Gendered Beauty - Trends in Male Grooming
Why do you think women wear makeup? To hide blemishes and marks or express their personalities? Do they wear it out of pure habit, or to boost their confidence? Or to highlight certain features, or maybe to look professional?
It can be all of the above. But if men were asked this same question, the answer could be very different depending on the generation. Thankfully you're in the right era because those answers were all provided by men in a 2019 survey conducted in the UK.
Thankfully in 2022, trends have changed, old habits are gone and men are embracing and understanding the importance of self-care- including personal care, skincare, haircare, beauty and makeup.
In the UK 1 in every 100 men are wearing makeup daily, whilst this is increasing sales in the cosmetics industry, it's not that much when compared to Male Grooming. More and more young boys and adult men are taking pride in their nails, eyebrows, facial hair, waxing regimes, you name it, they're getting into it. According to the survey, men's grooming in 2019 had increased to £500 million compared to the previous year and it's said to rise as the trends continue to catch on. We're reaching a point in the market where we can finally address men and women alike and address the industry by asking why PEOPLE wear makeup?
I've often wondered why men don't take care of their skin as women do. After all, they both have the same skin, hair and nails. They both get dehydrated, need cutting and grooming. It's as if people never realised their male idols have been wearing makeup, tweezing, waxing and the lot since before the '80s. (Ever wondered why their foreheads don't shine on tv? Makeup!) Finally, the stigma that it's for gay men/ drag queens only is finally falling away.
But the question is what started this trend? Well, if you ask me I think it's those beards. China and Korea started the beauty trends and you can thank Tik Tok for that, but now it has grown.
In the UK, more and more barbershops are popping up, in South Africa Sorbet which is a nail and beauty salon traditionally for women now has specialised men's salons. As more and more men started taking pride in their beards with oils and waxes, they also took care in their facial skin, and so it grew to the nose hairs (remember those hilarious waxing videos) and eventually to the unibrows and everywhere else.
What are some current trends for men:
● BRO-TOX- It's Botox but for men. Instead of Botox being injected into wrinkles and folds, it's injected into men's muscles to calm them and reduce the tension that way.
● MANSCAPING/ WAXING- Whilst there are plenty of memes of this one, it's the trimming/ shaving/ waxing of a man's body hair to enhance his appearance (face, back, neck, chest, underarms, legs, etc).
● FACIALS- the process remains the same for men as they do for women, consisting of cleansing, exfoliation, massage, face masks, etc.
● MANICURES & PEDICURES- no more is it a fun thing girlfriends/ wives/ sisters do to get back at the opposite gender for losing a bet, men go to get themselves a basic treatment of filing, shaping and cleaning up so they too can look presentable and sharp.
● MICRO-NEEDLING/ COLLAGEN-INDUCTION THERAPY- men use this therapy for reducing scars and ironing out those wrinkles so they can achieve younger-looking skin. It uses your own body's natural ability to heal itself in a process that takes years off your face.
● PRP Treatment/ Platelet-rich plasma- redistributes men's cells and tissues by re-injecting them into their penile tissues to promote tissue growth and improve their erections.
How to keep up with the trend?
Social media has had a big influence on the male beauty industry, with youtube videos, Tik Tok and many other platforms providing lots of advice on product availability, "how-to" application processes and many other resourceful guides.
With lots of men secretly buying products for themselves under the guise of their girlfriends/ partners, retailers can be blamed for this as they are slow to the market, but they are catching on nonetheless. So while there is movement, it is far from where it needs to be.
Gone are the days of makeup, skincare products, hair care products, personal care, and grooming being for women. If the world is ever to achieve gender equality, it is definitely going to be in the beauty industry.
As beauty manufacturers and hair care manufacturers, there's a definite gap in the market for men and that's your huge opportunity for growth.
To save on wastage, the environment and costs, instead of manufacturing gender-specific products, how about rethinking labelling into "gender-neutral" products, that both sexes can freely and confidently purchase at those tills at the same time and feel empowered instead of ashamed.
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