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The Ins and Out of Male Grooming

Male preening is big business. According to, the industry was worth a whopping £500 million in 2019, £2.2 million more than the previous year and that’s a figure that looks set to rise. With the ‘Love Island Effect’, boom of male cosmetics and increasing dominance of social media all playing their part, it seems that our guys are becoming increasingly more image-conscious and willing to invest in the latest trends to keep pace with what’s hot. GYone takes a look at sneaky peek at what modern men are up to behind closed doors…

Hair today… It’s impossible not to have noticed the rise of the beard. It’s a look that’s thrived

over the past few years, particularly with more men confined to working from home and increasingly prone to ditching the razor. Research by identified that the Top 10 most searched for male grooming questions in 2020 ranked ‘How to grow a beard’ and ‘Best beard trimmer’ in first and second place, respectively. But it doesn’t stop there. The trend for facial fuzz has resulted in a flowering of luxury haircare brands offering shampoos, oils and conditioners all promising to keep chin wigs in perfect nick. Looking up, floppy locks are having a similar renaissance. GQ magazine predicted that celebrities like Harry Styles and Brad Pitt, would hugely influence this unkempt trend in 2021 and they weren’t wrong. Restricted trips to the barber have helped give bigger barnets a boost, with many men opting to trim their own locks. Searches for ‘How long does it take to grow a man bun’ increased by a whopping 200% between 2019 and 2020, with ‘How to grow your hair out long’, up by 130%. Another hair-oriented procedure that’s seen a huge surge is the hair transplant, or the ‘Rooney Effect’. London based transplant specialist DHI Global experienced a 40% boom in procedures during the pandemic, suggesting that more, really is more. →

Skin deep… The dominance of social media and what beauty experts commonly refer to as the ‘Love Island Effect’ has resulted in a rise in more men, rather than women, booking themselves in for ‘tweakments’ to enhance their looks. As celebrities become more open about the procedures they rely on to look their best, less of a taboo around investing in liposuction, tummy tucks, Botox and fat reduction has resulted in an growing interest. The Aesthetic Skin Clinic (ASC) has seen a significant boost in these treatments over the past five years, with male breast reduction enquiries alone rising by 30%. Less invasive beauty habits are seeing an equally significant uptick as men continue to enhance their grooming regime and invest in more premium brands. Searches for men’s makeup brands skyrocketed last year, registering an increase of 250% compared with the previous year, while more specific questions around eye make-up for men grew by 55%. Interestingly, a recent YouGov survey revealed that 1 in 20 British men now wear make-up with 1 in 100 doing so daily.

When it comes to the growing trend for ‘manscaping’, the hair removal industry also has a lot to thank celebrity culture for, with buff reality TV stars leading the hairless body charge. ‘Manscaped’, a leading name in ‘groin grooming’ has amassed over one million followers since its launch in 2017, all dedicated to the art of efficient hair removal.

Body and soul… There’s a very obvious link between the growth of the male grooming market and a boom in fitness, health and wellbeing. For example, St Pierre Park has seen a distinct increase in men booking deep tissue massages, often with repeat bookings once they experience its many physical and mental benefits. Mark Pemberton Health Club & Spa Manager, says, “A lot of our clients work in high-pressured jobs, often spending the day sitting at their desks, so they really appreciate the stress-relieving benefits of a good massage. We’ve seen an uplift in men wanting to look after themselves and address health issues, such as aches and pains, as they arise, rather than just putting up with them - that’s a very positive thing.” The desire for a gym honed body shows little sign of slowing down either, with the mandatory six pack, bulging biceps and steel quads still on-trend, but how guys are working out and why is changing.

According to Mark, “Our members often ask for the same results from a personal trainer; they want to build muscle, get fit and lose fat, often within the space of six weeks. However, we’re also seeing an emphasis on improving health and fitness to boost immunity in a post-Covid era. We’ve also noticed more couples working out together, a habit that many probably established during lockdown.” Whether you’re a guy who prefers the low maintenance look or are a dedicated follower of the latest grooming trends, it seems that the beauty business is set to cash in on this thriving global market.

Male dictionary The top three grooming Ms Manscaping The removal or trimming of hair on a man’s body for cosmetic purposes. Metrosexual An urban male with a strong aesthetic sense who spends a great deal of time and money on his appearance and lifestyle. Mampering Pampering for a man.

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