Level Up Your Look: The Modern Man’s Complete Guide to Proper Grooming
Level Up Your Look: The Modern Man’s Complete Guide to Proper Grooming
First impressions matter, so put your best face forward with these pro grooming tips for the modern man. Looking polished and well put-together doesn’t require hours of complicated effort. By following these simple grooming fundamentals, you’ll enhance your appearance and boost confidence wherever you go.
Hair Play: Styling for Success
Your hair is one of the first things people notice about you. So keeping your cut and style flattering and neat is essential. Here are pro tips for head-turning hair:
- Get your hair cut by a skilled barber or stylist every 4-6 weeks. This keeps strands well-groomed.
- Bring photos of looks you like to show exactly how you want your hair cut. Communicate clearly the length and style you seek.
- Choose a cut that flatters your face shape. An expert can recommend the most ideal styles. Oval faces suit most cuts, while narrow faces look best with volume on top or a side part. Square faces need a shorter top with side-swept bangs. Round faces benefit from forward-swept styles to elongate.
- Tell your barber your hair’s texture – curly, thick, fine etc. – so the cut works with it. Curly hair needs texturizing layers cut dry. Fine hair must be cut with precision.
- For receding hairlines or balding spots, either shave your head neatly or speak to a doctor about treatment options. Embrace it with confidence.
- Shampoo at least 2-3 times per week, more often if you have oily hair. Use a clarifying shampoo to remove product buildup.
- When shampooing, really massage the scalp with your fingertips to boost circulation and growth. Take the time to relax and enjoy this scalp massage.
- Focus lather at the crown of your head where oil and dirt accumulate most. Let shampoo run through ends.
- Rinse out shampoo thoroughly, running fingers through hair under the stream. Leftover residue weighs hair down.
- Follow with a hydrating conditioner, especially on dry ends. Leave it in 1-2 minutes before rinsing. This prevents brittle hair.
- Consider using a weekly hair mask to deeply nourish strands and smooth damage. Apply generously on dry hair and let sit 20+ minutes before rinsing.
- Pat hair partially dry with a towel before styling by gently squeezing moisture out. Don’t vigorously rub, which can cause frizz.
- Work a nickel-sized amount of styling product like gel or pomade through strands. Avoid getting product on roots which can look greasy.
- Use a blow dryer on a low heat setting while brushing hair into place. This smooths and directs styling. Blast roots last to inject volume.
- Finish with a light mist of strong hold hairspray, holding the can 8-10 inches from head. Set the look.
- For curly hair, apply styling cream to wet strands and let air dry naturally. Enhance curls with your fingers or diffuser attachment.
- Change up your part occasionally to avoid hairline thinning. Switching it up adds volume and visual interest.
- Use a boar bristle brush to distribute oils from roots along hair shafts to ends. Brushing stimulates the scalp and enhances shine.
- Trim split ends every 6-8 weeks to prevent damage from traveling up the hair shaft. See your stylist for a quick tidy up.
- Protect hair from chlorine, salt water and UV exposure when swimming. Wet hair beforehand and rinse out afterwards. Wear a cap for long soaks.
- Take biotin supplements to thicken hair and reduce shedding. They support hair growth from inside.
Face the Facts: Skincare and Shaving(groom)
Caring for your face properly keeps skin looking healthy, prevents ingrown hairs and minimizes bumps and irritation from shaving. Follow these tips:
- Wash your face twice daily with a facial cleanser suited to your skin type. Apply with your (groom)(groom)fingertips, not a harsh scrub brush.
- Use warm, not hot, water which can strip the skin. Also avoid steaming water that can burst capillaries.
- Concentrate cleanser on the T-zone where oil and dirt accumulate most – forehead, nose and chin. Add water to lather.
- Pat skin partially dry with a clean towel. Rubbing vigorously can cause irritation. Blot – don’t wipe.
- Exfoliate 1-2 times per week to remove dead skin cell buildup. Use gentle, circular motions.
- Rinse cleanser off thoroughly and follow up with an alcohol-free toner to restore pH balance.
- After cleansing, apply a facial moisturizer suited to your skin type – oily, dry, sensitive or combination.
- Look for lightweight, fast-absorbing formulas that won’t clog pores. Heavier creams are comedogenic.
- Use moisturizers containing SPF daily to protect skin from sun damage. Reapply every few hours if outdoors.
- Apply an eye cream morning and night to hydrate the delicate eye area and minimize fine lines and wrinkles. Use gentle patting motions. Don’t pull or tug the thin skin.
- To reduce puffiness and dark circles, place chilled cucumber slices or tea bags over closed eyes for 10-15 minutes. Try reducing salt intake as well.
- Wear UV blocking sunglasses when outdoors to prevent squinting and crow’s feet. Look for polarized lenses to reduce glare.
- Always shave after cleansing the face, when whiskers are softened by water. This prevents painful tugging.
- Use a natural shave oil, shaving cream or gel to provide a protective layer of lubrication between skin and razor.
- Shave in the direction of hair growth, rinsing the blade frequently to prevent clogging. Make multiple gradual passes, not one forceful swipe.
- Rinse face with cool water afterwards to close pores and use an alcohol-free aftershave balm to moisturize skin.(groom)
- Exfoliate regularly with a scrub or chemical exfoliant like glycolic acid to prevent ingrown hairs. Limit scrubbing to 2-3 times a week max to avoid irritation.
- Tend to nicks immediately with a styptic pencil. Rinse off shaving cream thoroughly to avoid breakouts.
- Moisturize post-shave and consider using a beard oil or butter if growing facial hair to condition whiskers and skin underneath.
Freshening Your Smile
A bright, healthy smile makes a great first impression and boosts self-esteem. Follow these dental care fundamentals:
- Brush teeth thoroughly for two minutes, twice per day. Use short, gentle motions at a 45 degree angle to the gums. Let the bristles do the work – don’t scrub aggressively.
- Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush with a compact head that reaches all areas. Replace it every 3-4 months when bristles begin to fray.(groom)
- Use a fluoride toothpaste to protect against cavities. Spit – don’t rinse – after brushing to allow fluoride contact.
- Floss at least once daily, preferably at night, as brushing doesn’t remove plaque between teeth.
- Use 18 inches of floss wrapped around middle fingers and make a C-shape against each tooth to scrape plaque off both sides.
- Choose waxed floss if your teeth are tightly spaced. For wider gaps, use wide flat floss for more coverage. Don’t snap floss – glide it gently.(groom)
- Use a tongue scraper daily to remove bacteria and freshen breath. Scrape gently from back to front of tongue.
- Rinse the scraper under water between each pass for maximum freshness. Make 3-4 passes until tongue appears cleaner.
- Opt for an antimicrobial copper tongue scraper which inhibits bacteria growth. Replace scrapers every 3 months.
- Use whitening toothpaste 2-3 times per week for surface stain removal and brightening. Look for gentle abrasives like silica.(groom)
- For deeper stains, speak to your dentist about professional whitening trays or strips. Use as directed. In-office procedures are fastest.
- Avoid staining foods like coffee, red wine and tobacco. Drink dark liquids through a straw to minimize contact with teeth.(groom)
- Get professional cleanings every 6 months to keep gums healthy and remove hard plaque deposits.
- If you have braces, brush carefully around brackets and use recommended tools to remove food particles.
- Consume fluoridated water and limit acidic drinks to protect enamel. Use a straw to direct liquid towards the back of the mouth.
Grooming Your Body
Practicing proper full body grooming leaves you looking and feeling fresh. Here are tips:
- Bathe daily or every other day as needed using a body wash. Target sweaty areas like armpits, groin and feet. For dry skin, limit soaking time.
- Alternate using a loofah, washcloth and your bare hands to thoroughly lather and rinse. Loofahs exfoliate; washcloths target creases.
- Shampoo hair regularly as well, massaging scalp to boost circulation. Rinse out shampoo and apply conditioner.(groom)
- Bar soaps can dry out skin. Opt for moisturizing body washes. Look for exfoliating washes to slough off dead skin cells.
- Exfoliate skin 1-2 times per week using a scrub or loofah to remove dead cells and oil buildup. This enhances circulation.
- Focus on rough spots like heels, elbows and knees. Use gentle, circular motions – don’t aggressively scrub.
- On the face, use a chemical exfoliant like glycolic acid. Harsh scrubs can damage facial skin.
- Exfoliate lips weekly by applying sugar to them, then massaging in circles with a wet washcloth to stimulate blood flow.
- After bathing, generously apply moisturizer on damp skin to seal in hydration. This creates a moisture barrier.(groom)
- Choose lightweight lotions for the body to avoid clogged pores. Use facial creams made for your skin type.
- Reapply body lotion after swimming or exercise-induced sweating. Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water too.(groom)
- Shave, wax or use depilatory creams to remove body hair. Follow product instructions carefully.
- Replace razors frequently to avoid nicks and irritation. Use a fresh blade, shaving cream and gentle touch.
- Tweeze stray brows. If opting to wax or thread, see a professional to avoid over-plucking. Don’t attempt to shape brows yourself.
- Soak feet in warm water and epsom salts to soften skin and remove bacteria. Scrub with a pumice stone.(groom)
- Use a pumice stone or foot file to gently remove calluses, which can crack and become infected if left alone.
- Apply a rich, moisturizing foot cream daily and sleep with socks to rehydrate dry, cracked heels and toes.
Well-kept fingernails complete a polished look. Follow these tips for proper nail care:
- Trim nails straight across once a week to keep them neat and prevent painful ingrown nails. Use sharp nail clippers.
- Use an emery board to gently file nails to smooth out any roughness or jagged edges. File in one direction.
- Buff nails using a 3 or 4-sided buffer block to shine them. Buff gently in one direction to avoid ripping.
- Clean under nails daily with a brush, toothpick or towel to remove debris. Soak in warm water first to soften cuticles.
- Massage moisturizing cuticle cream onto nails and cuticles daily to condition them. Push back cuticles gently – don’t cut them.
- If desired, get a professional manicure every 2-3 weeks. Opt for a clean, masculine shape and muted natural colors if using polish.
Signature Scent: Choosing Cologne
A subtle signature scent makes a sophisticated impression. Follow these cologne tips:
- Look for notes you enjoy like woody, spicy, musky, citrusy, green or floral. Test scents to find your preference. Take home samples.
- Colognes with woody basenotes like cedar and sandalwood complement most male body chemistry.
- Apply cologne to pulse points like wrists, neck and chest where blood circulates near skin to emit fragrance. Don’t rub wrists together after application as this crushes notes.
- Use cologne sparingly – 1-2 spritzes max. It should entice people to move closer to you, not announce your arrival from afar.
- Put on cologne after showering and drying off. Let your clean skin’s natural scent interact with the fragrance.
- After a bath, wait 10-15 minutes before applying cologne so it absorbs best. Don’t apply right after moisturizing either – wait for products to soak in first.
- Store cologne properly in a cool, dark place to prevent sunlight and heat damaging the top notes. Keep away from steamy bathrooms.
- Don’t mix multiple fragrances. Allow your chosen cologne’s notes to shine. Associate with one signature scent.
Standing and sitting tall projects poise, confidence and good health. Follow these posture pointers:
- Keep your shoulders straight, relaxed and centered above your hips. Avoid hunching forward.
- Align your head evenly above your spine. Don’t jut your chin out. Look straight ahead.
- Distribute weight evenly on both feet, knees straight but not locked. Engage core muscles.
- Sit up straight with your head over your shoulders and chest lifted. Don’t slouch or crane neck forward.
- Keep shoulders back and down, not rounded. Shoulder blades should be flat against the back of chair.
- Place feet flat on the floor with thighs parallel to the ground. Keep knees and ankles aligned with hips.
- Avoid crossing your legs. Keep both feet on floor with knees at hips’ width to open up chest.
- Use chair back support or lumbar cushions. Place pillows behind you if sitting on the floor.
- Look straight ahead, not down at your feet. Keep chin level.
- Roll shoulders back and down. Carry your chest high.
- Swing both arms freely and naturally. Don’t hold tension in arms.
- Distribute weight between the balls and heels of feet. Take confident strides.
- Adjust your seat so your knees are level with your hips and arms can reach the wheel without straining.
- Use seat back support or a lumbar cushion.
- Keep shoulders relaxed. Gently grip wheel at 9 and 3 o’clock.
- Optimal sleep posture is on your side with knees bent or on the back with arms at your sides. Use thin pillows.
- Place a pillow between knees when sleeping on your side. Put one under knees when on your back.
- Avoid sleeping on the stomach since this twists the neck sharply. Stomach sleeping also promotes back pain.
- Invest in a quality mattress that keeps the spine aligned. Change pillows every 1-2 years when they flatten.
Finishing Touches for Looking Sharp
Pull your look together and refine the details with these finishing touches:
Invest in Quality Basics – Well-fitting trousers, button down shirts, blazers, suits and shoes you feel confident in provide a strong foundation. Opt for neutral colors and natural fabrics when building your wardrobe.
Mind the Fit – Clothing that fits properly always looks best. Seek a tailored fit that flatters your body type. Leave baggy, sloppy styles behind.
Limit Jewelry – A simple watch and one or two subtle rings and chains is plenty. Avoid loud, distracting accessories. Let your clothes make the statement.
Iron Wrinkled Items – Wrinkled clothing looks unkempt. Iron shirts, trousers and linens before wearing or hang items in a steamy bathroom to remove wrinkles.
Shine Shoes – Buff leather shoes regularly with a shoe polish or conditioner. Use a horsehair shoe brush between polishes. Replace laces if frayed.
Trim Nails – Keep fingernails neatly trimmed and clean. Tidy nails finish any look.
Clean Glasses – Frequently clean eyeglasses using soap and water or lens cleaner to remove smudges and particles.
Style Hair – Even if your hair is short, use some product to style it neatly. A tousled look works for most styles.
Shave – If you grow facial hair, carefully shave or trim any uneven stubble. Use a sharp razor and shaving cream.
Freshen Breath – Brush, floss and use mouthwash before any occasion. Bring mints just in case.
Hide Tattoos – Cover any unprofessional tattoos for formal occasions using concealer creams or clothing.
The Modern Man’s Total Grooming Routine
- Wash face
- Shave (as needed)
- Style hair
- Brush teeth
- Floss between key teeth
- Apply deodorant
- Moisturize face
- Apply sunscreen (daytime)
- Spritz on cologne (optional)
- Wash face thoroughly with cleanser
- Brush + floss teeth
- Use mouthwash
- Trim nails (weekly)
- Exfoliate face and lips
- Examine skin for any irregularities
- Apply moisturizer
- Brush + style hair before bed
- Exfoliate body skin with a scrub
- Trim nose and ear hairs
- Deep condition hair
- Give yourself a manicure