03/12/2012 01:11 pm ET Updated May 12, 2012

Nick and Me

Men's style and grooming has certainly evolved for all of us over the years, and is something that's been on my mind recently. While watching this year's Academy Awards, I truly felt that Nick Nolte deserved an Oscar for his clean look, and P. Diddy rocked a flawless side part -- and do I need to say anything about Brad Pitt? Men's grooming at its very best.

But as we all know, grooming and style require vigilance and attention. A few weeks ago, I woke up at my usual 4:30 a.m. farm time and caught a glimpse of myself up close in the bathroom mirror against the dark house. The little vanity light that was on illuminated the white stubble I've been trying to deny by keeping a close shave. I've also tried to embrace it by letting a goatee grow in to see if that helps hide some of the grays -- but if you're used to seeing your face one way for years, facial hair can transform you into something you're not used to seeing in the mirror (and it's too much, for my taste). Even worse, a few months ago, I was making an appearance on the Today Show with a goatee and got a flood of phone calls from my friends and family, asking me what was on my face! And let's not even get started on the wild hairs I catch growing out of my ears, nose and brows -- thank goodness for the women around me who are painfully honest and let me know something needs to be taken care of.

But after my early wakeup, the first time I really look in the mirror in the morning with true focus is when I'm with a client in my brightly-lit salon. I say good morning to us both, and realize that without the errant hairs and the struggles with my grays, I really do clean up well. It's hard to believe it's time to talk about grays -- I started in men's fashion more than twenty years ago doing grooming for GQ and Esquire. My good friend Losi (the industry's leading men's groomer) and I even worked on Tom For'ds first Men's Gucci show in Milan years ago, as well as all things Hugo Boss and Tommy Hilfiger. Losi taught me everything about men's grooming, so you'd think I'd be pruned to the max, but all I can say is, thank goodness for Hair Rules Cleansing Cream for softening, and Gillette razors for keeping me looking my best.

So, what have I learned? There's nothing like a great shave to keep me -- and all men -- looking their best, and the clean, styled look is most definitely "in."