Rules of men's grooming

Vaughn Acord trains stylists at About Faces in Canton
Vaughn Acord trains stylists at About Faces in Canton (Barbara Haddock Taylor, Baltimore Sun)

We're in the middle of No-Shave November and Movember, annual events in which men grow facial hair raise awareness of men's health issues and cancer, so it's the perfect time to talk about male grooming trends.

Men's grooming is having a moment, according to Vaughn Acord, a celebrity hair stylist who has worked with the likes of quarterback Tom Brady, President Bill Clinton, stock car racer Jeff Gordon and actors Al Pacino, Richard Gere, Daniel Day-Lewis and Ashton Kutcher.


"Grooming is more than a haircut," Acord said.

Acord, who recently spoke to stylists at the About Faces Salon in Canton, is the son of a barber and uses such words as "tailored" and "elevated level of service" when speaking about the grooming experience.


"At the end of the day, [a man] wants to feel good," Acord said.

Spending on male grooming products is expected to rise to more than $33 billion by 2015, according to research from Global Industry Analysts. Although men's grooming products have largely been limited in the past to deodorants and shaving products, an effort has been made to expand offerings to hair care, skin care, and bath and shower products.

Acord recently launched V76, a 23-piece set of grooming products for men. The collection, which ranges in price from $11 to $28, is American-made and petroleum- and mineral oil-free. Acord is partial to the hydration mist and shaving cream.

"I love how my face feels afterward," he said of the mist. "It doesn't burn."


Acord hails the following men for "getting it right" with their approach to grooming: singer Tony Bennett, actor George Clooney, designer Ralph Lauren, singer-songwriter Bryan Ferry, designer Tomas Maier, and guitarist and actor Gary Clark Jr.

"These are guys who look good on weekends as well as weekdays," Acord said.

We asked Acord about some of the biggest mistakes men make when it comes to grooming.

Shaving sideburns

Shaving sideburns is a "major pet peeve," according to Acord.

"Never shave them completely off" to the top of the ear, he said. "Your hair then looks like a cap."

Acord said police officers are usually the worst offenders.

"They think they are being super-clean, but they are taking it to the extreme," he said.

Shaving in a shower

"Shaving in the shower is fine when it is only your face," Acord said. "Make sure not to try and shave your neck and only go to the bottom of your ears if you do not have a mirror. They start to get in there with a razor and they ruin their necklines in the shower."

Bad trims

In many cases, men incorrectly trim their beards, which makes them appear to be heavier, according to Acord.

"Follow the shape of the jaw line," he said. "Think of carving out your jawline a bit instead of a straight line, or a bit of a dip, as it will create a double chin. You can lose weight by trimming your face properly."

Hair products

Men usually apply hair products incorrectly, Acord said. Instead of plopping a gob of product onto the top of your hair, you should work the solution into your hands before applying.

"They simply rub it in their hair so that the product isn't evenly distributed throughout the scalp," Acord said. Instead, "always make sure product is broken down in hands and work it throughout the scalp."

Men should start working from the back of the head.

"Start in the back and scratch your head dispensing it into the hair before ending up around your face," he said.

Unruly areas

Ears, back and eyebrows are the three areas that usually have unruly hair, according to Acord.

"Address those things," he said.

Acord has also gone so far as advising stylists to clean the nose hair of customers during cuts.

"Don't be afraid to go in there with confidence and clean it up," he told stylists during his recent talk.

Ignoring your stylist

"Let them guide you," Acord said. "It's a safe place."