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Male grooming and the ‘Love Island effect’

While the beard trend shows no sign of slowing down, it seems that male hair removal elsewhere is on the rise.

A new report claims that as many as 46% of British men remove hair from their bodies, up from 36% in just two years. Looking at a younger bracket, 57% of men aged 16 – 24 remove more intimate hair, up from 40% in 2016). Chest hair has doubled in the two year period too, now at 30%.

According to Mintel, this spike in hair removal is driven by the ‘Love Island effect’.

In fact, Mintel said that the popular TV show has spurred men to echo women’s hair removal habits, with 29% of young men removing body hair more often in the past year, compared to 34% of women.

While almost half of adults agree that it’s unfair that women’s bodies are expected to be hair-free, around one in five (19%) adults agree that men should remove hair from their bodies.

Roshida Khanom, associate director, Beauty & Personal Care at Mintel, said that the influence of TV shows like Love Island has seen new product development in the male body hair removal category, notably Nivea Men’s Body Hair Removal range, as well as launches from Veet and Nad’s.

It’s interesting too that despite the ongoing beard/moustache trend, facial hair removal is rising too. Britons generally are removal facial hair more often (up to 80% from 73%). Eyebrow grooming from 33% to 42%, but other areas such as ears and nose are also getting more hair removal attention.

Even males over-65s, who’ve traditionally been resistant, are getting in on the act with more than 35% removing eyebrow, ear and nose hair this year.

While UK sales of shaving and hair removal products are predicted to reach £558m by the end of this year, that’s actually a 4% year-on-year decline.

It seems that both genders are removing body hair (and some facial hair) more often, but with many men still sporting beards, that’s suppressing market growth. And Mintel said that with little activity in product innovation encouraging consumers to trade up, along with the rise of discounters and low-cost subscription services, it’s a market where value growth is hard to come by.

For more, head to WGSN Insight’s report ‘Beyond the Stereotype: Modern masculinity’.

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