The desire to look good is in our nature as human beings. After all, attractive people are more popular with members of the opposite sex and some studies suggest they’re financially more successful, too. Of course, there are an overwhelming number of things and products you can try in your quest to be the best version of yourself. Fellas, you actually have it easier than women so there is no excuse for not being well groomed. Here are the top grooming mistakes made by most men!
1: Sporting too much cologne
Too much of a good thing can spell disaster and that couldn’t be more true than with cologne. A few extra spritzes can turn even the subtlest of scents into a cloud of noxious fumes. All you need is two to three sprays in the right places. Targeting pulse points on the wrists and behind the ears should be enough to keep you going all day (and night).
2: Not using moisturizer
Growing a proverbial thick skin is great thing for survival in a crazy world, but going the literal route by forgoing moisturizer could kill your chances for fighting fine lines and wrinkles. Male skin may look tough, but it’s so fickle that a simple shower can leave it dry and cracked like drought-ridden earth. Irritation from shaving just adds fuel to the fire. A lightweight moisturizer with a hint of SPF should be applied daily to the face and neck to replenish water content, soothe skin and provide protection from the elements.
3: Dirty, uncut nails
While startling, the sight of a well-groomed man with overgrown, cracked nails is not terribly uncommon. Nails should always be clipped short but never so short as to expose the nail bed, which can be an incredibly painful experience. And get over any reservations you may have about manicures and pedicures. Forgoing regular nail care by a professional can lead to uneven nail growth and unsightly fungal infections. It’s essential to treat yourself once every four to six weeks in order to get your nails clipped and filed properly, and most importantly, have your cuticles trimmed down. You can skip the polish.
4: Dry shaving
Despite advances in electric razor technology, dry shaving is still rough stuff. Most men neglect to exfoliate and use proper lubrication when going dry, which can result in razor burn, ingrown hairs and a shave that isn’t as close as it should be. Shave during or after a shower when the beard is softest, and apply an exfoliating face wash to clear away dirt and debris. Then, most importantly, use shaving gel and a clean razor to get the maximum shave with minimal irritation.
5: Using worn-out razors
Disposable razors are just that: disposable. The problem is that even the most experienced shavers forget that the cartridges have a relatively short lifespan of roughly two weeks. Using a blade past its expiration date can wreak havoc on your face by unevenly ripping hairs out of the follicle and leaving burned, bleeding skin in its wake. A healthy blade should glide along the face and cut with painless precision. Fortunately, today’s best razors have an indicator strip at the top that lets you know when its day of reckoning is near.
6: Using too much hair gel
The only thing worse than using no product at all is piling on enough to turn your head into a helmet — the sound of crunchy hair is one that’s better left in the late ’80s. Gloppy gels are child’s play and don’t leave much room for movement, so go for lighter pastes and putties that create shape and definition while still maintaining a natural appearance.
7: Ignoring thinning hair
Only a few lucky men will never have to face the facts of life with thinning hair. Male pattern baldness can start in your 20s and progress at a steady rate of 4% a year until you’re left with patchy growth or nothing at all. The right haircut can minimize the appearance of bald spots, but it’s not going to stop the path of destruction. Surprisingly, over-the-counter serums and foams with the chemical Minoxidil are proven to slow down the process and even regrow hair in many cases. If that’s not enough to cut your losses, talk to a dermatologist about prescription treatments. And when all else fails, shave it clean.
8: Ignoring nose and ear hair
Almost everything you do in life, from careers to dating, requires you to sell your face. And the most distracting (and nauseating) thing to look at is overgrown nose and ear hair. These hairs are important for filtering debris and ultimately keeping the body healthy, but they cease to have any purpose when they make an unwanted outdoor cameo. Use a small grooming scissor to keep the crowd at bay.
9: Unkempt facial hair
Treating your beard like a summer camp arts and crafts project is the quickest way to looking like an artist rendering on America’s Most Wanted. If you have a thing for perpetual scruff, you can keep your mane tame without looking like a criminal. Shave just up to the jaw line to create a look that is neat yet effortless. A few extra days’ worth of growth is fine, but don’t let your beard achieve mountain-man proportions. And if it takes too much of your time to maintain a five o’clock shadow, a beard probably isn’t for you.
10: Letting body hair run wild
Hair on the body is an undeniable outward expression of masculinity. But there comes a point when a jungle of hair needs to be pruned back. Invest in a trimmer with adjustable settings and clip hair especially on the chest and stomach to an appropriate but natural-looking length. You can avoid getting stark lines of demarcation by making use of the variable settings. It takes a little practice to get it right, but trimming body hair ultimately makes the difference between being a beauty or a beast when you wear an open collar.