Gone are the days of being embarrassed by the wonderful smell of sambar and curry that wafted along with the clothes your colleagues wore to work, or being shocked by the guided missile explosions from those unshaven armpits that unerringly hit your nostrils when travelling in crowded trains and buses.
The modern, confident Indian male not only earns more but is also extra attentive to his body, clothes and hair. The thriving business of hair salons is the testament to this ‘look good & feel great’ thinking. The male grooming market in India is expected to hit ₹5300 crore (11% increase Y-o-Y) this year, according to a study by Euromonitor, which means more splurging on creams, lotions, sprays and gels. These wannabe babe-magnets need to look better on those selfies!
However, a note of warning. It is important to use good quality accessories and products. Neglecting your body or hair by using second-rate products or cheap knockoffs will leave you with rashes, irritations, and scars. Not fun. Develop a daily routine that is quick, easy and keeps you fresh all day long.
Here are my Top 10 suggestions on products that help you be the real YOU:
You may have the one-day stubble, the clean-shaven look, only a mustache or the wolverine look (only beard without a mustache). Whatever the style that’s all the rage these days, it is important to have a good quality razor to maintain that hip look you’ve been showing off.
In the olden days, people used manual razors to remove unwanted hair from their face, armpits, or… *ahem* other areas. Manual razors do not need batteries or electrical outlets and are cheaper than their electrical counterparts. However, they increase the chances of nicks and cuts.
What started as a simple sharp metal blade has turned into something else and guys have moved on from a single to a twin or triple bladed razor for a smoother shave. Increasingly electric razors are also seen as better than the manual, and throw-away razors. Assuming you aren’t on a budget, electric is the way to go.
Philips sells a lot of quality electric razors in India. We recommend the AquaTouch which offers a smooth glide, can be used either wet or dry, and also charges quickly (within 8 hours).
Before shaving, you must first apply shaving cream to ensure a smooth shave free of nicks and cuts. Remember the Godrej Shaving Round that your grandfather used?
Well, forget about that plain stuff because it’s all about colourful and scented shaving creams and gels now. Be sure to use a good quality shaving brush for an optimum shaving experience. Since you have presumably splurged on the razor, let’s try to get your shaving budget under control.
I suggest getting the Vi-John Shaving Cream for Men, which is long-lasting and leaves your skin healthy and soft after the shave. Well if it’s good for Shahrukh, should be ok for you too. Well, it’s not just the KKR Cricket team owner; Vi-John shaving cream is Numero Uno with 29.2% of the Indian shaving cream market share (2015 Nielsen MAT data), beating out major players such as Old Spice and Gillette.
Using an aftershave helps to moisturize the skin and keep it bacteria-free. A good aftershave should make it look like your face is an ice-hockey rink, silky smooth yet sauve. Dettol used to be the go-to antiseptic for my grand-dad, but we now have many choices.
Nivea Sensitive After Shave Lotion is soothing and smooth. This non-alcoholic lotion not only cleanses the skin, but also heals and moisturizes it, reducing the painful effects of metal on skin.
Don’t use the same bar soap which you use for the body for your face. Even mild body soaps are too harsh for the face. Cinnamon and honey are not only tasty, but they can also be applied as a face-mask to reduce acne and pimples. The problem is that this method takes time and leaves too much of a ‘sweet’ taste!
A better alternative would be to buy a face-wash. Himalaya Men Pimple Clear Neem Face Wash is a remedy that is useful for removing pimples and clearing the face of impurities.
Shampoo is used to soften up the hair and remove dandruff, dirt and grime from it. One of the primary concerns among men in India is the loss of hair. Bald is not beautiful! It is equated with the onset of old age, worry and loss of virility!
Long ago we used an Ayurvedic homemade hair paste made from Amla, Reetha, and Shikakai. One could apply the paste on the hair and let it settle for 25 – 30 minutes before rinsing and washing. Well those days are gone now.
I recommend trying Dove Men+Care Thick & Strong Fortifying 2 in 1 Shampoo + Conditioner. The rather long name probably gives away the fact that it strengthens your hair and prevents hair loss, leaving you with a fuller head of hair.
An absolute must if your parents have generously donated you crocodile-dry-skin genes. Your body loses moisture, especially after a warm bath. Make sure to apply immediately within minutes of stepping out of the bath tub, or anytime your skin feels dry. Vaseline Total Moisture Aloe Fresh Lotion is perfect and does not give me that greasy feeling.
Body sprays are not perfumes. Understand the difference between the two; Perfumes are costlier, meant to be used on clothes, longer lasting and have a higher amount of aromatic extracts and oils than body sprays.
If you do not want a roomful of women swooning when the wonderful smell of Axe deo spray wafts across the room, there is always the Fogg Deo body spray.
Body sprays are a popular brand in India, especially for the younger lot but, I personally prefer the Brut anti-perspirant roll-ons. Give a good rub under the armpits and on your tummy to ooze that nice confident feel. Just make sure to store your roll-ons in a nice cool place to avoid them getting dry too soon.
Sometimes it’s good to go back to the roots. Nothing better than coconut oil compared to all the synthetic stuff out there. Parachute coconut oil, it is for me.
Coconut oil prevents breakage, has both anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, moisturizes, boosts blood circulation and is rich in nutrients. Is that good enough
Some old friends never disappear. Talcum powder is useful for keeping the skin dry and helping prevent rashes and red spots. There was a time when Gokul Santol and Ponds powder were dominating South Indian households, and they still do.
However, other brands have upped their game and are fast-emerging alternatives. Yardley Gentleman Talcum Powder provides a cooling effect on your body and also smells good while doing it. My dad likes Yardley, you will too.
Park Avenue hair styling gel allows you to keep that stylish wet look for a long time and also make a cool fashion statement. You’ll be the life of the party with this on.
Combine all of them, and you’ll be sure to get the heads turning wherever you go!
Note: The writer is not associated with these products in any way and is earning no profit by endorsing the products mentioned. The writer is not responsible for any damage caused due to the use of these products.