No one said it was easy. You wake up in the morning, shower, apply cologne, make sure your beard is trimmed neatly, choose your clothes, and then take one final look in the mirror and think, “Good enough.”
But is it?
We all know the importance of grooming. Our mothers stressed its importance while we feigned complete disinterest. Hopefully, some of her lessons have stuck with you today, but we’re grown men now. We know how vital grooming – the basic everyday actions we take to enable us to look our best – is. The question is, are we doing everything we can when it comes to our daily grooming habits? Sometimes, good enough just isn’t good enough.
Let’s take a look at the bigger picture when it comes to grooming, going beyond the hair-beard-teeth basics while keeping the fundamentals in mind. Because fact is, we may be making grooming mistakes that we either don’t know we’re making or have a vague notion that we should be doing but don’t think of as being that important.
Here, in no particular order, are some common – yet often overlooked – grooming mistakes. Call it a head-to-toe approach.
1. The Eyebrows
Don’t think for a second that your eyebrows aren’t important. For starters, you use them during the expression of a wide variety of emotions. They help us communicate better. The bottom line is to keep them trimmed and clearly defined. Make sure there’s clear separation from the bridge of your nose. Make sure there’s a clear separation between each eyebrow. Point of emphasis: Do not let it become a mono-brow. Ever.
You’ve educated yourself about cologne, and you’ve shopped carefully for the scent that best suits you. It’s a wonderful part of your arsenal when it comes to potentially attracting the woman of your dreams. But then you overdo it by splashing on copious amounts of it, and now your cologne is always five steps ahead of you as you walk through the door. There are many fine points to applying cologne, including different colognes for different seasons, and what time of the day to apply it. Don’t just “splash some on.” Apply wisely.
3. Nose Hair
Still looking for that woman who likes a man with overgrown nose hair? Of course, you’re not. The best thing we can say about unkempt nose hair is that it’s unsightly. Not exactly a ringing endorsement. And if you’re tall, a lot of people will have the opportunity to look up at your nostrils. All it takes is 30 seconds with a decent nose-hair trimmer. You want them admiring your many handsome facial features and not some nasty nose danglers.
4. Ear Hair
Like nose hair, overgrown ear hair is an unwanted and unnecessary distraction. Like nose hair, there are trimmers specifically designed for ear hair. Again, it takes so little time. Moreover, there’s no issue of proper length when it comes to trimming ear hair; there should be no “length” at all. Chop em’ off as soon as they become visible. Meanwhile, we’ll let you know when we find that woman who loves a man with overgrown ear hair.
5. Chest Hair
This one is open for debate, no question. A lot of women like chest hair. Then again, the days of having your shirt unbuttoned to your breasts to show off a lumberjack-like swath of hair are in the rearview, for now. A key point to remember here is that chest hair sprouting out over the top of your t-shirt or dress shirt really doesn’t cut it. It’s not a good look.
6. Pubic Hair
Yes, we’re going to go here. The same survey that suggested women like chest hair, but in moderation. suggested that many women prefer men with a healthy patch of pubic hair – but not a forest. But it seems that the bald look is fading for both women and men when it comes to ‘down there.’ Look, if you expect your wife or girlfriend to keep her pubic hair well-maintained, then there’s no reason for you to not manscape yours, as well.
7. Neck Hair
Let’s take things back above the waist. Neck hair, while maybe not as disturbing as overgrown nose, ear, or back hair (we’ll get to that in a minute) isn’t a great look when it’s left untrimmed like your neighbor’s hedge. Our neck is usually shaved when we get a haircut, but we shouldn’t wait until the next trim to neaten our necks. Keep your neck shaved and smooth, And like trimming your nose and ear hair, it’s only going to take you a minute, if that.
8. Back Hair
While we’re at it, we’re also searching for that woman who’s attracted to men with overgrown back hair (OK, there’s probably a pot for every kettle). No, back hair can’t be helped. But it can be maintained. Keep it under control. What you really don’t want is your back hair growing out of control and merging with your neck hair. Don’t. Do. It.
9. Hair Products
Like cologne, hair products work best when used judiciously. Make it look effortless, like you’ve taken the time and care to make your hair look its best. Don’t make it look like you’ve dunked your hair in a bucket of the stuff.
You know the drill: get a haircut, wait six weeks or so, or until someone says, “Wow. You need a haircut,” and get it cut again. Instead, how about getting it trimmed every three weeks or so? Yes, it’s going to cost more in the long run, but your hair will always be in that sweet spot of being neither too long nor too short. Here’s another advantage – your barber or stylist will get to know you and your hair better, which can only improve the chances of you both being on the same page.
11. Toe Nails
Memo addendum: also find a woman who likes overgrown toenails – and good luck. So, yes, no one really sees your toenails all that much but do not dare go to the beach or hot tub party with claws protruding from your toes. Folks will be mortified. If you’re active, like runner active, then you’re doing yourself and your feet a huge disfavor with too-long toenails. You don’t have to go overboard. Just keep them trimmed.
While this might not cover everything, it should give you a good start when it comes to fine-tuning your grooming regimen. Better yet, going beyond the basics needn’t require a not of time or effort. Being a well-groomed man doesn’t have to be hard. But it should be comprehensive.