Sitting in high school biology, listening to the teacher drone on about genetics, I snapped to attention when she used male pattern baldness as an example of a dominant trait. My heart started pounding with fear - with bald men on both sides of my mother's family as far as the eye could see, I was doomed to have a chrome dome.
I remained anguished about the prospect of being bald for the next 20 years as my hairline retreated and my hair steadily thinned. Bald men seemed disfigured to me. I felt...
"We all -- men as well as women -- want to have softer skin, shinier hair, whiter teeth, and to age gracefully," says Dana Persia, owner of DP Image Consulting in Philadelphia. "And now it's more acceptable for men to pay attention to these things."
Good grooming items -- which include both skin care products and hair care products -- are among the most popular-selling items on the male lifestyle webshop On-the-Fly.com, says president and founder Ami Arad.
Skin Care and Hair Products: They Don't Have to Cost a Lot
Men are more open to skin care and hair products in order to look younger and fitter, says Arad. "They may not want to spend a lot on the products, but they are willing to move beyond what they can find in the grocery store."
You don't have to break the bank to find skin care and hair products that work well for you, says Persia. "You're not going to stock your shelves for $20, but for $100 you can have all the essentials."
A more expensive product isn't necessarily better, says Persia. She points out that one of her favorite skin care products is a relatively inexpensive cleanser that is available at any drugstore.
On the other hand, she adds, companies that produce some of the more expensive skin care and hair products often invest much more in research and development. They apply science to the products they produce, such as creating skin care products that fight free radicals.
Must-Have Skin Care Products for Men
"Most men have the very basic grooming essentials in their medicine cabinets: deodorant, soap, shampoo," says Nada Manley, author of Secrets of the Beauty Insiders. "But it's just as critical for men to take care of their skin as it is for women."
Men may not be used to using facial moisturizers, for example. But it's an important part of any skin care regimen, says On-the-Fly.com's Ami Arad, "if you don't want to have a beat-up, leathery face."