body grooming

NOTE: The lucky winner of the Philips Norelco Bodygroom Pro giveaway was Alex, from Nashville, TN. Thanks to everyone who entered!

We’ve spent some time here discussing body hair and what to do with it. We know from surveys that men don’t groom most of the areas women would like them to. But why? Perhaps it’s because it’s time-consuming, hard to do (especially if you’ve got back hair) and requires a drawerful of tools for trimming here, shaving there, edging…it’s a hassle, and most guys don’t like hassle.

Recently the kind folks at Philips Norelco sent me their Bodygroom Pro cordless grooming device, and I jumped at the chance to review it. Not just a trimmer and not just a shaver, it’s designed to groom your body hair to exactly the length you prefer. It’s kind of ingenious, a little stylish, and it’s definitely going to replace some of my current grooming arsenal because it simply saves time.

Two Tools in One

The Bodygroom Pro System is literally a dedicated trimmer and a dedicated shaver in one tool. At one end there’s a clipper head with an adjustable comb/guide so that you can keep some strategic fuzz and avoid looking like an alien. Flip it around and you’ve got a Norelco shaver head, just like an electric razor you’d use on your face — but with the addition of a cutter on each side to clip off longer hairs before the shaver finishes the job. The whole shebang pivots, both up-and-down and side-to-side, for better contact.

That shaver head is the genius part of this device. Usually shaving a body part is a two-step process: first trim the hairs with clippers, then go over the area with a razor. The Bodygroom makes this a one-step process. This could be especially helpful for guys with back hair. If you’ve given up on clumsily dragging a razor around your back while looking in a mirror, or worse, having to get a friend to help, you can get to even the hard-to-reach spots with the Bodygroom’s shaver head, making the process incredibly quick.

Personally, I don’t have a lot of hair I need to shave, but the shaver quickly takes care of my random hairs — you know, the ones you find and ask yourself, “was this there before?” Although I thought about using it for touch-ups on my face, the Bodygroom’s documentation warns not to do that. If I was about to shave off several weeks of beard, however (and didn’t have my i-Stubble), I’d have a hard time heeding that warning, because it looks like the perfect tool.

The trimmer head on the other end of the Bodygroom Pro is personally more useful to me, because I trim the vast majority of my body hair. I’m genetically blessed with a relatively large amount of chest hair — inherited it from my father, whose chest hair wisps out in tufts over the top of his shirts. I’ve always kept mine short but visible, and the trimmer works well to do just that, with the guide pushed up to the appropriate length. It also works well on my armpits and, well, down under. (As with any clippers, take care with the sensitive, loose skin in your nether regions, because it’s much more prone to being nicked. Trust me on this.)

 Wet or Dry?

The other great feature of the Bodygroom is that it’s “water-resistant,” which means you have the all-clear to use it in the shower. I can’t tell you how great it is to have the hair wash down the drain instead of having to sweep and wipe down my bathroom floor or sink after grooming. In addition, by using the shaver in conjunction with soap or shaving cream, you’ll get a closer shave. Water-resistance also means you can clean the groomer by rinsing it out, which also reduces the time you spend in grooming-related tasks. The shaver and trimmer heads pop off for a more thorough cleaning, and the shaver blade is replaceable.

When your Bodygroom isn’t in use, its stand doubles as a charger, keeping the counter looking clean and avoiding the ugly gadget-adapter plague. Kind of stylish, actually.

There’s Always Something

When I trim the various areas of my “coat,” I use a few different lengths, which means frequent adjustments to the trimmer guide. While the Bodygroom’s guide is much better designed than my old clippers, it has a habit of popping off when I try to slide it up to its highest setting. Not a dealbreaker by any means, but a minor annoyance.

Other minor quibbles include the non-replaceable battery (a nickel-metal-hydride cell that should hold the equivalent of around 500 full discharges and recharges before it begins to decline in capacity) and the fact that the shaver head doesn’t pop out for cleaning quite as easily as it should. The second time I tried, it flew out of my hand into the sink and the foil popped off. It all went back together easily, and maybe I just need to get used to the proper amount of force, but if I’d paid good money for the Bodygroom Pro, I wouldn’t want to have the thought that I broke my groomer the first day I had it.

Summary

We’d all like to keep our body hair tidy and free of those funky random patches. The pain point is one of time. Make grooming easier and we’ll groom more often. The Philips Norelco Bodygroom Pro does just that. With separate, dedicated heads for trimming and shaving, it’s an improvement on the company’s other grooming tools and covers all the bases where your body hair is concerned. Shave where you want to shave, trim where you want to trim. It really will save time over the alternatives, and if you’ve been nervous about personal grooming, the Bodygroom Pro should get you off the fence.

Philips Norelco Bodygroom Pro Grooming System (Amazon.com)

Now On to the Giveaway!

As I mentioned at the top of the article, the great folks at Philips Norelco are supplying me one Bodygroom Pro to give away to a reader. It’s incredibly easy to enter — and you can enter more than once using multiple methods:

  • Add your comment below this article. One catch here: it must be relevant. Ask your grooming questions, share your story, or comment on the weirdest place you’ve found a hair.
  • Subscribe to the Tao of Bachelorhood. In addition to occasionally being hipped to giveaways and promotions, I’ll occasionally send you unique content and information — and just for signing up, you’ll get The Single Man’s Grocery List and Simple Starter Workout!
  • Like the Tao of Bachelorhood Facebook page.
  • Follow the Tao of Bachelorhood on Twitter.
  • Send a tweet including @bachelorhood and the hashtag #BGGiveaway.

If you’re an existing subscriber or follower, you’re automatically entered, but you can still enter again using another method. Do all five and you’ll get five entries for the Bodygroom Pro. Just make sure to get it done by 11:59 pm on August 20. I’ll contact you if you won and get your mailing address.

46 comments

I’ve gone over this before, but from the moment we grow our first short hairs until it starts growing out of ridiculous places, the question is: Grow it, groom it, or scrape it?

If I was a hermit, would I let my chest hair run wild and my nose grow a mustache out from within? Perhaps, and I don’t think there’s a guy out there who wishes he didn’t have to deal with body hair (or hasn’t already said “screw it”). But I’m not planning to be living in a mountain cave anytime soon. I like people, and I prefer that they don’t run away when I approach them. I especially like women, and…well, as it turns out, they prefer a well-trimmed hedge.

On the other hand, the razor manufacturers would have you believe that a complete clear-cut is the answer. But in addition to itchy, painful stubble and ingrown hairs, it turns out women like that even less than they like a full, unmanicured growth. I don’t put a lot of stock in surveys from commercial interests, but this one from Remington (who makes trimmers) pretty much matches what I’ve seen and heard from women.

Plus I’ve got charts.

chestchart

First there’s the issue of chest hair. Interestingly, the largest percentage of women don’t mind if you don’t touch it at all. And that’s good, because not many of us do. (More on that later.) But only about 1 in 6 prefer a smooth chest, which coincidentally used to be your odds of winning a free RC Cola.

groinchartMoving on to the naughty bits, Gillette would have you believe that every girl crazy ’bout a hairless man. It turns out the same ones who like a smooth chest also like smooth testicles. Again, women are mostly deadlocked on whether to trim or let the garden grow free. However, 56 percent of women under 40 prefer you trim it a tad, and a whopping 60 percent of women who are actually dating say they want to see neatness down there, so unless you’re hoping to target elderly shut-ins, get some clippers.

All that’s left to say is that if you choose au naturel and you’re hoping for a lady to head down south, you had better be cleaner than Howie Mandel down there.

groominggap

Finally we have what I call the Body Grooming Gap: the difference between what guys trim and what is actually visually unappealing to women. As you can see, some of the differences are enormous.

And the major surprise here is not really that almost all women really want you to do something about that butt hair, but that so few guys with back hair do anything about it. I mean, a man is more likely to shave his arse than make sure he isn’t wearing a sweater to the pool? It may be a problem with the survey, but if you’re one of these men, after you’ve waxed your tush you might consider continuing above the waist.

And I’m surprised at the large number of men who say they groom their faces. While Remington defines this as ear, eyebrow and nose hair, from the sheer number of women who wonder why guys don’t trim their nostril gardens I have to believe guys misunderstood and answered “yes” if they shave. But you seem to be getting the groin thing about right — there’s a groomed man for almost every woman who wants one (considering, like I mentioned before, most of the women who don’t want one don’t get out of the house much).

There are all kinds of adjustments to be made to this survey: younger guys generally groom more, younger women generally like it that way, and we don’t know if the survey only polled men who actually had hair in those places. But the point is that according to women it doesn’t hurt to do at least a little trimming.

Ideas on best grooming methods? Let me hear ’em!

Survey: Women Want Men To Do More Body Hair Grooming, Especially Below the Neck [PR Newswire]

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