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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

Conair i-Stubble Review

by Michael on March 28, 2011 · 0 comments

If there’s one thing I’m constantly asked about, it’s the fastest, easiest way to get facial hair under control. So when the kind folks at Conair sent me their i-Stubble shaver for an advance review, I couldn’t say no. (Well, I never say no right now, but that’s another story.)

However, this required that I do something I usually don’t: let my facial hair grow out. Let’s just say that with two-to-three-days’ scruff I don’t exactly resemble Dr. McDreamy. But guys who aren’t as facially follicular-challenged as myself need to keep that scruff from turning into Grizzly Adams or the guy from Iron & Wine. Regular clippers aren’t precise enough to do the job, so if you want your stubble to remain in that “sweet spot” you’ll need something more specialized.

But the i-Stubble is more than that, and there’s good reason for even a clean-shaven guy like me to keep it on the bathroom shelf.

20-Grit or 30?

The i-Stubble (branded as the BaByLiss i-Stubble overseas) looks at first glance like a normal electric trimmer, with a plastic blade guard and sharp metal cutting blades. The magic of this device is the precision cutting guide: it’s adjustable in 0.2 millimeter increments, from 0.4 mm all the way up to 5.0 mm. Just press the up or down buttons and a little motor moves the guide into position. When the digital readout shows you the length you’re looking for, you’re ready to groom.

With normal clippers, the angle can be tricky: held perpendicular to your face, you might get a much shorter cut than at a 30-degree angle. With the i-Stubble, you hold the guide flat against your face, no guesswork involved. The instruction sheet recommends shaving upwards (against the grain), and I found that to be the best way to cut. For the neck and chin, I also found it necessary to go over the area another time or two in a different direction—the instruction sheet recommends that as well.

With one exception (I’ll get to that in a minute), the i-Stubble gave me a wonderful, even trim. If I were to “wear” stubble every day, this would be a godsend.

But Wait, There’s More

Let’s say you’re rocking a tight beard, mustache or goatee. That 5mm setting can keep it from fuzzing out. I normally have a little soul patch these days, and I can set the i-Stubble to its longest cut length, pass over my little spot once, and I’m done with it.

And I can fold back the guide (no loose parts to go missing!) and use the blades to shape my patch, trim those hairs at the back of my neck between haircuts, and even snag the few stray hairs on my shoulders. The relatively small size of the i-Stubble blades make it easy to handle. With all the varied use, I haven’t had to recharge the device in the three weeks or so that I’ve had it.

Not Without Its Flaws

Another unique “feature” of my facial hair is that it grows right up to within about 1/8 of an inch from my nose. Attempting to trim the stubble on my upper lip became a boxing match between the i-Stubble and my nostrils. The guide has curved sides which, if they could be flattened, would allow the device to pass under the nose with minimal contact—perhaps that’s a feature for version 2.0.

Also, it would be great if the device would remember the setting it was last used at, instead of resetting the next time it’s turned on. A minor annoyance (it’s kind of fun to watch the guide move with the little motor sound) but every extra ten seconds added on to the morning ritual is an extra ten seconds earlier I have to get up, and I like my sleep.

Summary

Some men are more cut out for a daily wet shave with a safety razor. Others look great with a smattering of shadow. If you’re farming stubble, the Conair for Men i-Stubble should be your implement of choice. It’s also useful beyond its prime directive, and beyond the trendy “i-” name. If I could download apps on it, the name would be perfect.

Conair for Men iStubble [Amazon.com]

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Iron Gym Review

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A while back, as one of my Last-Minute Gift Ideas for Men I mentioned the Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar. I also mentioned that I ordered one for myself. After using it for five months, I thought I’d let you know my thoughts on what’s become one of the most wildly popular pieces […]

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New Amp Energy Reviews…and a Giveaway!

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Book Review: The Art of Manliness

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Christmas Gifts for Men: The Shaving Kit

December 9, 2009 Grooming

With Christmas around the corner, I thought it might be a good idea to offer a few ideas for that man on your Xmas list…or for yourself. Let’s start with something every man (except maybe Zach Galifianakis) needs: a close, smooth shave. The kind that doesn’t come from a quick slathering from a can of […]

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Got Something to Review?

October 22, 2009 Living

Another offer I can make while I’m not yet slammed with traffic and requests: I’m offering to review any and all products. It can be a book, an e-book, a self-help system, a gadget or iPhone app, a car, a website, anything — as long as it’s something that would be of interest to single […]

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