Dads have taught us most of the things we know, and apart from tying knots on your shoes to changing tires or fixing broken things around the house, it is also a known rite of passage for a young man to learn useful lessons from his father.
I’ve compiled a list of hard-earned knowledge from my dad, all focused on personal grooming. It doesn’t matter if you’re a woman, or a man, or whatever creature you identify as (but, to be fair, this is catered to mainly men), we can learn a thing or two (or 13!) from our (my) dad:
1. Go easy on the cologne
It smells mouthwateringly sexy, we know. And most women would definitely tell you that without a moment’s hesitation. But subtlety is key here.
“I wanna give them the impression that I’m a scaly, cold-blooded man-eating creature.”
Don’t drench yourself in your expensive perfume; a few spritzes go a long way. We are told that applying fragrance is, “like drinking beer – a little makes you sexier and more confident. A lot makes you loud and shouty.”
2. No all-purpose soaps
And stop washing your face with it. It is very convenient, of course, but it can take a real toll on your face, especially considering how sensitive it really is. While an all-purpose antibacterial soap bar or shower gel may seem like the easiest, fastest way to go about it, it can dry your skin. Opt for a gentle cleanser that’s made specifically for men.
Definitely NOT the dishwasher soap.
3. Re-think your shaving cream
The best shaving creams create a rich lather instead of foam. The less foam, the better the cream and that means less resistance, less irritation and less risk of nicks. Your blades would also last longer. Don’t forget the shaving brush, as it raises the hair so that a closer cut is possible, and helps build up a creamy lather. On another note, a contributor has written a thorough guideline on getting the 5 o’clock shade.
Note that the ‘bleeding everywhere’ look isn’t trending yet.
4. Sun is good, but remember SPF
Unlike women, makeup and moisturisers help keep their skin protected from the sun. However, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, 47 percent of men report never wearing sunscreen. Getting active under the sun is great, but just don’t forget the state of your skin. Daily sunscreen application reduces risk of melanoma by half, so slather it on.
Also, if you see something like this in the sky, don’t look directly at it.
… which doesn’t mean you have to call up the nearest nail parlour for an appointment (unless you really want to). The crux of the matter is keeping nails neatly clipped and clean, and pay attention to the area under them. Also, watch out for hangnails so that they don’t become infected.
Again, infected nails isn’t a thing. Yet.
6. Oily-looking hair, do care
To avoid overly gelled looking hair, try to avoid hair products that contain alcohol – that’s what makes hair hard and spiky. Instead, play around with matte-finish products, like waxes and pomades. Start with a dime-sized amount of product at first, then build up from there to get the look you want. Plus, the greasy hairdo can easily make you look unkempt and sloppy. Remember to also wash it off before bed because it can actually lead to breakouts on the face and forehead.
This kind of oily, we’re okay with.
7. Rough ‘round the edges
The rugged look is in. We like it too, but that doesn’t apply to everything on your body like say, hands and feet. Keep dry, rough skin at bay with a little jojoba oil or coconut oil.
Hmmm… Not sure if this is a look we’ll be okay with.
8. Deodorant is your best friend
Everybody knows this, but it’s no surprise how many people forget to do it, or forget how often to use it (applies to ladies as well). It’s always useful to keep an extra one at work or carry one in your gym bag. Remember that person on the train with their hand up, emitting that ghastly smell? Yeah, you don’t want to be that person.
Let’s hope she remembered.
9. Experiment, but not too much
You’re free to do whatever you like with your face and body, and facial hair is in trend now. It’s always good to experiment with new hairstyles or facial hair but don’t go overboard. Know what works best for you. While you have a beard trimmer at hand, take time to upkeep the hair around the nose and ear as well. Only remove it if it’s extremely unsightly, though.
How will dad feel about this look?
10. Million-dollar smile
Smile, it looks good on you. But even better when your teeth are clean and your gums are healthy. Only dentists have the right to lecture you on oral health, but brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing often would certainly make your pearly whites even more attractive.
Brushy brushy the teethy.
11. Ask, don’t be afraid to
Evidently, department stores or the local drugstore can seem catered solely to women and overwhelmingly like a non-male territory at times. Don’t feel anxious and don’t hesitate to ask for what you need, and remember that there is no shame in asking for help.
“I should have asked that lady for help. Now I don’t have deodorant on.”
12. Dress sharp
… because you represent your family. When you go out to meet your children’s teachers or attend events with your wife – put your best foot forward. The people that you encounter will either create a favorable impression of you, have no impression, or have a negative one based on how you look.
Also make sure your hands aren’t too sweaty or limp. You don’t wanna be remembered as ‘fish hand’.
13. Have an interchangeable wardrobe
Looking good without much effort is the ultimate height of sophistication. Within an interchangeable wardrobe, you’ll find clothing that matches well with everything else in the wardrobe – trousers that go with almost every shirt, jackets that pair with almost every tie, and shoes that are classic and not going to go out of style. It saves time, guarantees that you are always dressed appropriately for the occasion and let’s face it, saves you from buying things you don’t need.
There is, however, no such thing as ‘too many ties’.
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