The 10 Mortal Sins of Men's Grooming
There's never been a better time to be a man who coyly glances at the sight of his own reflection every time he passes a shop window (we see you). Guys can moisturize without it sounding the death knell of the Y chromosome, beards have their own subculture complete with festivals and forums, and a great barber is never more than a rapid-fire Bing search away.
But that doesn't mean we don't mess it up every now and again.
In a thorough scrub of all our worst grooming habits, from poor dandruff control to not knowing your product limits, here are the biggest mistakes that men make in front of the mirror.
1 | Burying Your Balding Head In The Sand
Look, we get it. For a man, losing his hair can be a genuine trauma. The passing of youth; a perceived dent to virility, a black tunnel screaming Slap Head jokes into eternity. But what's even worse is being unwilling to confront it.
"I'll just sweep it across."
"I'll just wear this hat."
"I'll buy that special shampoo."
Losing your hair at any age is less than ideal, but every man should be man enough to confront harsh truths from time to time. No one cares as much as you do.
2 | Forgetting About Feet
It's often the case that the men who really should be keeping their feet locked up at all costs are the ones who are most keen to parade their gnarled turnip toes in front of an unwilling public. Why, we have no idea. But what we do know is that sorting out your feet is one of the simplest grooming fixes around, all it takes is three simple, consistent steps.
1.) Clip your nails at least every other week.
2.) Wash your feet in the shower, either with shower gel or a special foot wash.
3.) Buy a file... and use it! Easy.
3 | Overdoing It With Products
There's a fine but distinctive line between a man who is well groomed and one whose enthusiastic use of fragrance makes people wish they had a hazmat suit every time he walks through the door. Whether it's too much clay in your hair, fragrance on your neck, or oil in your beard, the art of good grooming is to make an effort, but not make it obvious—through both sight and smell—to everyone around you.
4 | Thinking That You're Tougher Than The Sun
Here's the thing: You might be really tough, but you're not tougher than the sun. You might be the hardest legend in your group, but you're not as hard as a celestial body that contains 98.6 percent of the universe's mass and can reach temperatures of 15 million degrees celsius. Too often, men believe that they can forego sun protection. That it doesn't affect them or that their skin's tough enough to withstand it. It's not. Using at least SPF 20 in the warmer months is obvious, but it's also vital to use a daily moisturizer with sun protection all year round. Those UV rays will get you.
Lab Series SPF15 Daily Moisture Defense Lotion SPF15
5 | Going For A Cheeky Sunbed
Following nicely on from Point 4, here's the thing: Sunbeds and fake tan are a bit like dying your hair. You don't look like a guy with newly brown hair. You like a guy who's dyed his hair brown. You don't look tanned. You look like a guy who's spent 30 minutes lying down in a cancer coffin and now you're a bit orange. Don't use sunbeds, even if you just "want a bit of a tan before Bali."
6 | Skimping On Haircuts
While the £10 barber at the end of your road might sound awfully tempting (hair does, usually, grow back after all), there's a reason that a quality haircut costs a little bit extra. A skilful barber will get to know you and your preferences; advise you on furthering your style and make sure that your cut suits both your hair type and face shape, while also offering consistency. If it's a cheap haircut, but you never got a haircut that you're actually happy with, is it really that cheap after all?
7 | Being Too Much Of A Perfectionist
Men taking pride in their appearance should be supported and applauded, but if it looks like your beard could be used by Pythagoras for a bit of weekend trigonometry, à la Drake or Lewis Hamilton, then you should probably scale back your routine somewhat. Remember: Care, but don't make it look like you care too much. The same can be said for your eyebrows (just make sure they're not joined together) and your razor-sharp fade. You want it to look like your hair is well-kept, but not like you left the barber's chair 10 minutes ago. Even if you have.
8 | Neglecting The Back
An undernourished side to male grooming is back care, perhaps owing to the fact that, you know, we can't really see what's going on behind there. But that doesn't make it any less important than any forward facing body part. While no one's expecting you to deforest your entire torso, if you start to notice the beginnings of a carpet on the top of your shoulders or lower back then your best bet is to pay someone to take care of it. Your partner, friends, and fellow summer beach-goers will thank you for your efforts.
9 | Letting Dandruff Win
It's certainly nobody's fault that you or any other guy gets dandruff, but it is your fault if you let it go unchecked. With winter now in full effect, dry, itchy scalps are back in fashion, meaning that if you don't give some care and attention then you're going to end up being that guy on the train that people silently shuffle away from in horror every morning. Try and reduce the amount of product you're putting in your hair and make sure you use a proper anti-dandruff shampoo as part of your daily routine.
Philip Kingsley Flaky Itchy Scalp Shampoo
10 | Forgetting To Wash Your Face At The Right Time
What do you do when you've spent the 10 hours throwing your face into pollutants, bacteria, bad breath, diesel fumes, and all manner of other grease and grime that come packaged as part of modern life?
1.) Go to bed and let it all incubate!
2.) Wash it off!
We'd hope the answer would the latter, but we're afraid that more often than not it's the former. It sounds obvious, but cleaning your face with warm water and a proper wash is the easiest yet most easily forgotten way to avoid bad skin.
Clinique For Men Charcoal Face Wash
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.