I never leave home without my beard oil samples
Say it out loud. Say it slow… Go ahead, no one’s listening... Now say it like you mean it.
Even if you aren’t exactly sure what it means, you have to admit it sounds pretty rad.
Dual functionality is a masterpiece of a verbal construction used to describe an object’s ability to serve (useful) purposes beyond its original intent.
“In the event of an emergency your seat cushion may be used as a flotation device.” Dual functionality.
Hydrogen peroxide can be used to disinfect water for drinking and bleach hair. Dual Functionality.
The idea is that an item’s value increases exponentially when it can be used to fill more than one consumer need.
An epoch ago, while I was still slap in the thick of my undergraduate identity crisis, one thing I learned sticks out in my mind:.
An apartment kegger was drawing to a blur when I found myself advising some poor drunk poli-sci major about how he should deal with the agony of the toothache he’d been crying about.
Just as I was catching my stride in a no-doubt rigid, probably pedantic treatise on the preventative benefits of proper oral hygiene, a beacon of pragmatic truth and hard-boiled ingenuity walked up. His name was Raheem Gray.
“Yo I had a bad toothache one time,” he said. “Somebody told me to put some cocaine on it, and maaan, that shit didn’t hurt for two years.”
I stood silently—my monologue rendered moot---and had an epiphany: I hadn’t been put on this earth to simply brush, floss, swish and conform! Life wasn’t always about following directions and adhering to predetermined customs, oh no! To the contrary, in that moment life was obviously about finding out what works for you and making your own rules. Forging paths. Blazing trails.
So this has been my approach to many things since that fateful night; it is certainly the angle from which I continue to negotiate the lofty subject of men’s grooming. People will tell you there are Do’s and Don’t’s. You’ll read from “credible” sources that there are absolute truths. And maybe they’ll work for you. But maybe they won’t.
Have you seen the detailed and painstaking DIRECTIONS FOR USE I’ve written to go along with every product on the Brooklyn Grooming site? Aren’t they authoritative and informative? Well, ignore them!
Since I became a part of the Brooklyn Grooming machine, I’ve been playing around with these products non-stop, and I’d like to let you in on a few secrets of FUNCTIONAL DUALITY that I’ve discovered, if I may.
1. For starters, Mckenzie once referred to the Brooklyn Grooming line as “functional colognes.” (With the exception of the Commando line of course, she was absolutely right.) The hand-mixed formulas and top-secret recipes work wonders for the skin and hair, but the fragrances alone would be enough. I definitely rub Williamsburg Beard Balm onto my wrists, below my ears and into the crooks of my elbows (the pulse points) when I want a fragrance refresher.
2. Sometimes my hair is light and obedient. Occasionally it is heavy and unruly. We’ll call the latter a bad-hair day. On these days, the Brooklyn Grooming Old School Pomade I usually swear by simply won’t cut it. So I take equal parts pomade and BG Mustache Wax, work them together into a super-pomade with much more hold than the pomade alone. Presto: a good-hair day.
3. Now the following should only be attempted in cases of emergency (e.g. your wedding photos, a job interview, a blind date, your youtube debut, etc.). The casual practitioner of “men’s grooming” may even find this suggestion unsettling. But hey, I'm out here in the trenches so you wont have to be! In basic color theory we learn that green neutralizes shades of red. If you are prone to break-outs, or if you have the occasional smattering of pink spots/patches on your face, AND you care enough to bother concealing their blatant noticeability, then I have the answer for you, friends. BG Old School Pomade has the texture of a waxy, thick paste. AND it happens to be green. Take a small piece of pomade and lay it over your blemish, smoothing the edges so that they blend into the surface of the skin. Give it a couple of minutes to set, then smooth over a cheap tinted BB Cream to match your skin tone and the redness will have totally vanished as the green renders the red invisible, due to science. Think of it as a spackle job when you need a quick fix. Rest assured, tinted BB Creams are not make-up. They’re just moisturizing sunscreens with a little pigment for even color saturation.
4. A. One of my personal missions as a Men’s Grooming Consultant is to free the modern man from his shampoo addiction. Perhaps you’ve noticed a tweet here and there regarding the shackles of shampoo from which I would like all men to break free. Shampoos are usually chock full of chemical agents and detergents that produce a rich, foamy lather but remove all traces of natural body grease (sebum) from the hair. What you’re left with is a straw-like mop-top that has been stripped of clarity, body and natural movement. AND THESE SHAMPOO BOTTLES HAVE THE NERVE TO SAY “LATHER, RINSE, REPEAT.” Bullshit. Repeat at your own risk.
B. Now, if you feel that you need shampoo everyday because your hair is that oily, hear me out. Remember back in Skincare 101 how we talked about the face producing too much oil in response to our own continual use of cleansers, toners and astringents that deplete it of its natural, necessary sebum? I venture to say that your oily hair is very likely your poor thirsty scalp's exact same response to your overuse of shampoo! So instead of shampooing all the time, just rinse. And afterwards, while the scalp is soft and the pores are open, make a few parts in your hair, drop in some Facial Serum (2-3x week) and let it trickle down like a messenger signaling to your skin naturally to slow down the oil secretion. (More on my one-man-anti-shampoo-campaign coming soon)
5. True Story: just the other day I was dining al fresco on the lower east side of Manhattan. Every time a waiter would come outside, this irritable (and totally sloshed) customer seated just by the door would gripe and moan about the deep creaking sound coming from the door's hinges. The waiters couldn't (or chose not to) do anything about it, so after a few minutes of this lush's bitching, I (ever prepared and constantly reppin' my brand) produced from my bag a sample of Red Hook Beard Oil and slathered it onto all three of the door's put-upon hinges. After only a few openings and closings, the door hinges were lubed and quiet and--more importantly--so was the drunk.
THEN, when I went by a few days later the waiter was happy to report that not only had the door remained silent, but his shifts had become much more bearable since each time he walked in the door he was treated to a lovely whiff of spiced bay rum.
Stay tuned to the blog for more ideas on how Brooklyn Grooming's products can make your life exponentially better. And if you've discovered any dual functions with your own BG items, please let us know in the comments section below!
Or send us a tweet to @BKGrooming
* * * * * Cocaine might be fine for toothaches, but it’s murder on the skin. So for all my ranting on this blog about the ritual care, regimented maintenance and meticulous preservation of your complexion, don’t you dare BLOW it on that stuff. (I for one am still a proponent of the stop-cavities-before-they-start method.) * * * * *