Recently, I wrote about the evolution of men’s body hair regimen—the trend to shave, trim, pluck and wax parts of the male body never considered before. Formerly called “manscaping” and driven by the rise of the “metrosexual,” men are grooming like crazy.
But at the same time, the growth of facial hair is on the rise. While you may wax around your privates, it is in vogue to leave your face scruffy, goateed, or bearded. Stubble and ironic Hipster mustaches and beards have growing acceptance in most social and professional situations. Blame the Hipsters, or blame laziness (or the rising cost of men’s shaving items), facial hair is a growing phenomenon.
Of course, growing a full and luscious beard is easy for some, and harder for others, as Nick Baber pointed out here a few months ago. It’s not your fault if you have a hairless chin—blame your parents who delivered the DNA that either gave you a follicularly-friendly or smooth-like-a-babies-bottom face.
And, while you are fretting about how to grow more than a chin-beard, it is also tough on the men’s shaving business. Razors and blades account for over 70% of men’s shaving sales—an important category for companies like Gillette by Procter & Gamble who has a 60% share of the category, and the hundreds of other smaller concerns. While “grooming” devices make up for some of the lost sales, consider that as male shaving habits change, so do the profits of companies. Stubble, scruff and beards account for lower demand and longer repurchasing cycles.
And don’t get a woman started on post-make-out stubble burn.
Beards, stubble and mustaches may be trending, but it is not smooth sailing for everyone.
Bearded man with a smooth chest image courtesy of Shutterstock