Body hair debate: men feel the pressure for a smooth finish

It seems the pressure to be hair-free is growing, according to new research from Mintel which found that half (50%) of all Brits admit there is more pressure for men to remove or groom body hair. The statistics mirror the boom in male grooming with more men primping and preening to look their very best.

Smooth finish

Over the last 12 months, some 55% of men say they have removed hair from their head, this is followed by the pubic region at 29%, chest at 13%, underarms at 12%, back at 9%, bottom at 6%, arms at 5%, legs at 4% and feet 2%. Just 30% of men say they have not removed hair from their body in the last year. Additionally, Mintel’s research highlights how Britain’s men are giving Cara a run for her money, with a quarter (25%) admitting to removing hair from their eyebrows.

Manscapes: Male Body Hair Art Trend Leads to Celebrity Stylist Creating Most Intricate Designs Yet

The body hair debate

A hairy body is the next frontier and many brands are capitalising on the trend for manscaping. Research released by Braun revealed that 62% of men ‘manscape’ their body hair42% spend more time body grooming than 10 years ago, while 27% of those who manscape say it has made them more popular with the opposite sex. Braun has launched the new Braun_cruZer6  (£39.99) which is perfect for shaping and trimming body hair from top to toe.

Charlotte Libby, Senior Beauty Analyst at Mintel said:

“It is becoming increasingly commonplace for men, particularly under-30s, to remove hair from their body as behaviours once described as metrosexual are becoming increasingly mainstream. Major sporting events such as the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the media attention given to the swimming team and their hair-free bodies in particular, drew focus to male body hair removal.”

Overall, one in five (19%) men claim they feel expected to remove hair from their torso, while around the same number (18%) say they feel the pressure to remove hair from their underarms and 13% from their legs. Furthermore, it is younger men in particular who are feeling the pressure to achieve a hair free body, with some six in ten (58%) 16-24-year-old men agreeing they feel pressure to remove or groom body hair, compared to 22% of over-65s.

Peak beard?

And while 42% of Brits believe it is fashionable for men to have beards, almost the same number (39%) say they feel pressure from others to keep their facial hair neat and tidy. As many as six in ten (59%) consumers believe it looks unprofessional for men to have an ungroomed face in the workplace.

“The impact of fashion on the shaving and hair removal market can also not be ignored with celebrities, such as Ryan Gosling, sporting impeccably groomed beards.” Charlotte continues.

In terms of sales, whilst the shaving and hair removal market was impacted by price promotions and fashion leading away from a clean shave in 2013, it has returned to growth with sales of an estimated £624 million in 2014, up 2.1% from sales in 2013 which reached £611 million.

Gillette Fusion ProGlide 1

Grooming boom

“Innovation in the shaving and hair removal market continues to focus on male-oriented products, with a particular trend towards male body hair removal and a return to tradition-inspired shaving and facial hair grooming.” Charlotte continues.

Gillette has partnered with Mclaren Mercedes on the Fusion Proglide Razor to demonstrate the high-tech advances in design appealing to a wider market and audience.

When it comes to removing hair, some eight in ten (80%) Brits remove hair by wet shaving, the next most popular method of hair removal is plucking at 51%. Some 40% have used dry shaving while 45% have opted for manual trimming (eg with scissors). Just 3% of Brits who have removed hair have used laser hair removal at home, the same number have visited the salon for laser hair removal. One in ten (10%) Brits (who use shaving preparations) admit to sharing shaving preparation products with their partner, rising to 15% of women.


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