I’ll admit it. I’m a hairy guy. More hair than I would like. Some of it is manageable (arm pit, chest, arm) and some is not (nether regions, back, neck). When you have a partner (or really good friend), manscaping those hard to reach places is less of a hassle, but when you’re single it’s up to you to trim the hedges.
I don’t really mind the hair on my chest, but I can’t stand the limited hair on my back. A couple of years ago I tried laser hair removal, which worked to some degree, but it was expensive, it hurt, and I probably need about 3-4 more sessions to get the results I want.
An easier approach is to use a razor or an electric trimmer. I’ve tried both.
Razors get real close, but it’s really difficult to reach the middle of your back, and going anywhere between the legs with a razor blade makes me nervous, so I sometimes do my shoulders and neck with a blade, but usually save those for the face.
Electric trimmers give you the advantage of guards so if you don’t want that new born baby look, you can style and still look kept. Similarly with razors, trimmers are awkward, and you have to position them correctly to reach the hairs you want gone. Problem areas still include back, but the guard takes some of the nerves away when shaving the crotch.
Recently I picked up Philips Bodygroom +. Full disclosure: Patrick sells this at his store, Masc, but he neither asked me to do this review, nor did I buy it there (sorry Patrick). I had been looking for a way to ease my bi-weekly ritual and had heard good things about the Bodygroom. Up until then I had been using a beard trimmer, but I found that it took a long time to get the job done, and the next day I would always find I missed a couple of spots.
First impressions of the Bodygroom were good. The body has a certain weight to it that makes it feel like it’s constructed well. It comes with two ‘blades’, a trimmer, and a shaver. The trimmer comes with two guard attachments with lengths from 3mm to 11mm. The larger guard is for bigger areas like your back, and the smaller guard is for more sensitive areas like around the nipple and the groin. The shaver has no guard, and is for close shaves.
The Bodygroom includes a built in rechargeable battery that needs to be charged 10 hours the first time you get it, so if you’re planning on using it, get it a day before the intended results. Subsequent charges take about 8 hours, and the charge holds for about 50 minutes. I did my whole routine (chest, arms, armpits, groin, back, ass) in about 20 minutes and the groomer didn’t get hot or have a noticeable speed decrease as I’ve found in other razors.
I used the trimmer on my chest, arms, armpits, and groin. It took a bit of time to do the chest, as the razor isn’t as wide as say a razor you would use to shave your head. It did do the job though. I found that it worked very well on my arms, especially around the wrists and elbows. I was never able to get the hairs properly with my old razor and would have to go back with scissors, but the Bodygroom handled around the wrist bones greatly. The armpits were easy and the it did a good job around the groin too. No complaints. Click here for before and after pictures… haha, yeah right :P
I used the shaver on my back, neck, shoulders, and ass. It took a minute or two before I was able to angle it properly. I started on my shoulders, and it seemed like it would miss a hair here and there. There are two blades on the shaver (one on each side) and a foil razor in the middle. The side blades were best for most of it, and the foil was good to get right close to the skin.
Once I got the hang of it, the only problem was being able to reach all the spots. The middle of the back is still a problem for me, but the Bodygroom took a lot of the awkwardness away from the device, and made it more a test of flexibility. If I had someone else do it for me, it probably would have been even better.
The Bodygroom can be used dry or in the shower. Philips recommends you use some shaving cream if you’re using it in the shower. I used it dry, as I don’t have a mirror in my shower and I needed to see what I was doing. I’m going to get a shower mirror and try it in there next time. Less mess to clean up after as the hairs will just go down the drain.
Overall I was impressed. Comparatively, it’s the best groomer I’ve used. You can find it most places for at a reasonable price. I bought mine in Amsterdam, and since electronics are generally more expensive I ended up paying more, but I think it was well spent.
Pros: Solid construction, two different attachments give you styling options, was able to shave boney places like around the wrist, made the shaving easier than my experience with other razors.
Cons: It did miss a few hairs on the places I went over, you’ll have to do a once over to see where you’ve missed. I would have liked a wider blade, but the smaller blades is good for the groin. A little pricey, or maybe I’m just cheap.