throughout Tennessee and Texas. "The intense heat and sunrays can have damaging effects, but with regular maintenance, you can revive even the most parched profile."
To ensure we are properly prepared to look our best all season long, Lauren offers the following suggestions:
Use sunscreen. "The moment the temperature rises, the importance of SPF protection rises with it. Every morning, apply a face moisturizer with an SPF of 20-plus," explains Lauren. "We all know the importance of using a sunscreen, but the bad news is a lot of us simply aren’t using it correctly. If we use too much, we feel greasy and most likely sweat it off. Don’t use enough and we end up red and irritated. Use a penny-sized amount for face and a one-ounce shot glass-sized squirt for the body then reapply every two hours when outdoors for extended amounts of time."
Exfoliate. "Exfoliation is the perfect way to improve the look of your skin and combat the effects of summer’s harsh heat," notes Lauren. "It removes dead skin cells, speeds up your cell turnover (a good thing – trust us), minimizes blocked pores, and prevents ingrown hairs caused by shaving."
"Don’t exfoliate too frequently though," she warns. "Twice a week does the trick. Rubbing harder won’t increase the product’s benefits. If you’re too aggressive you can irritate your skin. Apply with your fingertips and rub in a gentle, circular motion while avoiding the eye area."
Invest in a quality shaving brush. "This is essential to achieving the perfect shave," stresses Lauren. "As it facilitates a cleaner, closer shave than can be achieved when applying shaving cream with your hands. First, the brush stands your whiskers up during the application of the shaving cream, allowing your razor to make a clean cut close to the root of the whisker. Secondly, the brush exfoliates your skin and removes dead skin, again allowing the razor to get a close cut while also giving your skin a healthier look and feel.
From left to right: Jack Black Double Duty Face Moisturizer, $28; The Art of Shaving After–Shave Balm, $18; Parker Pure Badger Brush, $45; Bumble and bumble Sunday Shampoo, $25; Bumble and bumble Seaweed Conditioner, $25. All available at Boardroom Salons for Men.
Stay hydrated. "We’re not just talking about guzzling H2O here, although that’s unquestionably important too," says Lauren. "Hydrate your skin with a daily facial moisturizer to prevent it from overproducing oil and leaving you with a shiny nose and forehead. Lock in moisture and soothe dry skin after shaving by applying after-shave balm to your face and neck."
Condition your hair. Lauren advises: "Sun, chlorine and salt water can completely toast your hair. Strip away summer’s damage and rid hair of product residue, pollutants, and hard water minerals with a detoxing shampoo. Take your beauty routine one step further, and finish with a conditioner to keep hair moisturized. Quality styling products—pastes, grooming creams or gels—combat wind and keep hair in place throughout the day. Your hair looks more youthful, healthier."
Schedule frequent haircuts. "During the busy summer months, it can be harder to come in for your regular haircut," notes Lauren. "However, the best way to fight frizz and mend damage is with a quality haircut. Regular maintenance can make your hair (and beard if you’re sporting) less uncomfortable during the hottest months. If you usually schedule a trim every four weeks, this summer make it every three, and keep hair short on the back of the neck. Neck trims are quick and keep you looking and feeling your best in between cuts."