Technique won’t save you if you’re working with the wrong equipment. That’s true of home improvement, it’s true of sports, and it’s true when it comes to your grooming routine. Reach for the wrong stuff, and your hair, face, and skin aren’t going to look the way you’d like.
If you’ve never gotten exactly the results you’d hoped for from your medicine cabinet cache, there are some new and newly prominent brands—most designed exclusively for guys—that can help you achieve the look (and smell and feel) you’ve always wanted.
PORTLAND GENERAL STORE
Started by a Maine couple in 2007, PSG makes men’s products using ethically sourced ingredients—no fossil fuel-derived chemicals here—based on formulas inspired by the popular men’s grooming products of the early 20th century.
IMPERIAL BARBER GRADE PRODUCTS
These made-in-the-USA products were developed by a duo of LA barbers to work as advertised and wash away clean. After the first water-based pomade they designed was a hit, they slowly rolled out a whole line of equally well-thought-out hair and shaving products.
PACIFIC SHAVING COMPANY
By infusing their shaving products with caffeine, which constricts blood vessels and therefore reduces redness, these guys offer something truly unique (and effective!) among a lot of similarly formulated men’s products.
CROWN SHAVING CO.
After years spent working as a barber, Crown founder Dino Caracciolo started having bad reactions to the alcohol, chemicals, and other irritants found in the products he used. He launched Crown in an effort to formulate stuff without harsh artificial additives. He succeeded.
This Burlington, Vt., company makes products with predominantly natural and organic ingredients devoid of many of the toxins common to grooming products. They also smell awesome.
These guys hit it big among men with their pre- and post-shave oils and treatments, and have since expanded with a line of shampoos, soaps, and creams. With a special emphasis on nature-inspired scents, these products will appeal to outdoorsy dudes.
This line of paraben- and sulfate-free grooming products is used in every Fellow Barber location, of which there are now five sprinkled around New York and San Francisco. Nothing pretentious here, just good stuff that works as advertised.
BAXTER OF CALIFORNIA
While this company has been around since 1965, its products and technology have taken off during the last decade as men have started spending more time and effort on their appearance. From shampoos and hair creams to shaving goods and even candles, Baxter has all your grooming needs covered.
This New York-based barbershop is all about community, and their products are all about the best new and natural ingredients for optimal results.
Their references to “urban beardsmen” are a little over the top, but these guys make some of the best beard oils, beard washes, and other fur-focused men’s products money can buy.