A grooming guide for men

It has become common for men to take more care in their appearance. There has been a shift in society, and it is no longer frowned upon if a guy takes just as long as a woman to groom themselves. Good grooming is the key to looking smart every day – ready to tackle anything the day throws your way. River Island, retailers of dapper menswear, know men sometimes don’t have the time to spend hours in the bathroom, and so, have created this easy guide to men’s grooming techniques.

Shaving

If you prefer a clean-shaven look, your razor will be your best friend, probably on a day to day, or every other day basis. Before shaving, it’s important to wash your face with warm water to remove any dirt and open your pores to avoid a shaving rash. Invest in a quality shaving cream as this helps the razor glide smoothly across your face without irritation. Make sure you clean your razor under warm water after every three shaving swipes to get rid of used shaving foam and cut hairs – avoid pressing down also as this may cause ingrown hairs which will affect your clean shaven, smooth look.

Following each shave, use a facial wash to cleanse your face – it’s important to remove any excess hair and shaving cream, especially whilst your pores are open. Use an aftershave lotion or balm to smooth the skin when you’ve finished.

Beard maintenance

When it comes to beards, it can be tricky to know how to wear your beard so that it suits the shape of your face. For those with a square face, keep your beard shorter on the sides of your face, and fuller around the chin. Trim the bottom of your beard to keep it short if you have a more oblong shaped face – leave the sides to grow thicker too. For circular faces, grow some length to the bottom of your beard to elongate your face, and trim it shorter on your cheeks. The dream for all beards is the oval face, choose a style that you enjoy and go for it.

Maintaining your beard shape takes patience – and you must start from the beginning, a clean-shaven face. Use a hydrating facial cleanser to keep your skin fresh and moisturised as this encourages your stubble to start to grow back, and keeps your skin cleansed. Be aware of the itchy stage – as your stubble grows through, the first few weeks can be a little uncomfortable. Use conditioners and moisturisers to combat the itch – they will soften the hair and soothe the skin underneath.

As your beard grows through, keep in mind the shape you want to achieve and trim the hair in the appropriate places, as mentioned above to keep it looking neat. Trim your beard with a low-number guard when it is dry and ensure that you have combed your hairs into the same direction of hair growth. You might want to switch to a different guard depending on the level of hair you want to remove. Just like this hair on our heads, you must wash your beard every day, and after trimming to remove stray hairs. Use some beard oil to keep it hydrated too.

Haircuts

Just like with beards, finding a hairstyle that suits the shape of your face can be a case of trial and error. For square shaped faces, keep your side burns short and your hair above the ears – whilst you suit most hairstyles, we recommend asking the barber for a short pompadour, a slicked-back undercut or a buzzcut.

Again, the oblong shaped face also suits many haircut styles but we recommend choosing width over height when in the barbers – ask for a side parting, a side fringe or a buzzcut. When it comes to circular and oval shaped faces, it’s slightly different. Think length rather than width to create volume and elongate the face. Ask the barber for pompadour, French crop, side parting or a quiff if you have a circular shaped face, or a fringe up, short side-parting, undercut or long-and pushed back if you have an oval shaped face.

Just like your beard, regular washing, conditioning and trims are key to keeping your hairstyle on point.

Face

It’s not just women who benefit from a skincare regime – men too should incorporate a daily regime if they want to maintain clean and clear skin. Use a gentle exfoliator at least one a week to remove any built-up dirt and dead skin – exfoliators help maintain clear and smooth skin. Make time in the morning and the evening to fit in some skincare time, neglecting your skin can result in dull skin with spots.

Morning

Make sure you wash your face when you wake up every morning with warm water and a gentle cleanser as your skin can build up some dead skin and oil during the night. Use a body and face moisturiser to soothe and keep your skin hydrated for the ahead.

Evening

Again, wash your face with warm water and a cleanser to remove the built-up dirt from the day. Toners aren’t just for women – use a toner with a soft cotton wool pad to wipe your face and remove any excess oils that can cause spots.

Maybe male grooming doesn’t seem so difficult after all? Remember to drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated and eat the right foods – sugars and fats are renowned for contributing to the cause of spots and dull looking skin.

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