x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Why men should take some time to achieve the natural look

Growing older means that with age comes the unfortunate realities that require diligence. To look your best means forever reassessing what has grown on your body since your last inspection.

caption@Tim Lockwood in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Courtesy Columbia Pictures
caption@Tim Lockwood in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Courtesy Columbia Pictures

I am falling in step this week with the Oasis spread that appeared this month marking the 110th anniversary of Gillette's invention of the first safety razor. Oasis explained how the modern man could get his best shave. Picking up where Oasis left off, I would like to point out how important it is for a man to stay on top of his facial hair.

This is a prickly issue, especially if it is stubble that has yet to grow into anything acceptable. So when does hair on the face grow into something that is no longer an unattractive outcrop? When does it go from being "why don't you shave?" to "I like what you are growing there"? When does five o'clock shadow turn into something that is worth the time?

The answer? Any and all facial hair is acceptable so long as the rest of your appearance is well taken care of. This means maintaining the hair on your head with regular trips to the barber. More importantly, it also involves ridding yourself of the hair growing out of your ears, carefully trimming eyebrows (the unibrow may be favoured by women in some cultures, but it should not be allowed by any man in any culture) and watching out for those dastardly nose hairs.

Growing older means that with age comes the unfortunate realities that require diligence. To look your best means assessing and forever reassessing what has grown on your body since your last inspection. Imagine you are your own otolaryngologist and instead of your ear, nose and throat it is your ear, nose and brows you must examine.

If you are unsure about what to do or how much to cut back, identify what you like and don't like by looking at your colleagues. It sounds mean-spirited, but the truth is, the workplace is full of dos and don'ts and it is your job to cull the weak from the herd, that is, get rid of the unattractive from where it should not exist. In other words, decide what you do not like about what your work mates do and then apply the best grooming techniques to yourself to make sure you look your best.

Non-fictional men and imagined characters, for instance, have sported the unibrow for decades, but in no instance has its appearance made the man in question look good. In fact, the carelessness that would allow the unibrow to take shape says much about the man's lack of concern for his appearance. The stern and unattractive look may have helped Leonid Brezhnev rule the USSR for 18 years, but it should not be an option for the modern man. (Strangely, it is slightly more common with men who are authoritative. Bert from Sesame Street and Tim Lockwood, the protagonist's father from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, are both bossy and both sport the unibrow.)

The point with male grooming is not to be seen as though you are obsessive about your look, but it is important to present yourself as though some effort has been put into your appearance. A man must look like a man, but he must give the impression it all comes naturally.

 

mjp@thenational.ae

 

Michael Jabri-Pickett is the news editor at The National