Like it or not, appearances matter in this world. The way you look influences the way people perceive you. From landing a job to attracting a partner, someone’s impression of you can alter the trajectory of your life.
While one bad hair day probably won’t make much of a difference, in general, it’s important to look your best. But “looking your best” is often easier said than done, especially if you don’t know where to start. With thousands of articles you could read with millions of products to choose from, it can be a bit overwhelming.
The good news is that to look your best you really don’t need to fret over every last detail. Sure, going the extra mile can be worth the effort. But there are some aspects of improving and maintaining your appearance that do most of the heavy lifting. By focusing your energy on those you’ll already be 80% of the way there.
1. Prioritize Hair Care
Your face is likely the first thing someone will see when they look at you. Your hair is usually the second. People can have a tendency to associate the quality of your hair with the quality of your character and even your health. So if you want to look your best, keeping your hair looking good is a top priority.
Of course, you’ll want to keep your hair clean, washing it with shampoo and conditioner when you bathe. If your hair is particularly frizzy, there are plenty of creams and sprays to help with exactly that. Just be careful about which products you use. To keep things simple, use non-toxic products made with natural ingredients, as harsh chemicals deteriorate hair health over time.
All that said, keeping your hair looking great can be much harder as you age, especially if you struggle with male pattern baldness. Many men do and are more than familiar with a bad hair day because of it. If you’re balding, you know how much hair loss can affect your confidence and self-esteem.
Thankfully, there are again some simple and effective products you can use to address balding. Finasteride and minoxidil are two of the most powerful and commonly used hair-growth medications on the market. Finasteride works by reducing your body’s production of hair-harming hormones. Minoxidil, on the other hand, keeps a steady supply of nutritious blood flowing to your follicles and stimulates them too. Using either can help restore a full head of hair and the confidence that often comes with it.
2. Bear a Bold Beard
What you have or don’t have up top isn’t the only hair people notice. They’ll also look at what’s growing on your face. While many men would love to sport a handsome beard, many also have no idea how to grow one properly. And a ratty beard can act as human repellant, so it’s crucial you handle yours with care.
For most men, growing a full beard can take anywhere from two to six months on average. Of course, this depends heavily on your genetics, but most beards grow at a rate of about half an inch per month. This means you can likely expect a full, three-inch beard will be done in six. Committing to your beard is a practice in patience, but there’s work to be done along the way.
Whether you’re just starting to grow your beard or it’s already past your collarbone, grooming is essential. Natural, untreated beards have a tendency to look and feel prickly and unkempt. So if you’re not already, invest in some quality beard oil.
Beard oil is a blend of natural oils that help moisturize, condition, and nourish your facial hair and the skin beneath it. Not only will this help tame a wild-looking beard, but it will keep it growing strong and healthy too. Your beard will look more put-together as it grows, and you should experience fewer breakouts of beard acne. And you’ll channel more of the handsome lumberjack look rather than the wandering vagrant.
3. Strengthen Your Core
In general, the bigger your muscles are, the more space you’ll occupy. Someone who’s incredibly muscular can really turn heads. That said, you don’t have to look like Schwarzenegger in his prime to get people’s attention.
If you want to pursue getting ripped, more power to you. But discovering how you look best in your own body is what’s more important. You don’t need to look like or be like anyone else to look and feel good about yourself. That said, no matter who you are, exercise can help improve your appearance. That’s because a holistic, full-body exercise routine tends to improve your posture.
Good posture really can change your life. Those with good posture tend to stand taller and stronger than those who don’t. This increased comfort in your own body can radiate to others as a sense of physical confidence. Additionally, exercise promotes your body’s production of endorphins and other feel-good hormones. So the sense others have of your inner strength and satisfaction won’t just be an illusion.
There are many exercises that can help you improve your posture. Many of them center around improving back and core strength. Wall angels, cat-cow stretches, chin tucks, and planks are all amazing options to include in your routine. Even push-ups, when done with proper technique, can do wonders for your back. It can take time and dedication, but don’t neglect fitness and posture if you’re serious about looking your best.
Commit to the Process
These days, it’s easy to think that looking your best is as easy as getting an overnight glow-up. America’s cultural obsession with quick fixes is alluring, but not always helpful. And the ubiquitous presence of social media hasn’t done much to help that.
When it comes to actually looking your best, it’s more important to focus on improving your fundamentals. This is a process that can, admittedly, take time to yield results. Growing or regrowing full hair can take weeks if not months. And strong muscles won’t help you stand taller overnight. But your future self will thank you as you put in the work and notice more heads start to turn.