Hygiene is one's personal bodily cleanliness. Contrary to the sentiments of some, it is not considered manly to be a complete slob. Those who smell like bad lunchmeat are typically socially isolated. This being the case, adhering to standards of personal cleanliness is highly recommended.
The remainder of this article contains guidelines designed to help prevent you from being the "bad lunchmeat guy".
Doing the laundry may seem slightly inconvenient, but a clean set of clothes feels great and helps you smell better. Many homes have a washer and a dryer. Some even have a two-in-one. If your home is missing one or both of these things, it's a good idea to amass some quarters for a trip to the laundromat.
For starters, you'll need some detergent. This will be added at the beginning of the wash cycle, as you add your clothing to the machine. Generally, you don't have to use nearly as much detergent as suggested on the packaging. Most laundry detergent manufacturers drive up sales by encouraging heavy use. Some people overdo it, and then wonder why their skin breaks out. Use about half of what the packaging recommends. Just remember to use cold water if you're mixing colors.
Laundry sheets can be found in the same aisle as laundry detergent in most grocery stores. Just toss one sheet in with your clothes as you load them into the drier. Their purpose is to fight static cling and to make your clothes smell nice.
Those are the basics of doing your laundry. As a guideline, you should only wear a set of clothes once (over the course of a day) before it goes in the laundry again. For your bedroom to not stink of sweat and whatever it is you get all over yourself, when you remove your clothing, it should go into a hamper.
It is suggested that in addition to your underpants, you wear an undershirt. This will absorb your sweat on warmer days, and reduce the wear on your clothing.
Everyone should know what this is. Showering is the act of standing under running water, and most bathrooms come with a facility one can utilize for this purpose. If yours does not, it may be a good idea for you to trade up for one that does.
One should not need a set of step-by-step instructions on how to shower, since you'll be through once you've succeeded in using the implements you've brought with you. The following is a list of what you should consider using:
- Shampoo: This washes all the ickiness out of your hair. There are many kinds of shampoo. Though it may pain you to do so, you should shop around for a bit to pick out one that seems like it would be right for you.
- Conditioner: Most men have no idea what this is or what it does. It's optional, but if you choose to use it, just follow the instructions on the bottle.
- Soap: A bar soap or body wash should be worked into a lather that you spread to your whole body to break away the filth that may have accumulated on you. If you have body odor, buy an anti-bacterial soap. In most cases, body odor is caused by one's own sweat (typically odorless) mixing with bacteria on the surface of one's skin. Kill the odor-causing bacteria, and you'll lose the BO. If body odor persists, consult a physician.
It is generally recommended that a person shower once a day, though sometimes a person can get away with doing so once every other day, especially in the winter months. Exercise discretion.
Shaving is the act of carefully drawing a razor blade across one's own face with the purpose of removing facial hair. Some men choose to allow their facial hair to grow, either into a beard, moustache, or both. Even if you do so, facial hair grows unevenly, so it's recommended that you occasionally trim some areas.
To shave an area of the face, cover it with shaving cream (preferably after you shower, when your face is still wet). Then draw the razor blade across the area, clearing away the shaving cream. Repeat as desired. DO NOT drag the blade lengthwise, you may cut yourself. Many razor blades need to be replaced, as they do dull with time and use, and as the blade wears down, there is a chance a man can nick himself while shaving.
Or you can do the 21st century thing and use an electric razor. It's your choice.
Brushing your teethEdit
If you ignore your teeth, they will eventually go away. To put this off, brush your teeth every day. You'll need a toothbrush and toothpaste. Pick a toothbrush with soft bristles. While you may feel an inclination to be "hard on tartar" and muscle it away with firm bristles, your gums are relatively soft, and using a toothbrush with firm bristles may damage them.
There isn't much to brushing one's teeth. Just spread a little toothpaste on your toothbrush, and brush the inside and outside of your upper and lower teeth, and along the top of them. You don't need much toothpaste, just a dab about the size of a pea will do it. However, toothpaste manufacturers often suggest using more to drive up sales. After you're done brushing, rinse your mouth with water. Do not swallow the toothpaste.
Oral care doesn't stop at brushing your teeth. It's recommended that you floss each day. The idea is to gently maneuver the strand between each tooth in an effort to knock some food particles loose. It's also recommended that you use a mouthwash, such as Listerine. Mouthwash kills germs that cause bad breath, gum recession, tooth decay, and a number of other bacterial oral maladies. Just take care not to keep mouthwash in your mouth too long, as it can have an effect on your sense of taste. Once you've finished with your mouthwash, spit it out and rinse with water. Do not swallow mouthwash.
This may seem like a lot of work to some of us, but once we've experienced our first toothaches, we'll probably find ourselves resolving to be good boys and take care of our mouthes.
Hair careEditFor some men, hair care ends at shampooing while they shower. However, hair with that nice Cary Grant shine doesn't come by itself. Again, most men have no idea what conditioner does, but we sometimes use it believing it to have some benefit.
The following is a list of hair care products that will help you with your manly hair:
- Brylcreem: Add a dab to your hair after you shower to restore the oilyness that shampooing often takes out. This product can leave your hair feeling natural and pliable. Just don't keep it in the same drawer as your toothpaste.
- Pomade: There are a number of pomade products on the market, many of them being a combination of beeswax and oil. These products can add shine to your hair while it stays in it's place. Just take care with oil-based pomade in the summertime; some of it may "leak" from your hair onto your face, possibly causing you to break out.
- Comb: This should be obvious. Your hair can't be neat, straight, and nicely parted in a well-defined line by itself. You'll need a proper tool for that. It may help to keep a comb in your pocket.
- Hair gel: If push comes to shove, you could rub hair gel into your hair, and style it before it dries. Your hair will hold it's position even in strong wind. However, there are caveats worth mentioning: hair gel can leave your hair feeling stiff and dry.
- Hair spray: It will hold your hair in position, but it should probably be considered your last resort, such as for when you're in a hurry. Like hair gel, it can leave your hair feeling stiff and dry, and adds a chemical smell. Generally, pomades are better for your hair.
Cologne is optional, but if you choose to use it, it should be used with care. Some men overdo it. Just a little fragrance will do the job. Your goal is to subly accentuate yourself, not overpower everyone around you. However, some inadvertently overapply cologne, reasoning that it's losing it's strength. Any smell that a person is used to becomes less noticeable to that person. Being unaware of this, sometimes a person will gradually apply more of the same cologne each day. Remember how much cologne you apply the first time you use a bottle, and take care to only use as much each time.
Optionally, one may decide to use spray-on fragrances such as Axe Body Spray. If you decide to do so, remember to do it in moderation. Don't advertise that you use Axe (or similar brands, such as Tag), these are generally regarded as being geared more towards youngsters.
Cleaning your homeEdit
While it would seem a separate subject, a clean living space also contributes to one's well-being. To be real general, leave laundry in a hamper, not on the floor, don't put off doing the dishes until the next day (there are exceptions, such as for dishes that require soaking), rinse out the sink when done shaving, occasionally vacuum the carpets, regularly sweep the hard floors (and sometimes mop them), clean up spills right away, and keep the stove clean. There are other things you need to do to keep your home clean, these are just a few examples. Don't neglect your home, a nasty home reflects poorly on you.
The above are a just few general guidelines. Remember: being clean will increase the likelihood that a woman will enjoy your company.