AskMen did a survey of 4,600 American males earlier this month.
They weren’t interested in such inconsequential things like presidential politics, confidence in the economy or whether we should put a woman on Venus. Instead they wanted to know about shaving.
It’s a subject that is obviously close to a lot of guys.
I was feeling fairly typical. The survey noted the average guy took two to three minutes to shave. I fall within that range. I can’t fathom what some of the respondents are doing in the bathroom with a razor in their hands if it takes them 25 minutes to shave based on their responses.
Sixty-eight percent said they tend to get nicks around the chin while 55 percent found the neck the most difficult to shave. And the biggest peeve cited by 24 percent of those surveyed was a shave that is not quite close enough. So far, I’m average.
But then there was the question about how often guys shave.
Thirty-four percent said they skip a few days between shaves while 29 percent say they shave every day of the week.
It made me feel like Fred Flinstone.
At least five days each week I shave twice. Not because I missed something, but because when it comes to 5 o’clock shadows I’m in another time zone. With me, it’s more like 2 o’clock shadows.
The few times I’ve gone without shaving for a few days - definitely when I’m not around people - I could easily be mistaken for the missing link.
If I don’t shave the back of my neck every three to four days I run the risk of looking like I have a ducktail gone wild.
Puberty came quick for me. There’s not too many guys who start shaving in the seventh grade.
And if fast growing and fairly heavy “hair” was restricted to my face and head it would be OK.
To show you how bad it was, I’d been married for six months when an in-law gave me a battery-operated hair trimmer for your nostrils. There was nothing subtle about that gift.
Virtually every other time when I get my hair cut at Scores, the person doing the clipping will marvel at how clean my neck is and almost always ask if I do it myself. I have to and I had to learn to do it right. Being mistaken for Big Foot when you’re hiking in the woods is not exactly a safe thing.
They almost always offer to trim my eyebrows noting that it is good to trim them once a month. I wish that was the case. Try four to six times a month.
I started shaving my legs years ago only after I got into bicycling to the point I was pedaling 150 to 200 miles a week. All it took was one crash and a nasty painful case of road rash that got infected with my leg hair drying under the scabbed-over skin to convince me to shave my legs.
It’s a pain in the tush especially since I can’t go two days without my leg hair growing faster than Apple stock. But whenever I stop shaving the legs every other day, all it takes is one spill (OK, so I’m a hairy klutz) while jogging to convince me that not having hair dry in bloody wounds is worth the pain of shaving.
So how hairy are my legs?
Let’s put it this way. I was cycling and shaving my legs all of the time that I was dating my ex-wife. When I stopped shaving the winter after we were married because I hadn’t gotten used yet to jogging in the cold Manteca winter fog and didn’t like having to wear tights, she made it clear that she wasn’t wild about the fact I had more hair on my legs than many guys do on their heads.
I also wonder why AskMen never inquired about how many times guys have to shave the outer edges of their ears? Am I the only one that grows hair there?
I can’t complain. If I ever decided to look like a Chia Pet I’d send Gillette stock into a downward death spiral by giving up shaving. If an abundance of hair is one of the downsides of the DNA hand I was dealt, I have no worries.
This column is the opinion of managing editor, Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Bulletin or Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 209-249-3519.