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Fastest Facial Hair, ‘Beard Per Second’ study, v1


This study isn’t scientific, it uses a sample size of n=1, it uses self reported data, its not good.

I typically wouldn’t present this data, however the idea is worth considering you can spend a half a working year(1000 hours) shaving over your lifetime.

The Facial Hair Problem

Due to social norms, itchy necks, and PPE, people typically maintain some sort of facial hair style. Some styles require shaving the neck frequently and an occasional beard trim, some require brushing a beard, some require maintenance on the handlebar mustache, etc… These also have cleaning requirements and special styling for formal events.

While this is complicated, it also changes per person. I personally have a patchy face and cant grow a cool looking beard, this limits me to mustache and variants of clean shaven. I have a buddy who needs perfectly clean shaven chin and cheeks due to wearing PPE. I also have a buddy in a mustache club, where he needs a mustache. My wife likes me clean shaven. Girls (used to?) like the stubble look. Facial hair has dimensions beyond time.

The N=1, Unscientific Data

To top the list is the philosophers beard. My buddy had this but ended up cutting the beard to have a medium/long beard. When he had it, he spent almost no time on it. The shower would mostly clean it automatically, and brushing it was optional. I think he was single the entire time he had it.

Following that we have a handlebar mustache. Despite daily maintenance, the mustache takes any attention away from a unruly beard, making it a rare occurrence to even trim the beard. Following that is a handlebar mustache with a clean shaven neck. To remind you of the unscientific nature of this data, this clean shaven handlebar mustache time is ~80 seconds faster than a regular clean shaven face. And a different buddy takes ~6 times longer for his clean shaven mustache without the handlebar(note he has to wear PPE, so things must be perfect).

Useful Takeaways

The philosophers beard wins, however, given the unreliable data, I have a hard time declaring a second place ‘winner’.

However, I did find out my electric razor does a clean shave faster than if I use a manual razor. Doing this study personally I collected much more data, and I saved between 2-4 minutes if I used the electric razor. However, its not as smooth. Theoretically you could use a manual razor and shave less often, but does anyone really? Don’t we all chase that smooth feeling of a fresh cut? Me and my wife like the quality of a clean manual shave, however when I’m rushing, I have learned to go for the electric razor.

My challenge to you- Can you time your accepted variants of facial hair? To make it easy, record how long you took and the date. That’s it. After 3 repeated events, like trimming, you can stop recording and calculate how long it takes to do your facial hair per month. To contribute to science, send your data to michaelkirk@efficiencyiseverything.com
As a bonus I can convert from time and date to monthly time cost, so you don’t have to. Just send the raw data.