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Health & Beauty - Big Apple Style

Health & Beauty

To Gel Or Not To Gel

(Yet Another Hair Guide For Men!)

We understand that the world of hair styles has just gotten trickier for men. There used to be just a few simple options. Little boys had bowl cuts and old men had shield-like newscaster hairstyles. And with the exception of the shag and the 'fro, not much else was available. Well, now the men's world of hair has changed. Somewhere between my sophomore and junior year of high school, guys started..."experimenting". No, not that type of experimenting, but trying new styles and techniques to make themselves more appealing to the ladies. And oddly enough, five years have passed and the same styles are still relevant...so let's begin! The Styles: 1. The Crop: Better known as old faithful, this one has passed from one generation to the next with a few variations. Basically, the hair is kept short in the back and sides, with the longest hair at the front...best for putting mousse or gel the top for a spiked effect. 2. The Shag: Best for men in creative fields where different is "very now very wow". The hair length ranges from a prominent amount of hair at the nape of the neck to a little bit past the shoulders for the truly adventurous. We suggest layers. But beware, this is a high maintenance style so don't attempt it if you're a basic jeans and t-shirt kind of guy. 3. The New & Improved Bowl: This is the style highlighted by long bangs with the rest of the hair only slightly longer than the bangs. Hair shouldn't go past the neckline. This look is best for the urban professional working in a young or casual oriented office, with clothes to match. Editor's Note: All of these main styles have infinite variations, but before you let your stylist do his magic, consider how a certain cut fits your personality/lifestyle. I have an amazing friend who crossed the crop with the mohawk. Before you gasp in shock, it's an amazing look and he has hair all over his head. But it's extremely high maintenance, and he works in the creative market, so it's not a problem for his audience. The Moral: Just like with us ladies, think hard before you make drastic changes to your hair. The time and effort may not be worth it for you. The Techniques: 1. Hair Gel: There are various types of hair gel but the best are the types that only take a little to do a lot. In other words, regardless of whether you spike only the front or all of your head, don't get gel happy, "a 'lil dab will do ya". We like gel because of it's versatility and mobility. Nothing is set in stone. 2. Mousse: Good for the gentlemen with hair that needs taming. Mousse controls fly away hair and frizzy hair without weighing it down. For this one, regardless of how long your hair is, a lemon sized amount is plenty. Too much of anything can be a bad thing and product build up can make even the prettiest hair look stringy and lifeless. 3. Wax: The word says it all. This is a styling tool for a professional. Most waxes don't give you the opportunity to "do over" if you mess up, so we don't suggest it unless you know what you're doing. 4. The Comb vs. Your Fingers: We believe that the comb is best for people who have styles that don't need products. A good close toothed comb is all you need to fix bed head or wayward strands. But if you've joined the "high maintenance" crowd, don't be shy, stick your fingers in there and get down to business. Combs can't always navigate hair with products in it the way that your fingers can. Plus, the point of using hair gel, mouse or wax is to create a tousled effect with your look. Combing equals neat while fingers equal messy and sassy. So even though the possibilities are limitless, we've given you a few pointers to get you started. Just remember that the key to a perfect hairstyle is one that fits into your lifestyle and routine. It should compliment your personality and profession. So go out there and make that head of hair look truly fabulous!

When To Let It Go

(How To Gain Youth Without Really Trying...Or...Cut Your Hair Please!)

We've all seen him, the man who refuses to let go of his visions of past grandeur by holding on to that pitiful pony tail or wearing his hair longer than he really should. Sure, it may give him the illusion of appearing sexy, youthful and exciting, but in reality it has the opposite effect! When we see this man, rarely is there a positive comment to be made. Most of us look at him and think we see a man who is desperately clinging to his youth in the worst way possible. He goes so far as to ignore signs of obvious aging (his thinning hair) just to prove his youth. But we can't just sneer at the pony tail. Let's not forget the thinning hair victims who insist on the "comb over" or just refuse to cut it short. Many men believe that if they cut their hair, they'll be giving in to their age. But this misconception couldn't be further from the truth. Contrary to popular belief, the shorter an older man cuts his hair, the more youthful he appears. Why is this? Stylists have stated that this is all based on the illusion of hair length and the perception it creates towards others. When thinning har is left long, it allows for visible gaps to be seen because the weight of the hair itself causes it to lay close to the scalp. So, all of your thin patches or bald spots are glaringly obvious. In contrast, when hair is cut short, it stands tall and all the "problem areas" are the same length as the rest of your hair. This allows for the entire head of hair to appear consistent. Consistent hair growth is a trait assumed to be synonymous with youthful men. So what to do if you have thinning hair? Stylists suggest keeping your hair trimmed and conditioned. Hair should be no longer than an inch if you have moderately thinning hair and no more than half an inch for very obvious thin hair. Conditioning the hair also helps it keep that healthy and lustrous look and feel, something that most thinning hair usually doesn't have. Of course, if your concern is severe hair loss rather than thinning, then we agree with stylists that it may be time to shave off the hair and go "au naturale". Cutting your hair to a more manageable length can actually take anywhere from five to ten years off of your appearance. Maybe instead of focusing on the hair on your head, you can try growing and maintaining facial hair. This is a great way to alter your image and offers you the hair you desire without the embarrassing thin patches. So, whatever your follicle concerns, remember that shorter is better when it comes to thinning hair.