The young male suitor waiting impatiently for his date is a well-worn tableau. He glances at his watch and rolls his eyes as the father prods about intentions. Cut to the girl’s bedroom as she tries on 15 outfits, her hair still in curlers, a veritable haze of perfume swirling about her powdered visage.
Whether charming or clichéd, this scene bears little resemblance modern reality. Men actually take care of their appearance beyond rolling a pack of cigarettes into their shirtsleeve. Nothing gold can stay, Pony Boy.
Despite the relatively modern male interest in looking one’s best, there still seems to be an ambiguous divide on what guys “should” do, particularly when it comes to grooming processes labeled through the years as feminine.
Well, allow us to break down some barriers and save you some time on Yahoo Answers. Here are a few grooming tips borrowed from the ladies that will help you look your best... and then you can go on your way to fistfight grizzlies, or whatever other manly thing you’re doing.
Use a Hair Dryer
Let’s break that first and ultimate taboo right out of the gate. For a lot of hairstyles, hair dryers are nearly indispensable, unless you have an extra 20 minutes in the morning to air dry. Products like gel, paste, putty, and pomade react better with dry hair to give a natural, feathered, windblown, or messy look, depending on how you style.
If you apply these while you're still damp from the shower, they tend to bind your hair into clusters. For some styles, that’s perfect, but for most others you want the product evenly and smoothly distributed, which will only happen with a dry head of hair.
Tip: Blow dry your hair in the direction you want it to fall when styled. It'll be much easier to whip into shape after you’re done.
Don't Fear Hairspray
I know, we’re really pushing the envelope here.
How hairspray became reserved for the fairer sex and 80s metal bands, we’ll never know. Just like most other products, hairspray is made to lock your hair in a specific style through the course of the day. Since it’s aerosol-based, hairspray covers a large surface area without weighing hair down or clumping it together.
So, if you find that pieces of hair are falling onto your forehead or spiking up where they shouldn’t, add a few quick blasts of spray after you style with product, focusing on the problem areas.
Clean Up Your Eyebrows
Unkempt eyebrows turn people off, to say the least. But, that doesn’t mean you should wax them. Get it? We’re not sanctioning that. If you do, you’ll likely get some unnaturally straight, drastic lines, making you look overly groomed or just straight-up creepy.
Buy a pair of decent metal tweezers and pluck the thick stray hairs above, below, and between your eyebrows. You can get as intense as you want in terms of shaping your arches — there are detailed charts out there that look like trigonometry problems — but to just clean up a bit, less is more.
If your brows tend to get too bushy, you can also use a beard trimmer to whack 'em down to a presentable length. Just make sure to start on the longest setting and go slowly from there, or you'll risk accidentally buzzing them way too short and have to frantically call your girlfriend for tips on how to use an eyebrow pencil. We assume.
Tip: When it comes to removing hair, whether plucking or shaving, do it after a hot shower. Hair will be softer and easier to shave, and follicles will be relaxed and less painful to pluck.
Don't Fear Conditioner
The first major commercial hair conditioner, unveiled at the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle, was actually made for men. French perfumer Edouard Pinaud said it made hair, beards, and mustaches softer and more touchable. Apparently, some things don’t change.
Conditioner still moisturizes and softens hair with natural oils, which is something people on both sides of the gender divide can appreciate. Especially if you're in the habit of using harsh oil-stripping shampoos (which is most of them), since they throw your scalp's oil production completely out of whack.
And yes, it’s a good idea to hit your facial hair a couple times a week, too.
Exfoliate More Than Just Your Mug
Exfoliating is the process of removing dead skin cells and other grossness from your pores, allowing new skin cells to grow. And although it’s a great idea to start with your face, the science behind this goes for wherever you grow skin.
A good body scrub will make you feel like a new man, and there are even products out there like exfoliating gloves if you want to get serious.
Just remember not to exfoliate more than two or three times a week. Scrubbing off all your skin has proven to be unhealthy. And messy.
So there you have it. Consider this your Rosetta Stone to her side of the bathroom sink. Mysterious though it may be, there’s no reason for you not to steal those techniques. Considering how good you’ll look, smell and feel, we’re pretty sure she won’t mind.