^
Muscle for life

The Ultimate Guide To Men’s Grooming

By
The Ultimate Guide To Men’s Grooming

Are you looking to maximize the effectiveness of your grooming routine? This guide will teach you how to groom yourself from head to toe.

 

Maybe you already have a good grooming routine in place. Or perhaps you need to start one. Skin and body care is an equally important aspect of health that sometimes men have the tendency to overlook.

Grooming might not be as sexy as “how much you bench?” or “IIFYM” but there’s just as many cosmetics benefits with the practice of good application.

It’s wanting to look better and that’s what grooming is. In the simplest terms, grooming is the practice of taking pride in your health and appearance.

This guide is going to cover quality products and procedures to provide you with the skills necessary to perform a grooming routine more luxurious than Patrick Bateman.

Head/Hair Grooming

mens hair styles
When it comes to grooming head hair there’s really only one person that should be in charge of this duty, and that’s your hairstylist or barber. You’re more than welcome to attempt to cut your own hair, but often times your inability to reach around to the back of your head is going to prove difficult.

If you’re covered in the hairstyle department proceed to the next section, if you’re on the market for a new cut here’s something to consider that’ll enhance your attractiveness.

Consider your face shape.

Why?

Because creating contrast through hairstyles as it relates to your face shape creates balance. This can have a drastic impact on your appearance.

Most men fall into the following face shape categories:

Oval

oval face shape

The Ancient Greeks considered this face shape ideal because of its balance. Most styles will work well for this shape. Feel free to experiment.

Goal: Freedom of creativity.
Styles: Anything.
Avoid: Styles with heavy bangs as this takes away from your features.

Square

square face shape

This face shape is considered most masculine. It’s balanced in nature, yet is accompanied by a strong jawline.

Goal: To soften the angular edges of the jaw.
Styles: Clean cut around the ear/longer on top.  Best long if hair is wavy.
Avoid: Styles that add width or extreme volume

Round

round-face-shape

This face shape is less angular with smooth edges.

Goal: To create dimension and elongate the face.
Styles: Styles with length and volume up top, keeping trim at the sides and back.
Avoid: Pass on fuller looks, as this will emphasize roundness.

Triangle

triangle-face-shape

Similar to an oval but narrow at the chin and forehead with more defined cheekbones.

Goal: To create a broad and balanced look at narrow areas.
Styles: Styles with length up top and a full look.
Avoid: Too much fullness at the sides.

Not everyone’s facial structure will be exactly square, round, or perfectly oval. My recommendation is that you find a celebrity that has a similar face shape and hair type and take pictures to show your stylist. The professionals will help you determine a hairstyle that’s appropriate for you.

Make sure you’re treating your locks luxuriously with a quality shampoo and conditioner. Grab a natural shampoo and conditioner that will rejuvenate and moisturize your hair.

mens shampoo

mens conditionar

Facial Hair Grooming

men facial hair styles

In my experience there’re two types of men in this world, those who choose to shave and those who choose not to due to sensitive skin. For a man with a sensitive mug, shaving can be a real pain in the ass.

There’s nothing worse than giving yourself a clean shaving only to be scratching at your face like you’ve got a beta-alanine rush.

I personally used to hate shaving for this very reason. Having razor burns running down your neck isn’t a flattering look, and this can be discouraging.

Inspired by these frustrations, I have found the following tips to drastically improve your shaving experience.

1. Consider Wet Shaving

A wet shave is a style of shaving that has fallen out of style since the invention of electric razors. But this may be the solution for men with sensitive skin as it was for me.

A wet shave is an old school shaving practice that requires a double-edged or straight razor, shaving cream, a shaving brush, and a bowl or coffee mug. The benefits of wet shaving are in the tools. They allow for an all around closer shave and a smooth post-shave experience.

In few words: Lather up your shaving cream in a bowl or mug, apply to your face, shave with the safety razor using minimal strokes.

2. Invest In A Quality Razor

Most men who complain of razor burn are using a poor quality razor.

A 99 cent razor is going to provide a 99-cent shaving experience.

The problem with these and many other razors is they have multiple blades. Having multiple blades increases the likelihood of skin irritation simply because you have more sharp edges going over your skin repeatedly.

The mainstream propaganda sells men the benefits of having 3 or even 5 blade razors, but those with sensitive skin will regret that purchase after one shave.

So what’s the solution?

A double-edged safety razor. Just like Grandpa used to have.

The beauty of this tool is the single blade that has two edges.

You perform a stroke using the razor with one side, flip, and use the opposite side. Repeat.

Shifting over to this style of shave was the single best thing I did for my skin. The initial cost upfront is more than your average Gillette, but the long-term benefits will pay dividends.

shaving set

3. Exfoliate Your Face Twice Per Week

If you choose to wet shave, the benefit of using a shaving brush is that it helps to clean and exfoliate the skin with each use. This helps with the prevention of skin irritation.

If you’re not wet shaving at the very least you should exfoliate your face at least twice per week. This removes dead skin and dirt from your face, reduces irritation, and allows a clean and smooth shave.

4. Always With The Grain

You always want to shave with grain, or the way your facial hair grows. The best way to induce skin irritation and redness is by shaving against the grain. If you’re a man with sensitive skin you should avoid this at all costs.

If you’re going to shave against the grain, you should do so properly. Which is only after you’ve shaved with the grain. Apply a new lather, and then shave against the grain.

If you attempt this vice versa you’ll be sorry. This I can promise you.

5. Use Fewer Strokes

Avoid performing a shave that leaves you looking like a hack job. Regardless of the style of razor or blade, the proper technique is to use as little strokes as possible to shave a certain area.

If you ask any barber they’ll religiously clean the blade under water after every stroke. This may seem excessive but it’s worth the try.

6. Use A Good Aftershave

Applying a good aftershave post-shave will seal the deal on this dilemma. This will provide nutrients and moisture to your face. Make sure it’s alcohol-free, as alcohol will dry your face.

after shave

The Right Facial Care Products

Cleanser

The skin on your face can be very sensitive so it’s important that you treat it properly by cleansing and keeping it moist. As a minimum you should be cleansing your face twice daily. You can maximize time by doing this towards the end of your shower. The heat from the water opens up your pores making this a good time to cleanse.

mens exfoliating cleanser

Moisturizer

After you’ve cleansed your face with a good facial cleanser you’ll then want to use a face moisturizer. It’s important to use a facial moisturizer because body lotions prove to be too potent for the delicate skin on your face. Face moisturizers are formulated with the right ingredients to give your face good tone and balance.

mens face mosturizer

Eye Cream

You’ll then want to follow that up with an eye cream. For the same reason you’d use a face moisturizer you’d use an eye cream. The skin around the eyes is even more sensitive. You’re welcome to skip this step, but I’d recommend keeping it in for better skin.

mens eye cream

The Right Beard Grooming Products

Beard Scissors

If you prefer a beard you have two options. And this depends on the style or length of your beard. If you have a thick longer beard you’ll find yourself more comfortable trimming it with beard scissors. This will prove easier and more precise.

mens beard scissors

Beard Trimmer

If you like to maintain a softer beard, a beard not exceeding an inch in length, I’d use an electric beard trimmer like this one.

Simple. Easy. Convenient.

mens-beard-trimmer

Nose, Ear & Brow Hair Grooming

Nose Hair Trimmer

Nose, ear and brow hairs are very tedious hairs that are most commonly overlooked by men. As this comes second nature to women, it’s considered impressive to have this kind of attention to detail.

Kidding aside, these tiny little hairs can make a big difference in your appearance if not properly maintained. And the reality is that it’s a quick fix.

For nose hair trimming all this takes is a quality nose hair trimmer like this one.

Don’t be fooled you don’t need to be spending one hundred plus dollars on a nose trimmer when a 15 dollar trimmer will do.

Just grab the tool and gently go over the inside of your nostrils, removing the hair.

Simple and straightforward.

The same goes for ear hair. Unless your ears grow hair quickly, this is something your barber can take care of each time you go in for a trim.

Brow trimming is where I differ in opinion.

With brow grooming you have two choices.

You pluck or you wax.

My preference is plucking.

While waxing can prove itself time efficient, it isn’t so cost efficient. Plus sometimes the wax used can induce breakouts and redness. You may experience redness when plucking your eyebrows but it usually goes away within 15-20 minutes.

nose hair trimmer

How to Shape Your Eyebrows

how to trim eyebrows

You’re going to need 3 things:

  • Comb
  • Beard Scissors
  • Tweezers
  1. Take the comb and in a straight line – line up the center of your nostril over the inner corner of your eye. This is where your eyebrows should start. Any hair on the opposite side of the comb should be plucked
  2. Next using the comb line up the center of your nostril with the outside corner of your eye. This is where your eyebrow should end. Any hair on the opposite side of the comb should be plucked.
  3. Take the comb from the center of your nostril again and line it up at the outside corner of your iris (the colored part of your eye). Anything that is UNDER the arch of your eyebrow you’ll pluck generously. Keep it masculine by plucking with a less is more approach here.
  4. Lastly, we need to trim any long eyebrow hairs. Using the thick end of the comb, push through the eyebrow and trim any long hairs with the scissors.

This may seem tedious. That’s because it is. This takes about 5 minutes to do. If you work it into a weekly grooming routine it may even take less time.

It’s a simple little trick to bring out the masculine features in your face.

One thing to note is that some men try to use a nose hair trimmer with a guard on it and run it through the brow. This isn’t a good idea. While it may prove more convenient, the skin on your brow is sensitive so you don’t want to be running a trimmer through there.

Secondly, you could risk the blade falling off or unevenly cutting the brow hair. Spend your time wisely and put in the few minutes to tweeze the brows.

tweezers

Oral Hygiene

good oral hygiene

I’m not going to lecture you on why brushing your teeth multiple times daily is ideal, I’m certain you’re aware of this. However a few more practices I’d put into place are frequent use of mouthwash and tongue scraping.

Whitening Mouthwash

A good mouthwash cleans and kills unwanted build up and bacteria in your mouth that may be causing bad breath. As a bare minimum I’d use mouthwash upon waking and before bed. As a side note, grabbing a mouthwash that is also whitening is a great way to kill two birds with one stone.

whitening mouthwash

Tongue Scraper

A tongue scraper is another tool you want in your arsenal. These are small little devices that are designed to clean the build-up, fungi, food debris, and dead cells from the surface of your tongue. The bacteria on the tongue can be related to many oral care issues. These bacteria can produce sulphur compounds on the rear of the tongue, these molecules account for up to 95 percent of all cases of halitosis (bad breath).

tongue-scraper

Here’s an eye opening quick tip.

Want to know what your breath smells like at any moment?

Lick your wrist, when the saliva dries, smell it. This is what your breath currently smells like.

Fingernail Grooming

I’ve personally had my bouts of bad nails. Growing up I’d always had a nasty habit of biting my nails.

Do yourself a favor and stop biting your nails, instead clip them with a good nail clipper.

One trick that was taught to me to reduce biting was to get manicures. Trust me, I’d had my thoughts and doubts – “I’m not a chick” – but if biting your nails is something you struggle with, you’re less likely to bite them if you’re paying to have them manicured frequently.

fingernail-clippers

Another thing you can do is making sure you’re eating a healthy and nutritious diet with plenty of protein. Deficiencies in nutrients like zinc, iron, and certain b-vitamins can induce cracking, splitting, or rigging of the nails.

If you’re an active person whom sweats a lot, it may be in your best interest to take a good multivitamin.

new-triumph-bottle

Body Hair Grooming

hair removal for men

Why would you want to shave your body hair in the first place? I’ve identified a few reasons why shaving your body hair might interest you:

  1. It helps you appear more muscular and reveals definition.
  2. You tan better.

As a weightlifter these two reasons prove worth it. But just like shaving your mug can be a daunting task, so can shaving your body.

Like shaving your face you want to prep your body to be shaven. Laying down some good prep skills will make body shaving an easier task and will help reduce irritation.

Here are steps that should be taken when shaving your body hair:

  1. Trim everything down to it’s bare minimum

For this I use a beard or body hair trimmer. Don’t use a guard. You want to trim your hair down to stubble. The shorter you can get your hair the easier it’s going to be when you shave with a razor. Run the trimmer over the body. Start with the arms, then chest, stomach, hips & groin, then down each leg.

  1. In The Shower Wash Your Body

In the shower wash your body to remove dirt or any build up from the day. This will set the stage for a good shave. It may also be a good idea to exfoliate your body with exfoliation gloves or a good loofa.

  1. Lather up and shave

Use a good shaving cream or gel, lather up, and shave with the grain. Start with the arms, then chest, stomach, and hips, down each leg.

  1. (Optional) For a closer shave, repeat step 3, then shave against the grain.

This excludes the groin area.

The groin area will be based on personal preference. You’re welcome to attempt shaving this region but from personal and painful experiences I don’t condone it.

My recommendation is that you trim the groin area down to stubble with a trimmer. And trim your testicles with the trimmer using the lowest guard setting. This area is very sensitive and I promise you’ll be pissed if you attempt to shave against the grain in this region. The amount of ingrown hairs will be enormous and painful.

Now lets talk tools.

I’ve used plenty of different razors and shaving creams and I can tell you not all are created equal. There are also differences between creams and razors for your face as opposed to your body.

The razor I have found most comfortable for shaving my body hair is Gillette’s Venus Embrace Razor. Yep it’s a chick’s razor.

body-hair-razor

This razor has been my go-to body-shaving razor for years now. What makes this razor superb for body shaving is the water activated moisture glides on each side of the razor. This gel makes it that each stroke your provided with moisture that keeps your pores happy.

The best product I’ve found for body shaving is Kiss My Face Shaving Gel. This gel comes in a variety of different scents – which is an added bonus – and it’s a natural shaving cream that provides a clean and smooth shave that works well with the skin.

shaving-gel

Lastly, after every shave you want to apply good moisturizing lotion to your body to keep the skin vibrant and healthy. Because your pores are wide open from the heat of the water, post shower is the best time to feed it nutrients to provide relief and moisture.

body-lotion

Cologne

mens cologne

Nothing like throwing Matthew McConaughey into a suit to sell a bottle of cologne…

Maybe you prefer your natural musk, but I certainly think a good fragrance is something to consider.

Colognes are like a fine wine. There many scents, aromas, and blends that your local department store Cologne Specialist can have you spinning in circles as they’re telling you about them.

If I’m being honest not all colognes are created equal and that’s because the success of any cologne is based upon your individual chemistry and preference.

Finding the right cologne for you is very much trial and error. You need to take them for a test drive before you buy it.

To save you some time, here are 3 very classy colognes that will make women crazy.

Acqua Di Gio

  • Best selling
  • Fruit, wood, refreshing scent
  • Masculine

acqua-di-gio

John Varvatos Vintage

  • Notes of cinnamon, citrus, clove
  • Very classy and masculine
  • My personal favorite

john varvatos vintage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The One

  • Notes of cedar wood, basil, grapefruit
  • Floral and spicy

the-one-cologne

Deodorant

There are many ongoing debates about the success of natural deodorants. While I mostly recommend using a natural deodorant for health reasons, the reality is sometimes you need to bring in the big guns. Nothing is worse than being in a meeting and you can smell your own odor.

It’s quite frankly unacceptable.

So I prefer to rotate the deodorant I use and I determine that by identifying what my day is going to look like. If it’s going to be running around with the potential of excess sweating I’m going with conventional deodorant and vice versa if it’s a more lax type of day.

Men’s Dove is my preferred conventional choice:

dove-deodorant

Tom’s is my preferred natural choice:

toms-claydry

 

Putting It All Together

You’ve probably heard that many of the world’s most successful people practice the habit of morning routine. That’s because it works gangbusters. Grooming should be a part of a daily routine. However not all grooming requires daily maintenance.

Shaving your body, trimming eyebrows and fingernails, all can be done in less than 30 minutes on a Sunday afternoon, which is what I recommend. These tasks don’t require daily attention.

Showering and facial shaving is something that is done daily. Showering especially. If you choose to have a clean shave then I recommend shaving daily for that smooth as a baby’s butt look.

 

Healthy Habits

groom for men

This guide is about grooming inside of the bathroom but I feel it’s necessary to leave you with a few things you can do outside the bathroom to further enhance the quality of your skin and wellbeing.

  1. Take Fish Oil

Taking a high quality fish oil is a good idea. They’re many benefits of supplementing with fish oil that include vibrant skin, boost hair strength and shine, improved skin elasticity, and even acne reduction.

  1. Eat A Nutritious Diet

We hear this enough, but make sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables contain various antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that keep your skin clear and you healthy inside and out.

  1. Take Biotin

Biotin is a b vitamin that can be obtained from high-quality eggs, bananas, and almonds to name a few good food sources. This B vitamin supports skin, metabolism, and nerves. The supplementation of this vitamin can be used to help with hair loss and nail growth. The RDA is 35 micrograms a day, which is easily met through diet.

  1. Get some Vitamin E

Vitamin E is powerful antioxidant that helps fight free radical damage. This vitamin can be obtained through diet. Foods like avocado, olive oil, and red-palm oil are very high in vitamin E.

Do you have any tips grooming tips youd like to share? Let us know in the comments.

Derek John

Derek John is the creator of I am Derek John, a men’s style blog dedicated to inspiring men to upgrading their look through style, grooming, and fitness.

THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE HAVE USED MY BOOKS TO BUILD THEIR BEST BODY EVER. WILL YOU BE NEXT?

If you want a "paint-by-numbers," step-by-step blueprint for building a muscular, lean, strong body...faster than you ever thought possible...then you want to check out my bestselling books.

Here's a little sneak peek of what you'll learn inside...

  • The 7 biggest muscle building myths & mistakes that keep guys small, weak, and frustrated. (These BS lies are pushed by all the big magazines and even by many trainers.)
  • How to build meal plans that allow you to build muscle, lose fat, and get healthy with ease…eating foods you love (yes, including those deemed “unclean” by certain “gurus”)…and never feeling starved, deprived, or like you’re “on a diet.”
  • The 5 biggest fat loss myths & mistakes that keep women overweight, disappointed, and confused. (These BS lies are pushed by all the big magazines and even by many trainers.)
  • An all-in-one training system that delivers MAXIMUM results for your efforts…spending no more than 3 to 6 hours in the gym every week…doing workouts that energize you, not wipe you out.
  • A no-BS guide to supplements that will save you hundreds if not THOUSANDS of dollars each year that you would’ve wasted on products that are nothing more than bunk science and marketing hype.
  • And a whole lot more!

The bottom line is you CAN achieve that “Hollywood body" without having your life revolve around it. No long hours in the gym, no starving yourself, and no grueling cardio that turns your stomach.

My book will show you how. Get it today and let’s build a body you can be proud of.

Bigger Leaner Stronger

Bigger Leaner Stronger

Thinner Leaner Stronger

Thinner Leaner Stronger

Want more awesome stuff like this? Enter your email address to get the weekly newsletter.
LIKE MUSCLE FOR LIFE? Let Google know!
Leave a Comment!
Comment!
  • Steven Scott

    Why are you taking a photo of a celebrity who resembles you to the hairstylist when you’re probably also taking your own actual face?
    “I need a style that works with this” (points to own face).

    • It’s to give the stylist an idea to go off of.

      For example my face shape and hair type is very similar to Brad Pitt.

      However, I have a massive cowlick on the back of my head that makes some of his styles unrealistic without looking like Alfalfa.

      A stylist will be able to use that idea and then choose an appropriate style based on your personal makeup

      Hope this helps.

  • Jacob Karakla

    I swear by using nair on the groin region I haven’t had any negative side effects.

    • Jacob Karakla

      hey for anyone trying this make sure to buy the bikini line version

    • I’ve used that before. That’s a quick & easy route to ground zero if you’re extremely hairy. I wouldn’t recommend it for a weekly routine though.

      I question frequent use of any goo that can remove your hair instantly like that hahaha

  • Jay

    If only there was a nice way to slip this article into a new date’s ‘welcome package’. – a girl who loves well-groomed men!

Sign in to Muscle For Life
or use your MFL Account