Grooming for a Date - A Man’s Guide

In a companion feature to this I gave ten pointers to men on presenting themselves well for a date. Dressing well is half of the picture, but not the complete story. You can be well-dressed, but undermine it with a generally unkempt appearance. 

This is where good grooming comes in. I don’t want to make you sound like a prize cow for an agricultural show, but the reasons behind grooming are the same, whether you’re a man or a racehorse — you’re trying to look, smell and shine to your best advantage. Ultimately a horse race, agricultural show or looking for a date are, in their own way, competitive situations and you always want to be a front runner.

I’ve said all this with my tongue slightly in my cheek, and it may be that what I’m going to say will seem basic, but the feedback I get from female friends who date is that some men don’t realise that there’s room for improvement in their grooming regimes. 

Here are a few pointers to help you arrive squeaky clean and smelling nice for your date.

Let’s start from the top:

1. Hair: whether long, short or bald, keep it clean. Ideally it should also look neat, but I appreciate that’s not everyman’s style. Be yourself, but wash it regularly. You don’t need to spend a lot on hair shampoo — research shows that the cheapest works as well as the most expensive. A conditioner can help make it look shiny and feel soft. If your hair is unruly, add a small amount of hair wax or similar product while it’s still damp to hold it in place.

2. Beard/ moustache/ stubble: Where stubble once showed that you were either growing a beard or hadn’t yet had a chance to shave, it’s now more common to have a few days growth than a full beard. In all cases, again, keep the facial hair clean. A good beard oil will keep to soft, non-itchy and smelling pleasant. Your date won’t fancy kissing a hedgehog chin, so keep it at a length where it’s not prickly.

3. Nose and ear hair: as you get older these become more prominent. I use an inexpensive battery-operated trimmer that works well and has fittings to enable you to trim eyebrows as well without cutting them off completely!

4. Body generally: obviously you’re going to shower before your date and will put-on clean clothes — there’s nothing more off-putting than the smell of stale sweat or worse. Don’t forget the feet, which can be overlooked in the shower.

5. Mouth: brush you teeth and use a good mouthwash. I use Ultradex, which is non-alcoholic and tasteless but leaves the mouth fresh and odourless.

6. Nails: give them a scrub and a cut.

7. Fragrance: women respond well to a nice-smelling man. Use a good deodorant under the arms and select a subtle cologne or aftershave. Avoid cheap ones; they’re not a good investment. Brands like Creed, Pengaligons, D.R.Harris, Murdock and Acqua di Parma (there are many others) are my favourites. Use sparingly so that she’s tempted to get close to smell the gorgeous you.

Shiny clean, smelling nice and stylishly suited and booted, you’re now ready for your date. Have a wonderful time.

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