Archive for the Hair Category

Rubber Ducky….you’re the one…

Posted in Hair with tags on September 15, 2010 by sartorialbutch

Ok, so I admit it. I have a rubber ducky. He does make bath time lots of fun. When I actually have time to take a bath –  which isn’t often.  That said, I do love shower time. I am one of those people who needs to have a shower in the morning before I can start my day and feel relatively good about myself and the world around me.

Typically, there are a few different shampoos/conditioners that I rotate through during the year (and yes, I keep dandruff shampoo in the rotation year round – for preventative measures) because I believe that your hair kind of gets used to one product and then you need to make a change.

Honestly, I don’t spend a whole ton of time or energy selecting shampoo/conditioner (pomade/wax/gel is a WHOLE other time suck) and often go with what smells good and is cheap.  However I was in the store last week and came across a new offering from American Crew – Citrus Mint shampoo/conditioner.

No joke, it’s like $10 a bottle. Each. Totally extravagant and spendy. But, I’d had a GREAT week at work and felt like I needed to do something nice to myself, and this wasn’t SO out of the realm of my budgetary constraints that I felt ok about it.  And it’s MINE. Just mine. Not that I have a problem sharing hair cleansing product with the Sartoriallove, but it is nice to have separate stuff as well. And I use SO little that these two bottles should last till – Christmas? Thanksgiving at least. So, for about $3 a month I can have really awesome hair cleaning supplies.

This shampoo is great. The smell is not overpowering in either citrus or mint, and is pleasant, and it gets my hair to the point of just under squeaky clean (I’m not a huge fan of squeaky squeaky – but I like clean) and there’s just the slightest bit of tingle. I kind of like tingle in my shampoo – I once used Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap exclusively just for the tingle – but then I got tingle in a place that was a little bit too much for me and since then I’ve backed off…..but this is another subject entirely.

Annnyway, on to the conditioner – which is clean rinsing, does not leave my hair feeling greasy or oily at all, and for my thick crazy hair makes it feeling tangle free (ok, so I don’t have hair long enough to get tangles, but this FEELS really good after so it’s the best word I could think of) and ready to be coiffed.

What are you using to clean/condition your hair? Why do you like it??

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On manscaping…

Posted in Hair, Personal grooming with tags on December 31, 2009 by sartorialbutch

I’ve written before about some issues around personal grooming, hair and nail care, etc., as this is perhaps the most important detail about being a dashing butch specimen.  Honestly, daily showering is step one in this quest, however if you’ve been reading this blog for a bit you (a) already knew that and (b) probably already do that.

Body hair is one of those huge issues that seem to be a subject of big interest for a big portion of society – where it is, where it isn’t, where it shouldn’t be, and where you may wish it was. These plague butches as well, and as it’s a pretty subjective and personal thing, I’m just going to talk about me and what I like, etc.

Let us start with leg hair. Most masculinely expressed people that I know personally tend to not do anything about this. I waver on my own leg hair  – honestly, I usually shave from the knee down because I’m narcissistic and um, when I work out and lift weights I like to see the muscles at work in the mirror. When I let my leg hair grow, it is dark and thick and I can’t see the work I’m doing that well. I tend to be lazier about this in the winter.

When I do shave my legs (or anywhere, actually) I make sure that I use a low or non-scented soap (like Ivory) that lathers really, really well, or plain old Barbasol shaving cream – which mostly just reminds me of my dad, but also smells pretty good too. Making sure there is as little friction as possible between your skin and the blades of the razor is key to a smooth shave that will leave you with few undesirable after effects.

As for razors, my go-to is a Gillette Fusion 5 blade razor. I think that out of all commercially available razors these are the most dependable, and I like that they are a little heavy in my hand as I feel that it gives me more control over the blade (which comes in handy for if you’re playing with others, too). If you’re fancyschmancy, you can pick up an old school straight razor/safety razor kit, which honestly is the hotness, but for me, a little cumbersome for daily use. Admittedly, they’re a pretty damn cool accessory to have in your bathroom.

On to generally dealt with body hair location #2 – underarms.  Typically, I don’t shave mine. I know that in the straight world (in the US anyway,) this would elicit an “eww gross” comment, but that isn’t always the case in Queerland.  Mostly, I don’t shave my underarms because it’s a pain in the ass to remember, and I get itchy and red bumps that happen afterwards.  Plus I think it looks kind of hot, which is always an added bonus for me.  I will admit that sometimes in the summer I trim it down some with my special “body hair” buzz razor, because even though I don’t smell particularly bad, I tend to sweat a lot and I find that trimming gets more deodorant on skin and helps me out in the warmer months.

Eyebrows are another area in which some manscaping can occur. I tend to think that if they grow together, you might want to consider doing something to keep them separate, but you know, if that’s the way you like it, rock on. I am fairly blessed with nicely shaped brows and do very, very little to keep them under control outside of the occasional tweeze, and always trying to get that one, thick, white hair that grows wildly from the side of my right brow but that’s just me and I’m sure you’ve got your own stray hair issue or two as well.

Perhaps the most subjective and talked about body hair region is the one below the belt but above the knees. While I appreciate HOWEVER my partners choose to (or not) maintain their bathing suit areas, I find that the short trim works best for me – again, I’ve got a separate buzzer for this purpose.  I find that maintaining the short look doesn’t take much effort at all (for me) and tends to make other….activities that I participate in easier and more comfortable to manage.  As with all personal grooming topics, good hygiene trumps pretty much anything, so you know, just being clean does a bunch for your personal style.

As bodies come in all shapes and sizes, body hair comes in all different places. I know many a butch who likes to engage in facial shaving – mostly for a smooth face, and the act itself can be empowering and well, hot.  I also know folks who just let it grow where it do – and that’s awesome too!

I think that the most important thing you can do, whether you shave anything or abstain, is good skin care. I moisturize my skin whenever I can remember to, but try to do so at least once daily. My lotion choice is Johnson & Johnson baby lotion. I find it to be non-greasy, quick absorbing, and  well – and due to my tendency to have fresh ink on my flesh more often than the average bear, I tend to have tubes of this stuff lying around the house, car, girlfriends house, and office.  Keeping your skin moisturized keeps it soft, less prone to bumps/rashes/itch after shaving, and most importantly makes others like to touch you – which may be the best reason of all.

What are your thoughts on manscaping?

All fun and games until…

Posted in Hair, Tips and Hints with tags , , , , , on October 30, 2009 by sartorialbutch

A few words on hair:  If there’s one thing about myself that I obsess over with regularity it’s my hair. Many butch/masc IDed people have short, typically male hair. And being as we live in a very very gendered world, it can sometimes be hard for us to find the right person to cut it.  I find that it can sometimes be hard for a stylist to understand that when I say “men’s haircut” I really mean it.  On top of that, haircuts can be expensive, and when you keep it short, it needs to be cut more, which means more money spent on haircuts.

Not only that, but there’s a HUGE range of prices when it comes to haircuts, from a $12 Supercuts cut to a $50 salon cut.  My hair needs attention about every 3-4 weeks.  Even someone as poor at math as I am can see that constant hair cutting can get pretty expensive. So, here are some tips for finding and maintaining great hair without going broke.

Ask guys that you know, work with, that you meet at the bar who you think are well groomed, where they get their hair cut. Barbers typically cost a LOT less than salons, and you’ll be sure that you can get the cut you want. Find out if your town/city has a queer or queer friendly barber. A queer barber is awesome as you will likely feel much more comfortable in his chair.

You can also try out a regular barber, even though I know that for me, it can be nerve-wracking getting over the fear that I’m going to experience some sort of homophobia.  I’m just putting that out there as I don’t think I’m alone in this. It’s something I’d LOVE to get over, but I also understand that it’s a touchy subject for a lot of us and I just wanted to let others know that they aren’t alone in this fear.

This isn’t to say that you can’t get a good cut at a discount chain hair salon. You can. The problem I’ve found is that the employee turn over is HUGE and it’s often hard for that one person who cut your hair last time to be available this time, or for them to still even be there.  If your budget forces you to go to a chain store then I advise you to be really clear about the cut you want, even going so far as to say “I understand that this is typically a men’s cut, but it is what I’d like.”  The odds are, you’re going to go in with a pretty masculine haircut to start with, and so they should easily be able to accommodate you easily.

Higher end salons are awesome, if pricey.  They tend to (in some cities, anyway, I don’t want to make sweeping generalizations here) have more queer employees, and you can ask around to find out what the reputation is like. Also, salons that have a reputation for doing “funky” hair styles shouldn’t have a problem doing your hair either.

Usually, you get what you pay for. I know it may not seem that way all the time, but I’ve found that the best hair cuts have come from higher end places. I find that my hair isn’t just cut, it’s cut to grow in well, and my hair looks good EVEN if I wait too long to get it cut again.

Admittedly, I’m pretty lucky in this arena. My hair stylist is my friend and works at a high end salon, yet does my hair in her living room. Like I said, lucky. She’s also queer and awesome and convinces me to try out stuff that I wouldn’t normally do. Right now I’m sporting a pretty kick-ass quiff (in homage to my favorite pop-star) and being my town’s own rockabilly butch. Though, some days I feel like a  butch impersonating Edward Cullen or Jason (from the 90210 days) Priestly,  but I digress.

Hair care is equally important. I admit that I generally pick shampoos and conditioners based on smell and not performance.  And I like the way Garnier Fructis smells. A lot. It’s my general go-to, but I also rotate other stuff so that my hair doesn’t get used to the way this works all the time. I think there’s a scientific way to explain it but unfortunately that isn’t in my skill set. I do use dandruff shampoo at least once or twice a week. This is not because I have dandruff, but I don’t want to get it either.

As with most things, you get what you pay for with shampoo as well. The good news?  With your short hair you really only need to use a pea sized amount to get the job done. My last bottles of shampoo/conditioner lasted over 6 months and so the cost factor isn’t as important when I know it’s stretched out over time – I’d rather spend $5-7 bucks for something I really like than a $1.50 on something I don’t. One word of caution – beware of things targeted specifically for men. They tend to smell a LOT stronger than other shampoos, and that scent also tends to stay in the hair longer – which will conflict with what brings us to our next hair care topic: product.

Whatever the cut or how you clean it, good product is essential, and this is where things get more difficult. I have really wavy, thick hair. What keeps my hair in place generally won’t keep a really thin, straight hair in place. This brings me to a cautionary tale. Our partners like to touch our hair. They don’t like being greeted with a plastered-in-place hairdo, nor do they like their eyes (or anything else) being poked out by a really stiff hair spike. I have been guilty of this in the past. Using products like “glue” or “ultra hold” gel and then frosting it all over with hair spray WILL produce this effect.

In my years of different short hair looks I’ve come to the conclusion that pomade, when used correctly (that is really emulsified in your hands before application) can keep many different short hair styles in place. Right now for my hair I’m using pomade made by Axe. Now, I have some issue with Axe (ok, not the company per-se, but people who think they need to spray themselves with so much of it that the smell permeates a 10 square foot area and conflicts with every other scent in the room) but I’ll get to that at another time when we talk more about personal grooming. I have found that REALLY good pomades/waxes are generally REALLY expensive. I like American Crew a LOT, but I find that it’s really pricey for what you get and I’m also not 100% thrilled with how it smells.  The Axe Refined Clean Cut Pomade

axedoes EXACTLY what I want it to do and it costs around $6, AND it smells great and not too overpowering. Again, (and we’ll get to cologne at another time) you don’t want too many scents conflicting with each other and with soaps, shampoos, deodorant, hair product, and cologne going on, you can turn yourself into an offense hot smelly mess pretty easily.

Sometimes I do need a bit more hold, especially when my hair has grown out a bit and I can’t quite fit a cut into my schedule. It is at this time I break out the glue BUT I use a very very small amount, mix it with the pomade, and work it well into my hair. If I need more hold? One spritz of hairspray. Really. Just one. This will keep your hair the way you’d like it and also not be offensively hard, or even look like it is.

Our hair says a lot about us, and is often the first thing people notice about us.  It, I think, says more about our identity and expression than anything else that we “wear” on the outside, even our clothes. It signifies to those who hate us that we are “different.” It signifies to those that love us that we are one of them.  It shows that we are brave enough to be ourselves.

And I think this is awesome.

So – what keeps your ‘do in place? Any products you particularly like to use or find cost effective?