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By Alana Folen

Men’s Grooming is Easy—Albeit Essential

THE DAYS OF THE NEANDERTHAL ARE LONG GONE. Men have evolved into a new breed-one that is masculine, confident, stylish and most importantly-well put-together. Whether you’re the outdoors type or a business-savvy beau, one thing’s for certain: Grooming is an absolute daily essential.

The benefits reaped from good male grooming are endless and the products and services are diverse. Relax, guys, a well-groomed look is easy to come by.

For starters, a haircut that complements both your face and hair type is key, according to Thi Nguyen, artistic director and part owner of W Salon at Ala Moana Center. Yet equally important are the products you use to maintain the cut after you’ve left the salon.

“It’s extremely important for men to put a lot of emphasis on the grooming and styling of their hair,” says the celebrated stylist, noting that Kerastase recently came out with a line specifically catered to men.

The collection (Kerastase Homme Capital Force) includes treatment and cleansing products for oily and thinning hair as well as two styling products-a gel and a paste. Nguyen highly recommends Bain Capital Force Densifying ($34), a daily treatment shampoo with a thickening effect for fine, limp hair. In addition, Cleanse Bain Capital Force Anti-Oiliness ($34) provides men with a daily treatment shampoo with a cooling effect that prevents serum build-up.

“All men should also have the Shu Uemura Shape Paste Sculpting Putty ($30),” Nguyen explains. “The texture is just right, the scent is neutral and my male customers love it.”

The perfect shave also appears to be a dying art in today’s hectic world. Therefore, men can separate themselves (from boys who wear surf T-shirts to upscale restaurants on a Saturday evening) with a good quality razor and shaving cream. Kiehl’s Ultimate Brushless Shave Creams ($15.50-$19) blend the best of botanicals and technology, and are available at Neiman Marcus. For a nourishing post-shave moisturizer, Kiehl’s also offers the Soothing Nourishing Face Cream for Men ($17) that leaves skin soft without a greasy residue.

All groomed men deserve a little extra pampering every now and then, and Paul Brown’s Spa Olakino Salon in Waikiki offers a facial designed specifically for men.

“It’s called the Kane Facial,” says Cana Hasegawa, sales manager and esthetician at Spa Olakino. “For $120, men receive a 50-minute facial especially formulated to calm and rejuvenate the effects of shaving and prolonged exposure to the natural elements of the sun, sea and wind.”

Our theory that a well-groomed man is not only composed from head-to-toe, but should feel effervescent from the inside-out-can be addressed with the Olakino Experience (5 hours, $482). This affair begins with a foot wash using warm mineral water, Hawaiian salt and peppermint oil.

The body massage portion uses an infusion of grape seed oil and ginger root, followed by a pineapple and papaya enzyme body scrub. Hawaiian spirulina and aloe wrap completes the body treatment, which is capped with a relaxing aromatherapy facial followed by a healthy lunch.

Intimidated? Don’t be, fellas. Stocking the medicine cabinet with a few of these key grooming potions-bolstered with a day of pampering-and you’ll be walking with a whole new strut.