Words by, Aron James
Photography by, Stephen Kang
Looking your best is a great way to boost your self-esteem. There is nothing quite so satisfying as looking at yourself in the mirror in the morning and feeling genuinely satisfied with your new haircut, a perfectly manicured goatee, or a freshly ironed shirt and tie.
Staying on top of your image can not only help us feel better about ourselves, it also plays a part in how others see us. Though some of us may think that buying the right attire, driving the most striking car, or boasting the highest paying job is all that we need to set forth a quality image, the truth is that is rarely the case.
Like anything in life, impressing others and building strong relationships where individuals respect you for who you are takes time, dedication, commitment, and should go much deeper than simply the designer jeans you bought or the fixed-up Jaguar that you drive.
However, that does not mean that you should completely disregard your appearance, drive a clunker of a car, and not make an attempt to impress yourself. Though ultimately all true and meaningful relationships should be built from the core of identifying and respecting each other's truest and deepest qualities of character and personality, it is not easy to expose your character during a first encounter.
For better or worse, we are an image-driven society and many of the first impressions that we make are based on what our eyes see. Even though we all know the old adage, most of us will continue to judge a book by its cover, at least until we open it up and begin to read the content.
A man’s grooming habits is one of the first things that others will notice, and there is a fine line between a well-kept stubble beard and a five-o'clock shadow that has grown into a five-day shadow due to your negligence. Furthermore, by keeping yourself well-groomed and kept up, your own self-esteem will perk up and you'll be able to offer more confident and self-assured aura.
While you shouldn’t dedicate all your effort to try and emulate the image of a cover model for a fitness magazine, it sure doesn’t hurt to keep yourself well-groomed and presentable. Your unique appearance and image that you put forth is a way that you can speak volumes about your personality.
A man with a close-cropped haircut, clean shaven face, and impeccable suit and tie sends forth the aura of a respectable, driven business man. A man with slightly disheveled hair down to his shoulders and a scruffy beard is likely to emanate vibes of a free spirit who takes joy in living his life away from the mainstream.
Below I offer five top male grooming tips that will help you express the secrets of your personality and character. And hey, looking your best is also a great way to feel good about yourself.
- Stay on Top of the Five O’clock Shadow
We live in a society where beards have gained acceptance as a part of a man’s image. Even some CEOs of Fortune 500 companies show up to work at their Manhattan high rise office sporting a full-length beard. The difference between the respectable beard of a polished man and the gnarly, oily, nauseous looking beard of your great uncle is the effort that goes into maintaining your facial hair.
A recent essay published in the Oxford Journal “Behavioral Ecology” finds that beards evolved due to the fact that females preferred men who donned a beard. It also states that even among very different cultures, men with beards were afforded a higher social status than the clean-shaven man.
If you have forgone the clean-shaven look and have begun to experiment with any number of facial hair styles, the most important thing to remember is to dedicate time to keeping your beard, goatee, mustache, or stubble looking well-taken care of.
Buy some beard oil and a beard comb to keep your full beard under control. If you like the fine lines of a goatee, dedicate the time to keeping those lines well-trimmed and attractive. If you like the disheveled and scruffy look of a stubble beard, invest in a quality trimmer to keep it from growing just a bit too long to where your beard speaks of carelessness and sloppiness.
- Invest in a Pair of Quality Shoes
It is kind of funny in a way how people notice the shoes we wear. You would think that the lowest part of our physical appearance might be able to go unnoticed. However, almost always, our gaze eventually makes our way down to the floor to see what the other person has on his or her feet.
- Don’t Forget to Get Rid of Those Nose Hairs
Imagine you are trying to impress your coworkers during an important business presentation. Your report is going great until you notice a friend of yours touching his nose to alert you to a piece of nose hair curling out your nose.
If you are trying to impress a potential business partner or give a quality presentation for a new product you're pushing, those stray strands of nose hairs can be similar to a piece of lettuce caught between the teeth.
It doesn’t take but a minute to trim up any loose nose hairs, and it really can make a difference when trying to impress a woman. Before going out, take a look in the mirror and be willing to invest a few minutes in trimming up any of those unsightly curled hairs.
- Beware of the Body Odor
One of the most unattractive things for anyone is having to smell unattractive body odor emanating from a man. There is no better way to lose the respect of your peers than smelling like you've just come from the gym all day long.
If you are not a guy who likes to smell like cologne and aftershave, at the very least buy a stick of odorant. For men who are heavy sweaters, take your deodorant to work with you and when you go your bathroom break, don’t hesitate to freshen up.
- Try Out Different Hairstyles
If you have lived your entire life with the classic crew cut on top of your head, it might be time to try something else out. Showing up to work with a new, creative haircut or hairstyle will tell the people who are watching you that you are not afraid to be original and try out new things.
An article published by Duke Law School titled “The Hair Dilemma” finds that your exterior appearance, including the haircut you show up with, is a major factor in how people judge your competence, amicability, intelligence and trustworthiness.”
The same haircut donned year after year after year can make you seem unimaginative and boring. Though you might want to stay away from the mohawk, there are literally hundreds of small changes to your hairstyle that you can experiment with over time.
Good Looks and Good Vibes: The Key to Outwardly Expressing Your Identity
Just as you make initial impressions about a person based on the image he or she portrays, so too do others judge you based on how you portray yourself externally and physically. This is where these five grooming tips can help you express externally who you are inside.
If you completely pull off all five of the grooming tips listed above, not only will you find that others react to you differently, but you will also benefit from improved self-esteem. In the end, looking good and well-groomed is important for any type of relationship that you want to cultivate. It shows that you care about your appearance and your image.
Thank you for reading!
The article above is a featured guest post enunciated, and written by, Aron James, founder of Stubble Patrol. Specially written for www.igeeokafor.com. Approved by, Igee Okafor.