Some of you may be wondering what a body grooming device review is doing on a cycling site… Excellent question – which I asked myself some weeks ago, shortly followed by the next question: “Are we not men?”
Damn straight, we are. And loyal PEZ-Fans will know we don’t necessarily swim in the main stream, but we do appreciate quality, convenience, and of course cool gadgets. So here’s a device that could make your life easier, and your general self a bunch more attractive, and I’ll bet 99.44% of you are already doing this anyway, but most likely with a much cruder instrument. Of course I speak of the removal of body hair.
There’s no denying that shaved legs are as much a part of road cycling as skinny tires and drop handlebars, and I’ll venture no other part of our obsession requires as much maintenance as keeping your skin hair-free. The benefits of hairless appendages are plentiful – ranging from massage and recovery, to cleanliness (easier to keep the road rash germ free), to some level of aerodynamics (or so I’ve heard), to good ol’ fashioned ego-boosting, but none of that makes my weekly ritual of hair removal any easier or less time consuming.
I started down this long & winding leg-shaving road in 1986 – heading off on a post-university sew-my-wild-oats cycling trip around Europe. The night before we left, my buddy Scott and I decided a full shave-down was in order (legs only that is). It was intended as a gag, but somehow I got hooked on having smooth legs, and have never looked back. My weapon of choice has always been the bladed razor (minimum 2 blades required – although I recently discovered a 5 blader that is pretty amazing), but along the way I have experimented with electric razors – which are especially handy when a full de-forestation is required.
When I was invited to check out the new Philips BodyGroom Plus – it seemed like a good idea – since that growing thin-spot on the top of my bean (that my daughters happily point out as my “bald spot” at the least opportune times) is being more than replaced with new sprouts of hair in places I’d rather be without – ears, nose, back – even my chest has taken on a rather Magnum P.I.-ness that’s arrived about 20 years too late.
But thanks to this new device, I can slap the cuffs on the hands of Father Time, by at least making myself look like a kid in my early 20’s.
The Bodygroom Plus is a rechargeable electric shaver and trimmer – that has proven quite good at removing all kinds of unsightly body hair from my test subject (me) without the hassle of jumping in the shower or the risk of cutting myself with an errant swipe of the blade.
Outta The Box
The unit comes complete with a rechargeable razor, three trim combs of different heights (3, 5, & 7mm), an extender handle, an attractive stand (no doubt intended to proudly display the unit in a variety of home and professional settings), a power cord for the recharger, and a small cleaning brush. I liked that the box wasn’t over-stuffed with accessories – less stuff to lose, and let’s just shave already.
Since my dad gave me my first electric shaver when I was about 15 years old technology has advanced a long way. First off, the ergonomics are nothing like I remember them. The Bodygroom Plus is sleek and fits nicely in the hand – not unlike my favorite remote control. The handle body back is silver plastic, while the sides and front are a grippier black rubber that both looks high-tech and sticks to your hand to improve precision.
The multi-blade system works well to chop down the tall stuff, then closely smooth the stubble so I end up looking at lot less like an old geezer than I’m ready to. The long blades on either side do a great job at trimming the tall stuff down to size, so you can swoop in with the head to eradicate the stubble.
The head itself is about 1-1/4 inches wide (32mm) and features blades on opposite sides for slicing through the heavy growth (I ran a test patch on my arm and the hair fell away like at the barber shop…). The center holds another set of blades covered by a micro-thin screen that makes smoothing the stubble a breeze. And here’s where new world tech shows a friendly face – the shave screen has a super slippery coating that eliminates the need to add oil to the heads.
While the unit will work just fine on legs, ultimately I still prefer the good ol’ razor and foam method for the fastest and closest shave south of my equator. But when it comes to all those other body parts that have sprouted hair since my 4th decade, the Bodygroom Plus really shines.
You ever notice those mutant hairs sprouting across my shoulders and back? So did Mrs. Pez, but until now getting them cleared called for a lot of pestering, cajoling, and bribing to get her much needed assistance. But thanks to the handy handle extender, I’m once again master of my domain, and able to reach places I never thought possible outside of the privacy of a locked bathroom.
I’ve seen a couple other brands’ extender handles, and this one is by far the best – it’s wide enough and long enough to offer a great grip for better control, it looks cool, is sturdy, and folds nicely for post shave stowage.
The Bodygroom Plus comes with three trim guards, at 3mm, 5mm, and 7mm to allow custom grooming heights wherever you might need it.
While the unit is billed as 100% water proof for use in the shower, I found better results in the dry.
The instructions say use on your beard or scalp is a no-no, but everywhere else gets a green check mark. I tried it out in a few places (yes, in the interest of journalist integrity, even those ‘sensitive’ areas…) and gotta say results were good enough that I’ve added it to my rotation of personal grooming devices.
Clean up was also very easy – which I expect from a brand with so much experience in razors… The actual head pops out and responds well to the timeless cleaning methods of banging it on the sink or toilet rim, brushing with the handy cleaning brush (although I’ll attest a toothbrush works even better), and even blowing on it.
Priced around $50, they’re easy to find on the internet or wherever fine shaving products are sold.*
(* I always wanted to write that…)
• See more at the website: http://www.usa.philips.com/c/Body-groomers/bodygroom-plus-bg2038_41/prd/en/