There isn’t one of us who hasn’t interacted with someone who seemed to have given up on their basic grooming habits. Let’s face facts; there are days we all feel like rolling out of bed, pulling on yesterday’s clothes with a baseball cap, and going about our day. We can use “it’s a weekend” excuse on Saturday and Sunday (unless getting laid is on our agenda), but during the week we owe it our loved ones and co-workers to make an effort. And if we’re not spending the day working in the yard or garage, we should respect our family members enough to try to not offend them too much.
I’m far from perfect in this arena, but I’m fortunate to have a wife who’s not at all shy about pointing out caterpillar eyebrows, or errant nose hairs. Thanks, Babe! If you’re not blessed with a partner who speaks their mind — or your eyesight has changed enough that seeing these little issues that annoy others isn’t as easy as it once was — the following are my own personal opinions about several grooming areas we guys tend to ignore. Most of this comes from years of reading GQ and Playboy magazines, both great resources for today’s look for clothing and grooming. Here’s what I think and so far it’s working for me (still married after 30 years!).
Hair: There’s just no reason to settle for a $5 or $10 haircut. The #1 electric clipper buzz cut is for boys under 12, the military, and any number of anarchist groups. If you’re not one of these, pony-up twenty bucks for a comb and scissors styling. There are a few, and I mean few, stylist who can do a good job with comb and
electric shears, but they’ve honed their skills over years of work learning when to change adapters or how to simply use the comb to adjust length. The only exception to the “no buzz cuts” rule we reserve for those of you saddled with early onset MPB (male-patterned baldness). If this is you, take it all off and be proud of your Kojack-ness! Any attempt to hide your situation will only look like you’re trying to hide your situation.
Full beards: I have to tread carefully on this subject as you can see from my avatar. But that’s me in the fall, as I prepare to don a red suit to become Santa Claus for Christmas. The issue with full beards is the lack of trimming – which is fine if you’re preparing for a big hunting season, or learned to grind a mean guitar for that ZZ Top tribute band you’re forming. If these three reasons (Santa, hunting, rock band) don’t apply to you, keep the facial hair neatly trimmed. Oh yeah…and shampoo it just like you would your head of hair!
Nose and ear hair: I don’t have any answers to why, as soon as we’ve lost the ability to grow hair on our heads, we gain the innate ability to grow long hair out of our noses and ears! Still, there’s no excuse for unsightly nose and ear hair. A favorite source of info for men is AskMen.com. Here a link to their guide on the best trimmers for unwanted hair. Buy one of these and let’s move on!
Hands & Feet: Take care of these if you want to have regular contact with your favorite girl. Our hands and feet take a lot of abuse and get very rough. A monthly pedicure for the feet and regular use of lotion (after washing your hands) will keep you on the good side of your bed mate. Have the pedicure technician use a clear lacquer on your toenails to keep them from snagging on your socks.
Your face: You only have one, and it’s the first thing people see in you when you meet. It’s likely what helped you get your significant other to the altar or commitment. Take care of your face with daily application of a oil-free lotion with SPF. Keeping your skin hydrated will stave off the deep wrinkles that characterize the faces of so many guys as they get older.
Cologne: Look. Very little cologne or aftershave goes a very long, long, long way! If you’re using it to cover an odor, take a shower. And don’t buy whatever is cheap, or on sale, or might smell good to you.
YOU’RE NOT TRYING TO ATTRACT YOURSELF FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE!
Have your woman with you when you’re buying cologne. Studies show that a woman’s sense of smell is 20 or more times more sensitive than a man’s. She smells things you cannot, and the right amount of cologne by your nose might knock her over or make her eyes start watering. My wife and I have actually asked our waiter to re-seat us at one of our favorite restaurants when a man sat near us wearing too much cologne. If you’re not “getting it” as often as you’d like, and your partners hasn’t volunteered a comment about your cologne, ask them how they feel about it. That could be the silver bullet you’re missing to the action you’re craving!