New research from Mintel suggests that more men are plucking up the courage to achieve a hair-free body, meaning hair removal has extended beyond shaving the face.
“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,” says Charlotte Libby, Senior Beauty Analyst.
“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.”
According to Mintel research, over the last 12 months, 55% of men say they have removed hair from their head, 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%.
Only 30% of men say they have not removed hair from their body in the last year.
The reasons for this increase in hair removal? One in five men claim they feel expected to remove hair from their torso, while around the same number say they feel the pressure to remove hair from their underarms and 13% from their legs.
It also tends to be younger men in particular who are feeling the pressure to achieve a hair free body, with 58% of 16-24-year-old men agreeing they feel pressure to remove or groom body hair.
To beard or not to beard..?
Then comes the big question of having a beard, which seems to split opinion in the UK, with 42% of Brits believing it is fashionable for men to have beards.
Whereas 39% say they feel pressure from others to keep their facial hair neat and tidy, particularly from the workplace, where six in ten consumers believe it looks unprofessional for men to have an ungroomed face.
“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,” Libby 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.
“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,” adds the Mintel analyst.