Men's Health

10 Must-Try Grooming Experiences



If you think you've tried everything you can to improve your appearance, think again. Here we present you with 10 of the most intriguing and effective grooming techniques culled from around the globe. Some have been around for centuries, some are relatively new inventions and some may require travel, but what each has in common is that you'll look and feel like a better man once you've experienced them.

1. German chalk cleanse
In addition to breathtaking views, sandy white beaches and succulent seafood, the main reason tourists flock to the German island of Ruegen is to be amazed by its chalk cliffs and benefit from their therapeutic properties. Try Binz, the island's largest resort and a favorite among international spa-goers. Look for skin cleanses containing the famous chalk that will draw out impurities in your skin or enquire about chalk treatments for body pains after a day of hiking.

2. Moroccan oil massage
From massage to body scrubs and even clay masks, argan oil makes up an essential component of nearly every treatment in Moroccan spas. This wonder substance contains high levels of both Vitamin E and essential fatty acids, making it an excellent moisturizer that will render even the most scaly skin soft and supple.

3. Thai fish pedicure
Foot fetishists and adventure-seeking groomers will want to head to Thailand to try out a fish pedicure, a recent and unusual grooming trend for both men and women. This procedure has you sink your feet into a warm pool filled with Turkish Garra rufa fish who go crazy for the dead skin on the bottom of your feet. The sensation has been described as ranging from being tickled to mildly shocked, but, either way, you'll emerge with feet as smooth as a baby’s. Top off your experience with a foot steaming and a legendary Thai foot massage.

4. Tahitian black-pearl massage
Ancient cultures believed that pearls had healing properties. Though modern scientific evidence to back up this claim is lacking, Tahitians haven’t stopped crushing up precious black pearls and blending them with oils to create a unique paste for massage purposes. This concoction is essentially a three-in-one treatment, as the pearls work as an exfoliant, the oils hydrate the skin and the masseuse's skilled hands help unwind sore muscles. So, while all your ailments may not miraculously vanish in 60 minutes, you're guaranteed to leave the spa in better shape than when you arrived.

5. Dead Sea bath
Considered one of the first health resorts in the world and frequented by such historical figures as Herod the Great and King David, a dip in the Dead Sea is an experience that more than justifies boarding a plane to get there. The mineral content of the sea itself in combination with properties of the surrounding area, such as a low concentration of atmospheric allergens, reduced ultraviolet radiation and high atmospheric pressure, all help to create a climate that is helpful for relieving a wide variety of skin conditions. Aim for two swims of about 20 minutes each for a few days to reap the sea's full therapeutic benefits.

6. Hot stone massage
The origins of the hot stone massage can be traced back to Chinese, Native American and Hawaiian cultures, but the procedure has become so popular that it's now a regular feature on spa menus across the world. The concept is simple but ingenious: Smooth, flat rocks with good heat-retention properties are warmed up in hot water to approximately 125° F. They are then placed at specific points on the body in order to encourage the muscles to relax and therefore enable the massage therapist to apply deeper pressure to your body, meaning you'll look and feel even more refreshed than you would after a regular massage.

7. Finnish sauna
Saunas are an integral part of Finnish culture. In fact, so much so that nearly every household has one. If you're not bound for a holiday in Helsinki anytime soon, you can recreate the Finnish experience at a sauna near you. Begin by hunting down one that has access to a body of cool water and where you can wear as little as possible or preferably be nude. Once you're in the sauna, keep any conversations light and aim for two to three cycles of steaming in the sauna followed by cooling down. The benefits of such a procedure include detoxification, improved skin texture and shinier hair.

8. Threading
An ancient method for hair removal practiced throughout the Middle East and Asia, threading consists of having a grooming technician roll a twisted cotton thread over any facial areas you would like to defuzz. In contrast to other hair removal trends for men, such as tweezing, which pulls out one hair at a time, threading takes out an entire row of hair in one go but is still a relatively painless procedure. The result constitues chic, razor-sharp lines for eyebrows and your facial hair style of choice.

9. Turkish bath
Also known as a Hamam, the Turkish bath involves moving through a series of rooms in a bathhouse in order to cleanse the body and achieve complete relaxation. Typically, your experience will begin with a sweat session in what is known as a warm room -- or tepidarium -- followed by steaming in an even hotter room, the caldarium, where you'll receive a massage and full body scrub. Finally, you'll round out your visit with a trip to the cooling room to rest.

10. British straight shave
You don't have to hop across the pond to get one, but every man should experience the dying art of the cutthroat shave at least once in his life. The treatment will begin with you lying back in a comfy leather chair while an experienced barber drapes hot towels over your face to encourage your pores to open. Once you've been lathered up using a brush and shaving cream, your barber will then use a straight razor blade to achieve the closest shave of your life. More hot towels will be applied to your face, and an aftershave treatment should follow.