If you’re like most guys, you don’t think too much about grooming. Yeah, you brush your teeth and use deodorant—and you might even drag a razor over your face from time to time—but that’s about it. And it shouldn’t be. Increasingly, research shows women (and even employers) really value a man’s hygiene. Which is why the men’s grooming industry continues to explode. So here are 19 blunders our experts say you need to correct ASAP to save your sex life—and how to go about it.
1. Neck Hair: “Women pay attention to details, and while most guys trim their facial hair, they forget to trim the back of their neck. Many of my female friends have admitted that when they see an unkempt neckline, they assume everything under the clothes will be just as hairy and gross.” –Josh Meyer, CEO, Brickell Men’s Products
2. Excess Nose Hair: “We notice this, guys, and we don’t like it. Use an electric trimmer or trimming scissors to get rid of it. Or, if you have the cash and want even longer results, try laser hair removal.” –Jaime Masters, president, 826 & Co.
3. Shaving Cuts: “When men nick their faces shaving and walk around with white toilet paper stuck to their faces, it’s a bad look. Instead, take a styptic pencil, wet the point of it, and apply it to the cut. You can find one at your local drugstore.” –Lee Tyau, founder, Wet Shaving Products
4. Bushy Eyebrows: “To look a guy in the eyes, only to see big, unkempt eyebrows is a major grooming violation. Ask your barber or hair stylist to trim your eyebrows.” –Lorraine Carlin, creative director, Truman’s Gentlemen’s Groomers
5. Dandruff: “Dandruff is a major turn-off. No woman will feel comfortable when she has to try to avoid flakes falling from a man’s hair!” –Michael Nguyen, co-founder, Fade men’s lifestyle app Note: To nip dandruff in the bud, use an anti-dandruff shampoo. In case that wasn’t obvious.
6. Dry, Ashy Skin: “Throwing on some face moisturizer before a date is key. At minimum, a face moisturizer will temporarily fill your skin cells with water, causing your face to look tighter and more hydrated. Not looking like a leathery old belt is a good thing.” –Meyer
7. Unibrow: “There should be two eyebrows and not one! If you’ve got a unibrow going on, take out the tweezers. Pulling out the most unruly hairs will give your brows more shape and also show your lady that you believe in personal maintenance. Don’t want to continually pluck? Get that little space waxed or lasered and be done with it.” –Masters
8. Too Much Cologne: “Your cologne should make women want to get closer to you, not repel them like bug spray. Less is more. When in doubt, ask someone.” –Tyau
9. Limp, Over-Shampooed Hair: “Don’t wash your hair every day. Shampoos strip the hair of natural oils, which make it look limp, dull and a lot less full. If you’re already starting to lose your hair, this is a recipe for disaster. Shampoo every other day and you’ll see your hair’s condition improve, as well as looks from the opposite sex.” –Meyer Note: You could even shampoo as infrequently as once per week.
10. Caveman Beard: “Women love beards! But it is unacceptable for a man to go on a first date or show up to work looking like a caveman. Keep the neck and cheeks clean-shaven. A shave cream and shave balm will help.” –Carlin
11. Long Toenails: “Your girlfriend doesn’t want to wake up with cuts and scrapes on her legs from you, so trim and file those long, thick toenails. If you want to really impress her, try a body polish on those feet to slough off that dead skin and leave your toes soft and moisturized.” –Masters
12. Excess Ear Hair: “Like it or not, women—and everyone else—do notice hair sticking out of your ears. Use an electric trimmer and keep those pesky hairs at bay.” –Tyau
13. Obvious Dye Job: “Just because your hair begins to change color doesn’t mean you need to start dyeing it. Don’t dye your hair on a whim, and if you do want a little exta color, leave it to a professional.” –Carlin
14. Razor Burn: “Before you shave, exfoliate with a gentle face polish to help prevent ingrown hairs, bumps and inflammation. A face polish makes shaving easier by moisturizing and plumping skin and softening facial hair, allowing for a smooth shave and reducing the chance of nicks.” –Masters Note: Did you really want to see a picture of a guy with razor burn, rather than Superman shaving?
15. Dry, Cracked Hands: “Women don’t want to be rubbed down with sandpaper. Use a deep moisturizing cream to bring moisture back to those cracked, dry paws.” –Tyau
16. Bushy Below the Belt: “Women spend a lot of time keeping things manicured for you, so why not return the favor? Take a trimmer to your man region or go for the full wax—it’s up to you. Just take some pride in your work and make it look nice.” –Masters Note: If you go completely bare down there, it could boost your risk of STDs.
17. Chapped Lips: “Not only are they painful and unpleasant to kiss, but chapped lips look bad and women notice. Use lip balm whenever they feel dry to keep your lips healthy and kissable.” –Tyau Note: We like Carmex Daily Care for maintaining attractive Young Elvis lips. It’s designed for everyday use to avoid chapped lips. Plus, it has SPF 15 sun protection.
18. Overgelled Hair: “Don’t show up to a date or a job interview with overly gelled, helmet-like hair. Use a high-quality hair paste instead. It’s an easy product that any guy can use to get that polished, finished look.” –Carlin
19. Lines and Wrinkles: “If you’re playing the long game and trying to age like a fine wine, add a face moisturizer to your daily routine.” –Tyau Note: Look for a daily face moisturizer that’s also a sunscreen. Aim for broad spectrum SPF 15 or higher.