For a man, It can get complicated knowing what trim, pluck, shave and scrub.
Grooming is one of those mundane tasks that the everyman tends to neglect, especially as he gets older, even though it get’s more important with age as skin starts to wear and stray hairs pops up in irregular places.
When I was younger, before I had money to spend on clothing, I focused on grooming as a way to make myself more attractive. I found that if I could stand out underneath the clothing, it would set me apart form those who wore the same stuff. I would be the most attractive guy within my social group.
To me, grooming is ridiculously important. A guy can purchase the greatest clothing in the world, but if the man underneath doesn’t look the part, it’s a form of turd polishing.
There are plenty of articles out there that cover the basics of “grooming mistakes”, but I’ve found these are ridiculously common sense...
“Trim your toenails you neanderthal!”
Thanks GQ, but I don’t need to pay for your subscription (even though I do) to hear what my mother taught me well before I hit puberty.
The grooming mistakes that follow are more advanced things that you may have overlooked in your pursuit to become a more attractive man. So let’s dive in…
1. Washing Your Hair Too Often
This is one that I overlooked for a long time. I would find a great shampoo and mistakingly use it daily. This ended up making my hair dry and brittle.
When you wash your hair often, you strip it of it’s natural oils that help lubricate the shaft and follicle, providing it with nutrients. Think of it as Mother Nature’s conditioner. Wash too often and your hair will look frizzy, and dull, removing it’s natural luster.
Women have actually known this for some time. Ask a girlfriend or significant other if she washes her hair everyday, I bet I know the answer. It’s time men took note of this.
Instead, wash your hair every other day. Even if you have oily hair, this should be enough of a gap to keep you clean and shinny.
2. Over Exfoliating or Not Exfoliating at all
A lot of men fall into two camps, which is why I included it in the same topic. You either don't currently exfoliate, or you overly scrub your skin, stripping it of it’s essential oils and causing micro-abrasions on your face. I bet you can guess which camp I fell into.
Exfoliating your skin is a non-negotiable. It removes dead skin cells and reduces the appearance of fine lines on the face. I ALWAYS feel instantly more attractive after I’ve done some exfoliation.
Now, there are some people who over wash or over exfoliate their face. It’s the same thing as over washing your hair. You’re stripping your skin of it’s natural oils and will cause excess irritation of your face. This can result in blotchy skin, redness and even acne by ridding the skin of it’s natural barrier and making your skin produce more oil than it needs, resulting in breakouts.
The fix: Exfoliate only once or twice a week. You’ll rid your face of it’s dead skin and look more vibrant, while still letting your skin keep it’s natural level of healthy oil. I’ve been using a Dermalogica Scrub which is a little more gentle than other stuff on the market.
3. Using Incorrect Grooming Products
We are all unique. What works for me probably won’t work for you, and what works for you probably won’t work for the next guy.
Some of us have thin dry hair and others have thick greasy hair. Some have oily skin, some have acne, and some have dry skin. Just because a product may be good, doesn’t mean it's good for you.
When I was younger, I would read about a great pomade or something and instantly go out and buy it, not taking into account my own hair. It took me a lot of trial and error to figure out exactly which products work well for me.
Before you buy anything, think about what type of hair and skin you have and then find products developed to suit those types. Most good brands have a diverse selection of products. You can most likely find something that’s going to work well for you within that brand.
4. Ignoring Nose and Ear Hair
While trimming your nails may seem self evident, ear and nose hairs tend to fly under the radar because they're hard to notice. These little hairs can be one of those things that just throw your whole image off.
An attractive, well-dressed man with hairs poking out of his nostrils just doesn’t sit right. The more attractive you are, the more people will be looking for these small chinks in your armor, so it’s important to keep everything tight.
What you should do is work the trimming of these areas into your weekly grooming routine. Get a grooming tool if you don’t already own one and prune those suckers down on a weekly basis.
5. Not Using a Daily Face Moisturizer with SPF
A lot of guys will wash their face, but many forget to rehydrate with a moisturizer. Adding a good moisturizer to your daily routine will help keep your face from signs of aging and provide your skin with a protective barrier throughout the day. The SPF is just an added layer of defense.
Apply after washing your face in an upward motion from bottom to top. A moisturizer with SPF 10-25 will do just fine.
6. Not Shaving Below Your Neck/Beard Line
I’m a huge fan of facial hair. It can add an element of masculinity like nothing else can.
That being said, there is a fine line between looking like you forgot to shave and pre- meditated sexy stubble. The same goes for beards; not cleaning them up makes you look like you’re homeless.
Clean up the hair on your neck. If you have a beard, I suggest trimming everything below your Adam’s apple. If you have short stubble you can do the same, or go higher up and shave everything underneath your natural jaw line.
While you’re down there, go around to the back of your neck and make sure there aren’t any random hairs trailing from your head to your shoulders. Your barber always cleans you up back there, but things grow fast. This is one of the best ways to look like you just got a fresh haircut.
7. Using Competing Scents and Fragrances
This is one is easy to miss.
You wash your clothes with a “Spring Linen” fragranced detergent, and then use a “Spicy Cinnamon” body wash, afterwards applying your “Active Sport” scented deodorant, finally applying cologne to finish things off.
By now you smell like a masculine Bath and Body Works store without even noticing it. It may be subtle, but these scents are competing with each other and can mix in a very off-putting way.
Instead, use unscented detergents, soaps and deodorants. Your only odor should be coming from your cologne. You’ll smell clean with a touch of your signature scent.
My all time favorite deodorant is Mitchum unscented. It keeps away body odor and sweat while providing a clean base to apply cologne. Another secondary option is to buy a fragrance set that includes a deodorant and body wash with your cologne so you keep your smell consistent. I don’t recommend this as a first option because the body wash and deodorant tends to be sub-par to the other unscented products you can buy.
If you're unsure of how to apply cologne correctly, check out this guide form Wise Beards to get you started.
Want to identify more grooming mistakes you might be making? Book a virtual consultation here.
Did you miss my podcast with dating expert Christian McQueen? It’s over 2hrs long and packs a ton of grooming and style tips in relation to attracting women. I also wrote an article for his blog you can check out here.