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I'm not sure I'm really qualified to comment, but I'll take a shot...
I don't do a lot of people shots. But on my B&W shots (usually IR), I try to get more contrast. I like the high contrast potential of B&W. IMO, every B&W shot should have a little pure black. You can see this by looking at the histogram in "Levels" Move the black slider over until it just touches the edge of the curve. If the photo is too dark or light, move the grey middle slider to adjust this. You can also play with the right slider, but I find that not all photos need to have pure white.
I shoot a lot of IR, which may require different processing that other shots. But this is usually where I start, just to see what's in the image and if there is any potential...