Boys' club: the boom in men's grooming

Men can continue to feign a laissez-faire attitude towards grooming for as long as they like, but, given recent data, we know better. Consumer market research group NPD has shown that men’s grooming tools are among the largest dollar growth drivers in the overall personal care industry.

Linda Woodhead, publisher of Australian trade magazine Barber Shop, says the growth isn’t limited to retail sales, with local salons enjoying their slice of success as well. There are around 1500 to 1600 men’s barber shops in Australia, as well as plenty of hair salons that specialise in men’s hair as well,” Woodhead explains. When we looked at our [mailing] lists probably two or three years ago, it was almost half that amount, so it’s growing massively.”  

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Haircare

Remington’s national merchandise manager Karen Markby agrees that men are becoming increasingly image conscious. We are seeing a rise in products going beyond just the face to incorporate a focus that includes the whole body,” Markby explains. From Remington, some of our most popular grooming products currently are our stubble trimmers and our all-over grooming kits.”

This is supported by NPD’s data, which shows that in the 12 months ending June, sales of men’s electric shavers and men’s trimmers gained 9 per cent and 12 per cent respectively in dollar sales, while facial trimmers grew 13 per cent. Body groomers gained nearly 16 per cent in unit sales in the 12 months ending June.

Unsurprisingly, men’s styling products are also having their moment in the sun, and hair care brands are responding with men-specific product ranges. This year saw Schwarzkopf introduce its range in February, while Paul Mitchell launched in March.

Kim Littleton, project manager for personal care at McPhersons Consumer Products says men still want to look like they haven’t made much effort. We see a lot of interest in our low-shine products, which have the hold to create a great style, but don’t make it look like you’ve overdone the hair product.” From the range, these low-shine products include the Defining Paste, Grubby Putty and Hard Wearing Fibre.

Hair removal

As men become more and more concerned with hair removal, several brands are introducing new products to cater to this growing market. Nair is launching Nair Shower Power For Men in September, an in-shower depilatory cream that dissolves hair beneath the surface. It joins Andre For Men’s Extra Strength Hair Remover in the realm of depilatory creams formulated especially for me.

Skincare

Just like haircare, men’s skincare is experiencing its own surge in sales. Australia’s top-selling men’s skincare brand in pharmacies*, Natio For Men, is building on its success by introducing the new Natio for Men Maximum body and shave range, which launched in May this year. Natio for Men Maximum has been really well received, particularly the signature Maximum Eau de Toilette, which is infused throughout the range,” says Natio’s national training manager Linda Riddell.

Similarly, is expanding on the success of its Cologne and Body Wash, by broadening the range to include a shave collection, which hit Aussie shelves last week.

An exciting brand to emerge from New Zealand recently is Triumph & Disaster, which utilises local ingredients wherever possible. For example, we use Australian green clay in our scrubs, as it’s brilliant at drawing out impurities and is rich in nutrients,” explains Triumph & Disaster founder Dion Nash. While the brand is already firmly established in its home country, we can expect to see it on Australian shelves in the near future.

Another brand making its way to Australia is successful US skincare range Jack Black, which aims to make skincare easier with multi-tasking products for men. Jeff Nadelman, managing director of MOR , which will be distributing the line, says, Jack Black is a standalone Men’s range [which] has been specifically created and designed with the man in mind.”

Canadian brand Bread & Butter skincare is also hitting local shelves, having launched here this month. Founded in 2009, the brand aims to deliver products in which every ingredient serves its purpose.

Shaving

When it comes to shaving, men seem to have no shortage of complaints. To minimise irritation, its not only important to have a highly efficient razor, such as the new Schick Hydro 5 Power Select, which features the a three-speed custom vibration wet razor, but also the right products. Prior to shaving, skin should be cleansed using a soap-free facial wash – Milk Skincare’s Face Wash + Scrub is a good one, as it combines a cleanser and gentle exfoliator in one.

Emma Hobson from the international dermal institute recommends applying a pre-shave balm such as Dermalogica’s pH-neutral . Without rinsing, shaving cream is to be applied over the top. Bioelements His Perfect Shave contains antiseptic oils of rosemary and peppermint, reducing the risk of razor burn and irritation. The routine should be completed with a spritz of toner, a post-shave balm and then a moisturiser. Choosing a moisturiser with sunscreen in it, like the new from Molton Brown, is a good idea for multi-tasking men.  

Danni Wade, Clinique’s education manager for Tasmania and Victoria, reveals that what men really want from a grooming routine is to lessen ingrown hairs and get a closer shave. The brand’s new Clinique Skin Supplies for men Dark Spot Corrector has the ability to reduce the severity of ingrown, reduce redness and dryness of the skin and reduce discolouration caused by inflammatory reaction of the skin.

And if a good product routine isn’t enough to prevent in-grown hairs, Caron Laboratories’ latest technology can help. The brand’s Bump eRaiser is scientifically formulated with tea tree oil, Triclosan and vitamin A to reduce redness and swelling while preventing the infection of hair follicles.

Finally, men are likely to keep all this effort hidden, which is why special mention must be given to Tender Love and Carry’s Hanging Utility bag. Functional, affordable and fuss-free, it’s cool enough for any man to use.