Grooming at home: Tips for men
Words by Rob Chilton
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Here are a few pointers on how you can keep yourself looking presentable for those Zoom video calls with your colleagues
The corona lockdown means our hair may be a little bushier than we’d like, our feet may be veering towards the gnarly side, while our hands resemble those of a lizard after all the hand-washing (do lizards have hands? Anyway, moving on). Officially-issued movement restrictions mean we must wait to see our barbers, therapists and podiatrists for a while longer, but that doesn’t mean we have to look like Joe Exotic on a bad day or Tom Hanks on his Castaway desert island.
Expert therapists have had training sessions and countless hours of practice to administer a professional facial, but you can create a similar effect at home – and without the bill at the end. First, use a nice, gentle cleanser with warm water and work it into your pores to get rid of dirt and grime. Then apply face scrub and massage it slowly into every nook and cranny. Rinse it off and apply some toner if you have some. Otherwise, a blob of moisturiser finishes the job. Take your time, go slowly and enjoy the process, which only needs to be three or four minutes.
There are YouTube tutorials on how a guy can cut his own hair using clippers and a mirror, but you’d have to have a very steady hand and be extremely skilled (and lucky) to make it look good. Just being able to work out that left is right and right is left as you look in the mirror is hard enough. Instead, how about running a razor through your bushy mane? It’ll remove a bit of weight and it’s a gradual effect so you won’t accidentally take a big chunk out of your hair and look like a cat that’s been to the vet for a jab. Or you could just let your hair grow and see what happens – you might like it.
All this hand washing that’s been rightly advised by health organisations irritates the skin, as do dozens of squirts of hand sanitiser, which contains alcohol that is very drying. Rub nourishing hand cream into your paws as the last thing you do before you get into bed and you’ll wake up with beautifully soft pinkies – and perhaps open a new career path into hand modelling.
When you have to drop the kids off at nursery, get petrol and then dash into a meeting all before 8.30am and – whoops, you just spilt coffee on your shirt – it often feels like we have zero time in the morning. Use these precious extra few minutes during lockdown for a slow, luxurious shaving session. Prepare your skin with a warm wash and then use a scrub. Gently apply your chosen shaving product – whether it’s gel, cream or foam (how retro) – and let it sink in. If you have a shaving brush in the cupboard but you've never had time to use it, break it out now – they're fantastic grooming tools. Take a fresh, sharp razor blade and carefully shave in the direction of the hair growth. Use as few strokes as possible and you’ll see the benefit of a slow, considered shave.
There’s a difference between just carelessly letting your stubble grow how it likes and growing a beard. One is likely to lead to a bad smell, itchiness and a scruffy appearance that will frighten your colleagues on Zoom, but the other could add a whole new dimension to your look. Carefully shampoo your beard, comb it, moisturise it with beard oil if you have it, and trim it. Keeping it a little shorter on the sides and longer around the chin is usually a formula that works for most guys.
Whether it’s the corner of a drawer, a dusty shelf or a beautifully organised bathroom cabinet, you probably have a few grooming products in your possession. But how many do you actually use? This is the time to sort out your kit. Get it all out from its home and lay it down. Discard stuff you never use (or forgot you even had), wipe down containers and clean gunky nozzles. Rearrange it in the order of importance/usage and enjoy an organised grooming regime from here on in.
Until the lockdown is lifted, stay safe, stay home and stay groomed.
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