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Mastering the manly morning ritual

Date

Man Scape

A journalist for 20 years and a man for longer, Richard Hughes would never, ever use canned shaving foam.

View more entries from Man Scape

Let's talk about it. Illustration: Simon Letch

Let's talk about it. Illustration: Simon Letch

Men like routine. It's important to us. And no, we're not stuck in a rut. It's just that we know a good thing and we stick to it.

According to beauty therapists and hairdressers, women like to experiment. When it comes to beauty routines, they'll try a little bit of this and a little but of that.

Men are different. It's not that we're not smart. Far from it. But once something is working - both on the grooming front and in other areas of our lives - we tend to make a habit of it. And that, mostly, is a good thing.

Nathan Armanacq thrives on a strict morning routine. A quarter of an hour is all it takes him. "That's all - 15 minutes. Two shampoos. Conditioner. Shave. Moisturiser. Done." And Nathan has to look good - he runs a high-end hair salon in an upmarket Melbourne shopping centre.

A survey carried out by Galaxy for skin care giant Nivea found most Australian men also have a daily grooming strategy.

Unsurprisingly, 97 per cent of us clean our teeth in the morning. Well done to almost everyone, but one does have to wonder about that 3 per cent – that's 270,000 Australian men, stats fans - who prefer to leave their teeth untainted by minty gelness. Yeuch.

And with summer upon us with a vengeance, the survey also reveals that 89 per cent of us use deodorants as part of our routine. Again, guys, what's going on with that 11 per cent …

But what of more complex things, of treatments and other grooming habits that are perhaps less acknowledged?

According to Nivea's research, three-quarters of us are, these days, prepared to do more than the basics to make ourselves look as good as we can. Many, though, remain a bit shy about talking it over with our mates.

Spray tans, teeth whitening, eyebrow waxing - lots of us are doing it, and doing it regularly - but many of us are keeping it to ourselves. Fully 40 per cent of us won't even fess up about using moisturiser. But that might be changing.

Nivea spokesman and Cronulla Sharks rugby league player Beau Ryan proclaims even the craggiest of his teammates are happy to use skin creams and shave balm - and, what's more, talk about it with each other.

It's a big change, Ryan says, from even a few years ago, when such topics of changeroom banter were definitely off-limits.

Nivea – who, it must be noted, has a vested interest in talking it up – reckons that "kicking off the day with a regular grooming routine will leave you feeling empowered to achieve more in the day ahead".

Looking past the spin, perhaps there's something in that. Maybe it's more to do with not having to think too hard about it. The three S's used to suffice for most of us. Things are slightly more complex now, but the thought process is the same - get it done quick and get out.

What's your routine? How much time does it take you each morning?

41 comments

  • I love your comments about the morning brushing. If I've brushed my teeth and gone to bed, I wake up with minty fresh breath. What do you do during that period of time that would make *your* breath smell bad??
    Also, the deodorant thing. Often enough people use too much of it. Maybe my sweat just smells like roses but unless I've just run a marathon not much need of a deodorant stick once I've scrubbed myself down with soap. Recently I've take interest in the concept of "Alum", which is more an anti-deodorant than a spray.
    Really, just leave the smells if you're trying to impress.
    What I do do in the morning is shave. Every other day I'll have a hot shower before attacking my bristles with a straight razor. Interesting times, interesting sensation and gives me a few minutes to just enjoy my face. The in-between days I get some hot water and a standard three-blader. Until I get my second straight razor, that is!

    Commenter
    the other guy
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 2:39PM
    • Ever heard of morning breath?

      Commenter
      IanD
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:16PM
    • During sleep, your salivary rate is at its lowest, and there is little motion of the mouth or tongue. This is a perfect undisturbed environment for bacteria, especially the gram -negative anaerobes that exist in most peoples' mouths, to colonize, multiply and produce their noxious by-products. Even with the best tooth brushing technique, you will never have a "sterile" mouth....... so if you think your breath doesn't stink to others in the morning, you're deluding yourself.

      (Yes I'm a dentist)

      Commenter
      dW
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 6:21PM
    • Have you ever noticed that people avoid you often?

      Commenter
      Jack
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 6:28PM
    • I'm guessing your single.

      Commenter
      Peter
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 7:10PM
    • I've had all my facial and nasal hair treated with electrolysis - this way I never need a shave or a trim. I have also had my underarm sweat glands removed, negating the need for deodorant. I also never interact with other human being, negating my need to have a shower.

      I just wish I knew I wouldn't be interacting with other human beings BEFORE I had the electrolysis and sweat gland removal surgery.

      Of course, I am sure to have a shower at least a week in advance of a date - especially in summer.

      Commenter
      Malik the magic sheep
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 7:18PM
    • Seriously? You honestly think that those 8-10 hours you spend in bed snoring don't wear through the toothpaste you swooshed around for 2 minutes before bed???

      And the deodorant isn't to cover up the smell when you've just gotten out of the shower, it's to save those people that need to be around you for the rest of the day.

      Commenter
      Dan
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 8:36PM
  • I rarely use deoderant - no point applying all those chemicals if you don't have BO.

    Commenter
    Elevenpercenter
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 2:53PM
    • You are aware that you are far less sensitive to your own BO than the people around you or downwind from you right?

      Commenter
      G.L. Higginbottom
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:09PM
    • I'm easily part of that 11%. Because I shower. Like a normal person.

      Commenter
      Tim M
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:13PM

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