Men's grooming regimen  
home grooming

    Shave and a Haircut

        "Shave and a haircut, two bits." Once all you needed for good grooming was a quarter, as immortalized in song. Now it would be twenty bucks, if you could even find the shave. But the song sums up the one- two punch of good grooming as provided by the full- service barber shop. Take another tip from the pros, and let your home regimen be guided by the twin goals of "clean and clean- cut." All basic men's grooming centers on "Shave and a Haircut," and "Clean and Clean- Cut." Shampoo (clean), haircut (clean- cut). Facial (clean),  shave (clean- cut). Let's call these four points the Grooming Quad. The Quad takes its name from a disciplinary practice at Westpoint called "Walking the Quad." If you dread the morning wake- up call and stumbling into the shower, think of the alarm clock's reveille as time for your squad to Walk the Quad. Hit the deck, hit the shower, walk the Quad.

       You've got four points to hit: wash and groom your hair, wash and shave your face. How's it work? The Foamy can says, "Wash face and leave wet." Wash your face in the shower, and there's the "clean." Shave during or after the shower, and there's the "clean- cut." With the after shave slap, mentally tick off your to do list: check, check. What about the head? The Brylcreem tube says, "Use after shampooing." Shampoo in the shower, there's the other "clean," -check. A little dab-- or healthy squeeze-- to lube the locks, ply the comb, and-- voila!-- clean- cut. Check. Four down, Mission complete. OK recruit, now get out there and face your day! Doubletime! Move it!


Clean and Clean-cut

shave in shower


        The Quad is based on barbershop smarts, what textbooks term "scientific barbering," but the Quad hot rod only runs with all four tires. Together, they guarantee a smooth ride, but lose a tire, and the car veers out of control. Let's try the Quad on some common questions about wet grooming.

Q: Doesn't constant shampooing overwash your hair?

A: It can, if you don't use the Quad. Overwashing is not a problem for Brylcreem Boys and Krew Cut Kids, because these hairgrooms provide resistance to washing. "Lather, Rinse, Repeat" is the standard formula for a shampoo. Once is not enough. Multiple lathers are the norm for wet grooming. Dry grooming may result in overwashing because there is no resistance to the shampoo.

Q: Isn't it overkill to use both hair groom and conditioner?

A:  Modern styling books like to point out that you don't need hair groom if you use conditioner, but the Quad turns that around: you don't need conditioner if you use hair groom. Hair cream is already a conditioner. Two- in- one shampoos boast that you don't need a separate conditioner, but you never did with a hair groom. Dry grooming requires a conditioner to offset the damage resulting from hair spray, styling gel, blow- drying and overwashing, none of which are problems with the Quad.

shampoo bar
Q: Can I use soap as shampoo?

A: No, but you can use shampoo as soap. There's a Whiskey ad that reads, "They use soap for shampoo. That's what men do." Tough guys are apparently tough on their hair. You could slug down a fifth of whiskey, or you could just have a whiskey and coke and wash your head with shampoo. Try lathering a soap bar and really scrubbing your head with it. How does the lather feel on your forehead? Standard soap bars include deodorants and are too strong for your face, hair and privates. If you don't have shampoo, use soap sparingly, and later wash out all traces of soap with shampoo and a triple rinse. Better yet, trade out your bar soap for a Woody's shampoo bar and scrub to your heart's content. Bar shampoo can be hard to rinse out. To rinse it out, simply use liquid shampoo for the final lather.

Q: Doesn't hair groom clog your scalp?

A: No, but shampoo does. Many guys mistake shampoo residue for dandruff. Experts suggest rinsing three times in the shower (two more times than you think you need) to get all the shampoo out. Wet grooming guards against overstripping and protects your scalp. 

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