Here Comes The Groom-ing!

Step aside, brides — those indulgent pre-wedding salon, spa and grooming gatherings are no longer exclusively your domain! Grooms, it’s your turn for a luxurious pre-wedding makeover and grooming session. To ensure you’ll look tip-top in your tux and tie, we’ve consulted local experts, uncovered trends and looked at personal products designed to tame any testosterone-fueled challenge on the big day.

Ask an expert

According to veteran stylist-to-the-stars Allen Edwards (based at A.T. Tramp in Beverly Hills and Decarra Salon in Woodland Hills), good grooming habits should be established long before the wedding day.

“I recommend men come into the salon more often for hair care, and they should not be afraid to spend more money on a good haircut,” Edwards said. “Although men have a tendency to buy inexpensive shampoo, I recommend they buy a good moisturizing shampoo and condition their hair at least once a week. The three best hair products for men are Imperial, Paul Mitchell and Crew.”

Edwards also recommends men get facials and get into the habit of using a moisturizer every morning. And, just as women turn to magazines for inspiration, he said men can benefit from the same practice, buying magazines such as GQ to review haircut and facial hair trends.

“Don’t get stuck wearing the same haircut your whole life,” Edwards said.

“Beards are very popular now, and I suggest keeping the beard very cropped.

“On the wedding day, men should keep their hair clean and short, and if they have a beard, it should be groomed a little shorter.”

Smooth operators

In the last two decades, men’s grooming products have gone from utilitarian to upscale, while pop culture and general health trends have made masculine pomades, creams, gels and designer shaves more palatable for even the manliest of guys.

While many women dream about the kiss on the big day, nothing can spoil her moment quicker than getting her face scratched. Newport Beach entrepreneur Michael Finfrock realized this just three weeks into dating his girlfriend. With his female friends weighing in on the scratchy subject, and with heavy body and facial hair being a part of his genetic makeup, Finfrock was prompted to develop Soft Goat ($11.99 at thesoftgoat.com).

Although Soft Goat is intended for daily grooming, Finfrock said using the sponge-like, hypoallergenic pads on shaved areas starting a few months before the wedding will soften stubble to create a smooth foundation for the groom’s look.

“Beards, goatees and mustaches are hotter now than at any other time in my life, and because corporate America now allows facial hair, well-groomed and textured facial hair is a must,” he said. “While the moisturizing elements soften the hairs’ short edges and stubble left behind from trimming and razors, a light exfoliant gets rid of dead cells and prevents ingrown hairs.”

Addressing another current male tonsorial trend, Dennis J. Fisher developed his line of Bee Bald products, which includes items such as Clean, Shave, Scrub, Heal and Smooth Moisturizer with SPF 30 ($9.99 each on amazon.com and beebald.com).

While the products, made with honey, bee pollen, licorice root, fruit extract and vitamins are suited to everyday use, Fisher offers these suggestions to help proudly bald grooms get a head start on their big-day routine, as well as be covered beyond the chuppah if the wedding is outdoors.

“After washing your face, apply a moisturizer with SPF protection to keep the skin hydrated and protected from damaging UV rays, which in turn will also prevent skin from aging,” Fisher said. “A shaving balm, like Bee Bald Heal, can also work to keep moisture locked in, while improving the physical appearance of nicks, bruises, blemishes and other irritations caused by shaving.”

Fisher also strongly advises grooms, bald or otherwise, to get into the habit of exfoliating their skin to produce a better result with their shave. He said that doing so right before hair removal helps expose the hair follicles in the skin, which makes for a smoother shave; it also unclogs pores and prevents breakouts.

Fisher’s other common-sense grooming tips include clipping nails weekly, removing dirt from under and around the nails, moisturizing hands and cuticles, keeping nose hair trimmed and taming eyebrows with small scissors.

Ursa Major, another emerging men’s skincare line (available locally at Poketo, Individual Medley and Wittmore), includes an award-winning shave cream and individually wrapped face wipes that are perfect for freshening up before, during or after a wedding ceremony. Global brand Kiehl’s (with stores at The Grove, Montana Avenue in Santa Monica, Westfield Topanga and Robertson Boulevard in West Hollywood) offers such men’s wedding-day essentials as eye products to help de-puff and lift under-eye skin, an oil-control collection that helps reduce and prevent shine, and a matte lip balm that keeps lips moisturized without shine.

The Art of Shaving, which has Barber Spa services at their locations at the Americana at Brand in Glendale, Westfield Century City Mall and Westfield Fashion Square in Sherman Oaks, offers ways for grooms and groomsmen to take their pre-wedding bonding activities to a new level of elegance. Services and packages include haircuts, traditional shaves, elaborate Royal Shave experiences, beard and mustache trims, and more.

Cleaning up your act

For a personal care ritual imbued with deeper significance, why not take a male-bonding trip to the mikveh — a practice that has been gaining favor among grooms.

“Some grooms use the mikveh for private time before entering into marriage,” said Taylor Fife of jessyjudaica.com, a Toronto-based custom kippot maker and Jewish event planner with clients in L.A. and San Diego. “Others invite close family and friends to share in the mikveh with stories, blessings and food or drink,” she added.

Indeed, Judith Golden, who oversees activity at the American Rabbinical Assembly Mikveh at American Jewish University, said she has noticed a significant uptick in the number of grooms opting to take the plunge in a more meaningful way. She estimates the number has increased by 50 percent since she began working there 10 years ago.

“It’s fabulous to see more men doing this,” Golden said. “The mikveh is a metaphor for a new beginning, and is one of the best things you and your future wife can do before you marry. When both partners do the mikveh, they are setting an intention for the life they will live together and the journey they will be taking beyond the wedding day.”

Read the whole article at:  http://www.jewishjournal.com/lifestyle/article/here_comes_the_groom_ing