Good Grooming for the Groom
. . . no less important than the bride!

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It's probably true that most eyes will be on the bride on her wedding day and the poor groom is not about to get too much attention. He's pretty much left to his own devices when choosing attire for himself and his groomsmen and on his own when grooming for the special day. Just in case he should need a little coaching, here are some groom-polishing tips.

The best time for a pre-wedding haircut is between one week and ten days prior to the wedding. The idea is to look neat and fresh without looking freshly clipped. It's best to stay with a current hair style rather than experimenting with a new look. Should the groom want to try a new look, then it's best to do a trial run several months before the wedding rather than taking a chance at a bad last-minute surprise. Men's hair stylists agree that closely cropped hair looks cleaner and neater and "go better" with a tuxedo. The same "shorter is better" look also applies to beards, mustaches and sideburns (to the cheekbone and no farther, preferred). Hair stylists, as part of a hair cutting appointment, will also touch up around eyebrows and ears, but usually prefer to leave nose hair clipping to the groom. If possible, it's best to make an appointment for a touch up the day of the wedding rehearsal, i.e. the day before the wedding.

There will be lots of hand shaking for the groom on his wedding day, so nails and fingers should not be neglected. If the budget will allow, a professional manicure will get nails to look their best. A good manicurist will avoid a high-shine polish. If the groom chooses the do-it-yourself route, then it's suggested that nails be cut into a square shape to prevent tears and hangnails. Regular buffing will bring up a nice shine and moisturizer will help safeguard against splits, peeling and ragged cuticles.

A clean shave is the part of the look that brings it all together. Cosmeticians suggest first washing the face thoroughly with soap or a facial scrub which will remove oil and soften facial hair. Use a wet shave brush to apply soap or lather shave cream. Only a brush can coat each hair evenly with lather. It's best to try shaving immediately after showering when the beard is its softest. The next step is to cover the face well with shaving gel or cream, working against the grain to maximize lifting facial hair. There are many specialized formulas of gels and creams on the market which are made to suit difference skin types. His wedding day is no time for the groom to use an old blade, only a new, sharp blade will do. Shaving in the direction that hair grows will help to prevent nicks, ingrown hairs and razor burn. Short strokes work best, starting with the smooth areas of the face--cheeks and sides, and finishing with the rough spots-- upper lip and chin. It's best to go over the face twice to ensure extra closeness. Rinse with cool water to tighten pores and then splash on aftershave in your favorite scent.Conclude by applying facial moisturizer or after shave balm to moisturize.

Keep in mind that the groom is under the same kinds of stresses that face the bride. Perspiration is just one way, albeit a particularly unpleasant one, in which the body signals its stress and, unfortunately there are no really long-lasting "cures." A good, long, leisurely shower or bath, with tepid water is the best tactic. Scrub thoroughly when bathing and, preferably, use an antibacterial soap. Make sure that you have used the soap before. Again, pre-wedding is a bad time to experiment and certainly a bad time for the groom to find he's having an allergic reaction to a new soap. After rinsing, dry thoroughly and apply an underarm antiperspirant containing aluminum chlorhydrate or aluminum chloride. An antiperspirant, as apposed to a deodorant alone, will help to keep you odor-free and dry. Because foot odor is a fairly universal problem, the same spray can be applied to the feet and the same scrubbing and thorough drying approach used. Finally, the groom might consider splurging on a good massage which is a sure-fire way to reduce anxiety, tension and stress. A day in a spa makes a great gift to the groom, one he'll appreciate as he feels his blood pressure dropping.

Advance planning and scheduling along with dry-runs on procedures and products are the best advice for the well-groomed groom.

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