Now, I understand the financial situation in Zimbabwe may not permit some to buy anti-perspirant because US$2 may be the difference between supper and going to bed hungry.
Zimbabwe does present a number of challenges concerning taking a bath in the morning, like there being no council water on some mornings or there being no power so people may be unable to take a hot bath and decide to forfeit the entire bath altogether. I want to speak to men who are ignorant or lazy concerning their personal hygiene. Some of you may be thinking to yourselves that there are also women with hygiene issues but this article is speaking specifically to men. I will address women in a separate article.
It baffles me whenever I come across someone who reeks of sweat first thing in the morning, makes me wonder whether they actually bathed that morning. Surprisingly, whenever I have addressed men in line with their hygiene, the man that smells cannot actually smell himself and thinks you are not speaking to him and that the smelly man is the next guy.
Men, if you do not have the following areas in check, chances are you are one of the smelly men out there:
This is critical. Bathing is not a matter of getting wet and rubbing some soap on your body but actually ridding yourself of dirt. Some areas may require more attention than others, like, underarms.
Most men do not shave their armpit hair so it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria since the sweat does not evaporate but is instead trapped in the hair. As the bacteria begin to break down the sweat gives off body odour.
As it is, men generally tend to sweat more than women so the armpits need a good scrub. Shaving your armpits would reduce your scrubbing time as you can access your skin easier. You may also want to use bath soap that is made specifically for men or anti-bacterial soaps like Lifebuoy, Dettol or Protex.
You could also add a capful or half of it, of Dettol to your bath water. Bicarbonate of soda can also do the trick of combating body odours. The crotch area sweats and due to its location and biological make up, it can also be responsible for you having a stench.
Men spend a significant amount of time in closed shoes and socks so wash your feet properly, especially between toes.
Last Sunday, a friend of mine sent me a text message complaining bitterly about how the guy sitting next to him in church reeked. This friend of mine went to an all boys’ high school so he was familiar with this type of stench.
He said it was evident the guy had not bathed in days and had resorted to dousing himself in cologne to mask the fact that he had not bathed. Unfortunately, the combination was potent, ruining the service for my friend. Gentlemen, there is no substitute for bathing.
Now that you are clean, it is time to manage and maintain your freshness. Use a roll-on or an anti-perspirant spray on your armpits. Some men, I have come across are under the impression that cologne is the same as an anti-perspirant. This is in fact a misconception.
Cologne is worn on your pulse points so that you smell good. An anti-perspirant, as the name suggests, is supposed to prevent or minimise the sweating.
The sweating may still occur but at least it will not stink. Cologne and anti-perspirant are conjoined twins, they work hand in hand. If you can only afford one make it the anti-perspirant. Take it with you. Applying it only once a day will not suffice, so you may need to reapply, especially if your day involves a significant amount of running around.
Put on fresh underwear and socks all the time
Wear a clean, as in fresh out of the wash, pair of underwear and socks everyday. Socks and underwear are never to be repeated, come what may, for the reasons I stated in the bathing section.
Wash your clothes. Men tend to sweat more than women, so repeating shirts is also not advisable. When you wash, pay special attention to the armpit area to get rid of the sweat.
Like I said earlier, men’s feet sweat a lot so put powder in your shoes and socks so that your feet stay dry or at least dry-ish. If you have foot spray, it’s even better.
Aerate them outside once in a while, if they are sneakers wash them and make sure they dry properly before wearing them. Wearing damp sneakers will give you stinky feet.
Brushing teeth every morning is non-negotiable. It must take place. Thereafter drink lots of water and eat right. A dry mouth smells. Chew gum or suck a mint sweet in order to maintain freshness throughout the day.