Are you a ‘metrosexual’ man? The rise of men's grooming

Gender plays an important role in who cares most about grooming. Hygiene practices such as putting on lotions, caring about your looks and shopping for beauty products are seen as feminine and therefore undesirable for men, who can simply care less.

Women have long surpassed men in the subject of personal grooming; across age groups and countries, females tend to put a lot more emphasis in beauty care. One view is that women's greater interest in appearance is socially learned — that it derives purely from social promotion and marketing of a feminine image.

Over the last century, men's grooming seems to have gone full-circle. Back in the Victorian era, men took incredible pride in their appearance. Their hair was flawless and carefully styled. But things have quickly changed. Style and grooming became less important and unmanly, with male pride in grooming slowly faded away, leading to generations of ‘manly’ laziness. Reverted back to an almost caveman like qualities of personal grooming neglect, it was a bad time for the male style, yet it was considered socially acceptable, and even desirable.

Personal hygiene was a priority, and grooming was essential.

Some progress has been made recently, as there are more people talking about men's grooming beyond just popping into the barber once every two months. There are lots of men who recognise that this is not enough, both for hygiene reasons and grooming reasons. A haircut (once every month, ideally) is the basic standard. Conversations regarding to what is the best product for your hair type or skin structure have been on the rise for a hundred years in male barber shops. But this is not enough, modern men are going well beyond the barber by taking on their own grooming routine in between visits too.

Only in the last ten years have we emerged in a place where it is acceptable and encouraged to take pride once again. The rise of male grooming, styling, and sculpting is now unstoppable.

The grooming industry for men is obviously much smaller when compared to the women’s skin care and grooming industry, but over time this gap is expected to vanish.

Along with that, the behaviour and approach to grooming has changed drastically. We quickly saw the rise of the ‘metrosexual’ man. It’s a term that describing a man who is especially meticulous about his grooming and appearance, spending lots of time and money on grooming products. This is a trend is catching-up in a hurry as the society comes more acceptive on this topic.

Men's Grooming Industry

Bearing in mind that this industry is still heavily affected by stereotypes that inhibit progress. Men are still uneasy with references to the products as “beauty range” so marketing, packaging and branding of the men’s “grooming” range must strike a fine balance in design and advertising to avoid presenting a feminine image to male customers.

Some of the big brand names out there are associated fundamentally with women's beauty, which makes it harder for men to accept. However, with this in mind, new business opportunities can be seized right here to bring diverse offerings and further segmentation to the market.

Speaking of modern new businesses, which are now drifting away from hyper-masculinity in their messaging to a deeper understanding of what male consumers needs, pairing with specialised marketing to remove the old mindset of two words "men's beauty" with "unmanly".

Safe skincare holds equal important for men as well as women.

These are the trends which will be mainly focused in 2020 men's grooming industry:

  • "Just for Men" products and hassle-free

  • Direct advertising and branding

  • Safe & healthy ingredients (organic)

  • Selling on digital platforms (e-commerce)

  • Transparency

Fun fact: Men who have sex with men groom more frequently than men who have sex with women. (source)

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