Quick Tips on Guys’ Grooming
By Melissa Gulden
By Melissa Gulden
ATTENTION MEN: It’s that time again. Time for my not-annual-but-oft-necessary ode to men’s grooming. Yes, it’s time for Manscaping 2.0. When I wrote my first Manscaping article dedicated to our male friends, it received wonderful reviews. However, based on some recent sightings, it’s time for a recap.
Beauty products and all their glory are no longer just a woman’s world. From tailored skincare regimens and facials, to face and body waxing, services and treatments for men are becoming more popular than ever. Lauren Anderson, owner of Hello Beautiful in Redding, says that women have always wanted to age as gracefully as possible, but, she adds, “I’m happy to see that more men are understanding the importance of taking care of their skin and are comfortable getting treatments.” Anderson says that once men notice a difference in their skin, they’re more apt to begin taking care of it. She recommends they come in at the change of season—at least four times a year—and monthly if they need corrective treatments.
“A basic skin care regimen, sunscreen and an eye cream is usually what I recommend,” she says. “Facials are great for men. They love the relaxing element and hot towels, too.”
And thanks to celebrities such as Rob Lowe, George Clooney and Jon Hamm, who seem to always look impeccable, male grooming has become de rigueur. However, with grooming, it’s a fine line between looking like a caveman or a member of One Direction. That said, body hair is a matter of personal preference—both yours and your partner’s.
1. To make the whole process less scary, start with a shave: at home or an old-fashioned barber shave.
2. Next come the eyebrows, a potential minefield. The quickest way to feminize a man’s face is to over-groom the eyebrow. You can do above the brow, but when you start to take too much underneath or create any type of arch, he starts to look like a girl. Try tweezing the brow instead of waxing, which can remove too much, and use those tweezers to tackle stray nose and ear hairs. Women, help your men! If you see a stray hair—pluck it! You’d want the courtesy reciprocated, right?
3. For the chest, we’re no longer going for the Abercrombie catalogue look. In fact, these days, we tend to see more men with facial and body hair. You need a good pair of clippers. Trim your chest, going in the direction of the grain, all the way down. Do it dry, and hydrate afterwards with a body lotion to prevent redness. And balance is key. If you’re rocking a bit of scruff, you don’t want a completely buzzed chest. If it’s just a little bit of growth on the face, it’s okay to have barely anything on the chest. If you have a beard, maybe go a bit longer.
4. As for the back—no negotiation here. Back hair is never sexy. But it can be really tricky to try to buzz, so that’s right, guys: it’s time to book an appointment. The back is the easiest and least painful area to wax, and by far the most common service for men. A couple of tips for your first time: Take an Advil or a couple of aspirin before your appointment. The longer you go in between waxes, the more it’ll hurt every time (remember The 40 Year Old Virgin?). Ask your esthetician when you should book your next appointment (generally four to six weeks). Finally, don’t put any product on the area for 24 hours to reduce the risk of irritation. For other areas, such as arms, legs, and pits, only the very hairy need a bit of TLC. Use your clipper with the longer attachment to take off some volume.
5. Moving onward and upward. “Mustache Movember” is approaching next month. There’s something about mustaches…however, they’re not for everyone (right, Jimmy Fallon?). There’s a book out called “One Thousand Mustaches” by Allan Peterkin, and it lists types of mustaches, from the Chevron, to the Magnum, P.I. By all means, use shampoo and conditioner on it in the shower and beard oil after. This way, it will be soft. Remember guys, stubble hurts and rashes aren’t sexy.
So go ahead, guys—groom on! Clip, shave, tweeze and trim every inch of your body if you feel like it. We’ve got you covered (so to speak).