The Bare Minimum To Looking Good: Grooming Essentials For The Lankan Man

May 07 2024.

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I’m sorry to say it, men - waking up and splashing water across your face just doesn’t cut it anymore. In the post-pandemic world, everyone is aware of the minimum ‘self-care’ required to feel great, but in 2024 is that enough? 

Even as Sri Lanka’s corporate culture is evolving from antiquated notions on wardrobe and grooming requirements, it doesn’t change the fact that the better-dressed and meticulously groomed individual will always have the advantage.
In an American study conducted on attractiveness and intergenerational social mobility (Gugushvili, Alexi, and Grzegorz Bulczak, 2023), men perceived to be good-looking and well-kept advanced much faster than their counterparts; while another older study published in the journal for Research in Social Stratification and Mobility found that being consistently well dressed and well-kept was the key factor in predicting a person’s salary, regardless of education, family background, weight or race. But statistics aside, we would all have personal experiences on how Sri Lankans can be quite prejudiced towards how we look, or the way we dress. 
The world we live in may be more accepting of diverse individuals from all walks of life, but there is no compromise on looking good, dressing well and taking care of one’s own appearance. Here are some of the layers you might want to create a checklist out of. It just might help you zoom up that corporate or social ladder. 
The Base Layer: Face 
The responsibility of looking great falls on our faces and the most basic thing you can do is to find something less abrasive than soap to clean it with! There is no denying the world we live in is constantly throwing pollutants at us, and they accumulate right throughout the day on our faces whether we work in an A/C office or take the bus. If you are prone to breakouts or an oily feel, you might be pleasantly surprised to find even supermarkets offer a range of cleansing face washes right next to your shaving supplies or preferred soap. Whatever else you don’t do, please add a face wash to your routine and see the results.  
Sub Layer: Beards 
Thank God we live in a time where being clean-shaven is not a mandatory requirement. Neatly trimmed stubble that follows growth outlines seems to dazzle ladies and bosses, and there are so many hair and grooming places that have popped up exclusively for men that are super affordable. If your facial hair is limited to certain areas or ends up patchy, it might be best to go against this hairy moment in history and try the clean-shaven look. I hear there are many women who are into that. These women are not my friends, but I heard they exist. Somewhere. 

Top Layer: Hair
When men came out of lockdown; there were only two looks; Buzzed or Long. But thankfully, we’ve all come to appreciate the latter in many ways. For one thing, men’s hair is longer and approved of by workplaces or the service industry. Whether you choose to indulge in perms (a-la gen-z and K-pop influence) or that weird version of a short-sided mullet; the options are endless and the demand for having great-looking hair is very high. 
If you are still in doubt about what your hair should look like, visiting a men’s hair expert to find out what works for your face, and how you can manage that look with your lifestyle is recommended. Do not trust TikTok or YouTube videos for big changes. 
Essential Layer: Scent
I don’t want to beat around the bush. Every man should use a roll-on deodorant. It should be punishable by law to inflict your body odour on anyone. I’m also not one to tout the need for expensive perfume or smelling good in an article on basic grooming, I’m simply saying don’t smell bad; Everyone should make an effort to not smell bad. Please.
I do understand how some people are immune to their own smell, but in a tropical country where it’s got a humidity as bad as ours coupled with temperamental weather, you don’t want to be trapped in any space with someone who missed their basic hygiene checklist that day. I don’t trust sprays, and neither do I trust people who spray perfume over bad body odour. You deserve better dude. So do we.
Bonus Layer: Clothing
We’ve covered everything else, you probably look great, feel great (and smell ‘ok’), but all of it falls short if you’ve not pulled on some great clothing over that. If we are talking essentials, I feel something that gets really overlooked with Men in Sri Lanka is finding versatile pieces that work for you the whole week rather than weekdays or weekends. Dry clean your tired-looking clothes once in a while, iron out a t-shirt or even your jeans. There is something about your clothes looking crisp that instantly gives you glow-up status in public.   


Jude Gayantha Perera

A fashion stylist with a decade of experience as an image expert and consultant to local retail brands, Gayantha offers candid advice to men on Fashion and Grooming only on Daily Mirror's Life Plus.


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