Time was, a man who spent too long in the bathroom was met with a level of scorn and suspicion usually reserved for politicians who try to embrace indie music. Thankfully, times have changed. But even now it’s easy to feel bemused by the overwhelming amount of advice, opinion, and small tubs filled with expensive goop on the market.
The trick isn’t to spend a fortune on a thousand different products, or to lock yourself in the bathroom for hours at a time. Rather, you should develop a daily routine that is quick, simple, and–above all else–about maintenance, ensuring you don’t let yourself (or your carefully assembled outfit) down with unsightly hair or unnecessarily puffy eyes.
Here are some easy grooming habits all men should get into.
Become a regular at your barber’s
Book your next appointment while you’re there for roughly four weeks out, and stick to it. Too many men wait for the “forlorn tugging of your locks” stage before doing anything about it. Basically, if you’ve noticed your hair needs a cut, then other people have, too.
The trick is to be proactive, not reactive–and having a regular place you trust will cut down on the “oh my God, what if he messes this up” anxiety dramatically.
Know which hair products work for you
Hair products for men have got a bit more confusing since the Brylcreem your granddad swore by, so make sure you know what each product is for.
Thicker hair and messy styles can handle waxes and pomades, but if your hair’s thinner, then lighter products and sprays will give you ‘do some staying power.
Ask your barber if you’re a bit in the dark, but the right product can make all the difference.
Find your signature scent
Cologne isn’t supposed to be loud or obvious. You don’t want people to stop in their tracks and notice (if they do, you’ve worn too much). Rather, it should become a subtle part of your overall presence. Rather than owning 8-10 average-quality bottles you pick from each morning at random, find one or two classic scents you really like and invest in them.
Typically woody, spicy or, herby scents suit the winter months, while lighter, citrusy scents work best in spring and summer.
Two things every woman notices: your shoes, and your smile. When it comes to the latter, there is no longer any excuse for ignoring advances in technology.
Electric toothbrushes are designed to do most the work for you, plus, they’re better for your health: According to a study by Sheffield University, rotating brushes reduce 11% more plaque than manual toothbrushes, and can also significantly reduce gum problems.
And while you’re at it, use a mouthwash after you brush first thing in the morning.
Learn how to manscape properly
Trimming your pubic hair is perfectly acceptable in 2017. And no, we’re not talking about the porn star look. Just aim for what you’d appreciate in a partner, i.e. keep things neat and tidy.
Pro tip: Keep whatever device you use for this sensitive task separate from what you shave your face with.
There are plenty of electric razors on the market designed for the nether region’s unique challenges.