Wahl is searching for guys with the best facial hair in the country—and it knows just where to find them. The men’s grooming brand released its list of the “Most Facial Hair Friendly Cities in America,” which saw Boston top the list thanks in part to the city's love affair with beards and baseball. These cities have helped perpetuate the growing phenomenon that includes 68% of men, but only one gentleman will emerge with the best scruff—as in mustache, beard or goatee—to represent the brand as the Wahl Man of the Year.
"Facial hair's popularity continues to soar as more and more guys adopt an anti-clean shaven lifestyle," said Steven Yde, director of marketing for Wahl. "Naturally, we wanted to identify which cities are most enthusiastic about facial hair, which in turn will help us in our search for the best facial hair in the country and our next Wahl Man of the Year."
To identify the “Most Facial Hair Friendly Cities in America,” Wahl partnered with market research leader Opinion Research Corporation. The study included in-depth analysis of the online universe over the past two years for beard and mustache positivity. Conversations and searches surrounding facial hair were measured, and cities were ranked based on overall interest and positive sentiment.
While general popularity of facial hair helped dictate the results of the study, notable facial-hair-related events contributed to the rankings. In Boston, it was the fanfare surrounding the city's pro baseball team sporting beards on their way to glory in 2013. Similarly, in Chicago, the city's pro hockey team won it all in beardly fashion last year, helping it earn the number four most facial-hair-friendly city in America.
The top 20 list, in order, includes:
- Los Angeles
- Salt Lake City
- Austin, Texas
- San Diego
- New York
- Washington, D.C.
Additionally, the Wahl Man of the Year contest gives facial hair enthusiasts the chance to go mano a mano in a facial hair face-off. A guy from each stop on Wahl's Face the Day Tour, which is visiting some of the cities on the list, and one guy from online entries, will be crowned champion of their city and eventually compete for the top spot of Wahl Man of the Year. The 12 finalists will each win $500 and a Lithium Ion + Stainless Steel Trimmer. Online voting will help determine who wins the grand prize, which includes the coveted title of Wahl Man of the Year, an additional $1,000 and being featured in a national advertisement.
The Wahl Man of the Year Contest runs through October 12, 2014, and entries can be submitted at the Face the Day Tour stops or online through the Wahl Grooming Facebook page.