9 Grooming tips for busy men

Vintage photo of a man being shaved in his home

Present the best version of yourself
Image: Everett Collection

Do you want to smell better, glow with good health and present a more polished appearance to the world? Here, some of our favorite bloggers share their grooming tips to help you look your best every day – no matter how busy you are.

1. Befriend a barber

Man smiling as his hair is being cut by a barber

Build a relationship with your barber for consistently good haircuts
Image: Olena Yakobchuk

Find a barber you like, recommends Domen Hrovatin of Balding Beards, and if there’s a booking system, schedule appointments in advance right after a fresh cut. “A good rule of thumb is every 3 weeks. This way your haircut will always be fresh and consistent.”

2. Don’t wash hair every day

side profile of a man having pomade being put in his hair

Adding pomade to your hair gives it height and definition
Image: Parilov

Jonathan Van Ness, Netflix star of hit series Queer Eye reckons we shouldn’t wash our hair every day because it strips the scalp of moisture. The real trick to great looking hair, says Van Ness, is to use a pomade: “one that’s not super high shine [that] will add definition and texture.

3. Too much of a good thing

We’ve all been there,” says Victor Macias of Male Standard – “that last glob of hair gel was one glob too much and now you look like a drowned rat!

How do you rescue the situation without getting back in the shower? Don’t panic, says Victor: “use a thin toothed comb to work through the areas where there is too much product. You’ll need to rinse the comb under hot water on each pull, to ensure all the product is gone and you don’t redistribute it elsewhere. Use a hairdryer to spot dry if needed.

4. Before shaving

closeup of a man washing his beard

Soften up beard hair before shaving
Image: beeboys

Did you know that facial hair is as strong as copper wire? Over at The Gentlemans Journal, Jonathan Wells recommends a little preparation to ensure a smooth glide. He says: “…before you pick up your razor, use a gentle facial scrub in the shower or bath to exfoliate and soften hairs – not only will this make them easier to cut, but it’ll also rid [your face] of dead skin cells and open up your pores. You’ll soon find that resistance will be reduced dramatically.

5. Try a safety razor

Closeup of shaving foam, shaving brush and safety razor

Safety razors minimise skin irritation
Image: baibaz

Surprisingly easy to use and far better for the environment, safety razors reduce skin irritation because there’s only one blade in contact with your skin. And, say the team at The Gents Blog, “this ‘old-fashioned’ way of shaving manages to save you money, give you a great shave, and connect you to your ancestors.

6. After shaving

Don’t rush to slosh off the lather and loose stubble after you’ve finished with the razor. Take a leaf out of Victor Macias’ book over at Male Standard, and make sure you use a two-step process: a warm water rinse, followed by cold water. Why?

If the cold-water rinse is first, you close up your pores with the remaining shave residue still on your face,” says Victor. “This would almost certainly cause irritation if not acne and other problems. So to avoid this…rinse first with warm water…[to wash] away stubble and lather residue, and then cold to close your pores and firm up the skin.

7. Find a signature scent

Black and white photo of man putting a bottle of cologne in his pocket

Cologne shouldn’t be overpowering or ‘loud’
Image: Body Stock

Carefully chosen scent should be “a subtle part of your overall presence” rather than something loud or obvious, say the stylish team at Esquire. Want their advice?

Rather than owning 8-10 average quality bottles you pick from each morning at random, find one or two classic scents you really like and invest in them.

8. Care for your skin

Looking after your skin doesn’t have to take very long or be incredibly complicated. According to the team at The Gents Blog, “find a good facial wash (don’t opt for a general ‘body wash’) and lather up using lukewarm, not hot, water. When you’re done…follow up with a good quality moisturizer – this helps renew the film that protects your skin’s surface.

9. Invest in the future

Man putting sunscreen on his face against a blue background

Apply sunscreen daily to protect against skin damage
Image: WAYHOME studio

Choose a sunscreen with “broad spectrum” protection,” says the American Cancer Society. Apply every day to your face, neck (and head if your hair’s a little thin) to protect against sunburn, skin damage, wrinkles and cancer. An SPF of 30 or higher offers the best protection.

Tell us your favorite grooming hacks – leave a comment below.

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