Sales of male hair removal products for men spike in the UK

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Sales of male hair removal products for men spike in the UK
The United Kingdom often plays out as the precursor to new cosmetic and personal care trends for the rest of Europe, and if Mintel research is right, men’s hair removal is set for further growth.

The trend has been on the radar for some time, but latest figures show sales of men’s hair removal products in the UK have shown a sharp increase, as the ‘au natural’ look seems to have taken a back seat.

To trim, wax, shave or just let it grow has been a question a lot of British men seem to have pondered in recent years.  

Trend shifts from hairy to smooth

Until recently, the hairier looks of high profile men such as Adam Collard and Jack Fincham was all the rage, but in another about turn, the bare chested look highlighted by the male cast of popular reality TV series Fantasy Island seems to be the winner right now.

As a testimony to this, Mintel’s latest figures for male hair removal show that the trend is booming, with its survey results showing that as many as 46% of British men reported that they removed some body hair, compared to a figure of 36% in 2016.

And the Mintel research underscores that there is no limits to what sort of body hair is removed, either, underscored by survey results showing that 57% British males aged 16 – 24 removed hair from their pubic region.

Hair removal not just for women

  Mintel’s research suggests that a huge shift in male attitudes to personal care regimes means that hair removal brands could be doing more to look beyond the product offerings available to women and start targeting more products at younger males.

“Consumers today are feeling the pressure to be hair-free. However, whilst the pressure on women remains higher, we’re seeing more and more young men in particular feeling the need to be hair-free too. Reality TV shows such as Love Island have popularised hairless torsos, normalising the hair-free aesthetic amongst men,”​ said Roshida Khanom, Associate Director, Beauty & Personal Care at Mintel.

“This year has also seen new product development in the male body hair removal category, notably NIVEA’s Men’s Body Hair Removal range, as well as launches from Veet and Nad’s targeting men.”

Older men also interested in hair removal

Mintel’s research shows that, although it is generally younger males that are most interested in hair removal, there are also opportunities to target a smaller but still growing market for older males.

In 2016, just 12% of males over 65 reported that they were removing any type of body hair, but it seems that a growing awareness of excessive body hair above the neck line is causing older males to spring into action.

Mintel’s research shows that in 2018 31% of males over 65 reported that they removed nasal hair, while 32% trimmed their eyebrows and 34% removed hair from their ears.

“Whilst young men are leading the trend of body hair removal, older men are driving facial hair removal, highlighting that older men are also feeling the pressure to keep up with appearances. Brands can do more to engage with this demographic, whether it is by designing products for their unique hair removal needs or including them in advertising and marketing material,”​ said Roshida.

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