Women want men to start grooming a little more below the neck -- not to mention the eyebrows, ears and nostrils. Men say they'd be willing to comply -- if the women in their lives would speak up, according to a survey by Remington Products, maker of men's grooming and shaving tools.
The nationwide poll asked 435 males about their personal grooming habits and 440 females about which male grooming styles they find the most attractive. The results: Both men and women prefer a clean-shaven face and said grooming is key to making a first impression. More than half the women (57%) think poor grooming is a major turnoff -- if not a deal-breaker.
"The survey results reveal information I've not seen aired publicly on women's preferences for men's grooming habits, and women rarely say it," said Kim Hegel, Remington's marketing communications manager. "Women want their men to spend more time 'manscaping.'"
To test different grooming and hair styles, Remington has created the Face of Success Challenge, an online game centered on creating a "look" or "style" with the help of various Remington grooming and shaving tools.
In the game, guys create their own avatar by choosing from a combination of hairstyles and facial hair looks, then try their skills with the game's female characters, including the fitness instructor, the blonde bombshell and the girl next door. While playing the game, guys have a conversation with the women, gauge the responses and see how much face time they get. Afterward, a "wingman" offers tips on what might have worked better, including suggestions on how to improve their look with help from Remington.
Apparently, the sexes are at odds about how much to trim. Nearly three-quarters of the women surveyed prefer that men at least trim their backs to avoid looking like Neanderthals, and 33% would prefer a complete shave. Three-quarters of the men, however, said they don't.
It should come as no surprise that hair on the buttocks is a big turnoff. Eighty-three percent of women think men should do a little neatening back there, but nearly two-thirds of the men (63%) said they don't. As for above the neck -- ears, eyebrows and nose hair -- 44% of women find it troublesome when this hair is left untouched, but 24% of men said grooming there isn't even a factor in whether they think they look their best.
Chest hair is a tossup. About 40% women think a man should at least give his chest a simple trim so it doesn't look like a sweater. However, 43% of the women surveyed prefer men keep all their chest hair, considering it a sign of masculinity. And 17% want a smooth chest without a single hair. For the men, 83% said they have just let their chest hair grow.
As for below the belt, 60% of the women who are casually dating said there should be some trimming around the groin, as did more than 56% of the women who are younger than 40. Of the total women surveyed, 42% prefer that look, but another 42% think any grooming down under would compromise a guy's manliness. The other 16%? They'd like it clean as a whistle.
One key takeaway from the survey: Men and women should tell each other what styles they think look best. Fifty-two percent of the men said they would consider shaving if it was important to their significant others, and 34% of the women said their men do, in fact, need to spend more time grooming. Yet one in five (21%) of the women said they wouldn't broach the topic to avoid hurting feelings.
Meanwhile, a similar survey by Crystal Deodorant reveals that nearly half of Americans would be willing to give up an average of 10 years of their lives to avoid having body odor.
The survey also discovered a similarly extreme distaste for others' body odor. Despite a recession and tight job market, 32% of respondents were willing to forgo either a bonus or salary increase in order to avoid a smelly cube mate for a year.