Thankfully, gone are the days when we mock the man who spends time trimming and moisturising of a morning. It’s now okay to do that stuff and, if you want look and feel good, do it you should.
However, cutting through all of the advertising and advice to figure out which products to buy and how often to use them, can still be bewildering. So, here’s a quick cheat sheet for any stylish man who wants to get it right, without spending a fortune or wasting hours of time.
The secrets to grooming success
Good grooming doesn’t need to be complicated. It’s just about developing a daily routine that is quick, simple and focused on maintenance.
It’s better to do a little and often, so that you stay looking fresh every day, rather than let things slide to the point that your hair just won’t go, your skin is drier than a snake and your nails look like those of a Neanderthal man.
So, here are 10 easy grooming tips that any man can do:
1. Visit the barber regularly
Unless you really are going for the Neanderthal man look, then you’ll need a haircut roughly every 4 weeks. Rather than braving that week of bed-head hair that inevitably happens when your cut is overdue, stay one step ahead. Find a barber you trust and, at the end of every appointment, book ahead for the next one. (Or at the very least bung a note in your calendar and stick to the date).
2. Choose the right hair products
The shelves are packed full of waxes and pomades, sprays and oils these days. Using the right product for your hair type and style will make all the difference. Generally, thicker hair and messy styles work with wax, but thinner hair needs a lighter product like a spray. Find what works for you, or ask your barber for advice, and then ignore everything else on the shelves.
3. Find your signature scent
Invest in just one or two good quality aftershaves and use a couple of spritzes every day as part of your routine. The scent isn’t supposed to be overwhelming, so don’t go over the top (if it stops people in their tracks then you’ve worn too much!). Typically, warmer scents that are woody, spicy or herby are good in the winter, and lighter, zesty fragrances work well in summer.
4. Polish your pearly whites
This is one of the easiest parts of your routine to manage, but it’s SO important because people notice your smile. Brush your teeth twice a day, and rinse with a mouthwash in the morning. If you can, invest in an electric toothbrush because they do most of the work and are proven to get rid of more plaque and reduce gum problems than a traditional brush.
5. Manage your short and curlies
Yep that’s right, it’s back to the Neanderthal man thing again. In this day and age it’s the done thing to keep your pubic hair in check. If you’re a hairy fella generally, then that challenge extends to chest and back hair too. Rather than clogging your Mach 3 with short and curlies, get the right equipment for the job. There are lots of good electric razors on the market, designed with all the right fixtures and fittings for this delicate task.
6. Get scrubbing
Adding “wash own face” to your daily to-do list might sound like an extract from “Personal Hygiene for Dummies” but you’d be surprised how many people forgo this basic task. You don’t need all kinds of rubs and scrubs for your face, just a straightforward alcohol-free face wash or cleanser. Use that morning and night to get rid of daily pollutants and grime. Then, once a week, use a micro-bead free scrub to get rid of dead and dry skin. Simples.
7. Control your face fur
Beards and trendy stubble are back in vogue, but that doesn’t provide an excuse to go feral. If you have fuzz on your face, then it still needs to be managed whatever the length. Pick up a beard trimmer and get into the habit of doing a weekly tidy up. Or, if you’re more of a clean-shaven kind of chap then master the art of a good wet shave. Prepare your skin with a shave oil and then soak your blades in warm water. The oil will help the razor to glide and the heat will help your pores to expand, making the hair come away with less irritation.
8. Ban the monobrow
It’s okay to have full eyebrows, but when they meet in the middle it’s time for a trim. You can pluck those pesky hairs with tweezers, or use a little hair trimmer designed for brows, noses and ears (yes don’t forget those other odd hairy places too!). If you’re worried about making a man-sized error and ending up with no-brows, then ask your barber to do it. They’re quite used to doing these extra bits of topiary.
9. Pedicures are for real men too
Your feet might be tucked away for most of the year, but that’s no excuse to harbor feet like a hobbit. Avoid fungal and bacterial infections, like Athletes Foot, by taking care of your feet as regularly as your face. After your bath or shower, use a pumice stone to get rid of dead skin, then slap on a generous amount of moisturiser. And don’t forget to trim those talons too.
10. Moisturise and protect
No-one bats an eyelid at a man who moisturizes these days. In fact, it’s the sensible thing to do if you want to protect your skin and keep it looking younger for longer.
Invest in just two types of moisturizer; one that’s specially designed for the delicate area around your eyes, and another all-over facial moisturizer with an SPF to protect from sun damage. Use both every day. Then, when the weather warms up, don’t forget to also slap some sunscreen onto your other exposed bits. The lobster look isn’t attractive (or healthy) and us men are notoriously bad at forgetting to protect bald spots, partings, backs of necks and ears!
Share your tips
If you’ve got any handy grooming tips for men then why not share them? Let us know what you do to keep yourself looking healthy. Pop your comments in the box below.