Cleansers, toners, moisturizers, face packs, under-eye cream, night cream…the list seems endless and yet, that’s what almost every woman uses. Until a few years ago, the only grooming product a man used was soap (it even doubled-up as shaving cream)! As more products for male grooming hit the markets, the metrosexual was born but most “manly men” simply scoffed and ignored the new trend. Today, most men prefer to avoid the extremes and instead find a middle-ground where they are willing to use a few grooming products but draw the line at makeup for men!
Basic Grooming Tips for Men
Shower: The thought of skipping your shower may be tempting after a long day at work but a shower is the most important part of your basic hygiene and grooming routine. Sebum, the body’s natural oil, accumulates on your skin and within your pores and this can result in clogged pores or blackheads. Odour-producing bacteria feed off sebum which is why it is important to have a shower when you get back from work or the gym. Shower at least once a day, twice if it’s a gym day. Don’t try to rush through your bath; a typical bath should last for about 7 -10 minutes. Use a loofa or a bath glove on a regular basis to get rid of sweat, grime and dead skin cells and to prevent ingrown hair. Unless you have an oily scalp, you don’t have to wash your hair everyday but when you do, use a shampoo that suits your hair type and make sure that you work it into your scalp to get rid of excess sebum.
Shave: When it comes to facial hair, clean shaven is the safest bet. However, today there is a growing trend towards facial hair styling. There are plenty of beard styles to choose from with the goatee, extended goatee, Ducktail and French Fork being the most popular. George Clooney was one of the first Hollywood actors to start this trend with his short beard and well-trimmed moustache. Today, Brad Pitt sports a goatee while Leonardo Dicaprio has a goatee that extends in a thin line along his jaw and Gary Barlow has a trimmed and styled full beard and moustache.
One of the most basic beard grooming tips for men is to choose a beard style that suits the shape of your face so don’t be afraid to try out a few different styles until you find one that you like. Change your razor blade at least once in two weeks as a dull blade will irritate your skin and increase the risk of getting a nick.
Always shave in the direction of the hair, as shaving against the grain will increase the risk of ingrown hair. Have a hot shower just before you shave as this will soften your hair and give you a better shave. Apply the shaving cream to your face and allow it to sit for about two minutes before you shave. The shaving cream will soften your facial hair for a smoother shave.
Hairstyle: Most men are open to experimenting a little with their wardrobe but they rarely experiment with their hairstyle. A hairstyle can change your entire appearance so maybe it’s time to ditch that “porridge-bowl” cut and go for something a little trendy. For those who prefer keeping it short, Aamir Khan’s smart spiky cropped style is a good choice that requires very little maintenance while those who want to go for a medium-length haircut can opt for Milind Soman’s bold and confident bed-head hairstyle.
A good haircut can enhance your features and it can even be used to draw attention away from flaws. For instance, if you have a rather large nose and you feel self-conscious about it, you can adopt a fuller hairstyle with an off-center parting. When deciding on a haircut, consider styles that compliment your features, match your personal style and meet your maintenance requirements. Men are generally willing to use hair products if necessary but they might not be willing to use a hair dryer so you need to keep your stylist informed.
Once you have decided that you need to change your style, you might not know where to begin. This is a very common problem and while you may not be comfortable talking to your guy friends about this, you can approach your stylist for male grooming tips. Grooming kits for men are easily available so you can look around for one that suits your requirements. Here are a few fashion tips to get you started:
- Keep it simple! Don’t blindly trust magazines that showcase the latest fashion trends for men! Trends and fashions change all the time, so it’s not important to keep up but instead, figure out and cultivate a personal style.
- Understand the basics of fashion…then figure out how you can tweak them to suit your own style. For instance, white socks are only meant to be worn with sneakers and not with formal shoes; however, this does not mean that you have to wear only black or grey socks – you can wear bright coloured socks to add a little style to your formal wear.
- A good pair of jeans is an absolute must-have. There are plenty of jeans styles out there- acid washed, distressed, stone washed, skinny, baggy; ignore them! You can experiment with trendy styles once you have found your personal style and so the most essential part of your wardrobe is a pair of simple dark fitted jeans. Depending on the occasion, you can wear them with a buttoned shirt for a business-casual style or a T-shirt for a more relaxed look. Wear your pants at your waist. Only school kids wear their pants on their hips and only Grandpa wears them almost up to his armpits! The waistband of your pants should be just two inches below your navel.
- The length of your trousers should be perfect – if they are not, get them altered. Your trousers should almost touch the ground when you are in your socks. Your jeans can just touch the ground but they shouldn’t be too long otherwise it will just bunch up when you are wearing shoes.
- The top button of your formal shirt can remain unbuttoned and if the buttons are relatively close to each other, you might be able to get away with leaving the top two unbuttoned, any more than that and you will just look like some sleazy lothario desperate for attention.
- When it comes to the length of your shirt sleeves, ignore the “latest style for men” that has sleeves that are either too short or too long. Your sleeves should just reach your wrists but not touch your palms. Sleeve length is one of the few fashion basics that you should not tweak otherwise you will just land up looking grungy.