Sometimes I wonder if when it comes to grooming, men long for the good old days of Leave It to Beaver and Don Draper. Back in the day, all it took to be perfectly groomed was a wet shave and some hair pomade. Even as hair grew longer, beards shaggier and lapels wider, men’s grooming changed very little. In fact, up until recently even the fanciest of dandies could get away with just a shower and a splash of cologne.
Things are more than a little different in the 21 Century. Men are waxed, lasered, tweezed, buffed and polished to within an inch of their lives. Their impeccably arched eyebrows make Joan Crawford look like Leonid Brezhnev and it’s easier to find a Yeti than to spot a hairy chest at Equinox. Then there is the matter of facial hair. Apparently it is now possible to become the Internet’s hottest man simply by growing a lush beard, straight out of the pages of a 19th Century Russian novel. And should you decide to pursue the hirsute path, you can buy organic beard oils to keep your whiskers soft and lustrous and sandalwood-scented pomades to keep those sexy mustaches pointing proudly north.
So what do women think about the advances in men’s grooming? Well, for one, we are all special snowflakes and one woman’s “sexy lumbersexual” is another’s scratchy nightmare. Still, I suppose some of you might need a little guidance, so here are one (very opinionated) woman’s thoughts on “What Women Want” when it comes to men’s grooming. Word of advice though: before you take them on board, make sure your partner agrees.
- Please, please leave your poor eyebrows to the professionals. 18 | 8 has seen it all before and most definitely knows that less is more in this category! You can’t possibly enjoy too much waxing, so is it that you simply love looking like Doris from accounting? Leave the perfectly groomed, pencil arches to the ladies. Not only do they look disconcerting, it gives the less high-maintenance amongst us anxiety about the state of our own unkempt brows. Keep your massive hedge-brows trim and no more. Please feel free to disregard this rule if you live and/or spend a significant amount of time on the Jersey Shore.
- Unless you are a professional bodybuilder or have been so requested by your partner, you do not need to wax your chest. You most certainly do not need to wax your man-bits (oh please, God, don’t!!!). Trimming is sometimes appreciated. Please feel free to disregard this rule if you look like you’re wearing a wooly sweater after you take off your shirt.
- Sometimes beards work. Others… They don’t. If you do decide to rock the beard, do keep it clean and trim. After all, the ZZ Top look only worked for ZZ Top (and only just barely). And while we love a man who loves animals, we’d rather not wonder if there are small rodents living in his beard. Please feel free to disregard this rule if you are Gandalf, Santa or Khal Drogo.
- Don’t worry so much. A frequent trip to the resident experts at 18 | 8 will keep you just where you should be, looking like it’s all rather effortless for you. And if you’re reading this, the chances are you’ve already got the grooming down pat.