Grooming the Groom: Body Basics
Manis, pedis, massage and waxing – this type of pampering has long been the domain of the fairer sex, but with the wedding date set, how does the groom prepare himself for the big day? Starting with your head and ending with your feet, we give you a step-by-step guide in the art of manly maintenance.
You have two options when it comes to your wedding day haircut: get your usual or try something new.
Most men will stick with the same style for years – you like it, your fiancée likes it, job done! If this is your hair strategy for your wedding day, get it cut one to two weeks before you get married. This depends on how quickly your hair grows, as you want it to look neat, while avoiding that just-cut look. Schedule well in advance to make sure there’s availability, and you can even ask for some styling tips.
There’s nothing wrong with being adventurous, so if you fancy something different, take a picture of a style that you like, and ask your barber for some advice about what suits you and your hair type. What you absolutely cannot do, is decide to get this new haircut a week before you get married. Yes, hair grows back, but photographs last forever, and the last thing your bride needs is for your hair to be an epic fail.
The Cold Shoulder
For many women hairy shoulders is a big no-no, and should be dealt with swiftly. There are several methods of hair removal that you can try:
– Depilatory creams dissolve the hair, but have a strong odour, can be tricky to apply and can irritate sensitive skins.
– Shaving is a fast fix but hair grows back quickly, and you can get ingrown hairs
– Waxing is more painful and you need to have it done at a salon, but it will last longer
– Laser permanently reduces hair growth but it’s the most expensive option
– Buy a trimmer and keep the hair short and neat
Back to Back
There are definitely woman who like a hairy chest, but few are as keen on a hairy back. If you’re covered in fuzz, consider waxing or laser hair removal to appease the woman in your life, and to stop the stares when you take off your shirt at the beach.
All you need to do is watch Steve Carell getting waxed in The 40 Year old Virgin, to know that it’s not a decision to be taken lightly. If you choose the wax route then go to a salon, it’ll be quicker, cleaner and (if you can believe it) less painful than trying it at home.
Laser is more expensive but it lasts longer. If you’re considering this option, you’ll need to get assessed by a laser therapist as soon as possible. On average a person needs 6-8 sessions, but this depends on how much body hair you have, and how stubborn it is. You also have to wait 4-6 weeks between each visit, so the sooner you begin, the more likely you’ll be fuzz-free by your wedding day.
Are you a hirsute hunk like Hugh Jackman, or do you have the smooth abs of David Beckham? Some women love Hugh, others love David, so before you condemn yourself to a session of waxing, shaving or laser, find out exactly what tickles your fiancée’s fancy.
If you’ve decided you’re quite attached to your chest hair, then keep it neat and even, after all nobody wants to see tufts of hair escaping out the top of your collar. Use an electric trimmer to tame and thin your growth.
A smooth chest requires more regular maintenance, but it does give your muscles better definition. Shaving will quickly and effectively remove your unwanted hair, but you could get a rash or ingrown hairs, and your other half has to deal with your prickly stubble when it grows out. Waxing will give you a smooth chest for longer, but you’ll have to book in for regular sessions at the salon. Laser removal is the most effective hair removal method, but be sure to start the process in winter, when you’ll be out of the sun.
At Arm’s Length
Have a good look at yourself in the mirror. If you now have a hair-free chest, but very hairy arms, it’s going to look quite odd. You want your hair growth to look more even, so take trimmers and shorten the coat. For most men, your arms are fine just the way they are, and remember – only swimmers should have baby smooth arms!
While we’re talking arms, one area that is often overlooked is the armpit. You don’t want the pits clean-shaven, you just want the bush neatened, so that when your arms are at your sides, there aren’t long hairs trying to escape. Trim using clippers with a longer attachment.
The one part of your body that you definitely don’t want to neglect, is your hands. Never again will they be the centre of attention like they are on your wedding day. You’ll have to exchange rings and have close-ups taken, so put in some effort to get them camera ready.
– Keep your nails short and clean
– Use a pumice stone to get rid of those callouses
– In the weeks leading up to your wedding, start to moisturise daily
– Buy hand products for men, to avoid smelling like lavender or coconut lotion
You can also brave the nail salon for a manicure, where someone else will clip, buff and moisturise your nails. Don’t worry, it will feel weird the first time you go, but the hand massage alone is a reason to book another appointment.
Below the Belt
Did you know that there’s something called a Boyzilian? It’s the male world’s equivalent of the Brazilian, and it’s not as uncommon as you think. It’s also not for the faint-hearted. These areas never get to see the sun, but that’s no reason to neglect them. So, whether you dare to go bare, or choose to have hair, it’s a matter of preference – both yours and your betrothed.
Like Your Legs
Are you a cyclist? If you answer no, then you shouldn’t be shaving your legs. Use a trimmer if you’re conscious about how hairy your legs are, otherwise leave them as nature intended. Above all, your legs shouldn’t be smoother than your bride’s.
This is new territory for most men, and unless you’re getting married in sandals, having a pedicure is completely optional.
It really is no longer taboo for a man to have a massage, and if you’ve never been, now is the perfect opportunity. Take your groomsmen along, and spend an hour having your muscles kneaded to release all that wedding tension. There are a huge variety of massages that cater to different needs, so let your masseuse know what you want, and then relax and enjoy.
Scent of a Man
She loves the way you smell, so don’t change your aftershave the day before the wedding. Wear the scent she knows and recognises, but keep it light.
Grooming Shows You Care
It’s your wedding day too and you want to be looking shipshape. You should drink plenty of water, get enough shut eye, and add dark greens, salmon, berries and nuts to your diet. Avoid fast food, exercise regularly and, if you can, drink less beer!
You may feel that you’re more macho than metro, but with a little bit of maintenance, you’ll be the well-groomed groom that your fiancée loves. Take the time to look your best on your wedding day, and remind her exactly why she said yes.