I Always Assumed I Was the Norm, But I May Be the Exception

A story in the Huffington Post this week looked at how much time and money men spend on  grooming themselves.

Now I like to think I’m a regular guy, and that most guys are like me. My goal with grooming is to spend as little time and money as possible.

At this point, I typically know within a minute or so how long it is going to take from the time I start picking out the clothes I’ll wear that day, to then flossing and brushing my teeth, shaving, showering, and getting dressed. 18 minutes.

That’s it. That’s the extent of my grooming on a typical day. to be honest, I wasn’t really sure what else there could be.

In terms of the cost, it’s pretty low cost. A basic toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss; Head and Shoulders with conditioner, which also serves as my body wash, and the cheapest shaving cream I can find, and a pack of disposable razors.

HuffPost spoke to eight men of different ages, ethnic backgrounds, locations and occupations about their grooming routines. Here are descriptions of what some of these guys do; I’ve highlighted in bold what I consider some of the over-the-top steps these men take when it comes to grooming

  • I shower at least once a day, using a bar soap I brought over from India, and I moisturize with Vaseline. The soap is kinda expensive, it’s about $100 for a pack of 25 bars. In the morning I wash my face with the same soap (using a different bar on the body and face) and follow with Thayer’s witch hazel; then I put Vaseline lip therapy on my lips. I don’t have any problems with my skin so I prefer to put my effort into my dressing. I also don’t like to use too many chemicals; I prefer natural products. Occasionally I’ll make a homemade face scrub using honey and coconut brown sugar. I usually get my hair cut every two months but because of the pandemic, I’ve had to wait as long as seven months. Once a week I make a mix of oils (pumpkin seed, tea tree oil, organic coconut oil and argan oil) and wash it out with Pura D’Or Advanced Therapy shampoo and conditioner. I don’t shave my facial hair, I just use a trimmer to shape the beard.
  • Every morning I wake up, shower with an unscented white soap, brush my teeth, shave, moisturize, apply cologne, put pomade in my hair and apply natural deodorant (because I hate yellow stains on my white shirts) and I’m out the door. My cologne is one of the few products I don’t buy at Target ― I get four 3.3 oz. bottles on eBay. In the evening I trim my beard, before showering, and then use an anti-aging cream mixed with a little bit of Differin gel because I get closed comedones and have oily skin. When I have the energy, I’ll do a mask and use a cold roller along with a retinol specially formulated for me by my esthetician under my eyes. I get a weekly haircut ($30), which takes about 30 minutes. When I feel like treating myself I will get a mani/pedi ($120), which usually takes about an hour. I am a huge proponent of massages and saunas. I go to the Russian bath house in Miami Beach almost every weekend for a few hours and sit in the sauna or steam room followed by ice water plunges and maybe a full body mud mask.
  • My morning routine takes about 30 minutes total. I shower every morning for about 15 minutes using body wash and a loofah, then take two minutes to apply body lotion. I take five minutes to brush my teeth, floss and rinse with mouthwash and another five minutes to wash my face and apply skin care. The last three minutes are spent on hair grooming and deodorant. Once a week, I take a 30-minute bath. I wash my hair once or twice a week and use a hair mask once a week. On days I work out but do not want to wash my hair, I use an apple cider vinegar hair rinse. I get a haircut about every five weeks ($80); the process takes about an hour and includes a wash and cut. I trim my facial hair once a week using a standard pair of beard clippers and after I shave I exfoliate my skin. I clip my own nails and about once a month I get a basic mani/pedi ($75). The service usually takes about an hour. I get professional facials ($150-$200) once a quarter or when I am traveling to a nice hotel.
  • In the morning I take about 20 minutes total to do a quick body rinse and wash my face. I get out, spray a prep tonic in my hair and comb, shave and start my skin care routine. I only shave two to three times per week and I have a short beard, so I only shave my neck and the tops of my cheeks. I follow with a softening lotion instead of a traditional aftershave. While that sinks in, I apply natural deodorant and use a serum. While that sinks in, I apply lotion on my body, then an eye cream. Last, I put on my moisturizer ― always a sunscreen unless I’m not going outside. I’m not finished grooming without fragrance — I have probably 40 fragrances I choose from on a daily basis. A few times a week I will exfoliate with glycolic acid. I use a lot of Shiseido products ― my first corporate job was there when I was in my 20s and I’ve just always used their products even after moving on. At night, I shower with a bar soap and follow a similar skin care routine, but instead of an SPF I alternate between four moisturizers. Once a week, I might do a body scrub. I make an appointment online at my barber every five weeks and wash my hair every other day switching between shampoos. I use a pre-styler on my damp hair and comb through, and let it air dry naturally. Before I leave the house, I will put in a styling cream. I clip my own fingernails and get a pedicure ($25) maybe once a year at the beginning of the summer. My feet are pretty dry and cracked, so they have their work cut out and I tip generously.

A few comments from me:

  • I’ve never had a pedicure or a manicure, and I don’t think I ever will.
  • I’ve never exfoliated.
  • I’ve never had a massage, not sure if I ever will.
  • I don’t know what closed comedones are; should I be worried?
  • I’ve never had a “facial routine”. What you see is all natural (that may be part of my problem).
  • I don’t think I’ll ever use a loofah.

Before reading this story, I thought my grooming habits were pretty standard fare for most men.

But after reading the story, I wondered if these men are more typical of what most guys do.

It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that I’m not up with the latest grooming habits, but even if I’m not, I have no desire, or intention, to change my routine.

If anything. I’d like to get my time down to about 16 minutes…

60 thoughts on “I Always Assumed I Was the Norm, But I May Be the Exception

  1. These men are more high maintenance than most women I know. Certainly more than I am. I do like to get a pedicure from time to time, although I haven’t had one since the pandemic. I also get a massage, but only because I go to the chiropractor due to a couple of car accidents. Women are supposed to be a little more maintenance. My next question would be if these men are in relationships. LOL!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. they are certainly much more high maintenance than me as well. I’ve heard people say massages are wonderful, so I might be flexible on that one…

      I don’t know if these guys would have time for a relationship, with all the time they spend grooming… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LOL! Jen Goldie just posted “Your so Vain” for song lyric sunday today. Reminded me of your post. My massage does make me feel better, but it is deep tissue and can leave quite sore. A relaxing massage is so worth the money to spend to get it. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No! Deep tissue is exactly what it sounds like. Pressing deeply into the muscles and scar tissue (in my case) from two car accidents. Swedish is a relaxing full body massage that gets the blood returning to the heart. That is the one that you would want. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I would have been more generous than you at highlighting the over-the-top stuff.

    Here’s my routine:

    Every morning I pour loofah flakes into a bowl, then step into the shower, fill the bowl with shower water, and eat breakfast while showering. Before I finish showering, I brush my teeth with my finger. After the shower I dry off with a towel made of closed comedone fabric. Then I wipe down the loofah bowl with the towel and set it upside-down on the toilet tank, to drain dry until the next morning. I scissor off my lengthy ear, nose, and beard hairs with a few quick snips. I gargle with Palmolive, for the best breath. Finally, I slap myself silly to give myself a healthy, rosy-cheeked complexion. And all done in just nine minutes. Half your time! Ha!

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Yes. But once in awhile I deploy a stopwatch, to make sure I’m not slacking off with my toilette time. If I am, I step up the pace.

        The gargling also accounts for my clean character. At least that’s what I think.

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  3. Dave has an electric razor and shaves every morning. His shower routine is simple. After brushing his teeth he washes his hair (no conditioner), then washes with bar soap. Deo and hair brushing finish it off. He has his hair cut every 6 weeks for $5 by our hair dresser but if he went to the barber it would be $8 so clearly cheaper here. He’s had one massage but only because he won it and decided to give the half hour session a go. He’s never had a mani or pedi. So, you are not alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I wouldn’t draw conclusions from an 8-person survey. Grooming depends somewhat on the type of job one has or desires and marital/dating status. I’ve had manicures and massages. Chair massages and manicures are free in American Express Centurion lounges. Massage are therapeutic and enjoyable. In Thailand you can get an hour massage for $10. Massage can be a type of Schultz Hour. Anyone who hasn’t tried massage is missing out. But to each his/her own. I’ve never had a pedicure but am not adverse to trying one at some point. I’m doing the world a big favor by not wearing sandals, believe me. 😄 It should be a law that people (men) who wear sandals get a pedicure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is quite a small sample, and perhaps the reporter was purposely looking for men who did take extra time to groom themselves.

      I’ve read that manicures and pedicures are almost a daily ritual for many NBA players.

      And I’ve heard good things about massages, and I could probably be flexible on that one. And you’re right, it could be a nice time to just sit back and relax and think about things.
      I think two of my sons have got a massage in Thailand when they were there, and loved it.
      and I guess it’s a good thing that I’m a socks and sneaker kind of guy! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The first time I tried massage was when it was offered as a free perk at work. I went into the 15-minute chair massage session strung tight as a rubber you are about to shoot across the room. I came out feeling like spaghetti. Seriously. I was hooked after that.

        As far as grooming, I probably spend less time than you, when I bother to do it. My hair (what’s left) is so short, I don’t even comb or brush it. Shaving is the most time consuming grooming activity for me, but I do admit to moisturizing my skin after showering.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I am with you on this one, Jim. I, too, consider myself a fairly average American male, but I do not go to some of these lengths in daily grooming. I have had a mani/pedi before and that is a luxurious bit of pampering, but it is an extremely rare thing. I use a cheaper shave cream and disposable razors to shave every other day. Shampoo or body wash is always something inexpensive but effective. I have never had a skin care “routine” and likely not going to start one. Maybe I am just old, but luckily I was blessed with an undeniable natural beauty!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well you can get away with your simple routine because if your natural beauty.

      I wasn’t so blessed as you, but I still have no interest in getting into some sort of grooming routine beyond what I currently do… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. so funny. i guess we each have to do what works for us and makes us feels good about ourselves.
    i’m quite low maintenance, though i do love a good mani/pedi and massage as a treat.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A facial routine? Not unless that includes stuffing my face every day with food. My grooming techniques are about the same as yours, although I did try a new one earlier in the pandemic. I shaved my head and kept it that way for about two months. It took some getting used to, but I didn’t look like a complete dork. When my hair falls out, which is well on its way, I now know it will be okay. The best part was not having to groom it at all—get up and go in the morning. The worst part—I had to worry about getting sunburned in the summer, always wearing sunscreen or a hat. In the winter, my head gets cold without a stocking cap.

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  8. It is important for me that men are clean i.e. wash daily and keep neat and tidy. I don’t like beards or unshaven faces. My dad has never not shaved once in my entire life. My husband occasionally doesn’t share and I never fail to tell him how old it makes him look. He caves after a day or too. Neither of my sons are shaving yet as we are not very hairy people. I would be taken aback if the males in my care did all this namby pamby stuff. I use very few creams on my skin as I don’t believe in all that anti aging nonsense. I use an aqueous cream that I add the water to when I use it. No fragrances or colourants. I wear a little eye make up and generally leave my hair natural. It would be odd for me to have a husband who spent more money and time on his appearance than I do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m with you. I had a beard once for a few months just to see what it would be like, but I was happy to go back to shaving every day. And I’m learning that a little moisturizer isn’t a bad thing now and then… 🙂

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  9. Very interesting. Now I am going to have to pay attention to my husband’s morning routine. I know he gets up way too early and starts on the elliptical and drinks a lot of coffee, as for the grooming, I haven’t paid much attention. I am curious though!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I am cracking up! I couldn’t believe the in-depth descriptions. That one guy who said he moisturizes with Vaseline, I was getting some sticky visuals. Ewe. I hope he meant Vaseline lotion. LOL. And Jim, your routine is rather quick, lol. No cologne? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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