The Truth About Anti-Grooming (and Why You Should Avoid It at All Costs!)

Thanks to Beyoncé back in 2014, women everywhere ran around singing, “I woke up like this”. The popular refrain from the superstar’s hit song “Flawless” was a statement of feminine strength; a celebration of the fact that women took such good care of their skin that they woke up looking amazing.  This year, guys may not be singing “Flawless” but they’re definitely taking the song’s signature line a little too literally.


The runways from this year’s most high-profile men’s fashion weeks were filled with guys who looked as though they rolled out of bed just minutes before show time.  At John Elliott’s spring show, the look was intentional and aided by the help of a talented makeup artist.  The guys on the catwalk had dark circles, oily skin and razor burn. It was the men’s version of going au natural.  And it wasn’t pretty.


Earlier this year, Alexander McQueen asked its models to show up without showering.  There was no grooming. No haircuts, no makeup and no eyebrow plucking. Fashion has always evoked a sort of ‘come as you are’ vibe.  But this season, there was little room for interpretation.


2016 had officially become the year of anti-grooming.  It’s an odd move considering the men’s grooming industry brings in roughly $21 billion each year.  The market of men’s beauty products is one that’s exponentially growing. But now, the biggest designers around the globe are telling us to stop grooming. This is not a good idea.


It’s gross

This is pretty self-explanatory.  Sure, amongst a group of college-age punk rock kids, it might seem cool to see who can go the longest without a shower.  But for guys with jobs, classes and significant others, the anti-grooming competition isn’t one they need to win.  When you don’t shower, gross things happen to your body.


Most obvious to you (and everyone around you) will be the stench.  Even when you aren’t working out, you’re still sweating.  Sweat is ground zero for bacteria.  The sweat itself doesn’t have an odor but the bacteria does. When it’s allowed to flourish, it isn’t a good situation. In addition to a pungent smell, you’ll be more apt to develop fungal infections and skin irritation. They take a lot longer to get rid of than they do to cultivate.


It ruins your skin

If you aren’t at least cleansing and moisturizing your skin twice a day, you are truly doing your skin a disservice.  The biggest obstacle here is removing dead skin cells.  Your skin has a natural process in which it moves new layers of skin to the surface every 28 days or so.  But it needs your help.  The dead skin cells don’t have anywhere to go unless you wash them off.  When they just sit there, they clog your pores which leads to an abundance of acne.  Anti-grooming might look cool on the runway but a face full of acne in your adult life is the exact opposite.


Your hair gets disgusting

Your face can get pretty oily when it hasn’t been washed.  However, your scalp contains a lot more sebaceous glands. Those are the glands that produce all the natural oil that keeps your hair moisturized.  When you don’t stick to your regular washing schedule, your hair starts to get excessively oily.  Excessively oily hair gets matted and thick.  Say goodbye to your healthy sheen and natural bounce.  Until you start shampooing again, your hair will look more like a glob of goo atop your head.  It sounds pretty gross, and trust us, it is.


Your beard turns into a Brillo pad


Whether you’re typically a clean shaven guy or you’re striving toward your #beardgoals, letting your facial hair run wild without any type of grooming is a bad look.  When you don’t moisturize your beard hair, it gets dry and brittle because the sebaceous glands on your face aren’t big enough to moisturize your skin and your beard.  Additionally, without using beard oil or beard balm, you put yourself at risk for some pesky problems like itchy beard, redness, irritation and beard dandruff.  Yes, your beard can get dandruff.  When the dead skin cells aren’t washed out, they turn into flakes in your beard hair. They’ll hang out there until you take care of business.


We often look to the runway and top designers for inspiration.  But not every look transfers to real life.  The same can be said for the grooming looks.  Anti-grooming might seem aesthetically pleasing in the scope of an elaborate runway presentation.  But taken out of context, it’s just not viable.  From bacteria growth to acne to skin irritation all over, anti-grooming puts your body in a precarious situation.  It’s essentially a nasty health risk that isn’t worth taking. Stick to admiring the look from afar and keep the soap handy, your hair washed and your teeth white and clean.

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