There’s a prevalent stereotype about the typical American man’s grooming habits. We’re led to believe he pays significantly less attention to his routine than most women and leans heavily on a drugstore-brand 3-in-1 wash for most of his needs.
But a 2019 Mindbody survey found that men prioritize beauty and grooming as much as women do, overall spending just slightly less on average than women. They attributed the difference in male spending to a higher number of men saying they rarely or never get beauty or grooming services.
HuffPost spoke to eight men of different ages, ethnic backgrounds, locations and occupations about their grooming routines. We found that like women, many men aren’t afraid to pay top dollar for a product or service that’s just right for their needs. They love a well-working bargain product just as much as a specialty brand, and many of their daily and weekly regimens can be completed in 30 minutes or less. Here’s how much time and money these seven men spend on grooming.
Nawaz Khan, 32-year-old software engineer from San Francisco
“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.”
Khan’s favorite products ($116):
Vaseline Lip Therapy, $1.99
Thayer’s Witch Hazel, $10.99
Philips Norelco OneBlade Pro, $59.99
Eric Lahr, 32-year-old entrepreneur from West Palm Beach, Florida
“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.”
Lahr’s favorite products ($633)
Sensodyne Pronamel Toothpaste, $11.49
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel, $22.49
Givenchy Gentlemen Only Casual Chic (3.3 oz.), $129 (Lahr gets four bottles for $310 on eBay)
Tom’s Gel Deodorant, $4.99
Philips Norelco OneBlade Pro, $59.99 (and refill head $12.99)
Brickell Men’s Anti Aging Cream, $40 for 2 oz.
Differin Gel, $35.99
L’Oreal Blue Clay Mask, $6.90
Retinol specially made by his esthetician, $100
Irving Green, 29-year-old actor and comedian from Los Angeles
“Every morning, I spend about 15 minutes on my skin care and oral hygiene routine. I also shower every morning and sometimes I like to shower at night too. I wash my face and follow with moisturizer. Next I use a hydrating lip treatment and ChapStick to finish my face. I massage my scalp and hair with oils.
“I get a faded haircut with a razor finish every two to four weeks ($40-$50), or sooner if I have a gig, event or premiere to go to. I typically just call a few days ahead of time or make an appointment online. I wash my own hair roughly every two to three days and I like to style it curly or pick it out and let it be with little to no styling. I sometimes use locking creme wax before picking my hair out and using a curling pad. At night, I take about 10 minutes doing everything again for my teeth and skin care before heading to bed.”
Green’s favorite products ($186)
Dove Body Wash, $5.99
Trader Joe’s SPA Face Wash with Tea Tree Oil, $5
Trader Joe’s Ultra Hydrating Gel Moisturizer, $10
ChapStick Total Hydration, $3.59
Philips Sonicare Toothbrush, $49.99
Zara Man: Silver or Uomo, $25 for duo
Anthony Mugnolo, 33-year-old content operations and production professional from Los Angeles
“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.”
Mugnolo’s favorite products ($512)
Philips Sonicare Toothbrush, $79.99
Dr. Teal’s Epsom Salt, $4.89
Rex Chatterjee, 34-year-old creative director from Amagansett, New York
“I shave my head and my face every other day, using Gillette’s ProGlide Shave Gel and an old-school Gillette Mach 3 razor. I shave in the shower, because the steam from a hot shower loosens up the pores and makes it easier to get a close shave. Having a shaved head, I don’t have to worry about hair-washing. I just treat my scalp like an extension of my face, and use the same shaving and cleansing regimen throughout. For aftershave, I use plain 70% isopropyl alcohol that you’ll find in your local pharmacy’s first aid section. It seals pores, disinfects any nicks and is the strongest way to fight razor burn that I’ve ever encountered. If I do wind up nicking myself, I use Pacific Shaving Company’s Nick Stick, and it solves any issues in no time. I use a face wash from Hawthorne that’s customized to me and my skin, per the company’s ordering process.”
Chatterjee’s favorite products ($65)
Tim Rush, 53-year-old marketing consultant from Santa Monica, California
“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.
Rush’s favorite products ($1,071)
Osea Ocean Cleanser, $48
Cremo Shave Cream, $5.99
Irish Spring Bar Soap, $5.49
Trader Joe’s Body Scrub, $6
Uriel Zafate, 25-year-old experience designer from Oakland, California
“In the morning I wash my face, brush my teeth and spend a max of five minutes combing and applying pomade to my hair. If the beard is looking a bit wild, I will apply a beard oil from my barber to tame it. I shower with a body wash and washcloth and wash my hair every night for about 15 minutes, because I work out every day. If I have been hiking or getting dirty/muddy, I will use castile soap to wash my tattoos. After I shower, I use body cream and throughout the day ― if my tattoos are feeling a bit dry, I will use lotion. I shave twice a week and trim my beard to clean up my lines. I change the blades every month or so and have separate shavers for manscaping, which I do once a week. I would usually get a haircut ($25) every two weeks but during the pandemic I haven’t gotten a haircut, so I’m rocking the long hair for the first time and now have to think about buying hair ties, mousse, etc. I apply a conditioner every other day. I’ve never had a mani/pedi ― I clip my own nails every two weeks.”
Zafate’s favorite products ($195)
Matthew Griffin, 23-year-old realtor from Macon, Georgia
“Every morning, I spend around 30 minutes total on my grooming routine. It takes about 10 minutes to shower, brush my teeth, wash my face and wash my beard. After I get out of the shower, I do my hair with a sea salt spray and whatever putty I can find at Marshall’s.
“My skin care routine is two parts, morning and night, and it takes me five minutes each time. In the morning, I cleanse (in the shower), apply moisturizer with SPF and do an under-eye serum. At night I wash my face, use a nighttime moisturizer, spend 15 minutes in the shower, and another minute to take out my contacts. I vary from growing out my beard to not and usually trim my beard and clean up my neckline with a razor and dollar store shaving cream. I get my hair cut ($45) once every six weeks for a cleanup. My barber is busy, so I book two weeks in advance and the process takes about 30 minutes. I wash my own hair every other day.”
Griffin’s favorite products ($150)
Product prices may vary.