Grooming For Grooms: Top Tips & Tricks

by | Groom, Hair and Skincare, Tips and Tricks

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mr Houndstooth
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Image via Christian Marc Photography. Bridgette & Dales Rustic Country Wedding With Native Flowers

Image by Christian Marc Photography Barber Fade ‘n Blade Barber Shop by Bridgette & Dales Rustic Country Wedding With Native Flowers

Grooming has certainly evolved over the years. Undoubtedly, it was more associated with pets than people when I was growing up. Fortunately, times have changed and grooming, especially for men, has not only evolved, but is now celebrated. And all jibes about ‘manscaping’ aside, the idea that a man could or even want to take care of his appearance, used to be met with negativity, almost as a sign of weakness. It still is today, in some circles.

But as traditional notions of masculinity are redefined, we can also be comfortable in embracing taking care of ourselves – inside and out. Over the past few years I’ve had a chance to pick the brains of a bunch of grooming experts, and I’ve dug through the archives to compile some of their best tips and tricks.

Skin

I’m starting with skin because I have a hunch it’s one of the key grooming areas which men might neglect. You might not have even thought about using a product on your skin, but Julian Burak, founder of A Good Man – an international personal shopping and styling service – says there’s nothing to shy away from.

“Exfoliate and get the dead skin off your face,” Julian says. “A simple shower scrub will do. If you are up for it, book in for a facial.” And as the big day approaches, you can be forgiven for succumbing to that inevitable stress blemish.

Nathan Jancauskas, owner of Mensbiz – a Melbourne grooming store – says grooms can also consider a concealer. “Use a concealer to cover dark under-eye circles or any blemishes that might pop up,” he says. “If you have particularly oily skin, use an anti-shine cream or powder in the morning.”

Photo by Jordan Knight. Image via Kate & Trenton's Romantic Wedding With A Muted Colour Palette

Photo by Jordan Knight. Image via Kate & Trenton’s Romantic Wedding With A Muted Colour Palette

Hair

Hair is the most obvious aspect of grooming for grooms, and when it comes to going the trim, I’m a fan of heading to a traditional barber. The best part? The ‘traditional barber’ has had an amazing comeback in the last decade, and it’s now easier than ever to find a talented (and modern) barber in your neck of the woods. I tend to go with Kings Domain Barbers (Melbourne and Sydney) and I’ve also got a soft spot for Melbourne’s Barber Black Sheep.

“Stick with what you know and trust,” Nathan says. “Ideally book your haircut in for a few days ahead of the wedding and go to someone you know and trust (best to make a booking for the barber you usually see, rather than a barbershop that makes you take whoever might be free at the time). Allow time for your hair to grow out and feel more natural.” If you’re thinking about something a little different for the special occasion, don’t leave it to the last minute, Nathan says.

“The week before your wedding isn’t the best time to reinvent your look, so if you want to experiment with a different style, best to start thinking about it a few months ahead of time,” Nathan says. “Allow time for your hair to grow out and feel more natural.” The team at Kings Domain says you should consider “at least three haircuts” with the same barber before your wedding.

“This is so the barber has time to get to know you, what you like, what you don’t like and what will work best with your hair type,” a spokesperson said.

“We really do get a bit of everything but I guess it’s the classics that most people want: clean and sharp. A lot of guys are coming in for tailored facial hair – neat beards and cut throat on the cheeks and neck.”

Shaving 

As beards have made their inevitable comeback in the last few years, it’s meant grooms have more to think about in the lead up to their wedding day. Do you shave it all off? Or perhaps just a trim? Either way, I suggest going with a professional.

Just like the hair on top of your head, it’s important to go with what you know, otherwise leave a good amount of time before your wedding day – just in case things go wrong. “If you are going to get a hot towel shave on the big day, then come and get one a week or two before to make sure you don’t have any reaction to the blade,” the Kings Domain team said.

Let’s not go crazy here. Leave the reinvention to ageing rock stars and stick with what you know. Nathan’s message was loud and clear for those looking to shave: Do it early and do it slowly! “If you’re shaving the morning of the wedding, slow down and take your time. Use a sharp blade and finish with a soothing aftershave balm. Make sure you don’t cut yourself or miss any stray hairs.”

Photo by Underatreehouse. Image via Laura and Andy's Intimate Yarramalong Country Farm Wedding

Photo by Jordan Knight. Image via Kate & Trenton’s Romantic Wedding With A Muted Colour Palette

Fragrance

Still reaching for the old green Brut bottle? Come on, guys. It might have worked for your old man, but it’s time to branch out. Personally, I use the David Beckham fragrance Intimately. I’ve been using it for the better part of a decade now. The good thing about finding a fragrance that you like and sticking with it, is that when I started using it, it set me back in the hundreds of dollars, today it’s less than 30 bucks a pop!

Heads up, you’re going to smell on your wedding day. It’s up to you whether you smell good or bad.

So how do you make sure you stay smelling sweet and not like a locker room?? Nathan says there’s a trick to staying on the right side of fragrant throughout the day. “To help your scent last longer, it’s best to apply fragrance straight after a shower, while pores are open,” he says. “Spray onto pulse points that offer good blood circulation; such as the wrists, the inside of your elbows, the base of your throat and just below the earlobes.”

Bonus tip: Don’t get too adventurous

Let’s be clear here, the week of your wedding is not the time to start using a new product, shaving an area of your face which hasn’t been shaved for a long time, and definitely not a time to be getting a new haircut.

As Julian Burak, founder of A Good Man – an international personal shopping and styling service told me: “grooming is important all the time”, however, there is a time and a place to get radical. “When it comes to your wedding, you need a month if you want to try something new. Leave room for mistakes.”

Solid advice. I’m all for trying something new but let’s leave at least a month to fix any accidental stuff ups.

About Mr Houndstooth: I am a happily married man. I enjoy a fine whisky, a new suit and swashbuckling around town with my beautiful bride. Looking back on my wedding day always makes me smile, even though it began to rain just as I said ‘I do’.

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