Not everyone is born with a chiseled physique or a face that could make angels swoon.
Some men are naturally more athletic, while others spend all their time in the gym and never gain an ounce of visible muscle. However, changing your appearance is possible, and there are some tried and true principles that can help you look more masculine.
As a former hood kid, I know firsthand how tough it can be to navigate the world as a young male. Growing up in a rough environment, I faced daily life-threatening situations and had to learn to toughen up both physically and mentally.
That foundation laid the groundwork for personal development that has made me into the man I am today.
But when it comes to masculinity, I didn’t have male role models so I had to learn on my own.
Masculinity is one of those things that can be hard to pin down. In this post, I’ll share some of my personal experiences and not only how to look more masculine but how to exude masculine behavior from the inside out.
Take care of your hair
Your hair and facial hair are the foundation of your look. The way you wear the hair on your head and your facial hair signal age, social masculinity, and attractiveness to women. More masculine faces such as those with chiseled jawlines are considered more immediately attractive for short-term liaisons(sexual or otherwise). Beards signal that you are capable of long-term relationships.1
Since faces that are too masculine or too feminine are not generally attractive, beards help to mitigate the negative reactions someone may have to your facial features.
Whether you decide to go with a short haircut or a bald head, it’s important to keep it neat and tidy. Long hair reads more feminine, and it doesn’t look good on most men. If you’re losing your hair, and you’re Black, go ahead and shave it off. Otherwise, weigh the pros and cons of going bald before taking that step.
I struggled with hair loss for a long time before I decided to get a hair transplant. It’s definitely not cheap, but if it’s within your budget, go for it.Read my reviews on hair loss treatments for more information.
Build a strong physique
To look more masculine, you need to have a low body fat percentage and high muscle mass. This means hitting the gym and focusing on strength training, not just cardio. Building muscle mass requires a combination of weight training and proper nutrition. You should focus on compound exercises such as squats, deadlifts, push-ups, and bench presses, which work multiple muscle groups at once. Also, make sure to eat enough protein to support muscle growth.
Building muscle not only enhances your physical appearance but also boosts your testosterone levels2 which is key to developing masculine traits like a strong upper body, broad shoulders, and a strong neck and jawline.
If you’re a slimmer dude, traditional weight training programs you find online may not work for you. Look up ways to build muscle when you’re skinny.
In addition to building muscle, you can improve your jawline by chewing mastic gum. Mastic gum is a resin that comes from a Mediterranean tree. Chewing it can help to strengthen your jaw muscles and improve your facial symmetry. I used mastic gum while boxing because I didn’t want to get knocked out. If you have a feminine or round face,mastic gum can help square out your jawline helping you appear more masculine.
Stop dressing like you’re in high school
When it comes to dressing more masculine, less is more. Avoid excessive accessories like jewelry and necklaces, and stick to a simple wristwatch. Also, keep your fingernails trimmed and clean.
Lots of rappers, pimps, and rich men from every century have touted their jewelry as a sign of their wealth. This is because it has no utility for men. It’s inherently showy, which is more useful as a feminine trait.
When you’re muscular, it can be challenging to find clothes that fit properly. However, there are ways to dress that flatter your physique. For example, you can wear clothes that show off your arms and chest, such as fitted t-shirts, button-down shirts, or polo shirts. Avoid baggy clothes, skinny jeans, or items like graphic t-shirts or beanie hats. These items cause you to look like a perpetual teenager, making it difficult for anyone to take you seriously when it counts.
I worked with Tanner Guzy todevelop a unique, masculine style that enhances my attractiveness but also fits my body. \
Be mindful of your nonverbal communication
Strong body language and eye contact communicate confidence and assertiveness. And if you’re struggling with your posture, try doing exercises that strengthen your core and back muscles.
For centuries tribes sent young males through rites of passage that taught you vital life skills but also what it means to be a man. We don’t have those in industrialized society anymore so it’s important to gain that elsewhere. Combat sport is a good place to start.
I can always point out whether a man has been in a physical sport by the way he acts around other men. Engaging in team sports or combat sports teaches you how to be humble but also how to strive for something. You also learn not to cower around other men that may be bigger or stronger than you. You learn to be in control of your emotions and subsequently control your mannerisms.
Sometimes no matter what you do, talking to other people is difficult.Read this to learn how to navigate social anxiety, become more likable, and build a strong masculine presence.
Develop a resilient mindset
Finally, this is the most important part of masculinity. It’s certainly possible to be a masculine man without being a good man but the results of one over the other will help you reach your greatest potential.
Masculine traits are often boiled down to physicality and superficial metrics like muscles, drinking, and having reckless sex. But there’s more to it than that. You can develop yourself on the outside, earn a high level of income, and still essentially be a child on the inside.
My article on the9 traits you need to be a man goes into more depth on this and definitely is worth your time but here is a quick summary:
- You are strong in the face of peer pressure
- you train your mind and your body
- You’re honest with others and yourself
- You take responsibility for your actions, your life, and everything in between even if its not your fault.
- You have a purpose and usefulness to your community
Final thoughts on how to look more masculine
Looking more masculine is about more than just building muscle or dressing in a certain way. It’s about cultivating a certainty about who you are and how you show up in the world. A great mindset is not vital for a masculine appearance but when you develop it on the inside, you exude alpha male energy more naturally.
Here’s how to look more masculine:
- Take care of your hair, face, and skin
- Develop a strong body
- Develop a core look and masculine appearance
- Be mindful of what your body language is communicating
- Develop your mind, learn to be in control of your emotions
Dixson, B. J., Sulikowski, D., Gouda-Vossos, A., Rantala, M. J., & Brooks, R. C. (2016). The masculinity paradox: facial masculinity and beardedness interact to determine women's ratings of men's facial attractiveness. Journal of evolutionary biology, 29(11), 2311–2320. https://doi.org/10.1111/jeb.12958 ↩
Vingren, J. L., Kraemer, W. J., Ratamess, N. A., Anderson, J. M., Volek, J. S., & Maresh, C. M. (2010). Testosterone physiology in resistance exercise and training: the up-stream regulatory elements. Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.), 40(12), 1037–1053. https://doi.org/10.2165/11536910-000000000-00000 ↩