Dove’s “2017 Men’s Hair Census” recently revealed that 9 in 10 men look in the mirror to stare at and fix their hair at least once a day. Which seemed low to us — very, very, very low. And so we did our own highly scientific study by asking the men of MEL how many times they look in the mirror on a given day. Our main finding: We’re a bunch of vainglorious motherfuckers.
C. Brian Smith, Staff Writer: I almost always wear a hat. Otherwise, I’d live in a constant state of disappointment that my wispy, hard-to-corral mop was askew again. Still, my OCD requires that I take the hat off everytime I use the bathroom to remind myself why I’m addicted to wearing it in the first place. Meaning I’m still good for glancing in the mirror nearly 10 times a day.
Sam Dworkin, Assistant Art Director: Other than when I’m getting ready in the morning, I rarely find myself checking my hair in the mirror. What I have noticed is that I can’t stop checking myself out at the gym, which is a problem because many of the mirrors are reflective windows. So there’s probably a group of pilates students that are wondering why I’m always staring at them on the treadmill.
Tim Grierson, Contributing Editor: When I look into a mirror, I’ll check the top of my head, but the hair I’m really concerned about is of the facial variety. I can’t grow a thick beard, so shaving for me is mostly a preventative measure to keep me from looking like a tween. (I can grow a so-so goatee, but my cheeks are mostly a no man’s land of lonely stray whiskers.) When I see a mirror, I’m double-checking to make sure I didn’t miss a spot. Do I have a weird tiny patch of hairs on my glabella? Has the space under my chin become a sanctuary for uneven stubble? Other men sometime say they envy me because I don’t have to shave so much. They have no idea.
Andrew Fiouzi, Assistant Editor: The length of my hair dictates how many minutes I spend looking in the mirror on a given day. A few months ago I shaved my head, and so, I was spending no more than a few seconds making sure I didn’t have a booger hanging from my nose. On the flip side, a few years ago, my hair was down to my shoulders. That required a mirror every few hours to make sure my hair was in Johnny Depp circa 21 Jump Street shape. Nowadays, my hair is only a few inches long, and though I still I look in the mirror every time I go to the bathroom, it’s mainly to make sure that I’m still here.
Nick Leftley, Senior Editor: Most people remember Jamie Lee Curtis’ topless scene in Trading Places for one (well, two) reasons. But aside from the big reveal, the most memorable part of that scene happens a minute earlier: The line, “The only thing I got going for me in this whole big, wide world is this body, this face, and what I got up here.” At which point, she pulls off her large, curly wig, to show that she’s not talking about her brain.
I can relate: I have two things going for me, which are my British accent (you would not believe how far that can take you, even now) and — if I do say so myself — pretty good hair. It’s silly hair, really: It floofs up in a big quiff at the front and probably adds several inches to my height — what a friend of mine describes as the “alternative intellectual British comedian haircut.” But people always seem to comment favorably upon it, so I’ve stuck with it because, what the hell, everyone likes being told they look nice, especially in a loud bar where they can’t hear my delightful accent.
Anyway, point is, yeah, I do check out my hair pretty much every time I use the bathroom. It’s instinctive: There’s a mirror over the sink 99 times out of 100, so it’s practically unavoidable. Also, it’s my meal ticket, so I’m not letting that bastard out of my sight.
Jeff Gross, Social Editor: I like to look in every mirror available to me — as well as every reflective window or pair of sunglasses for that matter. What’s most important to me is that my hair is still looking perfectly coiffed like I meant it to be when I left the bathroom that morning, and that my chin fat isn’t too noticeable. But I don’t like to linger too long. Inevitably, I’ll find something I don’t like — whether it’s my facial hair trying desperately to connect with my eyebrows, or creases starting to form across my forehead from scowling all the time. That’s probably why I hate getting my haircut: 30 minutes of nitpicking one’s looks in a barbershop mirror is enough to drive anyone crazy.
John McDermott, Staff Writer: Every time I pass a reflective surface. I once stopped to check myself out in someone’s car window, only to discover there was someone in the car when they rolled the window down and gave me a dirty look.