Men and Grooming: Ladies Like More than a Basic Trim

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When it comes to personal grooming, women rule the pack. Whether it be about shaving armpits or finding the right shade of lipstick, there is really no doubt that women pay a lot of attention to the way their bodies look.
The funny thing is, as easily as women accept things like waxing as part of the female experience, few people realize that grooming is actually all about the opposite sex. It’s about attracting them, reeling them in, and keeping them interested. I don’t pluck the hairs out of my face because it’s fun.
There are tons of long-established grooming rules for women, but what about grooming rules for men? What should men be concerned about when it comes to the way their bodies look, and how much is too much concern?
For me, it’s simple, if I have to shave it, so do you. But I acknowledge that for most men, that’s a highly unrealistic expectation. So here’s my list of things that most men should be paying attention to in order to make sure they don’t accidentally get in their own way when it comes to the ladies.
Fingernails
There are few things more disgusting than dirty fingernails. It might seem like a purely feminine concern, but I promise you, most women will be impressed if you can manage to keep your nails short and clean. Bonus points if you have decent looking feet. It’s not about trying to feminize you. It’s actually a matter of hygiene. Lord knows I don’t want you touching me with dirt-crusted nails.
Get a mani-pedi every month or so to make sure your nails are in good condition and that you haven’t unknowingly developed some kind of fungus from doing smelly man things like playing football, or not wearing clean socks. You’ll enjoy being pampered for the hour or two it takes, and you’ll probably be surprised by the number of other men you run into at the salon!
Body Hair
Your legs, pits, arms and head are the only acceptable places to have hair. Ears? Nose? Not so much. As far as I’m concerned, even chest hair is pushing it, but that’s a personal preference. If women can spend endless time becoming virtually hairless, men can take two minutes to ensure that we don’t have to be tickled by your nostrils when we kiss you.
A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself, “Would it bother me if she had hair in that spot?” If the answer is yes, then it’s a safe bet that you should probably get rid of it. Clippers or razors are best, but the brave are free to try waxing. The smoothness lasts longer, and it’s softer to the touch. Which method of removal you choose, however, has a lot to do with how long the hair is, and where it is on your body.
Facial hair
Yes, I have problems with hairy men. But this one is actually a given. If your beard or moustache is so unruly that you’d think twice about an audience with the President, then it is too unruly for us. No jungle men please. Keep beards and moustaches short, neat and clean, and shave as often as is needed to maintain the look. No stray pieces of food please. This rule also applies to the hair on your head. Wash it ever so often, if the length warrants it, and pass a brush, every now and then. It will do wonders for your appearance.
Skin
Bad skin is just something that affects some people worse than others. It’s a fact of life, and it actually has nothing to do with being a man. But everyone should pay a little attention to their skin and trying to keep it clear. Invest in a face wash or scrub you like, and exfoliate once a week. Watch out for pimples and blemishes, and treat them as they appear. You’ll look better, and feel more confident about yourself.
Cologne
Or actually, just make sure you smell good. Our sense of smell is our strongest sense, and is the sense most often linked to memories. When that girl you’re tracking is dreaming about you, don’t you want her to remember how amazing you smelled? I thought so.
Lips
Male or female, no one likes dry, cracked lips. It’s probably a good idea to invest in a tiny tub of Vaseline or chapstick that you can keep on your person at all times, so that it’s handy on those days that are just too hot to handle. Blistex is a great brand that comes in tons of different sizes, so buy a pack of three to make sure your lips are never peeling or bleeding. Trust me, it isn’t pretty.
Teeth/Mouth
To be fair, this is more hygiene than grooming, and most men don’t need to be reminded, but be sure to brush every day with fluoride toothpaste. Extra points if you floss, and triple word score if you use mouthwash. Wonky teeth can’t always be helped, but everyone can have clean teeth. It doesn’t need to be said that bad breath is not attractive. Brush your teeth.
Regardless of what I, or any other women, say, there will always be men who simply think that anything more than a basic trim is gay. But investing in your grooming habits and taking time to look presentable goes a long way. Women don’t do it because it’s fun. We do it because it’s necessary. It’s high time that men got on the grooming train. At the end of the day, I’m for gender equality. If I have to be hairless, so do you.

When it comes to personal grooming, women rule the pack. Whether it be about shaving armpits or finding the right shade of lipstick, there is really no doubt that women pay a lot of attention to the way their bodies look.

The funny thing is, as easily as women accept things like waxing as part of the female experience, few people realize that grooming is actually all about the opposite sex. It’s about attracting them, reeling them in, and keeping them interested. I don’t pluck the hairs out of my face because it’s fun.

There are tons of long-established grooming rules for women, but what about grooming rules for men? What should men be concerned about when it comes to the way their bodies look, and how much is too much concern?

For me, it’s simple, if I have to shave it, so do you. But I acknowledge that for most men, that’s a highly unrealistic expectation. So here’s my list of things that most men should be paying attention to in order to make sure they don’t accidentally get in their own way when it comes to the ladies.

 

Fingernails

There are few things more disgusting than dirty fingernails. It might seem like a purely feminine concern, but I promise you, most women will be impressed if you can manage to keep your nails short and clean. Bonus points if you have decent looking feet. It’s not about trying to feminize you. It’s actually a matter of hygiene. Lord knows I don’t want you touching me with dirt-crusted nails.

Get a mani-pedi every month or so to make sure your nails are in good condition and that you haven’t unknowingly developed some kind of fungus from doing smelly man things like playing football, or not wearing clean socks. You’ll enjoy being pampered for the hour or two it takes, and you’ll probably be surprised by the number of other men you run into at the salon!

 

Body Hair

Your legs, pits, arms and head are the only acceptable places to have hair. Ears? Nose? Not so much. As far as I’m concerned, even chest hair is pushing it, but that’s a personal preference. If women can spend endless time becoming virtually hairless, men can take two minutes to ensure that we don’t have to be tickled by your nostrils when we kiss you.

A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself, “Would it bother me if she had hair in that spot?” If the answer is yes, then it’s a safe bet that you should probably get rid of it. Clippers or razors are best, but the brave are free to try waxing. The smoothness lasts longer, and it’s softer to the touch. Which method of removal you choose, however, has a lot to do with how long the hair is, and where it is on your body.

 

Facial hair

Yes, I have problems with hairy men. But this one is actually a given. If your beard or moustache is so unruly that you’d think twice about an audience with the President, then it is too unruly for us. No jungle men please. Keep beards and moustaches short, neat and clean, and shave as often as is needed to maintain the look. No stray pieces of food please. This rule also applies to the hair on your head. Wash it ever so often, if the length warrants it, and pass a brush, every now and then. It will do wonders for your appearance.

 

Skin

Bad skin is just something that affects some people worse than others. It’s a fact of life, and it actually has nothing to do with being a man. But everyone should pay a little attention to their skin and trying to keep it clear. Invest in a face wash or scrub you like, and exfoliate once a week. Watch out for pimples and blemishes, and treat them as they appear. You’ll look better, and feel more confident about yourself.

 

Cologne

Or actually, just make sure you smell good. Our sense of smell is our strongest sense, and is the sense most often linked to memories. When that girl you’re tracking is dreaming about you, don’t you want her to remember how amazing you smelled? I thought so.

 

Lips

Male or female, no one likes dry, cracked lips. It’s probably a good idea to invest in a tiny tub of Vaseline or chapstick that you can keep on your person at all times, so that it’s handy on those days that are just too hot to handle. Blistex is a great brand that comes in tons of different sizes, so buy a pack of three to make sure your lips are never peeling or bleeding. Trust me, it isn’t pretty.

 

Teeth/Mouth

To be fair, this is more hygiene than grooming, and most men don’t need to be reminded, but be sure to brush every day with fluoride toothpaste. Extra points if you floss, and triple word score if you use mouthwash. Wonky teeth can’t always be helped, but everyone can have clean teeth. It doesn’t need to be said that bad breath is not attractive. Brush your teeth.

Regardless of what I, or any other women, say, there will always be men who simply think that anything more than a basic trim is gay. But investing in your grooming habits and taking time to look presentable goes a long way. Women don’t do it because it’s fun. We do it because it’s necessary. It’s high time that men got on the grooming train. At the end of the day, I’m for gender equality. If I have to be hairless, so do you.

 

Catherine Young

Catherine Young is a serious journalist in the same way that Bridget Jones is a serious journalist. When not obsessing about being a singleton, Catherine is pursuing her love of fashion and photography. Follow her at on Twitter @promiscuouslola.

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