13 essential grooming rules to live by in 2016

Clean-Shaven or Full-on Beard: What Do Ladies Really Prefer?
Clean-Shaven or Full-on Beard: What Do Ladies Really Prefer?

2015 is over. Time to clean up your act.

In honor of the New Year, we're compiling the best skin, hair, and shave advice we learned over the last 12 months. Covering everything from the hair on your head (and ass) all the way down to taking care of your toes, these are the tips, tricks, and body hacks you need to ensure that this year is a whole lot more well-kept than the one that just ended.

1. Try something other than a man bun.
Newsflash: Man buns can cause hair loss because of all the tugging, a condition called traction alopecia. So unless you want to start losing your hair earlier than you're genetically programmed to, then maybe give another long hairstyle a shot. There are plenty of options out there.

2. Stop washing your mane so much.
We've already deemed it a resolution you need to make in the new year. But if you haven't gotten the memo yet, here it is: You probably shouldn't be washing your hair every day, depending on what type of hair you have. That's because things like natural oils and dirt actually give your mane the body it needs to look its best. Surprising, right?

3. Get a non-haircut haircut.
Got something big coming up and want to look your best, but not overly put-together? Then get a neck trim. Cheap, quick, and easy, it instantly leaves you looking cleaner without the fuss of a full-blown cut and style.

4. Don't just drink your caffeine.
Didn't get a good night's sleep? Well, besides a cold shower, you should think about waking up with a moisturizer infused with caffeine. Formulated with the same active ingredient as your morning cup of joe, it'll work hard to perk the skin on your face, leaving you apparently bright-eyed and bushy-tailed—even if you don't feel that way at all.

5. Maintain the proper beard-to-hair ratio.
As it turns out, you can't just grow your beard and expect everything to look its best maintenance-free. In fact, there are some guidelines you need to take note of when it comes to balancing out the hair on your face with that on top of your head. Of course, there are exceptions, but do you really want to take that risk?

6. Thinning hair needs texture.
Here's the thing about perfection: The closer you get, the easier it is to notice when things aren't exactly right. This is particularly the case when it comes to thinning hair. Which is why, instead of trying out that old standby, the combover, go messy if the forest up top is looking particularly sparse. Also, try a texturizing powder. Trust us, it'll work wonders.

See photos of Brad Pitt, an icon of top-notch grooming, in the gallery below:

7. Freshen your blades.
If you've got a problem with ingrown hairs or razor burn—and, seriously, who doesn't?—then even before aftershave and ingrown-specific remedies, you've got to make sure you're using fresh blades to shave, always. Overused blades will pull the hairs and only make matters worse. So don't be stingy, and replace blades often.

8. Stop using cotton swabs to clean your ears.
Yeah, we know how satisfying it is to swipe away wax on the regular. But besides your ears being able to handle that themselves, it's also extremely dangerous. So stop. And if buildup is really that bad, there are other ways to deal with it. Stick to those.

9. Get rid of hat hair with the wet-towel method.
Got to get rid of hat hair, fast? No problem. You know how to get wrinkles out of a suit, and you'll do the same here: Dip a towel in hot water, wring it out, and wrap it around the hatband-dented crown of your head. This will quickly refresh the follicles, allowing you to get a fresh (re)start.

10. Use the proper tools to get rid of your hangover.
Yeah, you've got your usual stomach-calming hangover remedy at the ready. But you're going to need a very specific arsenal) of malady-defeating grooming products to keep your skin and hair from looking like you were out until 3 A.M. Keep 'em somewhere handy, like the bottom drawer of your desk, so when your maybe-still-drunk self rolls into the office 30 minutes late, no one notices.

11. Keep an eye on expiration dates.
Contrary to what your wallet might have you believe, your grooming products won't last forever. So throw out those cheap bottles you've been using since college and invest in a set of grown-up serums, creams, and pomades—which you'll use for the proper amount of time before disposing of as well.

12. Safely deal with your rear end.
There's no one-size-fits-all way to take care of your ass. Some like it shaven, some trimmed, and some au naturel—that's a personal preference. But if you do decide to take a blade to the short-and-curlies that grow between your cheeks, make sure you do it safely. Trust us: There's no worse place for razor burn.

13. The rest of your body hair needs love, too.
From your back to your balls to the tops of your toes, each swath of hairy skin on your body needs its own special brand of attention. It's 2016; for your partner's sake, don't neglect an inch of it.

See photos of the perfectly-groomed George Clooney in the gallery below:

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