Skip to main content

What is Gluten Free Grooming?

A gluten free diet is one thing—and beneficial to people with Celiac disease, but should you be avoiding wheat based products in your grooming routine? Especially when ingredients like oat and beer are some of best for your skin and hair. It’s a thought and one we posed to founder and CEO of the popular “sustainable beauty website” O & N Collective, Michelle Witherby, who lets on about just what gluten free grooming is and why, sometimes, it can be confusing.

The Manual: What exactly is Gluten Free Grooming?

Michelle Witherby: Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye & barley. Gluten-Free Grooming would be grooming products that are “free” of ingredients containing this protein and where raw ingredients used within grooming products have not been exposed to cross contamination of gluten during the manufacturing process.

TM: What are the ingredients I should look for if I’m concerned about not using gluten in my products? What ingredients do they use to replace them?

MW: In speaking with health experts & manufacture’s in the past, many ingredients containing gluten are simply left out of the manufacturing process, instead of being replaced. For example oat. Oat bran & oat protein (which both contain gluten) was longed revered as a skin healing ingredient, but with so many other natural healing/soothing ingredients available these days, oat isn’t as common as it once was. You simply don’t find it being used that often any more. Vitamin E (Tocopheryl Acetate) is the exception however. Much of the Vitamin E found in personal care products is derived from wheat, which contains gluten. Find a trusted brand or resource (store) where you can confirm that a product you want to buy has Vitamin E sourced from cold pressed rice bran instead of wheat. A full list of ingredients containing gluten can be found here on my blog,


TM: Are gluten free products meant only for people who should avoid gluten or are there other benefits for everyone?

MW: Truly GF products are for anyone …especially those that are conscious of their health and looking to avoid the addition of chemicals. However, grooming products containing gluten can pose serious health risks for people suffering from celiac disease or gluten intolerance & sensitivity.

TM: Are some products more important to get gluten free – like lip balms as opposed to face wash?

MW: Many people in the wellness and medical fields say that products containing gluten can really only affect you if swallowed. So naturally this would then apply to oral care (toothpaste/mouthwash) but also lipsticks, lip balms, face wash. But from personal experience, I have spoken to quite a few people who have suffered from what is called contact dermatitis after topically using products that contained gluten. My recommendation would be to simply use products that are gluten free, all the way around.

TM: What would you say to the guy who is rolling their eyes at “gluten free grooming” right now?

MW: Honestly, I would say “I get it”. It may seem to some or even many that this is just yet another issue to worry about. But here’s what we know for sure. Gluten is an allergen and does have an adverse affect on many people’s bodies. We have over 2 million people with celiac disease here in the States in addition to a substantial number of people with gluten intolerance e & gluten sensitivity. Bottom line, it’s an ingredient that doesn’t mix well or play nice with our bodies. If you are someone that’s never experienced any reaction to gluten, bravo. But for many, the more we can become aware of how to avoid this protein compound the more our health will thank us for it.

Shop for gluten free grooming at

The Manual
The Manual is simple — we show men how to live a life that is more engaged. Whether it be fashion, food, drink, travel…
How to straighten your beard at home: A complete guide
This is the best way get a straight beard in the comfort of home
Man with a straightened beard

Gone are the days were guys just grew out their beards and called it good. Now, men focus on more than just not trimming it but styling it as well, and that come a long way in the past decade. What started out as hipster fashion and niche expression has become commonplace for men everywhere. It used to be that you either had a beard or you didn't, and if you did, it just grew until you trimmed it and that was it. Now there is an entire industry built around trimming, styling, and nourishing beards. Most bearded men are familiar with the myriad of balms, oils, waxes, and pastes. They probably own a trimmer or entire kit specifically designed for beard maintenance. If you don't, it's high time you did.

The one area of whisker customization that most men remain unfamiliar with is beard straightening. It is hard enough to find a man who has tried straightening his head hair, let alone his facial hair. We're here to tell you that if you're interested, you should try it! (Both, but for now, your beard.) The two processes are very similar, relying on a blow-dryer and brush or specialized tool. They can be done by a professional or just as easily at home with a little practice. If beard straightening is something new to you or something you've been wanting to try, we put together this guide on how to straighten out your beard just for you. It will help you figure out a routine that works for you at home, and with a little practice, it will become just as simple as brushing your teeth. As is the same when learning anything new, especially in grooming terms, practice does make perfect.

Read more
Retinol for men: What to know and what to buy
Check out this list of top products for men
Man checking his skin in the mirror

If you are over 18 and trying to elevate your age-defying skincare routine, then consider retinol for men as one of your potential new best friends. What is retinol? Retinol is a vitamin A derivative that was stumbled upon by scientists who were working on developing the best severe acne treatment.

Today, retinol has been developed and refined into one of the best grooming products for men, one that actually helps reverse wrinkles. It also helps to smooth texture, diminish acne scarring, and lighten hyperpigmentation of the skin. In simpler terms, it’s an essential tool for preventing and reversing skin damage. In other words, the answer to the question, "is retinol good for men's skin?" is yes.

Read more
Your complete Maison Margiela cologne guide: What to wear for every occasion
Most of these Maison Margiela fragrances are unisex, so you can share
Maison Margiela REPLICA Under the Stars

Freshly mown grass, coffee beans, rain, and roasting marshmallows -- we are surrounded each day with fragrances both simple and wonderful. Scent is the all-powerful key to unlocking memories -- the core ones, such as your first night camping under the stars with your dad, and the tiny moments you may have forgotten. Maison Margiela created the Replica line of unisex fragrances to capture these unique, everyday scents. Come stroll with us through a zen garden, a candlelit restaurant, and the starlit open air, and we'll show you which moments to bring home with you.

Under the Stars
One of Maison Margiela's most recent creations is the leathered, woody and smoke-wreathed Under the Stars. This fragrance leans masculine, venturing out into the real wilderness with animalic notes of leather, black pepper, nutty oud (Agarwood), and earthy labdanum. While many members of the Maison Margiela Replica collection linger cozily indoors, (

Read more