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May the best scruff win: Miami man competes in facial hair contest

May the best scruff win. Miami's Benji Jean-Gilles competes in Wahl's Man of the Year

This competition could get hairy.

In May, Benji Jean-Gilles was named the facial hair champ of Miami by men's hair brand, Wahl Total Grooming.

Now he's trying to win the title of Wahl's Man of the Year for having the best facial hair in the country.

Jean-Gilles, 26, is one of 11 guys in the contest, which focuses on groomed mustaches, beards and goatees. The top prize: $1,500 and a spot in a national ad.

Wahl barbers traveled the country in a 30-foot mobile barbershop and provided free trims and grooming tips to consumers. The tour launched at Marlins Park in Miami, where the team's official barber Hugo "Juice" Tandron gave former Marlins player Carl Pavano a facial trim.

At each of the 10 cities, which included San Francisco, Seattle and Atlanta, the Wahl reps also picked one local they thought had great facial hair.

In Miami, that was Jean-Gilles.

"I was elated," said Jean-Gilles, who was attending his first Marlins game that day with his nephew when Wahl reps asked him to pose for a photo. "I am very blessed, and it's a humbling experience."

Jean-Gilles said his facial scruff in high school led to a mustache then a goatee to finally his current bushy, rounded beard.

"It gives me confidence. It allows me to be myself," said Jean-Gilles, a sales representative for Vapor Shark.

"If I shave, I look like a Cabbage Patch Doll," he stated on the Wahl's voting site. "Also I'm going bald, so I like having the beard as a distraction. People look at my face rather than the top of my head."

The 10 finalists won $500 and a stainless steel trimmer. The current Man of the Year is Steve Carpinelli, of Washington D.C.

"I think facial hair today is what hairstyles were in the '80s," he said. "It's how men can change up their look,and express their personal style."

Want to vote? Go to Facebook.com/wahlgrooming. You have until Dec. 1.

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