Gone are the days when a shower, shave and spritz of your signature smelly were all you needed. Just like women have their beauty routines, there are a few basic necessities that men need to do regularly to keep up to speed with their urban, metrosexual counterparts who are getting their grooming on.

The four key areas will always be the same: hair, nails, skin and teeth. So let’s unpack the necessary things that every well-groomed African man needs to consider and the options out there.

Hair

Being stylish and fashionable, amazingly tailored clothes and expensive shoes... these are all great weapons in the war for status. But if what lies beneath is crusty and unkempt, your cover will soon be blown!

This includes head and facial hair. Manscaping has become an art in itself. Each man’s hair routine will differ depending on their hair texture, length and style. The challenge with men of colour is to maintain the moisture in the hair, so using ladies' hair products might not be ideal. Hair products that have natural ingredients are generally your best bet. If you have dreads or a thick head of hair, you should also consider using a sheen spray every morning. Store-bought products such as Jabu Stone Hair Moulder, Invisi Wax and Hair Nourisher or Dabur Amla For Men hair products are great options and conveniently available from Clicks stores.  Another brand which is amazing for maintaining strong and healthy hair is the MPL product range available from www.takealot.com or Clicks stores. 

How often you cut your hair depends on the rate at which it grows and your hairstyle. Ideally you should be visiting the barber every two weeks to maintain a slick look. While you are at it, don’t forget those nose and ear hairs. Wax or clip them at the same time!

Your beard is an extension of your hair-grooming routine and to keep it looking slick, invest in a good beard balm or oil and a beard brush. Try products from www.beardworx.co.zawww.thebeardedman.co.za or www.sorbetman.co.za. Thanks to technology you can now see exactly what beard style will suit you with apps such as Beardify, Beard Booth or Barber Shop Booth, which add beards to photographs of your face to give you an idea of what it would look like.

Nails

Dry, cracked skin around dirty, overgrown or bitten nails is pretty revolting. If you hate the idea of sitting in a salon having your nails buffed and polished, at least get into the routine of cutting your nails every week. There are plenty of men’s grooming salons around these days that offer relaxing treatments in an environment designed especially for men. 

Skin

We get it, no man wants to go through the rigmarole of using a whole bunch of products just to get ready for bed. Again, the type of products you use depends on your skin type and what it needs. Here are some great, easily accessible options, available at Dis-Chem, Clicks and even some Pick 'n Pay stores.


Normal skin: Clinique for Men Face Scrub R380 and Clinique for Men Maximum Hydrator R515.

Oily skin: Dermalogica Oily Skin Kit R859.

Sensitive skin: Nivea for Men Sensitive Moisturiser R99 and Nivea for Men Sensitive Face Wash R66.

Dry Skin: Lab Series Instant Moisture Gel R475 and Lab Series PRO LS All-In-One Cleansing Gel R865.

Ageing Skin: L’Oreal Men Expert Charcoal Face Wash R95 and L’Oreal Men Expert Vita Lift Lifting Moisturiser R135.

Teeth 

Keeping your gnashers in good nick is a no-brainer! Brush twice a day, floss at least once a day and use mouthwash every day. If your teeth are dull, stained or just outright yellow, use a teeth whitening kit such as the Brilliant White Advanced Teeth Whitening Kit from www.takealot.com for R799. And for goodness sake, visit a dentist at least once a year!

Where to go and get groomed in your town:

The Sorbet Man franchise is popping up everywhere. Find the store closest to you at www.sorbetman.co.za.

If you like the idea of enjoying a drink and a cigar while someone does the dirty work for you, try Hines and Harley in Joburg. Contact: 079 417 1424 or www.hinesandharley.co.za  

For a one-stop grooming shop in Cape Town visit Glasshouse Rejuvenation. Go to www.glasshouserejuvenation.com, mail info@glasshouserejuvenation.com or 021 419 9599.

For a head-to-toe manscape in Durban, your best bet is Men’s Grooming and Spa. For more info or to book an appointment go to www.mgsandspa.co.za.