Men’s style and grooming by Yatan Ahluwalia: 10 essential grooming tips for men – brunch feature


  • Hair: Long – about four inches all around. Left natural with a few strands over one side of the face.
  • Skin: Well-hydrated and moisturised. No visible dark circles, lines and creases.
  • Face: Facial hair that’s about two weeks old. Overdue for a shave!
  • Brows: Natural and real.
  • Lips: Clean smooth lips.

1.Nail cutting

It is extremely important to keep the nails on your hands and feet, both short and clean. Long nails can lead to unwanted infections and make you look unkept. Normally you should cut your nails at least twice a month, or once every 10 days as necessary.

I have often been asked what the best time is to cut your nails – this can be done anytime but if you’re using clippers or a file, you want your nails to be hard. So, I suggest you do it before your shower.

Grooming tip: Use a hand or foot cream if you have dry skin around the nail beds.

2. Cold showers

While a long hot shower can sometimes be a necessity or a well-earned luxury, your skin and body will always do better with a cold shower, even in winter. This is because a cold or room temperature shower will not deplete the moisture levels of your skin or leave it feeling dry, flaky or irritated.

Keep in mind that you should use a medicated soap, only if advised by a doctor or specialist. Ensure the soap that you use isn’t harsh and full of harmful chemicals. Its best to use organic and natural soaps or shower gels that are light on the skin and deliver on both cleaning and add moisture to your skin.

Grooming tip: Always wipe well with a clean and dry towel after a shower – especially the fold areas.

3.Itchy beard

Beard hair tends to be very coarse and dry, often causing an itch that can be extremely uncomfortable, especially during periods of high humidity. If you face this issue, then you should use a heavy-duty hair conditioner about thrice a week. Leave the conditioner in for a few minutes and then rinse well with water.

Some men prefer to use beard oils, but these can sometimes feel greasy and lead to the pores of the skin being blocked with resulting rashes and break outs. I suggest restricting your use of a beard oil and if you yet need to use it, then ensure that you shampoo the product off, before you go to bed.

Grooming tip: Trim your beard as often as possible so it looks neat and has enough air passing through to keep the skins surface both dry and clean.

4.Powder your privates

Let’s get real and straight to the point. It does not matter how sharp you look if you don’t smell or feel good, where you should. If you have sweat issues, use a powder that has been formulated for your vitals. There are now quite a few ‘personal care’ variants out there in the stores now.

Trimming the length of the hair in this area is equally important. It is advised to wear breathable, light cotton underwear – so you stay dry and sweat free.

Grooming tip: Avoid powders with talc or menthol and steer clear of powders that turn into a sticky paste with sweat.

5.Shaving products

Many of the men I consult, ask how much shaving cream / gel they should use. While shaving cream / gel are both essential and useful as they soften facial hair in preparation for a shave and aid the blade in gliding smoothly over the skin, you do not need to use more quantity than the size of an average coin.

Some guys believe that, more can only be better.This is false. While there are no adverse effects to applying more shaving cream, once you have it on for a minute or two, it’s already accomplished its mission.Adding a ton of shaving cream won’t hurt you, but it’s simply a waste of both time and product.

Grooming tip: Always shave after a shower as the skin is both soft and hydrated at that time.

6.The back of your neck

It’s never just about the face but your overall grooming and one often neglected area is the back of the neck or the space between the back hairline and your collar.

Make a conscious effort to keep this area clean, free of sweat, grime and any excessive hair growth. Use a gentle loofah scrub to exfoliate and ensure to apply some shower gel regularly when you are in the shower. Ask your barber to remove the extra hair in the area, especially the part which is visible just over the collar of your shirt or T-shirt.

Grooming tip: If you wear a chain, remove it occasionally to clean and sterilise it to prevent any skin rashes or infections.

7.Wearng caps and headgears

Caps, hats and helmets all have a purpose and while they add to your look and offer protection, please do not keep them on for too long as they block the air from reaching the pores on your head and hinder hair growth and ventilation.

A simple solution is to wear a thin cotton bandana under your headgear – change this daily, especially if you wear helmets for a long bike ride or commute.

Grooming tip: If you wear headgears, you should shampoo your hair daily, at the end of the day to keep the scalp clean.

8.Expensive isn’t always good

The biggest grooming and beauty myth is that expensive and high-end brands work better than those that aren’t.

Contrary to this, some of the better-known mass-market brands aren’t just easy on the pocket and accessible to everyone but actually are more effective than most luxury brands put together. With luxury brands, you are often paying for branding, packaging and input or operating costs than the ingredients or the product itself. Read what you are buying and only spend that extra money if you feel the product has something that others don’t offer or contain.

Grooming tip: Before making a purchase – read the product ingredients, usage instructions besides the date of manufacture and expiry.

9.Go natural and organic

The skin on your face is more sensitive than the rest of your body and will always do well with chemical -free and natural products.

The number of skin cells on your face are fewer than the body as well, making it more susceptible to damage. Look for natural ingredients as they have healing properties and don’t normally cause any adverse reactions, unless of course you are allergic to certain key ingredients.

Grooming tip: Find the brand that works for you and try to stick to their product line or range, than changing products and brands too frequently.

10.Don’t leave it to the ladies

Do not rely on your wives, girlfriends, mothers, sisters or friends when it comes to choosing the grooming products that you should use.

Nobody knows your skin, hair and body as well as you do. Only you can know whether you deal with oily skin, need a closer shave, or have thin hair. If you want results, you need to set the time aside to research ingredients and make the right choice. Remember: what works for others, may not always work for you.

Grooming tip: Read this column regularly for honest product reviews and try test them, before you make a purchase.

The hair and skin recovery range

1.Oil -infused Shampoo for dry and frizzy hair

Hindustantimes

Smoothening oil-infused shampoo by Kiehls

This sulphate, silicone and paraben -free shampoo is made with Argan and Babassu oils and helps nourish and smoothen dry, frizzy or damaged hair. It also helps tame the fizz and leaves the hair feeling soft and looking glossy. Works just as well on short hair as it does on medium to long hair. Smells just as good as it performs.

Product rating: 5/5

2.Hair clipper for all hair lengths and types

Hindustantimes

Funky clipper with multiple attachments by Andis

This colourful and eye-catching cordless hair clipper comes with nine attachments that allow you to experiment with a variety of lengths and effects. The powerful battery runs non-stop for over two hours. Ideal for the fade effect. Lightweight, but power packed.

Product rating: 5/5

3.Heavy-duty moisturiser

Hindustantimes

Vitamin C glow-boosting moisturiser by The Body Shop

My search for an effective water-based moisturiser ends with this incredible hydrating moisturiser that has been formulated for dull, tired and grumpy skin. Just apply evenly on a clean face before bed. Feels a bit sticky initially, but soaks into the skin faster than you realise. Ensures that you wake up to skin that feels smooth, fresh and hydrated.

Product rating: 5/5

4.Deep pore cleaning toner

Hindustantimes

Daily pore minimising toner by Kaya

To prevent the skin from looking oily or greasy, use a toner twice a week – ideally at the end of the day. Simply add a few drops on a cotton ball, then wipe the face – especially the ‘T” point (forehead and nose). This product delivers on deep pore cleaning and is alcohol free.

Product rating: 4/5

The author is an image, style and grooming consultant and trainer

From HT Brunch, August 16, 2020

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