Vintage Grooming, Modern Man: 5 tips every man needs follow to start the day

Maybe some of you were fortunate enough in your childhood to watch a father, grandfather or perhaps an uncle up early in the morning before school in the bathroom meticulously going about his daily ritual. Perhaps it went something like this:

1. Brush teeth

2. Shower

3. Shave

4. Throw on some aftershave or cologne

Something to that effect to start off the day, right?  It was never a glamorous routine, not a YouTube worthy posting but it got the job done and started your morning off on the right foot. The routine was about self-care, the art of presenting yourself in the best way possible and to radiate a high level of confidence the moment you stepped out into the world. Times have changed sure, social media, dating rules, ettiqute, but taking time to maintain ourselves and looking presentable should not become a fad that fizzles out until the next hot genre comes long. Below is a list of 5 tips of what should be a part of your morning routine which in turn is the foundation to your personal style. Grooming and taking care of your appearance may sound like common knowledge even basic but if you do not perform these 5 tips regularly you risk looking disheveled, unkempt and nowhere near the regal image you were destined to portray:

1. WASH YOUR FACE

This is a simple one. All that is needed is a mild face wash with minimal ingredients. You also don't need to scrub your face with force you are only removing germs, dirt and sweat from your face so keep it simple you are not power washing windows here. Also, the most expensive product on the shelf may not be the best product that benefits your skin type. Why is it important to wash your face daily? One, our bodies are constantly at work repairing skin cells, replacing hair on our face and secreating oil, sweat and mucous, dead skin cells, all up on our face (if you're the science type that process is kinda cool).  Two, those microscopic creatures called germs.  We have a tendency to put our hands to our face more often then we'd like to admit and our hands are exposed to countless bacteria day in and day out. Someone sneezes on their hand and doesn't clean it well enough then shakes your hand minutes later, eventually your hand ends up on your face and a new rash tomorrow morning. A good wash will give your face a fresh clean slate ready for whatever the day brings on.  Dry your face with a towel but do not rub, a pat down is good enough. Now the next thing men should do after a good face wash is...

2. MOISTURIZE

I admit, I have trouble with this one and it is a fairly new social norm for men, especially black men, to use a product - moisturizer - considered primarily for women.  Listen, you have skin that needs to be taken care of and after a face wash your skin is more susceptible to drying. Drying leads to itchiness which can lead to redness or flaky/ash skin. Therefore putting a moisturizing element to your face will reduce dryness, itch, flaky/ashy skin while providing a hydrated, healthy and younger looking face. If you have facial hair moisturizing still applies, the use of a beard balm or beard oil will be equally important in not only moisturizing the skin under your facial hair but the hair as well. Since facial hair is on the table of discussion here is another practice you should consider in your day to day routine...

3. TRIM YOUR FACIAL HAIR, KEEP IT NEAT

Having facial hair is a sign of maturity and a mark of manhood in many cultures and societies around the world. A mustache, goatee or a beard can be styled to your liking, fit your personality and will be one of the first attributes anyone sees of you. If you want to display your best then facial hair must be maintained like everything, even the thickest of beards. If you can't make it to the barber every week invest in a personal electric trimmer to handle your look (I hear the Bevel trimmer is good but I haven't used it so I cannot comment on it personally). Also, watch for split ends. It sounds crazy but we do get them and if you do not trim these bad boys your beard or goatee will take longer to grow it to the length you desire due to the breakage of the hair due to mechanical stresses. For guys this includes pulling a comb forcefully through tangled hair and repeated combing. Comb you facial hair but don't go crazy with it check for hair that's out of place or strands of hair that are too long compared to the rest of the hair on your face. Above all, the goal is to be neat and presentable.

4. TRIM YOUR NAILS

Okay, this is not required daily but it shouldn't be neglected to the point your toe nails and finger nails look like diving boards. Get a nail clipper handy, don't be ashamed of using a higher grade industrial strength nail clipper either, and put in some work.  All of us have different nail circumstances we are dealing with but there is no excuse to not do it. A suggestion for those who consider clipping nails too laborious a task, get a manicure/pedicure. Yes many men still would not consider having a manicure/pedicure even if it was paid for, came with lunch and a bottle of Hennessy but think what could be. Having a lovely women whose job it is to ensure your hands and feet are presentable, who is scrubbing your foot and clipping your nails with her delightful hands while you sit and chill in warm water surrounding your feet with a fragrance that's smells better than the car scent that's sitting on your rear view mirror right now! Yes sir, if that isn't a reason to try out a manicure/pedicure occasionally you'll just have to settle with having Lord of the Rings Hobbit feet. I am not the one. Remember, women have to look at your nails too and having decent care of your nails does indeed impress. Be proud you can wear open-toe sandals on the beach with her without socks!

5. FRESHEN UP THAT BREATH AND BODY

This may be the most important tip of the 5 given in this post.  Even if you have all 4 of the previous tips on a schedule and your are mastering them, washing your face, moisturizing, grooming yourself, it all falls apart if it's 10 in the morning and your breath smells like 4:47 pm, homelessness and compost. Don't be that person, please we all know that one person who wants to have a conversation late in the day and has to be than 9 inches from your face. Don't be that person and if you are how dare you, know better. If you are able to or fancy the idea, bring a travel size tube of toothpaste and a brush to handle that after lunch breath or anytime later in the day to revive the clean mouth freshness of earlier in the day. Gum or mints are also an option if carrying toothpaste to and from the workplace restroom doesn't appeal to you. Next, body odor is a no-no, never, ever unless you are out in the field farming, working out at home, working out then immediately going home or just at home and no one is around. Our bodies are always at work and it is our job, our duty to keep them clean.  There is no reason to come to work first thing as smell like life, why? A shower, in my opinion, is not required everyday but make an effort to monitor how you smell, don't wear the same clothes (underwear for that matter) days on end especially as a grown man. Use deodorant, no excuses there. Cologne should never be used as a substitute for a shower. Cologne was meant for adding a scent to an already clean body not to hide the funk that's for bathroom sprayers.

I was fortunate enough to watch my dad as a kid so living up to a standard, a code of personal hygiene is important and nothing to be taken lightly. We as men should take pride in ourselves, our appearance and understand someone is looking up to us and at us with admiration so hold up your end and keep yourself looking and smelling your best.