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The pro linebacker's grooming routine

League standout Karlos Dansby is a men’s style mogul who schools on and off the field.

Long gone are the days when we foolishly assumed that athletes aren't just as invested in fashion and style as those who don't tackle other people for a living. Take Cleveland Browns defensive lineman Karlos Dansby: After co-founding a spot where professional hot lather shaves, as well as haircuts, shoe shines, and massages, are the order of the day (Butler’s Grooming Club in Birmingham, Alabama), Dansby, along with business partner Christopher Butler, has now launched Montez Renault, a premium line of men’s grooming products. The end goal: A better grooming experience thanks to patented technology and proprietary ingredients.

“Watching my Dad shave and put on cologne when I was a kid gave me an inkling that the way you present yourself can translate to success,” says Dansby. Time spent under Joe Whitt at Auburn University before going pro furthered the message. “Coach Whitt hated guys on the team having facial hair. He believed we needed to look the part and it taught us to pay attention to the small things—on the field and off,” he recalls. With Butler’s as a testing ground, Dansby and Butler worked hard to formulate with men’s needs in mind, developing a full range of skincare plus a killer shave cream that’s both moisturizing and anti-inflammatory to soothe irritation and minimize ingrowns; haircare that hydrates and strengthens with ingredients like organic hops; and a travel-friendly 3-in-1 cleanser for face, body, and hair—the ultimate in versatility—emblazoned fittingly with Dansby’s number 56.

Here, a handful of Dansby’s tips for living a well-groomed life:

warm up before you shave

"Always warm your skin so the hair follicles can soften and you’ll get a much smoother, closer shave. You can do this by applying a warm towel or hot water to your face with a pre-shave moisturizer—and you’ll end up with less irritation, too."
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use a facial scrub

"Just the other day cornerback Robert Nelson asked me what he should use and I gave him this tip. It’s shocking the dirt and dead cells you can get off your face after a long day—and with sports that require a helmet you can get dark patches from irritation and sweat where it comes into contact with your skin. If you’re consistent, cleansing daily and using a scrub once a week, you’ll really see your skin improve."
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keep facial hair neat

"I say keep it clean. Trim along your neckline to maintain your beard’s integrity so you don’t end up looking like an upcoming episode of Duck Dynasty. But hey, if that’s what you like, great!"
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never shampoo without conditioning

"When you’re wearing a helmet, your hair and scalp can get really dried out. The friction just destroys your hair and some guys even start to get a receding hairline, so I wash my hair as often as possible. Our shampoo is sulfate-and-paraben free so it doesn’t strip the hair but using conditioner is also an important step to strengthen and moisturize."
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have a signature scent

"One of the first things you recognize when someone walks into a room is how they smell. And believe me, if you smell bad, they’ll notice. If you wear too much cologne, they’ll notice that too. I wear Creed Aventus or Creed Millesime Imperial and we’re working on developing a fragrance for the line. If you’re less of a cologne-man, put on an aftershave or try a body lotion with a scent you like and you’ll be moisturizing your skin too."
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