Good grooming is an essential part of being a man. Unfortunately, many men of the last few generations were not taught correctly or not at all by their fathers. Or perhaps there was no father in the home, a more common and depressing symptom of modern secularism. I remember in my early teenage years examining the toiletry items that festooned my father’s solitary bathroom, like scattered soldiers left behind to cover some ragged retreat. As I copied what he used, thankfully for me he got some things right. But it was an incomplete apprenticeship with no direct training, which meant I had to work things out mostly on my own.
I presume no similar lack of ability in this domain on behalf of my own readers. But for those who do need some help, here is my introductory brief as to how to groom yourself correctly.
There are many benefits of good grooming, some of which are for the benefit of those around you and some for yourself. It feels good to set yourself up properly for the day ahead, as it also is a pleasure to go about your day confident in your appearance and in your own personal cleanliness.
You will also stride into your later years without being reduced to some haggard leathery creature whose face has more lines upon it than a glass table at a backstage 1970s Fleetwood Mac concert. With good grooming can come good posture, good manners and style. You cannot have the one without the other but these additional benefits are not guaranteed.
Finally as like attracts like, you should also attract those into your circle who are also prone to looking after themselves without it becoming a narcissistic habit. That is the only danger of good grooming; that the old bugbear known as pride will lead to an inevitable fall. But with that said, let us examine the basic essentials.
The Morning Ritual
Your morning ritual might seem simple, but differences abound. If you pause for a moment to consider the simple act of relieving your bowels then it becomes apparent that there are many variances on a theme – wipe front to back or back to front; fold your paper neatly or scrunch into a rough ball; wipe sitting or standing. These few variables are sure to cause great discussion at dinner parties, a sure fire hit if ever there was one. So let us now go to your basic morning routine as far as grooming is concerned.
First you shower then you shave
Your morning shower will open up the pores of your skin allowing for a cleaner and healthier shave. In the shower you need some sort of cleaning product. This is known as soap. I prefer shower gel as it is easy to use and doesn’t get messy.
At this point I want to make a mention of products. There are so many products out there that it is not my intention to go through even a fraction of them. I am merely going to nominate the items that I use. You are of course free to imitate my own choices or to choose others. What is it important is that your products are of good quality. Much like a $5 haircut looks like a $5 cut, cheap cologne is cheap for a reason. Purchase the very best quality products that you can afford.
My go-to line of products is Acqua di Parma. I also make use of other brands which I will identify when needed throughout this guide. I do not have affiliate status with these products so I am under no obligation to guide you one way or the other.
So back to the guide.
Washing your hair is also an important part of your shower routine. There are some shampoo products that you can use every day while others will damage your hair if used so frequently. With everything men’s grooming, select male specific products. Nothing from a female beauty salon and absolutely nothing from a supermarket. Many men lose their hair or at least go very thin and the quality of the goop that you stick on it goes a long way in this regard. Keep in mind that old bums usually have very thick hair.
I use Taylor of Old Bond Street for my shampoo and conditioner and they are very reasonably priced for the quality of product that you get. Acqua di Parma’s hair care products are more expensive but very good as well.
Wash your hair twice with shampoo rinsing each time. Then apply a small amount of conditioner and rub it through your hair. Leave it there for a moment while you use that nice shower gel that we spoke about before and then rinse it out. I do this every other day unless in a particularly dirty environment.
In part 2 we will look at shaving. You do shave, right?