9 Habits Of Well-Groomed Men

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There’s a good reason why we bang on about routines and regimens when it comes to caring for your skin and hair. Just as a car needs more than a yearly wax and polish, both require constant maintenance if you want to look fresh out of the showroom.

What the well-groomed man needs, then, are some solid, results-driven bathroom habits. Here, nine industry experts reveal the things all handsome men have in common.

They Seek Out The Right Scents

When faced with a never-ending line-up of fragrances, sorting the sweet smell of success from the absolute pongers is no mean feat. The secret of men who always come up roses is that they know how to sniff out the scents that suit them.

“Men who smell great have usually set aside time to explore the field and discover what works best with their skin chemistry and personality,” says James Craven, a fragrance archivist at independent perfumers Les Senteurs.

What To Use

Fragrances are split into a few key families such as citrus, woody or sweet. Try them all out if you have time, or research the notes that make up the scents you already own and like. Start with oud if you like things musky, neroli if you want something fresh.

Whatever your palate, chances are there’s a pattern, and you can use this as a guide to shop accordingly in the future.

How To Pick The Right Fragrance For You

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They Factor In Sun Protection

It’s now known that the sun’s UV rays are your skin’s worst enemy, even on dull winter days, leading to premature ageing and DNA damage. Because of this, guys who want to look good for as long as possible remember to protect themselves a daily basis using sunscreen.

“You should be using a sunscreen combined with a collection of potent antioxidants,” advises Dr Des Fernandes, co-author of Vitamin A Skin Science – a Scientific Guide to Healthy Skin. “The most important antioxidants include vitamin C, vitamin E and Coenzyme Q10.”

What To Use

As a minimum, your daily moisturiser should be bolstered by SPF 15, which is enough to guard against moderate exposure. When the sun is stronger in summer, or when on holiday, opt for at least an SPF 30. Both UVA and UVB protection (together called ‘broad spectrum’) matter, so always check you’re getting both.

The Best Sun Protection Products For Men

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They Think Ahead

There’s no single moment at which your barnet switches from Ryan Gosling to Worzel Gummidge. Invariably, it happens when you need it the least: just before a job interview or your best mate’s wedding. For the sake of good hair, timing is everything.

“Fast-paced lifestyles mean we can forget the essentials,” says barber and male grooming expert Jason Shankey. “It’s a good idea to lock in a recurring appointment with your barber for a haircut and eyebrow tidy-up, and sync that appointment with your smartphone, ensuring your barber of choice is always free to cut your hair just when it’s needed.”

What To Use

As well as using the wonders of modern technology to book a regular chop shop slot, make the most of online hair galleries, which can provide inspiration that you can save and take with you as a guide for your barber.

Hairstyle Inspiration For Men

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They Floss Daily

According to a survey by the British Dental Health Foundation, more than 10 per cent of guys would rather clean the toilet than floss their teeth every day. An astonishing fact given that gum disease has been linked to everything from heart disease to erectile dysfunction.

“Brushing alone only cleans three of the five surfaces of your teeth, so it’s important that you also clean between your teeth every day,” says the foundation’s CEO, Dr Nigel Carter.

What To Use

More than just running a piece of string through your teeth, opt for a waxed floss, which slides between gnashers more efficiently, and is less prone to fraying. To elevate your oral game, splash out on an electric flosser, which works by shooting jets of mouthwash or water between teeth, getting the whole job done in under 30 seconds.

The Best Oral Hygiene Products For Men

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They Exfoliate Before Shaving

When you consider that the process involves dragging a razor sharp piece of metal across your face, it’s not hard to see how shaving with reckless abandon can leave you looking like Freddy Krueger’s marginally more handsome brother.

“If you want a better shave, get into the habit of using hot water and a face scrub before shaving,” says Daniel Davies, manager at Pall Mall Barbers in London. “This prepares skin for the shave, lifts hairs and reduces the chance of razor burn and ingrown hairs.”

What To Use

Exfoliating is essentially sanding skin off your face, so be mindful of your skin type before you buy. If you’re the unlucky owner of chronically sensitive skin, choose a gentle formula designed specifically for your overdramatic epidermis. And in all cases, apply only gentle pressure when scrubbing away.

The Best Face Scrubs For Men

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They Down Pints

Plenty of grooming products promise to give you skin so glowing it will qualify as a bonafide source of light. But few make good on their promise as effectively as good old-fashioned H20.

“Healthy skin is reliant on good hydration levels if it’s to function efficiently,” says Candice Gardner from The International Dermal Institute. Not only does water promote skin elasticity, but the enzymes that help shift dead cells which can clog up pores also require water to work effectively. “That’s why dehydrated skin can look flaky and dull,” adds Gardner.

What To Use

It might not feel like a grooming habit but drinking two litres of water a day will keep your skin’s water levels constantly topped up. To lock in that moisture, introduce a moisturiser containing humectants (ingredients such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid that help bind water to the skin) to your routine.

The Best Hydrating Grooming Products For Men

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They Know The Devil’s In The Details

Tidiness is as essential as cleanliness and good hygiene, so make the mirror your friend and check, double-check, and check again before leaving the house.

“You can have the most expensive clothes on your back, but if your beard has stray cornflakes in it, or your barnet looks like it’s been backcombed with a wire brush, all your good work will be undone,” says Luke Stephens, a professional groomer to the likes of Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander.

What To Use

Few things give away a slapdash approach to self-preservation like your hands. Invest in a nail brush to give your talons a quick once-over before leaving the house and keep a moisturising hand balm on your desk. A pocket comb and a small can of dry shampoo in your work drawer for when your hair’s doing its best to publicly humiliate you wouldn’t go amiss either.

Last-Minute Grooming Products For Men

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They Treat Their Hair (And Scalp) With Respect

Few guys give haircare the attention it deserves until they have little-to-no hair to care for. Slacking in the shower doesn’t just scupper your barnet’s chances of reaching its full potential, it could also speed up the rate at which it leaves your head.

“Shampooing is not something you should ever do aggressively,” says celebrity hairstylist Jamie Stevens. “Gentle circular motions are just as effective as a good scrub, but will cause less damage to the follicles. Guys should also get into the habit of patting their hair dry with a towel as opposed to vigorously rubbing it to avoid unnecessary hair loss and breakage.”

What To Use

Short of accidentally picking up a depilatory cream, brute force is the worst thing to apply when washing your hair. To avoid going bald before your time, invest in a shampoo designed to remove dirt and build up while also strengthening locks at the root and encouraging hair renewal.

Invigorating Hair Products For Men

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They Avoid Bad Habits

Bad habits can hit your looks hard. There’s little point shelling out on a fancy cream for your face, only to spend half the day huffing it full of smoke. And in a cruel twist of irony, there are few things less likely to give you six-pack abs than a six-pack of beers.

“Smoking is one of the most damaging things a man can do to his skin,” says dermatologist Dr David Orentreich, explaining that the only payoff is reduced blood flow that leads to a sallow complexion. “Heavy drinkers, on the other hand, have a redder complexion because alcohol dilates the capillaries and leads to greater blood vessel formation.” Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

What To Use

A generous dose of self-restraint is the key here. If you can’t be trusted to go easy on the sauce, minimise its effects by spacing each glass of red out with a pint of water. As for smoking, bin the cigarettes – there’s no way to mitigate the damage here.

In both cases, adding a few teeth-whitening products to your routine probably isn’t a bad idea.

Teeth-Whitening Products For Men

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