When it comes to appearance and hygiene, there are a few guidelines that should be etched in stone and held, well, almost sacred. Use these ten tips and you may just find the 'Grooming Promised Land.' At the least, you'll look better than you ever have.
1. Don't wash your hair every day
This one is hotly debated, but before you get too upset…you should still rinse your hair every day to rid it of any product and grease. But, washing with shampoo will strip away the natural oils that keep hair nourished and healthy. This is why your hair feels dry—and has more volume—after you shampoo. Try going every other day between washes, or every third day if you don’t use a lot of product.
2. Employ a hygienic shaving regimen
There’s a reason all of these mail-order shaving subscriptions are so successful; it’s important to change your razor blade every couple weeks—at minimum—to prevent infection. It’s also important to proactively prevent ingrown hairs and irritation; use a pre-shave skin toner, a soothing shave cream or gel, plus a hydrating and calming post-shave balm.
3. Tame your beard neckline
You don’t want to look like you spent the last 40 years wandering through the desert; if you’re going to rock a beard, then keep it trim. The easiest place to start is your neckline: Imagine a “U” shape from behind each ear that hits a point one inch above the Adam’s apple, and remove everything below this line. Don’t remove any hair in front of the jaw; your beard should cover your cheeks and the entire area beneath your chin.
4. Cleanse and moisturize twice daily, and exfoliate twice weekly
If you want healthy skin, then you need a proper skincare regimen. There are three steps: cleanse your skin first thing in the morning and before bed; this removes any grime and bacteria. Follow it with a moisturizer to fight signs of aging and keep skin hydrated. Every three days, add an exfoliator between these two steps (after you cleanse, before you moisturize) to buff away dead skin cells and prevent pore blockage. This will keep the healthiest, brightest cells at the surface of your mug.
5. Don't kill the vibe with poorly groomed body hair
You don't have to be anti-body hair, but consider 'manscaping.' The more hair you have, the sweatier you get, so keep things somewhat trim—at least for your significant other’s benefit. And hey, if back hair is your thing, we don’t want to stop you from wearing it proudly. But even that can be kept short with a clipper; maybe your S.O. will take care of it for you. If so, then they’re a keeper. And to this note…
6. Prevent moisture in thy nether regions, but encourage it elsewhere
There are many moisturize-blocking, anti-chafe products out there—from powders to creams—that will keep you sane during the summer heat. However, while it’s important to stay fresh and dry in the covered-up areas, it’s equally important to keep the rest of your body hydrated—namely those parts that are always exposed. In addition to your facial moisturizer, invest in a good body cream and hand lotion; apply them in the morning and at night, all the way up to your neck.
7. Remember SPF
The real secret to looking young is SPF. Block those UV rays daily with an SPF moisturizer, or with a light layer of SPF 15 sunscreen. You’ll thank us later—maybe 40 years from now, when you look 20 years younger than your pals.
8. Honor each hair styler’s specific purpose
No two hair products are alike, and you should study up on each one’s effects. If you want high hold and high shine, you need a gel or pomade applied to damp hair. For light hold and no shine, try a paste in dry hair—but use it in wet hair for a medium hold with no shine. Catch our drift? There are endless combinations and possibilities—just be confident about what you want, and how to get it.
9. Get a signature scent
Scent is the strongest sense attached to memory. You can recall mom’s baking, grandpa’s pomade, your girlfriend’s hairspray, or the cheap fragrance you wore to prom. If you like a friend’s cologne, then take the cue to find one for yourself—one that feels authentically you. There are hundreds to choose from, so go to a department store, try a bunch, and get your own.
10. Maintain good oral hygiene
Did we even have to tell you? Brush and floss your teeth—morning, night, and after lunch. Also, whitening technology has come a long way in just a few years; pick a regimen that won’t harm your gums or enamel, and do it yearly. Your smile can be a first impression—and a last chance—to show that you give a damn about your appearance and health.