Men’s grooming is often viewed as something that’s less important and in some sense superficial as it only affects what is on the outside but the latest evidence is it can truly affect what’s on the inside, our self esteem. Put simply, we feel better about ourselves and this is something most people recognise. However, it goes further than this.
Most of us have had those times when we feel run down, simply stressed out or even overwhelmed, we look at ourselves in the mirror in the morning and feel like we can’t be bothered to make an effort. Then freshly showered, a shave or beard trim, a bit of moisturiser and a favourite hair product, you look at yourself in the mirror and start to feel a bit better. It’s like a mini suit of armour going on to hide from the rest of the world, however vulnerable or wretched we may be feeling inside, our self esteem is boosted. Could the opposite be true, could a sudden lack of self-care and grooming be a sign of something much more serious.
Can a lack of self-care represent the early signs of depression?
‘Raj’ Persaud is an English consultant psychiatrist, broadcaster and author of books about psychiatry. He is known for raising public awareness of psychiatric and mental health issues in the general media and has published five books and received numerous awards.
According to Dr Raj,
“Psychiatrists use changes in how people look after their appearance as indicators of psychiatric disorder and significant mood change so yes a lack of self care can in some circumstances can be an early sign of depression. What is less well known is that when people go high they also change their appearance so they get more flamboyant for example in the way they dress. The key issue is significant changes from how u normally dress.”
Clearly not everyone who can’t be bothered with their appearance is depressed but it demonstrates a link between what’s on the outside and what’s going on inside. Looking our best can certainly increase our confidence and hence our self-esteem.
The NHS website clearly states living with low self-esteem can harm your mental health, leading to problems like depression and anxiety.
Great grooming and looking fantastic can’t begin to tackle the deep seated causes of low self-esteem but could it help alleviate it?
According to Dr Raj boosting our self-esteem can have a positive impact.
“I think that one way self confidence can manifest itself is the ability to stand out from the crowd and both men and women reveal how confident they are by their willingness to depart from the kind of uniform everyone around them is wearing.Appearance sends signals about the kind of person you are.”
If looking after ourselves and being well groomed can enhance self-confidence, then at the very least this can provide a much needed boost to stop us feeling any worse.
But Dr Raj sends a warning,
“People can make the mistake that you are how you look when there is a lot more to personality than dress. Sometimes people can be hiding their true feelings and insecurities through a professional appearance.Looks can be deceiving.”
Enhancing your self -esteem through great grooming can be a positive thing for many of us and looking our best and receiving a compliment from a mate or loved one can give us a lift inside. It’s not going to solve anything deep rooted but it can go a long way to giving us a much needed boost. If you have always considered grooming to be a low priority and simply about personal vanity, don’t underestimate the effect that hair thickening treatment, the mattifying moisturiser or that anti dark circle eye gel could really have.