When you’re in your early 20s, you learn a lot of valuable life skills that you take with you for the rest of your life.
Some of the most valuable skills men can pick up are related to grooming themselves. In the awkward teen and college years, men can sometimes get away with not knowing things like how to apply cologne or how to start a skincare routine.
But by the time you turn 25, there’s really no excuse. It’s time to straighten out your grooming routine.
Here are 6 grooming skills every guy needs to master before they turn 25.
It's part of your normal morning routine: You shower, brush your teeth, and apply your underarm antiperspirant or deodorant every day. But it turns out that the time of day you apply your antiperspirant does matter a bit.
The best time to put on your antiperspirant or deodorant is at night, right before you go to bed. That's because it takes time for your antiperspirant to work its magic and close your armpit's sweat ducts.
After this process happens, good antiperspirants and deodorants usually last 24-48 hours, so you'll have plenty of dry times ahead after application. If you're concerned your morning shower will remove the antiperspirant effects of the night before, worry not: they will continue working their magic, as the aluminium salts have already clogged the sweat ducts at that point.
Fragrance is tricky. The oils are designed to be absorbed and melded with your skin's natural oils, creating your own unique scent. That can't happen when you apply it to your clothing, so you should never apply fragrance to anything but your skin.
The ideal place to apply cologne is the area between your chest and neck, inclusive of both. A bonus is that some men have chest hair, which can trap some fragrance oil, increasing how long the smell might last on their skin.
As for amount, remember the cardinal rule of applying cologne: less is most certainly more. 'Cologne should be discovered, not announced,' as Art of Manliness says. Overdo it, and you'll give everyone around you a headache.
Finally, after you apply the cologne, pat it on your skin, but do not rub it in. Rubbing it in can cause it to be absorbed by your skin more quickly, and it can even distort the scent.
We've taken the mystery out of applying the three most popular hair products -- hair wax, pomade, and styling cream -- so you can style your own hair just like a pro.
1. Hair Wax
Apply the product to damp, towel-dried hair so it's easier to massage in. Scoop out a dime-sized amount with your index finger and spread it through your fingers by rubbing your hands together.
Massage it into your hair by running your fingers through it. Manipulate your hair into the your desired style and allow your hair to dry.
Pomade is a different animal than hair wax and works better on dry hair. Applying pomade instead of hair wax will give you a shiny finish and superior hold for a classic 'Mad Men' style.
Scoop a marble-sized amount of pomade and run it through your hands. Massage the pomade into your hair from root to tip. This is very important since you don't want the pomade to sit 'on top' of your hair, but instead be equally distributed.
Then use a fine-toothed comb to style your hair into its desired position.
3. Styling Cream
Styling cream is the easiest product to use since it's very manageable in most hair types (and is especially useful for men with curly and/or longer hair). Applying it to damp hair works best, but dry hair can work well, too.
Just dab a dime-sized drop of product onto your palms and rub them together. Then run your hands through your hair from back to front, making sure to cover your stands as evenly as possible.
Use your fingers or a comb to style as desired.
1. Tell your barber how long it has been since your most recent haircut.
Barbers know how long it takes for hair to grow, so if you tell them how long it has been since your hair was last cut, they can imagine what your hair looked like way back when.
2. Tell your barber about your lifestyle.
You want your barber to give you a cut that will fit seamlessly into your lifestyle and reflect your personality. Tell your barber where you work, what you do for fun, where you go on the weekends, how you wear your hair, whether you put product in it every day, and anything else you think might be helpful. It should fit into your life seamlessly.
3. Be specific about how you want your hair to look.
Barbers are experts in their craft, but they aren't mind readers. Don't just say, 'short on the sides, long on the top.' That's not enough. Be specific.
4. Bring a picture (but only of your hair).
As one barber put it, 'barbers are visual people.' The best photo you can bring in to show your barber is a picture of yourself after a haircut that you really liked.
It's not actually hard to apply sunscreen and moisturizer. You just kind of apply the cream to your face in the morning -- every morning.
But in order to get into that routine, you need to know why you're doing it. Essentially you're protecting your skin from sun damage and premature ageing.
The other important skincare product, eye cream, is also easy enough. Just scoop a very small amount into your index finger and rub it into your orbital bone under your eye.
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