Man buns to great guns: the grooming bible every modern man needs

Dan Jones' book 'The Gentleman's Guide to Grooming' is all about teaching men how to save face — literally

25 November 2018 - 00:00 By Andrea Nagel


In a world that's becoming more commercialised by the day (what with the prevalence of media, social networks and marketing aimed at equalising the spending potential of both genders), men are being swayed by the marketing tide. They are increasingly spending time fixing their hair instead of out conquering the wild, though conquering the wild may be one way of referring to the growing trend in male grooming.
Dan Jones knows a thing or two about this rising, metrosexual trend and has made a career out of offering advice to men with no grooming know-how showing them what can be done to overcome their Neanderthal selves.
Jones was once the shopping editor at i-D magazine, before he joined the Time Out magazine as shopping and style editor, and then became the senior men's editor at ASOS. His most recent book The Gentleman's Guide to Grooming makes use of his expertise in the field.
"As a former magazine editor I've hit more than my fair share of grooming goals," says Jones. "I've tried and tested some tough treatments and upscale facials, had my face microwaved on Harley Street, and my love handles mishandled via a series of techy treatments that purported to melt them away."
He goes on to list some of the treatments and grooming practices that have lead to him becoming an expert, including raw cleansing, boot camping, tattooing, beard growing and hair gelling - all of which has made him the perfect person to tell the modern man how to get his grooming just right.
"Even if you follow just a few of my recommendations," he says, "you'll be firmly on your way to being just that little bit more epic. Man, made."
Jones is all about teaching men how to save face - literally. "Your face is the first thing people see," he says. "Yet, oddly, it is the last thing most men think about." He advocates basic moisturiser, and is vehement about sunblock - go figure!
If you don't treat your face well it will start to hang off your head like an elephant's ball bag, he warns.
The book is peppered with what Jones refers to as Icons of Grooming, for example pop star Pharrell Williams, fine jeweller Philip Crangi, menswear designer Justin O'Shea, filmmaker David Lynch, singer Frank Ocean and street-style photographer Karl-Edwin Guerre. What each of these icons has in common is their flair for individual style and the seriousness with which they take their grooming. The illustration of each icon by Libby Vanderploeg is as charming as the personal aesthetic of each character and serves as grooming inspiration.
Since it's still Movember, the chapter titled How To Wear a Moustache is particularly apt.
This is Jones's advice: "I'm a big fan of the stealth method: the trick is to create the beginnings of a beard. A few days of stubble look far less out of place than a fluffy top lip that's weeks away from proper moustache realness. Shave clean or trim around it and start growing out your almost moustache for another week or two before you begin to shape and style it."
Since it's close to the end of Movember though, perhaps the chapter on How to Shave is more useful. There's also advice on how to grow and care for your beard.
In case you had no idea, the book also tells you how to wash your hair, how to be bald, how to find the perfect fragrance and even how to pick the perfect pair of undies.
Most important of all though is the advice about how not to look like a dick in a photo ... but you'll have to buy the book to find out.
• 'The Gentleman's Guide to Grooming: The Art of Male Grooming' by Dan Jones is published by Hardie Grant books, R287.

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