The new decade is well and truly upon us, and let’s be honest, it’s not off to the best start. But we won’t talk about that because it’s out of our control. Instead, let’s talk about what we can control – your appearance. And with so much extra time spent at home during lock-down, there’s no better time to take good care of yourself.
It’s a tough world out there and the unfortunate truth is, we are all judged by our appearances. So then, how can us men facing the roaring 20s put our best foot forward? In this men’s grooming guide, we will discuss 7 essential grooming steps you can take to ensure you are looking and feeling your best ever.
Look after your hair. Visit the barber – even if you are bald, you need to ensure you keep that fluff tamed, including those ear hairs. Most barbers these days clip/wax nose and ear hairs as part of the service.
When it comes to losing your hair, there are two types of men – those who fight it and those who don’t. If your receding hairline is causing you anxiety, do something about it. There are several treatments, both natural and pharmaceutical, that are proven to slow down hair loss and, in some cases, even regrow hair. There is much less of a stigma attached to fighting hair loss these days. Thank Shane Warne!
If, however, you are blessed with a thick mane of hair, then make an effort to clean, comb and style it. No one is impressed by messy, dirty, unkempt hair, unless you’re a rockstar maybe.
Choose a signature scent that reflects who you are. Are you a sporty kinda guy? Or are you a dapper dude? Take your time to find the scent that makes you feel good and represents your personality.
However, what you may think suits you might not smell so great on you. Different colognes react differently to various people and their skin type and natural musk. Ask retailers or sign up for sample bottles of the colognes you like so you can try them out at home before you buy. Ask a few friends for their opinion, preferably female if you can. Watch her reaction closely when she smells it. You’ll know when you’ve found the one.
We are believers that several positives have come out of this virus situation. One of which is that it has had a profound effect on people and their hygiene. Having bad hygiene is an instant turn-off for a potential partner, man or woman. Get in the habit of excellent hygiene.
While most of you probably shower and brush your teeth daily (at least we hope you do) with a quality tooth brush that also helps with bad breath, consider stepping it up a notch. Buy an exfoliating brush or glove and scrub away those dead skin cells once a week. If you live near the beach you can do this while you swim. Just grab a handful of wet sand and gently rub it over your body and face.
Take care of your teeth! Research has shown that when a woman meets a man the first time the first thing they notice is their eyes. Second? You guessed it, your teeth. Clean your teeth after every meal if possible. Floss if necessary. Do you ever brush your tongue? If not, start. Trust me.
There is less of a stigma attached to teeth whitening these days. If your teeth are yellowish, do something about it. Treatments are cheaper these days. However, if you are looking to whiten your teeth, you may need to cut down on the coffee, smoking and red wine, all of which do your teeth colour no favours.
Same goes for teeth straightening. Clear aligner technology has made teeth straightening more accessible, affordable and less invasive. Consider investing in your teeth as it may inject you with a level of smiling confidence you haven’t felt before.
Stale smoker’s breath, stained teeth, and smoke-scented clothes are off-putting rather than gentlemanly. Plus there’s the fact that it has numerous detrimental effects on your health. Enough said.
Maintain facial and body hair
Manscaping in some form of the other is here to stay and unless you’re a lumberjack you need to maintain the fuzz if you want to nail the practice of men’s grooming.
Get into the habit of maintaining your facial hair. There are so many great products on the market to clip, trim and oil your beard. How about your eyebrows? Yes, these are important too. Are they too bushy? Get them shaped. You can also buy eyebrow toolkits to do this yourself in the comfort in your own privacy of your home. Are they not bushy enough? Regular application of castor oil will do the trick. Your eyebrows frame your face; thus you should give them the attention they deserve.
What about body hair? If you have unwanted hair, such as chest or back hair, then shave it . For a more permanent solution, consider professional laser treatment. And don’t neglect downstairs either. When it comes time to get intimate with a partner, having a well-maintained pubic region will serve you well. Ask yourself, what would you expect from them? Well, they will most likely expect the same of you.
Our men’s grooming checklist wouldn’t be complete without covering perhaps the most important of the grooming steps. Your face is what you present to the world, so investing in it just makes sense.
Establish a skincare routine and make it a habit. Just like brushing your teeth. In the classic novel, American Psycho, the protagonist, Patrick Bateman, declares:
“In the morning, if my face is a little puffy, I’ll put on an ice pack while doing my stomach crunches. I can do a thousand now. After I remove the ice pack, I use a deep pore cleanser lotion. In the shower, I use a water activated gel cleanser. Then a honey almond body scrub. And on the face, an exfoliating gel scrub. Then apply an herb mint facial mask, which I leave on for 10 minutes while I prepare the rest of my routine. I always use an aftershave lotion with little or no alcohol, because alcohol dries your face out and makes you look older. Then moisturizer, then an anti-aging eye balm followed by a final moisturizing protective lotion.”
Okay, that’s probably a little extreme, but you get the point. Starting your day knowing your skin is looking great establishes confidence and sets an excellent precedent for the rest of the day. Note that he quotes using moisturisers with “little or no alcohol”. He’s onto something here. But consider taking it a step further and opting for eco-friendly natural moisturisers that are better for both your face and the environment. Oh, and perhaps only take the skin routine from Patrick Batemen’s habits!
Trim your nails
Do you know what people notice in a person after their eyes and teeth? their fingernails. Moreover, it’s known that many employers take a moment to observe a candidate’s fingernails during a job interview. Why? Because the state of your fingernails is an indication of your overall hygiene. Have you ever met a hippie with clean fingernails? Clip and clean those precious body parts as they create a huge impression.
And this goes for the toenails too. Especially living in a country like Australia where thongs are part of the attire. The last thing you want is to expose long, yellow-stained toenails come summertime.