The change in men’s grooming habits

The change in men’s grooming habits

Today’s young and mature men are more engaged than ever in men’s grooming as they look for ways to look good and enhance their appearance. The fashion for beards of all styles and lengths has also brought the category into sharp focus and opened up new niches for beard hygiene, styling and care treatments. New-style barber shops are appearing on every high street and the market is awash with new brands and products – yet something’s not quite working.

According to a recent report entitled “Male Grooming Beauty’s Final Frontier?” commissioned by Two by Two design consultants, men are not particularly adventurous when it comes to grooming products. Many are content to use a basic routine based around shaving and personal hygiene, occasionally borrowing from their partner’s bathroom shelf or make-up bag.

Recent sales figures from Euromonitor confirm a growth of just 3.1 per cent in 2016 for a category worth $50,393.2m. In the growth hotspots of Asia, South America and India, men are more regular users of body shaving products, skin enhancement and cosmetics. Whilst some of these innovative trends have the potential to impact Western markets, brand marketers in the UK and Europe face a dual challenge of creating innovative new products and new grooming rituals to match.

Two by Two conducted an online survey among beauty industry experts, influencers and marketing professionals to determine how the men’s grooming category will develop. The findings highlighted the importance of partners and peers, anticipated a growth in demand for male cosmetics and “special occasion” products. The majority believe there to be a shortage of products facial enhancement (i.e. cosmetics) and skincare, with further opportunities for manufacturers to create male-targeted haircare and cleansing products. Optimistically, 39% of respondents see tinted moisturisers on men’s bathroom shelves by 2020, with 31% convinced about concealer and 15% seeing facial fake tanning as normal products in men’s repertoire.

With only two years to go, brand owners have a lot of hard work ahead of them to change this aspect of men’s behaviour and are likely to have more success with men under 35 who regard many such products as essentials. Louise Barfield*, head of marketing, Two by Two, comments: “Men are already trying, applying, stealing and borrowing beauty products and some are even evangelical about make-up and the benefits of skincare. Beyond these groups, there’s a need to encourage trial amongst men who’d rather visit the dentist than the beauty aisle.” She sees space in men’s grooming for brand propositions that go beyond everyday skin problems into enhancement products, but with a more pragmatic approach: attitudinally more “real”, sharing life hacks and quick-wins, rather than spending hours in front of the mirror.

Louise Barfield, Head of Marketing at Two by Two, will run a session entitled: ‘Is the beauty industry doing enough to engage men?’ at this year’s in-cosmetics Global Marketing Trends stage on Tuesday 17 April from 13.15-14.00

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