Good Grooming And You

Good Grooming And You

It’s more than manscaping and manicures.

Stylists, hair removal experts, dermatologists and surgeons are seeing an increase in demand—in particular, from men— when it comes to overall physical upkeep. What’s not to like? Everyone ends up tidier, more stylish and maybe even slimmer.

Good grooming doesn’t have to be over-the-top Euro-madness or trying to copy the coasts. Here in Minnesota, you can take your style seriously without losing your authenticity. And, chances are, you could step it up.

From the streets of downtown St. Paul to the aisles at Mall of America, I am often amazed to see some businesspeople ruin the look of a great suit by sporting a shaggy hairdo or an overgrown beard. Negligent grooming can ruin the impression you want to make, no matter how stylish your clothes.

Hands that speak
Both men and women are smart to keep an eye on their hands. Clean nails are always stylish and there’s nothing that says “sloppy” like dirt under fingernails or chafed hands. Keep a small tube of lotion in your car or briefcase. It’s the easiest way to smooth hands, especially now that winter is here.

For more care, how about a monthly manicure for women and a quarterly one for men? Guys, “men-i-cures” will go a long way to ramping up your business image. Well-groomed hands can, without words, communicate professionalism; if you have women as clients, employees or prospects, you better believe they will take notice.

Hairy issues
I’ll never forget a line Fox 9 News anchor Jeff Passolt told me when I was a reporter at that station in the early 2000s: “You wear your hair every day.” He’s right: It’s a permanent part of your look. Find a stylist who understands your professional demands as well as the culture of your workplace and the types of communication moments you encounter weekly. Find someone who seems to match your personality—or at least your hair type, whether we’re talking on your head or on your face.

For men, “the balance of kempt and unkempt has a good overall cool factor,” according to Tim Creagan, senior stylist with Minneapolis-based Style-Architects. So if you keep your face clean-shaven, your hair doesn’t need to be perfect. “Perfection in all areas will just look like you are high-maintenance,” he adds.

To manscape or not to manscape
This once private dilemma is now more public as trends from the coasts make their way to the Midwest. It comes down to one’s style and personal preference—open shirts in the summer reveal smooth skin or hair; the trend toward pants that are short and tapered at the bottom combined with a sockless look reveals either a hairless ankle or one more natural. And there are different settings. Where might you bump into clients, colleagues or even your boss? If, for example, it’s at the health club, do those you know professionally like the more natural look, or the waxed/manscaped look?

The best approach is perhaps a bit of both. I have seen too many men and women let things hang out when they’re pumping iron or stair climbing that I really wished I hadn’t seen. Use good taste when it comes to covering skin and hair zones.

For women, keep legs shaved if they’ll be seen in public and keep any non-eyebrow facial hair plucked or bleached. Don’t worry about the perfect arc for eyebrows, however; “In nature, perfectly curved brows don’t exist,” Creagan says. Make sure any facial waxing, threading or shaping isn’t so severe that you end up with an expressionless look.

Other options on the rise
Fraxel, Ulthera, CoolSculpting—no, these aren’t new machines at the gym. They are cosmetic procedures for men and women. Did you know 14.6 million cosmetic surgery procedures were performed nationally in 2012? Botox treatments increased by 8 percent, while breast enlargement surgeries dropped by 7 percent.

More men are getting Botox. Dr. Tina Shaffer, a board-certified dermatologist, says there’s also an uptick in younger people who use Botox treatments as a way to prevent wrinkles.

“The top new procedures for men are ones with the shortest down time that still give good results,” Shaffer says. Her favorite is Ulthera, which is FDA-cleared. It uses focused ultrasound to lift and tighten the face and neck by sending energy deep under the skin, for gradual and subtle effects.

Fraxel is a laser treatment that replaces damaged skin with glowing, healthy skin. Microscopic laser columns treat a fraction of tissue at a time deep under the skin, leaving surrounding tissues untouched for rapid healing.

Having trouble with those love handles or muffin tops even with hours at the health club? Shaffer recommends CoolSculpting treatments to help melt away the fat.

Increasingly, some choose to go under the knife and turn to surgery to help their eyes look younger—typically people in their 40s and 50s, according to Dr. William Lipham, who specializes in ophthalmic and plastic reconstructive surgery.

No matter what you decide, make sure anyone touching your face, hair, or body has proper licensing and certification.

The best-looking accessory is a great smile paired with a healthy attitude. Good grooming and stylish outfits are important, but make sure your self-perception is strong. This comes from good habits when it comes to food, inner calming and healthy relationships with family, colleagues and friends.

Here’s looking at you.

Roshini Rajkumar is a communication coach, host of News & Views on WCCO Radio, and author of Communicate That! For additional communication tips, visit