Guy Files: 2015 Best of Men's Grooming
It’s hard to believe 2015 is coming to a close. This year bombarded us with more male-focused products, services and trends than ever before. For the first time, men “out-Googled” women in the search for the perfect haircut; we saw more men in the salon than ever before, and men were dedicated a week at the prestigious New York Fashion Week. In response to popular demand, companies put out more men’s products than we could even keep up with.
Lucky for you, I’ve collected my favorites, and here are 2015’s best of the best:
Best Celebrity Haircut: This accolade goes to Leonardo DiCaprio, hands down. Not only is he a Golden Globe nominee for his role in this year’s “The Revenant,” his style game has been flawlessly on point. Guys have been gradually growing out 2014’s Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired, dapper, “hard-part” all year. Leonardo has effortlessly demonstrated this trend with a grown-out version of 2014’s trend that is versatile, timeless and works for most every face shape and hair type.
Best Men’s Shampoo and Conditioner: Bumble and Bumble Full Potential ($31 and $34, available locally at KINK Hair) is not technically a ‘men’s product:’ anyone can use it, regardless of gender. This product line reduces hair loss by up to 46 percent in one month, but you don’t need to be experiencing hair loss to benefit from all it offers Bumble and Bumble’s Hair Preserve Blend creates an optimal scalp environment for fuller hair while promoting strand strength and elasticity. This means thicker, fuller, stronger hair, no matter where your hairline has migrated to. These formulas keep the scalp clear of buildup without drying out your hair or scalp, they smell great and travel easily in your gym bag.
Best Styling Product: Kevin Murphy Free.Hold ($25, available locally at Notch Salon) was the styling product to have in your arsenal this year for any men’s hairstyle. The key to the success of Free.Hold is versatility. It’s great on smooth, wavy and curly textures, can be blow-dried or left to dry naturally. It’s not too dry, shiny or matte and holds without crunchiness while leaving your hair touchable. The base of carnauba and lanolin wax gives you a flexible hold that shampoos away easily (and the smell of vanilla, bergamot and black pepper is genius). This product is pretty much perfect in my book.
Best Skincare Product: Clinique for Men UV Defense ($29.50, Sephora) is my favorite skincare product this year. It corrects the reason most men avoid sunscreen by providing a formula that is virtually weightless and invisible. Its unique delivery system promotes clearer skin by allowing your pores to breathe. Most men don’t realize that the major cause of aging is sun damage. With an SPF of 50, this product does an excellent job of keeping your skin looking younger by protecting it from harmful UV rays like a champ.
Best Shaving Product: Crown Shaving Company Supreme Glide Pre-Shave Formula ($30, Notch) is a perfect addition to any man’s shaving regimen. This pre-shave formula is not greasy or oily, and when applied prior to shave cream will help to prep the skin by softening beard hair and providing a slick surface to increase razor glide. This helps to reduce razor burn and skin irritation while providing a super close shave.
Best Fragrance: I fell in love this year with Commodity’s Black Collection ($24, commoditygoods.com). Commodity fragrances are technically unisex, but this collection was designed with men in mind. The fragrances evoke a feeling or a memory by doing a stellar job of duplicating scents that are memorable. The fragrances are designed to be layered, creating a signature blend that is uniquely yours. I love the travel size for this reason; they make it easy and cost-friendly to curate your own personal scent. My favorites are Whiskey and Gin.
Josh Nichols is a 15-year industry veteran who is a nationally recognized expert in hair styling. A St. Louis native, Josh attended Current Trends Academy and went on to become a top revenue stylist at the award-winning American Image Salon in Chesterfield. Josh opened his first salon—Josh Nichols Studio—in 2010. He has since expanded his services, added employees and relocated to Clayton, renaming his salon KINK Salon in 2012. His latest project, Notch, a men’s barbershop concept, opened August of 2014 in The Grove.