Why You Need to Celebrate Male Grooming Day
You’re a modern man. You’ve moved far beyond the old-school attitude to male grooming and happily indulge in a bit of pimping and preening. You’ve got the style: sharply fitted, tailor-made suits and polished shoes. So why should you care about August 15th — National Male Grooming Day?
- First Appearances Matter
Way back when, man’s only responsibilities were to fight beasts and provide food. Today, the landscape for men is a little different. There may be less wild animals, but it’s still a dog-eat-dog world, filled with business meetings and increased financial pressures. To succeed today, the modern man has to play his part. Forgoing basic grooming is a big mistake. First impressions matter. Did you know that it takes just seven seconds for someone to form an opinion of you? That certainly isn’t long enough to convey your sparkling personality, so how are those impressions formed? However superficial, it’s all about the way you look.
We humans are a visual lot: we use visual indicators to help us make snap judgements. Who would you be naturally inclined to trust more: a man with shaggy unkempt hair, a strong smell of BO and long yellowed nails, or a sharply dressed man with clean hair, trimmed nails and a fresh fragrance? Research shows that 75% of hiring managers identified neglecting appearance as the top mistake made by interviewees. If you want to get ahead in your career and life, then being groomed is essential.
National Grooming Day is the perfect opportunity to start changing bad habits. Start small by choosing just one thing, such as your hair. Fran Lebowitz rightly said: “you’re only as good as your last haircut.” Make a commitment to yourself that you’ll start seeing your barber every two to four weeks for a trim. The key is to be proactive, not reactive. If someone else can tell you’re due a snip, you’ve left it too late.
- Because Life’s Too Short
Few men can (or, perhaps, want to) pull off the craggy Mick Jagger look. For the majority, wrinkles, dark circles and sallow skin tone are the tell-tale signs of nights probably best left forgotten and too many hours at the office. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with ageing — the experience, the wisdom, the self-assurance — but aged skin is not a good look.
For generations, skincare routines for men were pretty much non-existent — a splash of water and a block of soap would do. Who knows, maybe our ancestors had better luck defying the years. But today, sadly, pollution and hectic lifestyles can leave our skin looking more than a little worse for wear. This National Grooming Day, dedicate yourself to a revved up, next-level skin care routine.
Try an evening cleanse to wash away the grime of the day and moisturiser to keep your skin looking and feeling soft. Men are finally appreciating the benefits of moisture for keeping skin looking fresh. Moisturisers provide hydration, nourishment and protection and your daily routine shouldn’t be without it. If you want to go all out, invest in a separate moisturiser for the more delicate areas around your eyes.
- Make Yourself More Irresistible
Our sense of smell is the most primal and enigmatic of our senses. Scent drives our behaviours and reactions to people, things and situations, often on a subconscious level. Nowhere is this more true than in our romantic endeavours. We all give off pheromones through our saliva, sweat and general body odour and these pheromones can be quite powerful when it comes to attracting a partner. While you can’t change your natural scent, you can definitely enhance it. Colognes and aftershaves are a great investment for boosting your desirability — who wouldn’t want that?
As a general guide, woody, herby and spicy notes work well in the winter and lighter, citrus notes are great for spring and summer. Just don’t douse yourself in the stuff. No one wants to be — or, more importantly, be with — that guy.
While we’re talking about attraction, you might also want to invest some time into manscaping. Your partner may love the Bear Grylls type, but no man can ever go wrong with a little trim.
- Create Your Brand
Today, it’s all about the way you brand yourself. Social media and dating apps have changed the way we create our image. Now, to really make an impact, you need to stand out. While it’s become increasingly difficult to be unique, addressing your wardrobe will certainly help. Choosing tailor-made over ready-to-wear will ensure that your clothes compliment and accentuate your figure in a way that also resonates with your personal style. But a bit of personal grooming can also add a dose of individuality to your look.
Think about it. Who’s Russell Brand without his trademark barnet? Would Tom Selleck be a household name without his famous ‘tache? All it takes is a quick browse on Instagram and you’ll see everything from bushy beards and classic stubble to full-blown eccentric hipster ‘taches. It’s never been a better time to get creative with facial hair.
Why not mark National Grooming Day with a professional wet shave? Or commit to cultivating a new beard? Whatever you do, remember to keep it tidy. You can have a bushy beard that would rival Hugh Jackman, but a trim here and there will ensure you look more slick and less ‘Castaway’.
- The Beauty Business Has Never Been Better
The beauty industry was once aimed solely at women. Men had to make do with Brylcreem and elbow grease. But today, the male grooming industry is a booming multi-billion dollar powerhouse. Catering to every imaginable need, there really is a product for everything..
We men are creatures of habit. We’re happy to stick to the same-old products that we’re familiar with, but, with so much innovation in the world of male grooming, you’d be a fool to get left behind. Be adventurous and try some of the amazing products out there. From hair and skin care products to makeup for men, if you’ve thought of it, it definitely exists.
- Re-Shape the Image of Modern Masculinity
You may have caught on, but there are plenty of others set firmly in the dark ages of masculinity. You know the type: men who wouldn’t dare comb their hair or wax their back, lest they risk sacrificing their “manliness.”
Sadly, suicide rates have skyrocketed among men aged below 40 and we have to wonder whether that’s got something to do with the toxic culture of so-called masculinity that creates impossible standards for young men to achieve. Research has shown that men feel unable to talk about their problems, preferring instead to bury their heads in the sand, keep their chins up and “stay strong.” It’s these same worn cliches, such as that “boys don’t cry,” and that men need to “man up,” that create a ridiculous — and highly damaging — stereotype of manliness.
National Grooming Day may seem like another frivolous holiday designed to get you down the to the shops and spending your money, but its message is powerful. Grooming shows that you love and respect yourself. Whether you’re tidying up your beard, adopting a daily skincare routine or manscaping, you’re putting yourself first — there’s certainly nothing wrong with that.
Anthony Horner is the director of Empire Outlet, a luxury menswear company that provides high-quality suits and accessories for a price that won’t break the bank. Empire Outlet operates online and serves customers from all around the world.