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Complete Guide to Men's Grooming

Christina Ablahad

Posted by Christina A.

04.23.19

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Complete Gentlemen's Guide to Men's Grooming

What Is Male Grooming?

Male grooming has come a long way since the early days of the caveman who, let’s face it, didn’t really care. I mean, who was he trying to impress? 

The wildlife was trying to eat him so it’s not like he wanted to make that more enjoyable for them. And he was hitting his mate on the head with a stick and dragging her back to a cave for sex. So, there is very little chance of rejection in that scenario. Maybe he cared just because it was uncomfortable. Which, let’s face it; being dirty and grimy isn’t a state of bliss for anyone. 

At any rate, we don’t think he groomed very much. We don’t have any cave drawings of sparkling clean cavemen dressed to go out for the evening or exfoliating by firelight. There’s no record of this being very important to early man. Maybe he just didn’t think it was worth talking about. More likely he didn’t do what he needed to in the care and keeping of his family jewels. It’s a wonder the species kept going when you think about it that way.

Obviously, we’ve all evolved a lot since then. But does that mean that the way we groom today is right? If you look at pictures of men from 100 years ago, those guys had some serious game. They wore hats and suits to run errands. Their handlebar mustaches were perfectly coiffed. Some of them bare-knuckle brawled in the city streets for the joy of it.

Okay, not so much of that last one but it makes for a good movie. In any event, men were men and it was sexy. Don’t believe us? Just look at any magazine, blog, or social media post on the subject of the way men used to dress. Women swoon over men that took care of themselves in a way that was strictly manly.

Are Men Supposed To Groom?

Let’s be real. Our resounding answer to this question is “YES”! If you've ever wondered, "How does MANSCAPED™ work?", we're here to tell you that we have the answers.

But not just because we’re a company called MANSCAPED. The company developed because we believe in this essential bit of self-care for the man. Not the other way around. Men’s grooming techniques evolve. They will continue to evolve, too. Today’s bearded beauties need to know how to take care of that mane so that women swoon and men appreciate the virility and appeal of those well-loved locks. Men’s bodies don’t just grow attractive hair with no maintenance. It takes some work and knowledge. Plus, cleanliness is an important feature of grooming. It’s not just about shallow surface stuff. Good grooming is a sign of good health. It keeps you mentally and physically fit.

It also looks damn good.

manscaped product line

How Male Grooming Has Evolved

This is an understatement of massive proportions. Men’s grooming has evolved a ton. You can see the changes even over a short span of time. Think about how your father dressed when he was your age. Think about the advertisements for men’s care products, even ten short years ago. How often should men wash their hair? What kinds of products should they use? What's the proper ball etiquette these days?

Things do evolve and change. Men’s grooming accessories were once limited to straight razors and shaving cream. They might have added in some aftershave. But it wasn’t uncommon to find men using bar soap as shampoo and calling it a day.

Today, you can find a million different products for men. There are hair products, beard and mustache products, and accessories, tools, and doodads to make shaving and trimming as easy as possible. Men are scheduling male Brazillion waxes, taking care of their eyebrows, and getting pedicures. Men are pampering themselves to a greater degree than ever before and the result is a much better picture and scent.

There are a few aspects to grooming for the man. The top and most important aspect is good hygiene. Let’s be honest, no one wants to be around someone who doesn’t keep themselves clean. The second aspect is in the way you look. Shallow and unimportant? We think not. The way you look reflects the way that you feel. It’s an outside representation of who you are and what you believe in. Your appearance tells people more about you than you might think. So it’s not about just keeping it clean. It’s about keeping it you.

The Ultimate Guide to Male Grooming

Male grooming is more than your hair or clean-shaven bald head. 

It’s not just whether or not you grow a beard. That’s a big decision, though. There are whole swathes of people who adore the beard. And there are whole conversations about the best kind of beard. Close trimmed and cleanly kept. A little soul patch for fun. A great big beard that shows your commitment and patience. Of course, there are always men wondering how to grow a beard fast

Yep, the beard is more than an advertisement in laziness like it once was. Grooming includes hair. But that’s only a small part of the picture. Today’s man on the go has all sorts of options in how they take care of their hair, beard, mustache, body hair, scent, skin, hands, feet, and appearance in all its glory. That’s a lot to talk about. With sensitive topics, you probably don’t know what most other guys do. Do they shave, trim, leave it all alone? Do they braid, press, manicure, and apply styling wax? (Hint: they probably don’t braid but we’re not judging)

It’s not like you walk up to guys you hang out with and say, “Hey, do you shave your crotch or leave it au natural?” No one does that. Except maybe in a commercial. And even then, it’s supposed to be satirical. Don’t worry about being self-conscious. No reason to be embarrassed. Our handy, dandy, and ultimate guide to men’s grooming is going to answer all of your questions. Soon, you'll no longer have a smelly crotch, and you'll be on your way to a well-groomed body.

Men’s Skin Care

Have you ever noticed that the women in your life have about seven million products devoted to their skin?

It takes up the medicine cabinet, top of the counter, drawers. They have scrubs and bars and loofahs and oils and lotions and potions and a zit cream for good measure. It might seem like an awful lot of stuff but there’s a method to the madness. They probably don’t need ALL of those things. But they do know that they need to take excellent care of their skin. Men’s products are finally starting to catch up in this all-important area. For you, that is a great thing. But it can also be confusing if you don’t know what you need or what works the best for men.

Men’s skin and women’s skin is not the same. Especially on your face. You have issues that need to be addressed and, if they’re not, you might be adding to lines and wrinkles and also making yourself more susceptible to breakouts and ingrown hair. It’s not about making your skin silky smooth or feminine. It’s about making your skin the healthiest it can be, which will make you look and feel healthier. And younger. Don’t forget younger because that is a huge perk of taking good care of your face.

If you don't think your own face is worth your time, who will?

man looking at himself in the mirror

Why is skin care important?

If you have lived your life slapping some cold water on your face in the morning and running out the door, you’re not alone. A lot of men never learned to set a good skin care regimen. They only take any time with their face when they’re shaving. And a lot of men hate that job, too.

There are a few reasons that your skin care routine is important. First of all, you’ll look better. Seriously. By a lot. We’ll set you a challenge. Set a good skin care routine and follow it religiously for two weeks. If you don’t look and feel better, you can stop. We won’t even bug you about it. Take a before and after picture, too. Believe us, if you’re actually following a good routine, there will be a difference.

Good skin care will improve the feel and look of your skin. You’ll diminish wrinkles, sunspots, dry skin patches, and the look of pores. If none of that seems important, you might be interested to know that a good skin care routine will also help you avoid ingrown hairs from shaving. Overall, it’s a great way to maintain a better appearance. It’s kind of like great cosmetic surgery. Everyone will comment on how great you look but no one will quite know why.

What should I look for in men’s skin care products?

Your skin care products will depend on your skin. That’s not really helpful, we know. Basically, you need to know what kind of skin you have or what kinds of problems you have.

If you have oily skin, you probably don’t need to moisturize a ton, if at all. But if you have dry flaky skin, you need to make sure you have some moisture in your cleanser or soap. There are products that are made especially for men and then there are unisex products. Either will work. There is no magic formula. What you will find though is that some products will work better for you than others. Some of this will depend on the type of skin and hair you have. 

Check out reviews to see what other men say about products. You can also talk to your favorite barber, who knows this stuff pretty well. If you’re going for a basic skin care routine, you can use a bar soap but we recommend a more natural one. Try a brand that skips on the extra fragrances because they’re more likely to irritate your skin. You can also opt for a cleanser and this might be a great idea if you have problem skin.

If you’re prone to acne, skin care is even more important. Remember, too, that cleanser’s will dry out your skin so if you’re prone to dry flaky or tight skin, you might opt for water and a moisturizer instead. You do need SPF. We know, no one really wants to hear that. But it’s true. The sun is one of the biggest culprits for aging people prematurely. It also causes cancer which isn’t exactly a selling point.

If you’re completely lost on what a skin care routine looks like. We’ve included a basic skin care routine below. You can use this one exactly, add to it, or subtract from it. If you’ve never used one, try ours at first and then play around until you find a good regimen that works for you.

Men’s Skin Care Routine

Your men's skin care routine isn't just about keeping your penis clean, although that's certainly part of the overall goal. Really, a great regimen goes head to toe.

Cleanse Your Skin

  • There’s no reason to overdo it with your cleansing routine. We recommend once a day for normal skin. Before bed is best because it cleans all of the grime and dirt from your day off your face. If you cleanse before bed, you don’t need to do it again in the morning. You can simply splash water on your face or wash with water only in your shower. If you work out, do yard work, or do anything that might get you dirty or build up a sweat during the day, you should also wash your face after that activity.

Exfoliate Your Skin

  • You should exfoliate your skin once or twice a week. This isn’t a daily task but it should be done occasionally. Exfoliating gets the dead skin off. This is also helpful for men who get ingrown hairs. Ingrown hairs happen because the hair curls in and doesn’t break through the skin. We’re including two sections here but you can actually use moisturizer with sunscreen only (see below). If you smoke or are out in the elements a lot, you might opt for a serum after you shave. One that has antioxidants is a good idea because it can replenish the nutrients you lose to pollutants.

Use Sunscreen

  • Sunscreen should be worn every day, no matter the weather. Your skin is prone to sun damage, even when it’s cold outside. Opt for something with SPF 30 at a minimum. 

***For more on men’s skincare, check out our Guide To Men’s Skincare.

Man Grooming His Beard In The Mirror

Men’s Haircuts

Men have a wide choice of hairstyles today. Gone are the flat top, one size fits all hairstyles for the masculine sex. Hairstyles change all the time and there really isn’t a right or wrong way to choose yours.

A lot of men tend to choose hairstyles that fit their lifestyle and their own features. Long hair might be great if you’ve got healthy, thick hair. It won’t look fantastic on a guy who’s balding. So go with your strengths when you choose your style. Otherwise, the sky's the limit. 

Today’s men can be dashing with short, medium, or longer hair. You’ll find sex symbols sporting fantastic locks and none at all.

How often should I get a haircut?

We recommend visiting your barber once every month. You can maybe go six weeks, if your hair is on the longer side. For guys who like maintaining short hair, you might need a trim up more often just to make sure the lines stay fresh and clean.

Even if you do keep your hair longer, you want to go in every six months, at least, so that your style stays maintained and doesn’t start to look unkempt.

How much does a good men’s haircut cost?

The price of a good haircut will vary by city and barbershop. A true barber has a lot of expertise. They took advanced classes and can do things with a razor that would make you dizzy to watch. Seriously. These guys are pretty friggin impressive.

You won’t always go to a great barber like that. Maybe you’re just going for a quick clean up with a regular barber with the minimum education and skill. That’s not going to cost as much as a treatment that needs a lot of precision. The city and salon or shop will make a big difference in price. The average cost is probably somewhere around $30 but that will be dependent on where you are. If they use high line products and give you fantastic, out of this world service, the price will be higher.

If you’ve never gone to a great barbershop that puts a hot towel over your face and gives you a clean shave with your cut, try it at least once. It’s a luxury every man should try.

How much should I tip my barber?

Tipping is NOT dependent on location. You tip a percentage of the total cost. We recommend 20% or higher. 20% is really the minimum here. A great barber you really love should get 25% or 30%. This is especially true if your cut is on the lower end of the price range.

***If you're interested in learning more about tipping your barber, check out our Guide To Tipping Your Barber.

How to describe the perfect haircut to your barber

What’s more difficult than describing the cut you want to your barber? Nuclear fission maybe. Possibly that English paper you got a D on in high school.

This is actually pretty difficult for a lot of people. Even if you want your hair to look like a celebrity’s, most celebrities have sported several looks. So you have to be pretty specific in this direction. Name the movie or time period instead of just the actor. Here are some great tips to get you just the look you want.

Bring a Picture

  • Today it’s so easy to bring a picture of the style you want. It’s not like you have to cut out a picture from a magazine. Just find it online and save a screenshot on your phone. Done.

Use Buss Words to Describe Your Style

  • Know the lingo. If you always get the same type of cut or style and you know what it’s called, use the phrase. Do you want a fade, an undercut, maybe you want a buzz cut? If you know the buzz word, go ahead and use it. After all, your barber will know the phrase, too. Cuts to the chase and we all know what we want.

Thank About Your Lifestyle

  • If you’re not sure exactly what you want, you might lead with what you do for work or fun. Like, hey my good barber, I’m a banker by day but a sword swallower by night, what should I get? Well, that might not work unless your barber is magic… but some of them are. Generally, there are a few styles that tend to be popular in any type of lifestyle.

Ask Your Barber For Feedback

  • Your barber spends his professional time making men look their absolute best. He knows what hairstyles work with your texture and facial features. He knows what will bring out the colors of your eyes and make your partner’s eyes perk up. At the very least, he knows what style won’t make you look awful. Ask his opinion on a style.

Men’s Eyebrow Grooming

man getting eyebrows groomed

Your eyebrow game should most definitely be on point. Look, we know, you’ve been on the fence about this. Is it okay to groom your eyebrows? 

Once upon a time, the only men who groomed their eyebrows and got their fingers manicured were men who paid a lot of attention to fashion and lived in the city. A manicure for men was unheard of unless you happened to be one of the few men whose name was on the regular schedule of a manicurist. Now it’s pretty much the norm. Whether you’re a guy who works with your hands or a guy who sits behind a desk, a good eyebrow game will give you confidence.

If you think your buddies will make fun, who cares? The truth is no one notices when you do get your eyebrows shaped. They notice when you don’t. It’s because you look like Groucho Marx and no one really aspires for that aesthetic.

How often should men groom their eyebrows?

This depends on whether or not you’re doing it yourself and how quickly your hair grows in. You might go in to have your eyebrows done once every month or so. You can also tweeze stray hairs in between. 

How to find the right eyebrow shape

If you’re doing your eyebrows yourself, it’s best to follow the shape of your natural brow. The best idea, though, is to have them done professionally the first time. They can help shape your eyebrows. For future shapings, you can just follow what was already done and clean up any stray hairs.

Your shape might depend on the way your hair grows in and the shape of your own face. You don’t want to remove too much hair because it will look a little sparse. You also never want to shave your eyebrow area. If you’re doing it at home, the best bet is to use tweezers or simply trim.

Eyebrow Grooming Methods

  • Trimming Your Eyebrows. To trim your eyebrows, brush the hair up and then just trim the hairs that extend up well past the hairline. 
  • Threadings Your Eyebrows. Having your eyebrows threaded can be a great idea if you want to clean up specific areas or want a certain shape.
  • Plucking Your Eyebrows. Plucking or tweezing your eyebrows is the best method for you to do at home because you need minimal knowledge to get it right. If you put a washcloth with warm water over the area first for a few minutes, the hair comes out much easier, too.
  • Waxing Your Eyebrows. You can have your eyebrows waxed with little muss and fuss in a few minutes time at a salon. We don’t recommend doing this yourself unless you know what you’re doing.

***For more on eyebrow grooming, check out our Guide To Men’s Eyebrow Grooming.

Beard Grooming

Believe it or not, growing your beard isn’t the hard part. Making it look good is. Your hair won’t naturally grow into a full Viking beautiful experience. Or Santa. Or biker god. Whatever your go-to goal for beard growing, you won’t get there by accident. You need to take some time to learn how to trim and maintain your beard so that it always looks its best.

How to avoid a patchy beard?

The best advice out there is to just let it grow. Not everyone has full coverage and it can be super tempting just to shave it off because it’s not filling in right immediately. Like growing your hair out, you might hit an awkward stage with your beard. The best advice is to try to let it grow past that. Some patches may not fill in right away but it often will if given enough time.

How often should you groom your beard?

You need to groom daily. That doesn’t mean trimming the beard but it does mean exfoliating skin when necessary and cleaning the hair. You also want to make sure that you’re trimming and maintaining the shape so that it doesn’t look straggly and unkempt.

Tips For Grooming Your Beard

Match Your Beard To Your Face Shape

  • Just like haircuts, beards should be chosen for your face and personality. Consider whether you want a full beard or different variations to match your look and style.

Keep It Clean

  • Your beard is around your mouth which means it’s more likely to collect food. If you smoke or smoke weed, that scent will stay in your whiskers. Keep it clean and tidy.

Use Beard Oil

  • Beard oil can help you manage the frizz that sometimes plagues facial hair and keep it looking its best.

Invest in Beard Tools

  • The right beard tools make your job of maintaining the beard that much easier.
man's beard

Men’s Nail Care

Beautiful nails are for everyone. It’s relatively easy to maintain your nails. Most people won’t notice if you do, but they definitely notice when your nails are dirty. This gives your hands a polished and clean look that will feel good, as well.

Why do men need to groom their nails?

There are a few reasons but the biggest one is that it feels good. Grooming your nails regularly means you’re less likely to have hangnails and other rough patches that can irritate your hands. A manicure makes a man’s hands look professional and cared for.

How long should men’s nails be?

For the most part, men keep their nails short and even.

How To Take Care Of Your Nails As A Man

Start With A Soak

  • Soaking your hands softens the cuticles and makes it easier to give yourself a thorough manicure. 

Clip Your Nails

  • Clip your nails so that they are even.

File Your Nails

  • File your nails with Shears 2.0. A quick file will eliminate any tears or rough edges that you might catch on things.

Clean Up Your Cuticles

  •  Cuticles should be pushed back and trimmed to keep them from looking jagged.

Moisturize

  • Hand lotion is especially important in the harsh months to keep your hands moist and comfortable.

Oral Hygiene

Oral hygiene is an important aspect of your physical health. You might not realize it but healthy teeth say a great deal about you as a person. They’re also finding a correlation between poor teeth and a lot of health conditions, so it’s important to make sure you keep up with your teeth for that reason.

Why is oral hygiene important?

A good smile says a lot about you. Clean, bright teeth are admired but bad teeth can make anyone embarrassed. So it’s important to maintain your oral hygiene simply because you want to keep your smile intact. You also don’t want to have bad breath or turn off prospective dates, and nothing does that faster than bad breath. If you've ever tried to figure out how to smell your own breath, you know there can be some pretty gnarly consequences if you're not taking care of your oral hygiene.

How do you know if you have bad oral hygiene? 

It’s pretty easy to tell if you have bad oral hygiene. If you don’t brush two or three times a day and floss once a day, we’d say you have bad oral hygiene. It’s really not that difficult. Brush in the morning. Brush and floss in the evening. See your dentist for a cleaning twice a year. Get any cavities or decay fixed right away.

Oral Hygiene Tips For Guys

Brush At Least Twice A Day

  • A lot of people don’t want to brush after lunch because they’re at the office or not at home. You should at least brush twice a day. In the morning and before bed.

Don't Smoke

  • We’re not going to harp on this but it causes permanent tooth stain, bone loss, and gum disease. End of story. If you’re going to smoke it will hurt your smile.

Floss

  • Floss at least once a day. It makes a difference.

Pay Attention to Your Diet

  • What you eat can lead to bad breath and tooth issues. Lay off sugary snacks and drinks if possible and make sure you brush well after anything that might cause decay.

Get Regular Dental Exams

  • You should have cleanings twice a year.

Removing Pubic Hair

A lot of men wonder about this because it’s not something that we all talk about. The fads also change and they are up to your own taste. From our experience, removing pubic hair is essential. The level of male grooming is something that’s up to each guy. You might want to remove all hair or keep it trimmed. You might just want to clean it up a bit. It’s totally up to you and your partner.

How common is removing pubic hair?

It’s very common. We would say that most men remove pubic hair to some degree. And most partners prefer their men to tidy up that area for sex and oral sex. Removing the hair and making it neat and tidy makes it easier to keep clean.

Do women like men who remove their pubic hair? 

See our answer above. YES. Most women do prefer that their men clean up down there. I mean, they might lie about it to be polite. But you don’t want polite in the bedroom. You want happy, frisky, insatiable, any number of descriptives that don’t have anything to do with manners.

What are the best tools to remove pubic hair?

Trimmers work well for male grooming. If you want a baby smooth finish, you might try a hair removal cream or a razor.

Tips for pubic hair removal

Always trim first

  • The Lawn Mower™ 3.0 trimmer is easy to use and helps you get a great, even trim even in hard to reach places.

Never use the same blade for your face

  • If you’re using a razor, use a designated razor for this area. Not for your face or anyone else’s skin. Never share razors that you’ll be using here. This is the last place you want an ingrown hair or infection.

If you decide to shave, soften your hair first

  • If you do shave, you’ll want to exfoliate and soften the hair first.

Moisturize when you are done

  • Crop Preserver™ ball deodorant is a great product to use to keep the area supple.

Wear soft underwear to help prevent ingrown hairs

  • You want a little room in your boxers to prevent ingrown hair. Anything tight can cause this issue.

We're often asked, "Is it normal for guys to shave their pubes?" The short answer is absolutely! For more on shaving pubic hair, check out our guide to the Benefits of Shaving Your Pubic Hair

the perfect package 3.0

Grooming Your Leg Hair

Guys shave their legs for a lot of reasons. It’s not mandatory. You don’t have to do it. But if you decide shaving is right for you, there are a lot of guys who would agree. Let’s talk about the reasons you might choose shaving and the best way to do it. Should men shave their legs? Well, that's a personal choice. Here are some things to consider.

Why do guys groom their legs?

Tattoos are a pretty common reason. If you’ve spent thousands of dollars on gorgeous artwork for your legs, why the hell would you let it get covered with thick hair? Even if you only have a few tattoos, you can’t really just shave a patch. Shaving your legs makes sense for those beauties.

Some guys also shave their legs because it helps with sports like swimming, biking, and running. Other guys just like it because it feels better and is easier to keep clean.

Tips for grooming your legs:

Start by trimming your leg hair

  • If you’ve never shaved your leg hair, start by trimming. Guys have some pretty thick leg hair and you might not be able to get a good shave with a razor alone. In fact, you might cut the hell out of yourself.

Soften your hair by getting in the shower

  • A warm shower or bath can help soften the hair.

Apply shaving gel and use long strokes

  • A safety razor s a great product for shaving. Apply it in long strokes. 

Always moisturize when you are done

  • Always moisturize after to keep your skin soft and to prevent hair bumps.

Summing-Up Our Guide To Male Grooming

Male grooming today is an essential part of hygiene for every guy. You may not choose to use every product or regimen, but you should make sure to take some time for self care, no matter what it is.

04.23.19

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