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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
Avoid: Styles with heavy bangs as this takes away from your features.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You’re going to need 3 things:
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
John Varvatos Vintage
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:
Tom’s is my preferred natural choice:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.