My current series about changing the optics of masculinity these days involves creating a roadmap for better manhood. The next post on personal hygiene is critical to building self-confidence and how you show as a man.
As you’ve read in my previous posts, good and proper manhood begins when a male knows his Identity; not just who he is as a man but that he is also a child of God. The second part helps him know he was created for a Purpose for his time on earth. His Worldview leads to how he uses his Masculinity Properly and whether he shows up as a mature and proper man. This maturity begins when he learns to First, Manage Himself Well, which included Money Management; the first of the basic “hard skills” that I will outline in this subset of posts. I will also write about some “soft skills” like the behavioral, emotional, and spiritual aspects in other posts.
Puberty and Personal Hygiene
There is no right time to begin with good personal care but it’s best to learn good grooming skills in your early teens when puberty begins to impact how young males look and smell. Puberty brings about various physical changes such as the growth of body hair, including facial hair, chest hair, underarm hair, and pubic hair. Many young men also experience acne breakouts due to increased oil production and hormonal changes. Increased sweat production and hormonal changes cause body odor and bad breath. Establishing a consistent personal care routine becomes essential to manage the effects of these bodily changes.
While not necessarily part of personal hygiene, voice changes make young men become more conscious of how they are perceived by others. Emotional and social changes start aligning their personal grooming with societal expectations. Other factors such as genetics, cultural background, personal preferences, and available financial resources may influence hygiene routines during this transformative stage of life.
However, it’s essential for young men to embrace these bodily changes, receive constructive feedback (sadly oftentimes through bullying), and seek guidance about personal hygiene habits that help them create their personal style and self-expression.
The Benefits of Personal Grooming
Gone are the days when young boys jumped out of bed, take a quick shower (maybe!), and were ready to leave for school, work, or any other occasion. Today, personal care and good hygiene is important for men (as well as for women) for several reasons:
- Self-confidence and emotional well-being: Taking care of your personal hygiene helps boost your self-confidence and overall well-being. When you feel clean, well-groomed, and put together, you are more likely to feel good about yourself and project that confidence to others. It can boost your mood and provide a sense of satisfaction. It shows you take time for yourself and prioritize your well-being. It also has a positive impact on your interactions and relationships with both other males and females.
- First impressions: Whether you’re meeting someone for the first time or attending a social event, first impressions matter. People form initial judgments based on appearance, so hygiene plays a crucial role in creating a positive impression. A well-groomed shows you pay attention to detail, self-care, and respect for yourself and others.
- Social acceptance: Society places value on personal hygiene as a social norm. Adhering to grooming standards helps individuals feel accepted and fit into social settings. It demonstrates respect for societal expectations and can lead to more positive social interactions and relationships. Unfortunately, extreme appearances often are misunderstood.
- Professional success: Personal hygiene plays a significant role in professional settings. Maintaining a neat and polished appearance is often expected in many workplaces. It shows that you take pride in yourself and your work, and it can positively influence how you are perceived by colleagues, clients, and employers. A well-groomed appearance can enhance your professionalism and contribute to career advancement opportunities.
While personal hygiene should not be the sole determinant of a person’s worth, it is critical to building self-confidence and how you show as a man. These are valuable aspects of manhood so investing time and effort into personal grooming will help you feel more confident, comfortable, and ready to take on various aspects of adult life.
Types of Personal Hygiene
There are several personal hygiene skills that young men should develop to enhance their appearance and self-confidence. Many of these following skills may seem obvious but many guys today just don’t seem to care about their appearance.
- Basic hygiene: Maintaining good personal hygiene is essential. This includes regular showering or bathing, using deodorant, brushing teeth twice a day, and wearing clean and untattered clothes. A quick under-the-arm smell test really works!
- Facial hair grooming: If you have facial hair, it’s important to keep it well-groomed. This involves regular shaving or trimming to maintain a neat and tidy appearance. You may also need to learn how to shape and maintain your beard or mustache if you choose to grow one. The 5-day shadow look works for some but, in my opinion, not in a professional setting. If you can’t grow a mustache, good sideburns, or a full beard, stay clean-shaven and try again in a few years. Neckbeards are a no-no!
- Hairstyling: Finding a good hairstyle can significantly enhance your overall appearance. Experiment with different haircuts and find a style that suits your face shape and personal preferences. Learn how to use hairstyling products such as gels or pomades to achieve the desired look. Long hair is making a comeback; a man bun is OK for certain people. Feedback from your female and guy friends is critical.
- Skincare: Taking care of your skin is important for maintaining a healthy and youthful appearance. Develop a skincare routine that includes frequent cleansing and moisturizing. Use sunscreen often to protect your skin from harmful UV rays and avoid skin cancers later in life.
- Nail care: Keep your nails clean and well-trimmed. Regularly cut your fingernails and toenails to avoid any dirt or bacteria buildup. Some guys get manicures and pedicures. Otherwise, keep a nail clipper or nail file handy to shape and smooth the edges. But never clip your nails in the office!
- Clothing and fashion sense: Developing a sense of personal style can greatly enhance your overall appearance. Experiment with different clothing styles and find outfits that make you feel comfortable and confident. Learn how to dress appropriately for different occasions and how to coordinate colors and patterns. Find a style that shows you are a man without being too feminine or overly masculine. Personally, I found these links to style tips from Essential Man and the Art of Manliness very helpful.
- Exercise and Weight Training: Everyone’s fitness journey is unique, and the results of physical activities and weight lifting can vary. It’s crucial to approach fitness in a balanced and sustainable manner, considering individual goals, abilities, and safety. Consulting with a fitness professional or trainer can provide personalized guidance and help design a workout routine. Regular exercise helps build strength and improve posture. It helps with weight management, fat loss, and body composition. It also reduces stress, improves your mood, and promotes a sense of accomplishment. When a man feels good about himself, he is a more positive and attractive presence.
- Body grooming: Pay attention to your overall body hygiene as well. This includes trimming body hair, particularly in areas such as the chest, back, and armpits. These days, “manscaping” seems the rage so it’s always good to be aware of excessive hair growth in your private areas
- Scent management: Wearing a pleasant fragrance can leave a positive impression. Experiment with different colognes to find one that suits you and your personality. Remember to apply fragrance in moderation to avoid overwhelming others. If someone can smell you from more than 4 feet away, you have used too much!
- Oral hygiene: Taking care of your teeth and breath is essential. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss regularly, and consider using mouthwash to keep your breath fresh. Bad breath is the worst turn-off.
Later in the series, I will write about the importance of frequent doctor visits which is important for everyone, but especially men who tend to avoid taking care of themselves.
Remember that personal hygiene is critical to building self-confidence and how you show as a man. It is not just about your physical appearance but how you present yourself in the best possible way to feel more confident and make a positive impression in various social and professional settings.
All men must practice good personal hygiene to engage in positive social interactions and help them navigate social situations more smoothly. But godly men are encouraged to approach their personal grooming with a balance of modesty, self-care, and consideration for others.
The Bible does not provide specific guidelines on hygiene, grooming or styles but provide some good principles and teachings that guide us. We read that your true beauty and worth come from within and about having a gentle spirit that cultivates the virtues of love, kindness, and compassion (1 Peter 3:3-4, Proverbs 31:30). It encourages modesty in appearance and attire (1 Timothy 2:9-10, 1 Peter 3:3-4) which is respectful and humble. It teaches that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) so self-care is an act of stewardship and gratitude for the gift of life God gave us. Scripture encourages practices such as regular bathing, washing hands, and overall cleanliness (Leviticus 11-15, Mark 7:1-23) for the health and well-being of all. It calls us to be mindful of the cultural context and avoid practices considered immodest or offensive to others (1 Corinthians 8:9-13, Romans 14:13-23).
Ultimately, the focus of self-care should be on developing a Christ-like character that reflects God’s love and grace, rather than obsessing over our outward appearance.
- Have you felt you needed to change your approach to personal care recently?
- Who can help give you some honest feedback on areas of improvement?
- Do you believe that your value and inner beauty are determined by God and not others? If not, read the above Bible verses to see how
Please weigh in on this post and leave your comments below. Then watch for my next post of this series.
[Feature Image by Freepik]