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Markets & trends

Men are changing their attitudes regarding beauty treatments

The beauty salon is often thought of as being a female-focused environment, but British men seem to be moving away from gender stereotypes and are increasingly joining in the fun. Actually, the shift in attitudes regarding male beauty is not just in the UK.

Almost half (47%) of young men in the UK have enjoyed a spa, in-store or (...)

Almost half (47%) of young men in the UK have enjoyed a spa, in-store or beauty salon treatment in the past 12 months. - Photo: © pixdeluxe / IStok.com

Almost half (47%) of young men in the UK have enjoyed a spa, in-store or beauty salon treatment in the past 12 months, according to new research from market intelligence agency Mintel - a marked increase from 2015, when the number was just 33%. [1] The most popular treatments appear to be massages, which 18% of men aged 16-24 polled had partaken in, and facial hair removal or shaping, which also attracted 18% of participants. Meanwhile, 17% had visited the spa for body hair removal.

The mental benefits of beauty and grooming treatments were cited as one of the main reasons behind the trend, with 76% of those who had visited a spa or salon over the last 12 months saying that it helped to promote their mental well-being. Sixty-four percent said that such appointments were an important part of their health routine. Overall, 36% of the men had booked their last appointment as a treat for themselves, while 20% did so for a special occasion and 19% said it was a regular grooming appointment.

"The high proportion of men showing engagement in spa and salon treatments highlights that consumers are moving away from gender stereotypes while embracing gender neutrality," said Roshida Khanom, Associate Director, Beauty and Personal Care at Mintel, in a statement.

General shift in attitudes

The findings are in line with the general shift in attitudes regarding the topic of male beauty, and it isn’t just in the UK that men are upping their grooming game.

Back in August, the ’Dove Men+Care 2017 Men’s Hair Census’ found that men take their hair very seriously indeed, with eight out of 10 men in the US seeing their crowning glory as a reflection of their personal style, and as something that helps them look both masculine and professional.

Brands are increasingly tapping into the trend for male self-care with multiple new product lines aimed at men, with Clinique’s Sonic System Deep Cleansing Brush, brewery Carlsberg’s shampoo, conditioner and body lotion trio, and Dove Men+Care’s beauty bars just some of the high-profile launches that have helped drive the market over the last few years.

Meanwhile, the news can only be a good thing for the beauty industry - UK consumers are estimated to spend £7.6 billion (approximately US $10.1 billion) on treatments in spa, salons and in-store treatment areas in 2017, surpassing £8 billion (approximately US $10.7 billion) by 2021.

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