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Once upon a time, men who spent too long grooming were frowned upon. Preening was perceived as self-obsessed and aroused a certain wariness for being a little effeminate. Some circles considered men who sought to be impeccably groomed as narcissistic, decadent, and as pompous as a peacock.
Needless to say, much has changed today. Keeping yourself in check by following a personal grooming routine is considered a necessity for any self-respecting man. Not only is it perceived as a desirable trait among men but it’s often a mere matter of hygiene.
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What Is Personal Grooming In 8 Steps?
Personal grooming is simply the way a man takes care of himself and his body. It’s not a question of pride or narcissism but self-respect and politeness to others at the very least. Whilst some men can spend hours to look immaculate, everyone can seamlessly integrate it into their daily lifestyle.
The following guide will walk you through the fundamentals, which you may already know. All of the below practices can be accomplished on almost any budget so rest assured that it’s all well within your means.
- Stay Clean
- Love Your Skin
- Get To Know Your Barber
- Look After Your Hair
- Master The Art Of Shaving & Trimming
- Groom Your Body
- Enjoy Fragrances
- Respect Yourself
Scroll down to learn them all or jump straight to a section by clicking on one of the steps above.
1. Stay Clean
If you don’t already, get into the habit of washing regularly. Take the necessary time for a proper shower and brushing your teeth in the morning. With the ever increasing pressures of work and early mornings, it can be hard getting out of bed. Many of us resort to simply rolling out of bed into the nearest clean clothes before heading out.
Resist the urge and get up slightly earlier if you have to. Learn to make the most of your morning routine and enjoy its simple pleasures. There’s no greater feeling than taking the time for a sit-down breakfast after a refreshing shower.
Remember that although deodorant and fragrances may partly cover up body odour, they quickly fade to reveal what you’re trying to hide. Regular washing avoids the awkwardness of a faint whiff on the commute home.
2. Love Your Skin
Healthy, clear skin doesn’t just look good but feels great. Even if you don’t work in the city or exercise a lot, your pores build it with grease and pollution. Add some quick exfoliation during your daily shower routine. There are a plethora of products available out there for clearing out the muck. Many products cater to men with particularly masculine names but aren’t much different from women’s products.
If you’re reluctant to use synthetic cleansing products or anything including micro-beads that pollute the sea, there are natural alternatives. Traditional hard soaps made from vegetable oils have existed for centuries.
Aleppo soap contains only olive oil, laurel berry oil and water whereas Marseille Soap is made solely with Mediterranean sea water and soda ash. Both use lye as a cleansing agent, which is just as efficient as today’s products in cleaning the skin.
However, exfoliating is a very deep acting process. The skin produces natural oils as nourishment, which are wiped away with the products. Therefore, you must always follow up with a moisturising to hydrate the skin. If you don’t, the skin can dry out and even begin to flake. Dry skin can also be a painful experience and the face can feel tight and sore.
There are a plethora of products out there that can moisturise a gentleman’s skin properly. Certain products are richer than others. Explore the options available to find the one that works best for yours. Furthermore, if you prefer to avoid synthetic creams, natural alternatives such as rose hip oils are deeply hydrating. Rose hip oil can be found in its pure form and used in very small doses as an efficient moisturiser.
3. Get To Know Your Barber
It’s not uncommon for a visit to the Barber’s to be considered a chore. Living a busy lifestyle it’s easy to leave your haircut until the last minute. By the time you’ve noticed that you need a haircut, the chances are that your entourage has too.
Learn to enjoy the experience of visiting the barber’s. Visit a few until settling on one that you like. Consider several factors such as the services provided, tarifs, convenience of the location as well as their personality and competence.
Your barber will get to know you. Over the course of several visits, he or she will understand what you like and dislike according to your feedback. Just remember to be honest!
Furthermore, the same person working on your hair will always provide better results than someone who is unfamiliar with it. You’ll build a rapport based on trust with your barber and no longer experience the overbearing anxiety of a messed-up haircut. What better way to start to start your appointment than asking for “the usual”?
Finally, put aside the time and money for monthly visits. Think of it as some quality time for yourself and a chance to relax and unwind. A great way to do this is by adding a wet-shave or beard trim to your appointment. There’s no experience more meditative than lying back and getting pampered to let go of that pent-up stress.
4. Look After Your Hair & Beard
Don’t leave it just to the barber but getting a better understanding of your own hair. Learn how to satisfy its needs with the correct frequency in washing. Contrary to popular belief, washing hair with shampoo is not necessarily a daily requirement. Furthermore, daily washing can sometimes be damaging to some scalps and cause it to dry out and build up dandruff.
Very few people really need to shampoo daily. These are usually people with fine hair or have an oily scalp. Men living in humid areas or exercise a lot may also need to shampoo daily due to their environment.
The reasons for this is that scalp produces a natural oil called sebum. This is produced in fixed quantities through sacks in the hair’s root, which nourishes and protects the hair. Sebum is what naturally makes the hair shine and creates volume. Shampoo works by stripping the hair of oils by trapping them. Therefore, frequent shampooing produces very dry hair, which breaks and tangles.
Men with shorter hair can get away with daily shampooing because the sacks are able replenish the smaller amount with sebum. However, men with long hair need to find that balance, which is often no more than three or four times a week. However, conditioner is designed to replenish the hair of these stripped oils. Be sure to invest in some to keep that mop healthy!
Finally, take the time to discover the hairstyle that works best for you. Take into account your face shape, which we cover extensively. When you get to grips with your morphology, explore the explore varieties of hairstyles we cover that best suit it.
What About My Beard?
Beard is hair too. Therefore, it deserves the right level of care and attention. You need to keep it washed but that aforementioned sebum is much more precious to your beard’s health. Consequently, you’ll need oils and balms to ensure that it maintains a natural and healthy shine.
In addition, unkempt beards can get tangled and even break. If its condition diminishes, you may experience itchiness and dandruff. Make sure you keep your beard well-groomed with the right brushes, combs and trimmers.
You can read all about beard accessories and their benefits by perusing through our detailed beard care guides.
5. Master The Art Of Shaving & Trimming
With the dawn of electric razors and multiple-bladed cartridges, the art of shaving has started to fade from a man’s skill set. A better understanding of techniques will render your routine more efficient and less perilous. Take the experience further and discover the world of traditional shaving. Investing in a double-edged safety razor makes the experience of shaving a pleasure again.
The learning curve to master DE razors is quite low and allows your to discover new skills for a better shave. You can take it further by finding an antique model for a real old fashioned experience.
Straight razor shaving can feel daunting to some men. However, getting yourself a nice one and learning to look after it is a pleasure in itself. Not only do you learn how to properly sharpen a blade but how to properly use one.
It’s a true exploration of your masculinity and a whole culture within itself. There are so many products such as soaps, balms, oils and accessories available in the pursuit of a better shave.
If you want to learn all about this, we feature one of the most comprehensive guides to wet shaving on the internet. Currently, it covers everything you need to know for safety and straight razors as well as soaps, balms, sharpening and much more!
Furthermore, both are better for the environment. Straight razors last a lifetime and can be passed down several generations as heirlooms. DE blades are solely metal whereas cartridges are a contain large amounts of plastic.
Every bearded or moustached man knows that trimming is a vital skill. You can’t see your barber everyday so you need to learn how to keep it in check until your next visit.
6. Groom Your Body
Not every man may want to trim his body hair or reach for the wax. And by no means should you feel obliged to do so. Today, there are many pressures online and from fashion and cosmetic industries that coerce men into”manscaping”. If you want to do it for yourself, by all means go for it. However, it’s not compulsory. Nevertheless, a little bit of preening here and there feels quite refreshing on occasion.
That said, do look after your body. Although this includes regular exercise and a balanced diet, it also concerns the the first two points of this list.
Don’t neglect the your body by concentrating solely on your face. Get into the habit of keeping your body clean in all the crooks and crannies. Ensure also that the skin is properly exfoliated and moisturised.
The body’s skin is less sensitive than the face so it’s always best to have something for both. Aleppo soap with a high concentration of laurel oil is an excellent candidate as it’s enriching without being too harsh like most other soaps.
7. Enjoy Fragrances
Although they have certain features in common with personal grooming, fragrances are another world within themselves. Enjoy discovering new scents whether they are aftershaves, perfumes or deodorants.
Build out a collection, which features a simple variety that caters for different occasions and seasons. Fragrances offer the opportunity to not only smell nice but to exude a particular personality.
Different ingredients denote different moods. Compositions can vary from aromatics to citrus blends as well as leathery or woody accords. Understanding these helps develop certain preferences. Interestingly, certain fragrances can even affect your disposition. Sprightly scents can give you an energetic buzz whilst deep oriental notes can get you in a warm, romantic mood.
Before you know it, you’ll not only be receiving compliments but feeling great about the personality you project through the fragrances that are right for you.
8. Be Respected By Respecting Yourself
Taking the time to look after yourself isn’t a sign of feeling good about yourself. However, by following a solid personal grooming routine, you will improve your confidence by building self-respect. This positive self-image doesn’t only have internal benefits to your mental health.
What’s more, looking and smelling your best is not just an activity for yourself. By keeping yourself in check, you show respect to people you meet. Talking about positive energy may sound contrived. However, your entourage will consequently feel the aura you create for yourself. You will garner respect by being well-presented and the character you project will be reflected by other people.
Now that you are familiar with the essential foundations of personal grooming, perhaps you’d like take things further. Head to our various guides on hairstyles, beards and moustaches. However, before you do, be sure that you have taken our quiz on identifying your face shape!