The Ultimate Guide to Male Grooming
The body is a temple. And while some may only extend this to include physical fitness and a well-balanced, healthy diet; a tidy, well-groomed outward appearance is essential for looking and feeling good.
Picking up useful grooming habits and engaging in them regularly is not something just for the fairer sex anymore. Times have changed, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the extensive range of male-centric grooming products available on the market. The most important thing when it comes to male grooming is finding a routine that is doable, affordable and suits your lifestyle.
Crucially, grooming is about maintaining a presentable appearance and feeling more confident in yourself. Here are some essential grooming habits all men should take up:
The Perfect Shave
Face shaving is a delicate art at which not every gentleman excels. For a smooth face, you will want a close shave that doesn’t nip the skin or leave razor burns. If you don’t have time to go to the barbers on a regular basis, here’s how you can achieve that perfect shave at home:
- Start with a hot shower and exfoliate the face and neck to prepare the skin for shaving.
- Pat the face dry and apply moisturiser.
- Select your shaving cream of choice – ones made for sensitive skin is a good idea for those susceptible to razor burn.
- Use a high-quality razor with between three and five blades. Only use a straight razor if you’ve been trained to use one.
- Shave with the grain, in the direction of hair growth.
- Go slow and steady for the best results.
- Rinse the razor between every stroke for a close shave.
- Wash the face clean and apply moisturiser.
For the gentlemen who prefer to keep their facial hair, it’s essential to take care of and maintain your beard so it doesn’t become overgrown and untidy. Brush your beard every day with a beard brush, as you would brush your hair.
Use clippers to keep it neat and tidy as it grows and use a razor to shape the edges every week to keep it in your preferred style. To know which style will suit you best, pay attention to your face shape. Those with a square face should avoid a beard that is too angled and pointed from the jawline so as not to accentuate the squareness; those with a round face should opt for a beard that is shorter on the cheeks and longer towards the chin, to create the illusion of a longer and slimmer face.
Wash your beard with beard shampoo and conditioner to keep it clean and healthy. And don’t forget beard oil to keep it soft and looking great.
If you like to keep a prominent moustache, make sure you take care of it so it doesn’t become unsightly. Moustaches should be washed alongside beards and given oil to keep them healthy. Moustache wax should be used to create a specific style, as well as to keep the hairs together and stop them from forming bristles.
Trimming a moustache can be trickier than a beard, a small comb and scissors should be used for greater accuracy and to reduce the chance of slip-ups.
It’s difficult to know what products will work best for your hair. It could be a case of trial and error, or you could save some of the hassle and book an appointment with a barber or hairstylist so they can advise you on what you should be using.
Unless you like a clean-shaven head, you shouldn't cut your hair at home. Consider taking a photo with you to the barbers if you desire a specific look, and if you want a colour change, always consult a stylist, as home hair dying kits can cause disaster.
If you’re trying to avoid thinning on top, try more natural shampoos and don’t shampoo your hair every day, as this can strip the hair of the natural oils it needs to stay healthy. Conditioning is also important to maintain hair health.
To style your hair daily, consider gel, styling wax or cream. Ask your barber for recommendations and have them show you the technique needed to create your desired look.
Yes, a well-groomed man has well-groomed eyebrows. That doesn’t mean plucking them to within an inch of their life or creating a delicate curve, but you should keep on top of that pesky unibrow. A unibrow is not a good look on anyone.
Every couple of weeks, take a set of tweezers and pluck away those unruly hairs that have sprouted up between your brows. To trim any extra-long eyebrow hairs, use a comb to comb the hair up and trim with scissors.
If your eyebrows are getting a bit out of control and you don’t feel confident styling them yourself, you can have your brows tidied up via waxing or threading at any spa. Just make sure you specify you only want a clean up and not a brow shape, as this could look overly groomed.
Skin Care Routine
Skin health is incredibly important. You should wash your face every morning and evening with facial soap or cleanser and apply a moisturiser with SPF protection to protect against the harmful damage the sun can do to the skin. You should use SPF even during winter when the sun is hidden away, as UV rays can still penetrate through the clouds.
To stop the accumulation of dead skin cells, use an exfoliator once a week before moisturising. If you are prone to breakouts, you can get specific products to put on spots to help them go down. Never pick at or pop spots, as this will spread bacteria on your face.
There’s no need to head to the salon for a manicure if that’s not your thing, but you should clip your nails (hands and feet) around once a week to keep them short and neat. If there’s dirt under your fingernails, gently scrub them with a nail brush every morning to keep them clean. If you notice any yellowing on the nails, head to a pharmacist to get it treated.
A gleaming smile is the first thing people notice about you. Whether you’re heading to an important business meeting or going on a date, your teeth will say a lot about you as a person.
When it comes to that all-important toothbrush, electric is best; it’s been proven to remove more plaque than a manual brush. Make sure you’re brushing for the full two minutes for maximum effect. Flossing and mouthwash are essential too, incorporate these into your dental routine a few times a week.
Visit your dentist every six months for regular check-ups to keep your teeth in good health. Talk to your dentist about teeth whitening strips or having them professionally whitened if needed. Otherwise, drink less coffee and red wine to avoid teeth staining.
A Signature Scent
Aside from your daily application of deodorant, you can pick your own signature scent that will form a subtle part of your overall presence. Avoid overpowering body sprays like Axe and instead pick out some cologne. Sample the scents available to find one you like. To use daily, spritz once on the wrist and run that into your neck. Don’t be tempted to use too much, or it can be far too potent.
By incorporating these simple grooming habits into your routine, you’ll be on your way to becoming a healthier-looking, presentable gentleman for all occasions. At JJ Fox, we supply a wide range of cigars, also perfect for many occasions. You can purchase your cigars online or in one of our London stores, including Cuban cigars UK.