Kyle Ingham is the founder of The Distilled Man, a site that educates guys on the fundamental and classic skills their fathers and grandfathers had. Its mission is simply to help guys become better men.
In this interview, Kyle shares the story behind The Distilled Man, grooming tips, and more.
What's your background, and what motivated you to launch The Distilled Man?
Kyle: Before The Distilled Man, I worked in advertising agencies. Then one day in my early 30's, I had this realization: I couldn't really grill. All of the sudden, it was like my biological clock went off. All I could think about was grilling meat. So I bought a barbecue, read books, learned from friends, and really dove into learning how to grill.
Throughout this experience, I kept asking myself "isn't grilling something every guy is supposed to know?" Then I thought about all the other skills every man is just expected to know: how to mix cocktails, how to tie a tie, how to give a best man's speech... But the truth is, if you don't learn this stuff from your dad or big brother growing up, you're [devoid of these skills].
I thought, if I want to learn these things, then there are probably other guys who might want to learn them as well. And with that, The Distilled Man was born.
Tell us about The Distilled Man. What's the site all about, and what makes it different than the other "men's improvement" blogs out there?
Kyle: The Distilled Man is all about giving men the foundational knowledge they need to know in life - from hands-on skills like how to cook a steak to softer skills like how to build better habits.
My goal is to provide straight-forward introductions to a variety of subjects without getting bogged down in unnecessary details. That way, guys can gain a basic level of confidence in the topic and then use the site as a launching point if they want to go deeper. I don't claim to be an expert in all these things, so I make it a point to do research and learn directly from experts whenever possible.
The other unique thing about The Distilled Man is that I don't care much about fancy brands or expensive gear. These are all these men's lifestyle sites popping up now that are focused on the latest expensive gadgets and designer brands. That's just not me.
Sure, I like nice things. But also I believe in keeping it simple. And I think there's a lot men can do to improve themselves that doesn't involve spending $100k per year on "man-cessories."
Let's switch gears to grooming. What is the #1 issue you think guys struggle with when it comes to grooming?
Kyle: One of the biggest issues many guys have with grooming is simply not paying attention to it. I think there's a subconscious (or maybe conscious for some guys) struggle with the question of "how much can I primp and take care of myself before I'm acting like a chick?" A reader literally asked me that question the other day.
The truth is, there's a lot of basic care and attention a man can give himself on the grooming front before he even gets close to "too much." Most guys would benefit from paying more attention to (1) basic maintenance of their body hair - not just shaving regularly but taming wayward nose, eyebrow, and ear hair; (2) washing and moisturizing their faces regularly; and (3) cleaning and clipping their nails.
All of these things are easy to do, but they make a big impact on our overall appearance. If you were interviewing a candidate for a job, what would you think if he had dirty, unkempt fingernails and crazy nose hairs sticking out all over the place?
You might think he doesn't pay much attention to the details. And you'd be right. Spend a moment to pay attention to the grooming details - you'll be happy you did.
If you could give our readers just one grooming tip, what would it be?
Kyle: Create a routine. Beyond not paying attention to grooming, the biggest barrier for many guys is just making time for it. Figure out what your daily routine will be and make it a habit. For most guys, it won't be terribly complicated.
Morning: shower, shave, do your hair.
Evening: wash your face and moisturize.
I've heard stories about guys who've re-discovered the "ritual" of a classic shave for example, and as a result, started enjoying having more of a relaxing morning routine.
One of the main focuses of this blog is to help men be, look, and feel dapper quickly and efficiently. Do you have a simple and quick grooming routine that you follow that you can share with our readers?
Kyle: My routine is fairly minimalistic. The bulk of my grooming involves trimming my beard, which I do using a beard trimmer and then I touch up with scissors and a comb. Beyond that, my daily routine is to wash my face with a basic cleanser and then apply "mansturizer" at night.
I no longer worry abut feeling "girly" for using moisturizer. I've reached the age when I realize I don't want my forehead to look like shoe leather in 10 years.
How can our readers learn more about what you're up to and connect with you online?
Step Up Your Grooming Game
Thanks to Kyle for the interview! Make sure to check out The Distilled Man to learn about relationships & dating, grilling & cooking, motivation & productivity, style, manly know-how, and more.
Another resource for you to check out is the "Grooming Blogs Toolkit" - a list of 17 blogs (including The Distilled Man) that can help you get started with better grooming.
Or, you can get free access to your own copy of the "Grooming Blogs Toolkit" by clicking the image below: