10 grooming hacks for men

No matter how much cash you splash, if your personal hygiene isn’t up to scratch you’ll never look stylish. Sarah Brooks-Wilson shows you how to groom up better.

1. Deodorant turns your shirts yellow


Solution: Try a new formula no-stain anti-perspirant

Aluminium found in deodorants can cause yellow stains on white shirts when mixed with sweat and oil. You don’t want to have soggy pits just to preserve your shirts, so beauty companies have now designed anti-perspirants with a no-stain formula — now you can prevent the sweat and spare your favourite shirt. Try Nivea Men 48hr Dry Impact Plus anti-perspirant, $6.59.

As for getting rid of stuck-in stains, create a baking soda paste and spread a thick layer over the stain, scrubbing with a toothbrush. Let it sit for an hour and wash normally.

2. You always wear big sunnies to cover dark, puffy eyes

Solution: Change your lifestyle, keep hydrated and conceal dark marks

Dark circles are caused by lack of sleep, stress, long hours in front of the computer, dehydration and too much of the wrong foods. To cure your puffy, dark eyes, start by keeping your eye area hydrated. The skin under your eyes is extremely thin so it needs extra care. Apply a lightweight eye gel or cream every night. Gels with aloe vera and vitamin E are good for the skin. Try Clinique For Men Anti-Fatigue Eye Gel, $52. For a quick fix, applying a few dots of concealer before you walk out the door is a sneaky way to cover dark circles. Lastly, maintain a healthy lifestyle. Remember, too much booze, smoking, an unbalanced diet and staying up late won’t do your eyes any favours.

3. If you shave your beard off you’ll get spots

Solution: Start exfoliating before you shave

Even if you have a substantial amount of facial hair, you should still have a good cleansing regimen to keep your skin healthy, even under the beard. This means cleansing with a face wash morning and night and using an exfoliator in the shower twice a week. Rub the product into your bristles so it reaches the skin underneath.

If you haven’t been so diligent, start a good routine at least a month before you want to shave off your beard, and you won’t get spots. Switch to glycolic acid-based cleansers after a shave, which will gently slough off dry, flaky skin and nix any spots that are starting to surface. Try Biore Blemish Fighting Ice Cleanser, $9.99 and L’Oreal Men Expert Hydra Energetic Moisturiser for 3-Day Beards, $14.95.

4. You can’t wear dark colours because your hair flakes too much

Solution: Swap to an anti-dandruff shampoo

There’s no excuse for flaky skin on your shoulders. Treating dandruff is all about using the right shampoo and washing your hair regularly so it doesn’t have time to build up. Use a specialised treatment shampoo containing zinc pyrithione or selenium sulfide. These anti-dandruff ingredients can help slow the rate at which your skin cells die and slough off. When used daily and left in for five minutes, these treatments can get rid of a good proportion of white flakes in about a month. The real work is making sure treatments are really worked into the scalp, as that’s where the fungus and sebum lives. Try Goldwell Dualsenses Men Anti-Dandruff shampoo, $25.45.

5. The hot weather makes your hair frizz

Solution: Use a lotion or pomade after washing

If the hot weather and humidity leave you with a kinky, frizzy mess, work a small amount of hair lotion or pomade through your hair after you get out of the shower. This will smooth down the cuticle and keep it in place.

6. You can’t wear sandals because your feet are unkempt

Solution: A pedicure, or some serious at-home foot maintenance

The longer your feet are hidden away in sweaty shoes, the more hideous and neglected they’ll become. To start with, get a pedicure. The therapist will scrub your feet clean of dirt and grime, trim your toenails to the proper length and give your heels a good seeing too. The result is polished, healthy feet worth showing off. Apply a foot cream nightly before bed and invest in some toenail clippers to keep your nails in check, and remember to trim them often. Try Kiehl’s Cross-Terrain Foot Cream, $28 and Manicare Toenail Clippers, $8.99.

7. Your white shirt collars turn yellow

Solution: Get into a good skincare routine

If this is you, place your grooming focus on good neck hygiene. It’s an area that’s often neglected in a skincare routine, but it often gets just as oily as the face, which is why it transfers so much grime to your shirts. Exfoliate twice a week and cleanse twice daily when you wash your face. Keep your neck hair trim, wear your hair short and avoid overloading the skin with products. Try Natio For Men Daily Face Wash, $11.95 and Nivea Men Clear Effect Oil Control Facial Scrub, $8.99.

8. You have too much body hair to go to the beach

Solution: Start adding hair removal to your routine

Everyone has different types of chest, back and arm hair to address, and it can be easy to manage once you know how. If you don’t want to shave it off yourself and deal with the high maintenance regrowth every few days, then its time to book yourself into a laser hair clinic to have it removed professionally. Yes, lots of men now use laser, so don’t be embarrassed. While laser removal is a bit uncomfortable the first time, after a few visits you will not only see less hair, but it won’t be as painful. Depending on how dark your hair is it could take six to eight sessions to remove it. But it’s all worth it: once the hair’s gone, it won’t grow back.

9. You sweat too much to wear coloured shirts

Solution: Get a good anti-perspirant deodorant, pronto

Anti-perspirant is the only deodorant to buy to prevent excessive sweating. Why? The primary focus of deodorant is to mask the smell of bacteria multiplying in your pits when you sweat, it isn’t to stop the problem of excess sweating. An anti-perspirant helps to stop the root cause of body odour by reducing sweating in the underarm area, preventing bacteria build-up and the odour that follows. Our advice: go for an anti-perspirant and wear whatever shirt you want. Try Dove Men+Care Clean Comfort anti-perspirant deodorant, $7.29.

10. Singlets always make your arms look pale and skinny

Solution: Pumping iron and a fake tan


The easy solution to nix pale skin is to have a spray tan for an instant bronzed glow, or if you’re game, do it yourself with an at-home version. Gradual tans are failsafe, but it will take a few days to see noticeably golden skin. Try Bondi Sands Mens Everyday Gradual Tanning Foam, $17.95. The hardest job here is your biceps. You’re going to have to put in some gym hours! You can easily develop an arm-specific plan with a trainer that you can do a few times a week, but remember it’s going to take at least six weeks to see results.