Men’s Dressing: Groom with style

One of the sure-fire keys to success is getting your grooming right

MenRemember your teens and early twenties? Getting squeaky clean in the shower along with a quick slick of hair gel, donning a well-ironed set of clothes, or basic accessories, and a dab of perfume were all you needed. Your routine was set, it worked and you felt good. As your twenties passed into history, you realised that your bare minimum failed to deliver.

We live at a time when it pays to look younger, whether it's at the workplace, or the dating world. Reason enough why an increasing number of men are making grooming a priority because they want to maintain that winning edge. According to Gillette India Research Study, Indian men spend more time in front of the mirror every morning than women; 20 minutes on average compared with 18 for women. In fact, spending on men's grooming products is expected to rise by 24 per cent [Rs 14.5 billion], in the next five years. [Source: Euromonitor International Forecasts; International Herald Tribune].

It's a widely-held misnomer that the scope and realm of grooming stays mainly in a good haircut, appropriate clothing and accessories. In truth, the gamut of grooming goes beyond hair, skin, dental care and the perfume you choose to wear.

Hair Care

Banish grey. So, you're around 30, and you've noticed your first strands of grey hair. The quickest way to take years off of your look is to "reverse" grey hair. Make it less noticeable and more natural to begin with — colour your hair when you first begin to go grey. An easy-to-use product formulated specifically for men can also be used at home to cover grey hair with natural-looking results.

If your beard and moustache turn grey first, get yourself a brush-in gel in a no-drip formula that's perfect for covering facial hair.

Go short, if you're balding. Balding is another common problem among men. Have your scalp checked for fungal infection or other causes. If the diagnosis is plain hereditary balding, take a deep breath — or, a string of deep breaths - and, get comfortable with your changing look! Opt for a contemporary short haircut which will make your bald spot less visible and let your scalp breathe.

When men begin to lose hair on their heads, they may begin to notice unwanted hair in other places, like their nose, ears or back. Be sure to trim, or wax, unwanted hair for a clean, modern-day look.

Get a head massage once a month to stimulate your hair follicles and keep your hair healthy.

Skin care

For men, skin care is a mere afterthought. Beyond the world of shaving their faces, it is rare for a man to devote time for his skin, especially the skin on his face. However, proper skin care is essential for the present and the future. Skin is the body's first line of defence against sickness, germs, and diseases. Perhaps, the easiest and best way to help your skin is to drink plenty of water on a day-to-day basis. The majority of your body's cells are made of water, and it only makes sense to keep hydrated. Men have approximately 15 per cent oilier skin and significantly larger pores than women do. Exercise will do more than just getting your heart rate going. It will clear your pores, increase your metabolism, and generally make you feel better about yourself. Sweating allows your inner body to cleanse itself.

Protect and pamper your skin. Skin cancer is a reality in our world, just as much as stress, smoking and sun exposure bring in premature wrinkles. The best way to prevent either is to protect your skin from sun damage by using a daily moisturiser with sun-screen. Yes, even on cloudy days.

A good daily skin care routine includes cleansing, followed by a gentle facial exfoliant scrub. This enhances shaving ease and comfort.

Use a moisturiser containing sun-screen for the day. Use a moisturiser with alpha-hydroxy-acids [AHAs], at night, to encourage skin regeneration. AHAs, the mainstay of anti-aging products, smoothens fine lines, including surface wrinkles. They also improve skin texture, tone, and cleanse pores.

For lightening dark circles you would need an under-eye lightening gel to be used at night. A daily dose of vitamin E via your diet, or by way of supplements, will keep your hair and skin in top form, not to mention your immunity.

Pay attention to hands and feet. Don't forget to include your hands and feet in your grooming routine. Well-manicured nails and toes contribute to good hygiene and grooming habits. Make time to clip and file your nails at home. If you care to go that extra mile, a good buffing will give your nails a healthy shine.

Foot odour is a common problem among men. It is relatively easy-to-treat. Scrub your feet daily and dry them completely. Insert a pair of "odour-eating" insoles into your shoes, which will absorb moisture and odour. For a low-tech option, the good old dusting powder will give you good results.

Also, get a special hand and foot cream to soften those rough corns, calluses and cuticles, if there are any. Your feet will thank you, while you'll appreciate the difference yourself.

Take care of your smile. You may believe you have good dental hygiene. Brush your teeth morning and night, regularly, because plaque formation can make your gums recede, while unseen cavities can quietly decay your teeth and lead to tooth loss. Go for regular dental check-ups. Also, visit your dentist for a dental cleaning at regular intervals.

Because - what's a well-polished look minus the pearly whites?

Things to Do

  • If you don't iron your clothes, remove them immediately from the washer or dryer, so wrinkles don't set
  • In summer, wear light-coloured cotton clothing and socks. This will absorb less heat and "sweat stains" will be less visible
  • Consider trimming your arm-pit hair in summer. Less hair, less bacteria, less smell. Think about it
  • Don't be reluctant to trim or tweeze any stray eyebrow hair
  • Good dental hygiene means a dazzling smile
  • Open your eyes. If hair is the frame for your face, the eyes are the windows. Use eye drops to whiten the whites of your eyes for a fresh, young look.

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