If you are a self respecting dude then men’s grooming should be decently high on your priority list. You can pull out a razor, masque your face, even get a manicure, and no one will find anything amiss. Internet culture is in on this trend. Ablaze with tutorials and grooming tips to help prevent irreversible mistakes, men’s grooming is a popular topic right now. The curse of the modern sensibility towards men’s grooming is that it establishes expectation. Grooming is an art, every man is expected to learn and apply it, much like changing a tire, becoming a grill master, and dressing with swag. If this freaks you out, you are not alone. The minutiae bathroom tasks can be overwhelming and straight up annoying. To prevent you from pulling your hair out (literally) over how to shave and when to exfoliate, we’ve gathered some pointers to help you groom with minimal embarrassments and effort.
Become Buddies with Your Barber
Your barber, your bartender, your doorman. These are all people in your life you should value. Your barber holds the power of making you look like a stud or a dud. Consistency will establish a report between you and your hair stylist. This way you avoid the anxiety of wondering whether you’ll regret your next trim. Be proactive when booking appointments. Schedule your next session right after the previous one so you don’t have to worry about returning to set up your next appointment. Haircuts are important. Barbers are important. Don’t leave either to chance.
Brush. Your. Teeth.
Your parents have been reminding you of this tip since you were little. You have to keep your teeth clean and healthy if you intending to get them close to someone. Your smile is one of the most unique traits you have and you need to own it. Brush daily and brush well. If scrubbing and polishing is tedious with a manual toothbrush, electric toothbrushes are a viable option that’s scientifically proven to reduce plaque efficiently. Remember to floss as well. If brushing and flossing still leave your teeth yellow, use whitening strips for five minutes to finish off. Dental care takes time, but it’s worth it to maintain your smile.
Scrub and Exfoliate
You should wash your face every morning and evening. You shouldn’t be so nonchalant about the whole thing, though. Your face is covered in dead skin so just tossing some water at your face isn’t enough. A full clean isn’t possible without a face wash. Let your tired face exfoliate, gents. Many products come with “microbeads,” designed to rub deep and release soothing nutrients into your skin. Apply a wash three times a week to keep your face fresh and clean.
You must learn some. No amount of grooming elsewhere can make up for a straggly beard. Moisturize your face before you shave. A shower is ideal, but if you aren’t able to, simply dab a warm towel on your face to get your hair follicles ready for the blade. Thicker when wet, shaving is a lot easier when your hairs are standing. One of the most common shaving mistakes is made at the mid-shave point. Make sure you shave the way the hair is growing, with the grain. Be intentional with the order you shave in too. Start with the sides, then do the mustache and the chin. Be precise with your beard. People will notice.
Moisturize The Situation
Shaving can remove up to two layers of skin, and if you showered before you shaved, bar soap probably already took one off. This means it’s incredibly important to apply lotion to revitalize your skin after the strain of shaving. Rub a light, gentle cream slowly into your cheeks and nose to keep them hydrated and healthy. For efficiency, apply a masque or peel. You want your skin smooth and soft, the same as you want your beard.
It sounds incredibly simple, but the wrong aftershave can leave a nasty vibe in the air. Old man musk, if you will. If you walk around with pungent cheeks, chances are many people will flock away from rather than to you. This is great for scoring a good seat on the subway but not when out on a date or at work. Pick a scent that highlights your look. Classic scents are good for semi-formal outings, and deeper, sophisticated smells work well for formal dinner parties. If you’re operating seasonally, spicy and herby scents suit winter, while citrusy smells are best in summer. You want to smell good, but you also want to smell put-together. Find one or two scents you really love, and stick to them.
Trim Your Body Hair
Your chest, your back, your armpits,are deserve some TLC, too, especially in summer. The guidelines for trimming these areas are less about shaving and more about maintaining. If you have short chest hairs there’s no reason to make an effort to trim them. However, if long fluffy chunks peek out your shirt, consider making a trim. This is the general rule for trimming body hair. It’s only necessary if the hair is obtrusive. The one exception to this is your back. Experts and specialists across the United States are in agreement on this one. Stop wandering about like a werewolf and book an appointment to get your back waxed.
Do the Manscape Thing
Let’s get physical. For reasons you can probably guess, a hefty bush or hairy shaft are far from ideal, even though they look baller. With tiny, little strokes you can use a sharp razor to clean of down there for whatever fun might await. Apply plenty of shaving cream to get a good, close shave. This also helps to guard against razor rash or itchy skin. We mentioned above how shaving removes two layers of skin, so never go over the same area of your junk with a razor more than once. Take care where your skin is sensitive. Pull the skin tight to ensure precision and efficiency. Just like your torso, there is an inescapable manscape trim. You must get rid of the hair on your ass. No hairy sadtrails.
Manicures and Pedicures for Guys
A men’s spa? They have nail salons exclusively tailored to men and they have alcohol. Did you hear me? You can go a spa and drink. This isn’t some new scheme only seen in the Castro. Manicures and pedicures for men are popular because they are healthy and chances are your feet are gross AF. Treat yourself to a soak and massage at one of these salons for men. You can also bathe in the bath and use a pumice stone to exfoliate the thick layers of dead skin coating your foot (gross, dude). Get someone to trim your nails on both hands and feet. They’ll pay close attention to your cuticles, as they often become dry if not properly moisturized. Give your hands and feet some special attention. They’ll love you for it and so will whoever ends up holding your hand later that the evening.