The Gentleman’s Grooming Guide

Sure, in the past women have certainly dedicated more time to preening and beautifying themselves, there’s no doubt about that; but it’s 2o16 now and times have changed. Whether you’re male or female, personal hygiene and pride of appearance is equally as important. So listen up men, it’s time to step up your grooming routine!

Keeping yourself well presented doesn’t have to be time consuming, it’s simply about building things into your daily routine and creating good habits. So to give you a little push in the right direction, we’ve put together 10 of our top do’s and don’ts for male grooming.

1) DO keep your hair under control

A good haircut not only looks smarter, but it also has the potential to take years off of you. You can see the benefits by making regular trips to the barber part of your lifestyle. If you’re guilty of putting off getting your hair cut until you can’t possibly get away with it for another day, the best idea is to pre-book your next appointment each time you visit the barber… and stick to it!

It’s also good to know your hair products, as there is a wide range of products on the market created for all sorts of different uses and types of hair. If you’ve got thick hair, or prefer a messier do, a wax is often a good option. On the other hand, if you’ve got a finer head of hair, a lighter product or spray will effectively hold your barnet in place without weighing it down.

2) DON’T put dental hygiene on the back burner

Bad breath is just the worst isn’t it? Well by keeping your dental hygiene in check you can keep bad breath at bay and maintain a glistening white smile.

Without meaning to state the obvious, for the best dental health and everything that comes with it, brush your teeth twice a day for a minimum of two minutes. Electric toothbrushes are the most effective for breaking down plaque and preventing stains on your teeth. Using a mouthwash can also help, as it keeps your mouth moist and helps to prevent bad breath.

If you chew gum to keep your breath fresh, look for one that contains xylitol (a sugar substitute), as it helps to remineralise the teeth.

3) DO look after your skin

“I don’t need sun cream, I never burn”. Hands up, who’s guilty of saying this? If so, listen up, because I need to give you a lesson in skincare.

There are an alarming number of people who will bypass applying sun cream through pure laziness or in a bid to get a better tan; however by doing so you are gambling with your health. Sitting out in full sunlight exposes you to harmful UV rays that can cause skin cancer and premature ageing, to name just a couple of effects. To protect yourself properly, apply sun screen (at least SPF15) thoroughly and regularly whenever you’re going to be spending time in the sun and don’t go overboard. If you feel like you might be burning, sit in the shade for a bit.

Don’t think that you can’t burn if you’re in the UK, as the sun can be just as harmful here as in more exotic locations!

4) DON’T let facial hair become unruly

If you’re embracing the beard trend, that doesn’t mean that you can leave your facial hair to grow out in whatever direction it best pleases. Facial hair needs maintenance, no matter what length it is, so be sure to keep it trimmed and looking tidy. A beard trimmer can come in super handy if you like to maintain a bit of facial fuzz, without looking like a grizzly bear. A full beard should be treated like the hair on your head, using a beard wash to remove buildup like crumbs.

If you prefer the smooth shaven look, a handy tip is to shave after you’ve had a nice hot shower. The warm water will soften the hairs and open your skin follicles, making it much easier to get a closer, smoother shave. It also reduces the risk of getting one of those nasty little shaving cuts that everyone hates. Preparing your skin beforehand with a shave oil will help the razor glide over your hairs.

5) DO wash your face daily

Using a facial cleanser or scrub on a daily basis will not only unclog pores and prevent blemishes, but it can also slow down the ageing process significantly. Using a standard bar of soap can dry out or irritate your skin, so look for a facial cleanser that it specially designed for your skin type (dry, oily or combination). If you are affected by acne look for a cleanser that contains salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or benzyl peroxide as they have antibacterial qualities.

Popping on some moisturiser after will help to keep your skin hydrated and retain elasticity.

6) DON’T be ashamed of taming wayward brows

Having thick eyebrows is by no means a bad thing, but If your brows are on much closer terms than you’d like, it may be time to give them a bit of TLC. To prevent the unibrow look, use a pair of tweezers to thin out the bit in the middle of your eyebrows, targeting the thicker hairs individually. You may also want to remove a few stray hairs from below your eyebrows if they are a bit unruly, but avoid going overboard, as you want to leave them looking as natural as possible.

7) DO take care of your feet

Who cares about your feet right? They’re usually tucked away in shoes most of the year, so if they’re a bit on the disgusting side it’s just your problem.

Well yes, this may be true, but when summer comes around and you’re strolling down a beach, the last thing you want is feet that repulse everyone who claps eyes on them. Looking after your feet year round is the best way to keep dry cracked skin at bay and it barely has to take you five minutes. Every couple of weeks use a pumice stone after a bath or shower to banish any dead skin and then slather them with a generous amount of moisturiser to keep them silky smooth.

8) DON’T let your nails turn into claws

It’s a common misconception that manicures and pedicures are a female exclusive activity and that taking the time to care for your nails somehow takes away from a man’s masculinity. Well that couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m not saying that you have to head down to the local nail bar and get your nails painted in a vibrant hue, but taking the time to keep them trimmed at home will keep them looking tidy and avoid pesky hangnails. Use nail clippers or a small pair of nail scissors to carefully trim your nails (be careful of going to close) and then use an emery board to file your nails in one direction and smooth down any rough bits.

9) DO find your signature scent

When it comes to picking an aftershave, you want quality over quantity. Having one or two high quality aftershaves that you love and can make your signature scent, rather than a number of cheaper options is definitely worth the investment.

The best way to find the right scent for you is to wear it for a day. Fragrances can smell different on varying people thanks to everyone’s individual body chemistry, so you can’t be sure what it will smell like on you until you try it. Smell at intervals throughout the day to get an idea of how the scent develops over time.

Once you’ve found the one for you, remember that aftershave should be worn with subtlety. Spraying it on with a crop duster may be acceptable at secondary school, but not in the workplace. You don’t want to be that guy everyone can smell before he even enters the room.

10) DON’T smell

Ok, it’s not the most inspirational of advice, but good hygiene goes a long way. After all, no one wants to be that person who smells, just as much as no one wants to be around someone who smells. So it’s win-win really! This is particularly key if you’re a bit of a gym buff, as your morning workout can leave you sweating even hours after you’ve left the gym, so it’s essential that you’ve had a good wash before you head anywhere else.

A good shower gel and effective deodorant is your best friend, so make sure they are a firm part of your daily routine. A splash of aftershave on top is just a bonus!