At risk of stereotyping, despite the prolific amount of male beauty products now on the market, there is a tendency for some chaps to be less than scrupulous in their personal hygiene. In fact, there’s a pocket of resistance to the whole concept of being clean and fresh; there are still men who believe that their masculinity comes from their disregard of soap and water.
But men are not the only culprits. It could be that your female partner is equally dedicated to staying “natural”. She could be avoiding the pressures of the beauty industry to such an extent that bad hygiene has become a social statement!
How many people make jokes about sniffing their socks and then turning them inside out to wear? Or having a favourite T shirt they refuse to wash in case it creates a jinx on their sports team? But the joke wears thin when their partners, parents, children or friends have to put up with foul smells and filthy habits.
So how can your partner be coaxed to adopt better hygiene, without challenging their idea of their personal identity?
There are millions of products on the market these days especially aimed at men or women – from basic shower gels to hair styling substances – that cover a range of options and ethics. This includes ones not tested on animals and no artificial ingredients, for example.
Introduce some new “tools” into the bathroom or gift items that tackle your partner’s hygiene issues. Carefully select the right products – brands and fragrances that you know they will like, rather than what you personally respond to.
Talk it out
Honesty is the best policy. But there is a knack to addressing any tough subject with someone, including being calm, supportive and encouraging.
Talk to them about the benefits of adopting some new hygiene routines and habits, in as constructive a way as possible. Avoid insults or complaints – “You stink and I can’t stand it for a minute longer” may not work as well as “Honey, if you shower more, and smell really fresh, just think how much more I would want to hold you and what fun we can have.”
You might want to gently point out how much easier it will be for them to make friends and influence people if they wear clean clothes more often and shower daily. When they point out their pals don’t mind how they smell, resist the urge to insult their friends’ sense of smell… or their general amount of sense.
Instead, you could try mentioning that their friends aren’t the only people they come in to contact with. Smelling better may well make it easier to deal shop assistants, taxi drivers, colleagues and bosses, for example.
Getting your teeth into the topic
One area of bad hygiene that you need to tackle with urgency is the mouth zone. Especially if that odious pong that accompanies their morning breath lingers all day long.
The smell could be a sign of gum disease or tooth decay. A gift of the best electric toothbrush to make mouth hygiene easy could be a great first step. Point out that not brushing teeth morning and night is not only tough on your nose, but also really unkind to their own dental health. Try encouraging them to book in for a dental check to get advice from a professional.
Give them this recommendation for a Finchley Dentist who can help even the most macho dude or earthy female understand better oral hygiene benefits.