Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Mother’s Day is coming up, and as all men know, we can’t forget mom.

So what can a man do for his mom to thank her for all she has done for us.

There are always the go to ideas like flowers and chocolates, but what about ideas that are a little more different. Here is a list of unique mother’s day ideas:

1. Zip-lining. If you have an adventurous mom, nothing says I love like throwing her down a zip-line. There are several zip-line companies in town. It is a great way to bond with mom, and get the whole family involved.

2. Renting scooters are a real hoot! There are a few scooter rental companies in Victoria. You never know, mom may love to zoom around town. Just make sure you take her a to nice restaurant afterward.

3. Vineyard tours are another great gift idea for mom. Try a great local site such as Averill Creek. They have great views and a nice wine selection.

4. Feeding the seals at Oak Bay Marina is a neat few hours. My sources tell me that you can head on down to Oak Bay Marina, and get up and close to these cute little creatures.

5. Of course, there is nothing like letting mom relax with a good old pedicure.  Check out OM nailspa for one of the best pedicures in Victoria.

Finally, remember to say: “I love you mom!”

Men: How to wash your face

Simply splashing water on your face isn’t good enough, guys. If you want to look good, you need to do it right. There’s the way you were taught to wash your face as a boy, but you’re not a boy anymore. And just like you learned the ins-and-outs of shaving, now it’s about time you learn how to wash your face like a man.

And we’re about to do just that.

  1. You should wash your face before you go to bed and when you wake up in the morning – a lot of guys don’t do this. It’s especially important to wash your face before you go to bed becuase if you go to bed with a dirty face you’ll be wearing those germs all night long.
  2. Use good, light circular motions when washing. Doing so will prevent excessive oil gland secretion. This will keep your skin oil free.
  3. You don’t necessarily need a foaming soap to wash your face – just something that cleanses well. A great product for men to use would be the OM Jojoba Beads Exfoliant, which can be used about 2-3 times per week in order to get some of the oils out – it’s great for oily skin types. If you have drier skin, only use it once per week.
  4. When you’re done washing, make sure to get rid of all of the excess soap by rinsing with clean water. Then splash your face with cold water to seal up the pores.
  5. To dry your face, make sure to use a clean white towel — try to use a white towel because coloured towels won’t show any dirt that is present. There’s nothing more counter productive than to use a dirty towel on a freshly-washed face.
  6. After drying your face, you’ll want to apply a toner like the OM After Shave Splash (it doubles as a toner, adding moisture back into the skin) and then seal with a moisturizer or balm. The OM Cooling Mask will work really well for this if you have oiler skin. If you have drier skin, go with OM Cucumber Lotion instead.

Additionally, you can also use a gel or serum to help with puffiness or circles under your eyes. OM Facial Serum is definitely better to use at night because it allows the active ingredients more time to absorb into the skin overnight, while the OM Eye Gel can work for either morning or night skin care.

Now that you know how to wash your face like a man, you can take care of your skin just as well as you take care of the other important things in your life. Like a man.

How to shave your face

Step 1: Pre-Shave Preparation

The most important step to improve the quality of your shave is to soften your beard, and make your skin more flexible. If you skin is flexible, then you will reduce the amount of nicks and cuts that can happen during the shaving process.

to do this, apply a lot of heat and moisture to your face first. The easiest way to do this is to have a shower before you shave. After your skin is sufficiently moistened, apply OM 3 in 1 Shave Balm. Massage this into your beard until it is completely absorbed.

It is important to use a pre-shave that does not contain any toxic ingredients like sulfates or dimethicones. These can enter you blood stream and cause problems with your internal system.

Step 2: Use a Quality Shaving Cream

Make sure that your brush is very wet. Shave off the excess, then dip the tips of the brush into a high-quality shaving cream, such as OM Lye-Free Shaving Cream. (Note: It’s always best to use products that are free of lye, because of lye’s basic nature is very harmful to skin. This is why our shaving cream is lye-free.)

Begin lathering the soap directly to your beard. At first, it may seem like nothing is happening; this is due to the abscence of lye. Don’t worry, it’s doing the job. Just add more water to your brush, and continue lathering. Do this until you have developed a creamy, dense lather.

Once that’s all done you’re ready to shave.

Step 3: Shave Away!

The hard work is done. Now, enjoy the feeling of shaving without irritation or nicks. Remember when you are shaving to shave with the grain, so check the direction of your beard grain. This means that along your neck you may have to shave upwards, so keep that in mind.

Again, the benefits of using our OM Lye-Free Shaving Cream will make the shaving experience all the better. That’s because it is made with Willowherb. The Native South Americans used Willowherb to treat acne and irritated skin. As a shaving agent, it’s anti-inflammatory properties are nearly insurpassable.

In other words, nicks should disappear, and you should get a very close shave.

Step 4: Rinse and Hydrate

Now that you are done, your skin should feel…well, it should feel like your skin. But smoother.

Rinse your face with cool water. This will seal your skin. Note how your skin feels. Because of its natural qualities, the OM Way to shave leaves your natural facial oils intact. Your face should feel soft, smooth and hydrated.

Dry yourself down with a clean white towel, and apply OM 3 in 1 Shave Balm one more time or use our OM After Shave Splash — either one will work as an ideal post-shave product. This will add a thin layer of hydrating coolant and prevent breakouts.

Finally, remember not to touch your skin too much. This can activate the sebaceous glands causing excessive oiliness.

BONUS TIP: How to Shave Your Face Like a Man The OM Way…The Travel Edition

That’s right — you can shave like a man the OM Way even when you’re on the road.

Just pick up our travel-szed shave balm or the OM Shaving Jelly as substitutes for the larger items mentioned above so you can keep your skin looking and feeling good whether at home or abroad. You can even pick up our OM Travel Brush so that you can have a high-quality brush wherever your travels take you.

Scissors haircut vs clippers haircut

At UOMO Modern Barber, the ratio of scissors cuts to clippers cuts is about 80:20. But what are the differences between the two — and why do so many of our clients go with scissors cuts over clipper cuts?

A scissors cut is basically a more ‘natural’ cut. It contours to the head better than a clipper cut, which often cuts too short. The hair blends in better with a scissors cut, and the hair grows in more naturally. It’s a ‘looser’ cut, whereas a clippers cut is usually tighter.

As a barber, you have more control with a scissors cut than with clippers. Because of the way it grows out, a scissors cut tends to last longer. And overall…a scissors cut just grows out better.

If you want a very close cut — like a military cut — then a clipper cut is the better choice. A clipper cut tends to grow out more “porcupine-like” because each hair follicle grows at a different rate. Scissor cuts don’t have that problem because they generally aren’t cut as short, so that kind of thing is far less noticeable.

Should a barber use clippers while doing a scissor cut, they usually only use it around the edges. They use them in that area to trim out the edges and clean them out a bit. If you want a scissors cut and your barber starts to move up your head (to about a quarter of the way from the bottom) with a clipper, then you might want to say something. Anything beyond that point and you’re looking at a full-on clipper cut.

When it coms to the number you find on clipper guards (the one that indicates how short you’re going to clip the hair), no matter what brand of clipper is used, the measurements are generally universal. So if you usually get a “3” on the side, then you should be safe no matter what barber you go to. Your barber may even ask you whether you want a number “3” with scissors or with a clipper. That’s a matter of personal preference, just remember the points above regarding the results of a scissor cut versus a clipper cut. The way you get a “3” (or any number, for that matter) with scissors is when the barber cuts “scissor over comb”. That’s the way it was done before clippers became widely available. Scissor over comb is a more natural and more tapered way to get the same look a clipper can give. The number indicates length, the types of cutting instrument indicates how the length is going to be achieved.

Now you’ve got a sense of the difference between a scissor and clipper cut. So which way do you go now? Are you a scissor or clipper cut guy — and why? Let us know in the comments.

Wet shaving is the best!

Even though this ad is embellished, it does reflect the state of a lot of men’ s wet shaving practices. Over the years, men have been sold the idea that the best shave comes from a can of shaving foam. This was born from advanced chemical science that wanted to steer the shaving market toward a faster and more transportable shaving routine. It was a sign of how quickly our society was moving, and how hurried our lifestyles had become, particularly for the Boomer generation. “Time is money” was the mantra.

Things are changing. Lifestyle has become a priority, and time is not necessarily money anymore.  Men want to do things properly. This is why there is a resurgence in good wet shaving practices.

What is wet shaving exactly?

Wet shaving simply refers to shaving your face with moisture, as opposed to dry shaving, which includes electrical shaving devices as well as shaving with a razor without moisture (AY CARAMBA!). There are a variety of ways to wet shave, but the most effective involves a good shaving cream and a badger shaving brush.

Why?

A shaving cream has a lot more moisturizing ingredients that makes the skin more flexible and the skin softer so that it does not tear or break. The OM shaving cream for example has shea butter and coconut oil which helps to reduce the shearing effect of the razor on skin cells. This prevents razor burn and gives a more comfortable shave.

So what does the shaving brush do?

The shaving brush helps to exfoliate the skin, giving the razor a better ‘look’ at the hair itself. ‘A clean slice’, so to speak. It also lifts the beard off of the face making each hair stand straight up. This is just how cutting dry grass with a lawnmower is much easier than cutting wet grass. It also ‘hyper-moisturizes’ the beard, making it more flexible and softer. A softer beard is easier to shave than a hard beard.

In the end, wet shaving is returning to what our grandfathers used to do. A good shaving cream, and a good brush can make the world of difference to a man’s shaving routine.

Fury Haircut

If most of you guys out there are true men, then I can almost guarantee you were sitting next to me and the 150 other men at the opening of Brad Pitt’s new blockbuster, Fury. One of the main conversations about this film has been about Brad Pitt’s haircut and how well he pulled it off in the film. This hairstyle went very well with the old school, World War II style haircut that a lot of soldiers were sporting at the time. It consists of super tight on the sides and some length left on the top to keep it classy.

Although it is a very basic haircut that doesn’t require any blending from short to long, it needs to be done properly or it will come out looking sloppier than your boots after being in the trenches for 3 days straight. Sectioning the hair is key in this style of cut, it’s important to make sure that you take the top of the hair, around the temple peak point, and make a clear indication where you will be separating it from the sides and continue around the head until you reach the other side. Now make sure that everything is symmetrical around the head, so in a mirror make sure you are lined up evenly on each side so that it doesn’t come out lopsided. Now that you have the top of the hair sectioned and pinned up on the top of the head away from the sides, you can now take your clippers and depending on how tight you want the sides, start bringing down the sides to soldier stubble. I recommend a 1 to 1.5 guard on the sides to really give it the distinction and to closely resemble Brad Pitt’s style in the film.

Popular with the undercut style, and seen with Pitt’s style, is to keep it a bit longer around the lower crown of the head so that when pushed back, instead of flopping over the back of the head, it’s more of a smooth gradual style. To finish this look, I recommend the OM Spiker Fiber, which gives the perfect amount of hold and classic shine to this cut and has it staying strong all day.

The Man Bun

Grow that bad boy out, gents. The man bun, or ‘mun’,  is here and has been taken on by men all over the world. This style has been blowing up all over Hollywood, with such heavy hitters as Leonardo DiCaprio, Jared Leto, and Jake Gyllenhaal rocking this signature look. There are several variations of this look, but each one of them takes severe dedication and patience. One of the higher maintenance/easy style variations is taking the sides down short and keeping the length on top, allowing the bun to stay disconnected from the sides. Why this one is considered high maintenance is because for this one to keep its clean look, you must periodically trim the sides down, to make sure it doesn’t start to fuzz out.  This means trips to the barber at least once every two weeks. The upside of this variation is the style time it requires.

All you have to do is wake up, throw a bit of product such as the OM spiker fiber into your hair and brush it back and work it in with your hands to create the bun and throw in hair elastic to keep it up.  A lower maintenance/ higher style time variation is keeping length both on the sides and top, allowing more of a slicked back look, which is most commonly worn recently by Hollywood mega star, Leonardo DiCaprio:

This style does require less maintenance simply because the sides and top are left long; therefore it won’t change the style and look if you leave it for four weeks or longer. Waking up, this style is going to take some time to get into the man bun style. It will be difficult to control the amount of hair that you are working with, and you will find that out during the grow out stage, you will have fly-away hairs that will continually need to be worked with and using some of the OM spiker fiber will be able to control that. This look is perfected when paired with a nicely shaped and groomed beard.

Fade Haircuts

Ask any barber, and they will tell you; fades are one of the most common haircuts that men ask for. Done well, and it will come out clean, smooth and well blended. If done wrong, it can look like you took a dull pair of sheep shears to your own head. Don’t be afraid to speak up when you are in the barber chair if you see any sort of imperfections, make sure you point it out to your barber, and if they are a true barber, they will be happy you said something and will fix it up without hesitation.

It’s important to understand what type of fade you are looking for when going into a barber shop, and if you do need help, consult your barber and let him explain the different variations of fades and which one would best suit not only your face shape, but also your lifestyle. There are more conservative fades that can be less drastic and more professional, these are typically called low fades.

On the other side of the spectrum you can have more military style fades that are usually done for convenience; these are typical of high and tight hairstyles. It’s key to take into consideration the length of hair you want to keep on top, because if you end up fading your sides to high up, it can quickly turn into an undercut, and that may not be what you want.  If you are struggling with how to explain to your barber what you want, look through the internet and try and find a picture that best illustrates what you are looking for.

Badger Shaving Brush or Boar?

Introduced by the French in the 18th century, shaving brushes have revolutionized the art of shaving. Before they were introduced, men would actually use sea sponges to create that perfect lather. Today, you will find most of the brushes out on the market will either fall under badger, boar, or possibly horse hair, the most common being badger and boar. If you are looking to get into shaving brushes for the first time, a boar bristled brush might be right down your alley. It is coarser than badger as well as stiffer but that only means a cheaper price tag, which is why it is a good idea for your first brush.

It’s important to get a feel for as many different quality brushes as you can, so you can find what works for your skin as well as your pocket. Badger hair brushes are higher quality, with a softer bristle, and a soothing feel against the skin. Badger is a little more advance of the shaving brushes because there are four different types of badger hair; pure, best, super, and silver tip. This ranges from pure being the lower quality, and silver tip being the highest quality you can buy. If you invest in a silver tip shaving brush, you can be safe to say that you won’t have to buy another one for the rest of your shaving days.

These, unlike the friendly badger the hair was taken from, are meant to last. The reason why men have put down the aerosol cans and picked up the brush and cream, is because of the quality of shave you will receive with a wet shave. When using a brush you will notice that it will generate a warm, thick lather as well lift and soften the hair to be ready for shaving. Using a brush will also gently exfoliate the skin and get rid of those dead cells left on your face. You will find all your shaving needs, from introductory brushes starting at $15 all the way up to the highest quality silver tips at $160 at Uomo Modern Barber.

How to care for your beard

No matter where you live, if you have a beard, you need to take care of it. The elements can destroy your beard in Victoria in no time at all. Sun, rain and wind all take their toll on those fragile whiskers you’re trying to grow. So how do you care for your beard?

Step 1: Beard Cleanser

What? You mean soap…don’t you Steve?

I say nope to soap. Soap can be very drying and can remove all those lovely oils from your beard. When you do that, you leave your beard exposed to negative ions, which cause it to become frayed, broken and crack. So the first step to maintain a good beard is to wash it properly. Ideally you would use a gentle cleanser without sulfates…that’s right no Head and Sh—-ders. The perfect beard cleanser would have an antibacterial element to it as well. Something mild like tea tree will do the trick. Tea tree oil in a cleanser will help to prevent pimples and itchiness caused by bacteria.  By the way, beard cleansing should be done at least once a day. Our faces have way more sweat glands than other parts of our body, so they need to be cleaned regularly. The best time to do this is before you go to bed, so that you are not sleeping on your dirty beard all night long.

Step 2: Beard Repair

After you’ve gently removed the grit and dust of the day, now is the time to smooth the cuticle of the beard. Beards are hair…just like on your head, but they need extra special attention because they are pulled and tugged and scratched way more than your head hair. All these daily activities causes the hair shafts to flare up, and get puffy. A good beard repairer will fill in the little holes in your beard with positive ions, make it smoother and less puffy. Usually it is applied after your wash your beard, and is rinsed with water. Hot water can aggravate hair, so it is best to use lukewarm water…or even cold water if you can handle it.

Step 3: Beard Protection

After you wake up the next day, and you’ve had a good nights sleep with a nice clean beard, you will need to protect your lovely facial foliage with a beard protector of some kind. A decent beard oil will do the trick. It should not be over thick as this will gunk up your beard, and it shouldn’t be too thin, as this will leave it exposed. Something made with grapeseed oil and olive oil are really good as they will reduce static build-up and puffiness. Meadowfoam seed oil is also good as this has an anti-inflammatory effect on hair, making it less puffy.

In the end, if you want a beautiful, lustrous beard that would make any man question his masculinity, then follow the above three steps and use really good beard products. Good luck!