Think of all the things men's grooming routine encompasses: complexion, hair health, hairstyle, oral hygiene, facial hair maintenance, and more. It covers a lot of bases, and it’s on you to cover these bases — starting today.
By building good grooming habits early, you ensure many things: you’ll look younger longer (with fewer breakouts, fine lines, and dark spots); your hair will remain healthy and fuller (unless your genes have other ideas, sorry); you’ll figure out which style of facial hair flatters you best; and you’ll avoid dental issues such as gingivitis and tooth decay. And that’s just the start.
Here are five of the most important things to get right. Start doing them now and you’ll experience lifelong benefits — far more than guys who start looking after their appearance later on in life. When you’re 40, you might look 30 or even 25 — with all your teeth in place and a lush head of hair (again, genes allowing). Trust us, this will all matter to you down the line.
1. Improve your nighttime skincare regimen
If you’re practicing a baseline skincare regimen, you’re cleansing twice a day: once in the morning and once at night. But that’s the baseline. And while it’s better than nothing, it’s kind of close to nothing. You can do far more good for your complexion and anti-aging regimen by putting more products to use at bedtime — or even just a moisturizer.
A moisturizer creates a protective layer atop your skin to shield you from environmental toxins. You don’t need that particular benefit as much while in the safety of your bedroom, but you do need its nourishing effects at bedtime because your cellular regeneration is in hyperspeed while you sleep. In the same way you can sleep away a cold, or a small cut will heal overnight, you can improve your complexion immensely with a little extra love at bedtime.
So pack on the moisturizer after cleansing. Ideally, you’ll substitute it for a more heavily concentrated night cream to add an extra kick during the regenerative cycle. Take advantage of the biological process, my friend. Erno Laszlo’s Hydraphel Intensive Night Cream seeps deep into the skin, adding firmness and a smooth complexion. It's super concentrated so a little goes a long way. Just use a pea-sized amount every night for a few months and you’ll start to notice some major changes. Even if you think it’s unnecessary right now, it’ll keep away those signs of aging in the long run.
2. Invest in a beard trimmer
We're not about to suggest which style of facial hair to pick. That's your area. Hell, even a mustache can look damn good if you wear it right. Although remember those words: if you wear it right. As in, you need to trim it. Sculpt it. Any and all facial hair, that is. And keep the neckline clean. Your beard should be stopping two fingers above your Adam’s apple, and it should wrap your jawline entirely. The mustache needs to be up off the lip, too.
Maybe you want a prominent mustache but a more stubbled beard. Cool, you can achieve that easily: you just need a beard trimmer. It’s the best styling tool out there and you don’t need a barber certification to wield it. Get a portable, rechargeable one with plenty of length settings and trimming options — such as Braun’s BT5050 — and get to work.
3. Less shampoo, more conditioner
You don’t need to wash your hair daily. In fact, if you’re using water-based stylers, they should rinse right out and give you a fresh canvas for the morning. The last thing you need is to strip your hair of its natural, fortifying oils every day just because you’ve been conditioned to do so.
Have you been conditioned to conditioner, though? That’s the more important haircare product, by far. Whereas shampoos remove oil and grime — including the good oils — conditioners restore your hair's nutrients, making it less fluffy, less dry, and more style-ready. So drop your shampoo usage to every other day (or half that, if you can manage) and use conditioner daily. Maapilim’s Vitamin E-enriched woody-scented conditioner, for example, will give you healthier-looking hair almost immediately.
4. Cut your hair every 6-8 weeks
Stop waiting until the last minute — or a few weeks after the last minute — to get that much-needed haircut. Even if you’re growing it out, you still need some work around the edges, some texturing and layering up top, so it grows out in the style desired.
Ask any barber and they'll tell you the sweet spot for a haircut is after six to eight weeks. After that point, your style will start morphing into something new. A skintight fade will be far from skintight after two months. We suggest booking a follow-up appointment on the spot before leaving the barbershop. That way, you’ll already have it on the calendar and you’ll never not look crispy.
5. Replace your toothbrush every 3 months
The stats are in: 200,000 out of 200,000 dentists agree — you need to change your toothbrush (or at least the head) every three months, four at the most. That’s the American Dental Association-recommended timeline (and there are 200,000 practicing dentists in the United States, hence the number). After three months, those bristles start to get limp, warped, and busted. They can no longer work their way between your teeth or even brush the surface of your teeth effectively. If you ain’t brushing with fresh bristles, you're doing your teeth and gums a serious disservice.
That's why toothbrush subscription services such as Boka offer you a quarterly replenishment. Just like booking your haircut in advance, it’s smart to get yourself on a toothbrush replacement plan to take the thinking out of the equation. Automate things and you’re on your way to better oral hygiene.
Next up; check out the Highsnobiety guide to staying cool in the workplace.