If you’re wondering why there haven’t been any posts in the past week or so, you can blame the flu. Everyone in the house has had the flu in the past week and a half. It was pretty awful. Surprisingly, the worst part of the entire family getting the flu isn’t when your young children get sick, it’s when they get better while you’re still sick. There were a couple of days in there when the kids got better, but my wife and I were too exhausted to do anything with them. They ran the house, and it was chaos. Luckily we all survived.
One interesting thing that came out of the experience was a greater appreciation for how my skin, hair and body reacted. Since I started writing this blog, I’ve paid much more attention how my body reacts to different stimuli, and, at the end of the day, this was a great experiment. While I wasn’t able to shave at all and showered infrequently, I had the time to take a look at how my hair and skin responded, and I would like to present a few lessons I learned over the past week.
1. Avoid any shampoos or conditioners that make claims like “volumizing”, “thickening”, etc.
I hardly washed my hair while I was laid up, and, you know what, my hair started to look better! Recently, I had been experimenting with a pretty high-end shampoo and conditioner that claimed to help add thickness to thinning hair. Now, I’m not going bald, I just don’t have the head of hair I used to. Like most guys, I’ve looked for ways to combat this. It actually took getting the flu to help me realize that the shampoo and conditioner were actually making my hair look worse, not better. I realized it was getting poofy and dried out, and I only realized this because life gave me the chance to see what my hair would look like without using the shampoo. As a result, I’ve switched back to a favorite shampoo and conditioner from Malin + Goetz.
2. Give your skin a break.
I like to shave every day. In fact, I’ve even written a blog post about how much I love shaving. But not shaving for almost a week let my skin really heal, and now my freshly shaved face looks even better than before. I’m not saying to stop shaving and grow a beard. Many guys have done that recently, and I love the fact that men have many more socially acceptable facial hair options than they did even ten years ago. However, even if you want to keep that clean-shaven style, just give your skin a break from time to time. Maybe the next time you get sick or maybe over a long weekend or maybe even take a camping trip and leave your straight razor at home. Your face will appreciate it, and so will you.
3. Wash your face. Every day. No matter what.
Even when I was sick, I dragged myself to the sink every day, at least once, grabbed my Malin + Goetz Grapefruit Face Cleanser and washed my face. Nothing is worse for hastening the onset of skin blemishes than an unwashed face. Now I know this might seem very simple and elementary, but we all have those days where it seems almost too much just to get our face wet and wash it up a bit. I know I’ve wanted to roll over, just go to sleep and suffer the consequences in the morning, forgetting that I always regret that decision. I’m sure you’ve been there too, so this is why I’m reiterating it to you. Wash your face. Every day. No matter what.
What are some grooming lessons you’ve learned the hard way? I’d love to hear from you.