The beauty industry boomed and then was almost brought to its knees all within the last decade. Peaking in 2019, health and beauty was dominating retail more than ever before as societies around the world continued to be fuelled by the desire for physical nourishment and to look youthful for longer.
However, following the forced salon closures during the pandemic and now the current cost-of-living crisis, the industry is now in recovery from a knock to profits like it has never seen before.
Yet, consumer concern with appearance remains the same if not stronger, especially with men, and so against all odds health and beauty remains big business in countries across the globe.
1. The Male Groom Boom
The interest in male grooming has been rising for a decade but it was the pandemic and lockdowns following the outbreak of Covid-19 that really pushed the focus on physical appearance for men.
Lots of time spent indoors with limited access to health-boosting venues such as the gym gave men time to analyse their appearance in a way that had never been such a trend before.
This was demonstrated by men’s haircare and skincare seeing a huge boost in sales in 2020 and 2023, alongside supplements to aid the gaining of fitness goals as daily home workouts became the norm.
In fact, although in recent years the concept of men being removed from beauty has been standard, once upon a time it was men who were the real drivers behind the fashion industry.
Indeed, the first high heel designed for leisurewear was the brainchild of French king Louis XIV in his effort to find an effective way to show off his calves, a shoe trend that dominated the ruling classes in the late 1600s.
The traditional idea of men being uninterested in taking care of themselves or spending time on their appearance is becoming an increasingly outdated notion. Fitness brands have capitalised on this for many years by providing products perfect for a contemporary workout regime, and now beauty brands are following suit as they realise that they can double their reach if they market to men as well as women.
Newcomers to the beauty industry are also setting themselves up as accessible to men by launching unisex products and even cosmetic products specifically designed for men. Meanwhile, while male beauty is just emerging in the UK, USA and Europe, in other cultures such as South Korea makeup for men has long been trending and is already becoming seen as ‘the norm.’
2. The Celebrities Redefining Masculinity
Celebrities have played a significant role in the boom of male grooming, with big names like Harry Styles, Timothee Chalamet, and Ezra Miller breaking down stereotypes of what it means to be ‘male’. The days of the ‘alpha male’ seem to be waning as the concept of gender fluidity takes hold in Western society and a new generation of celebrities show their desire to celebrate their femininity through fashion.
This has opened doors for non-celebs, making it more acceptable for men to show concern about their appearance and express themselves through clothing and cosmetics. It’s also led to more playfulness and gender neutrality in clothing as well as men beginning to embrace makeup and nail art or experiment with more complex hairstyles.
3. Meeting Male Beauty Demands
When once upon a time male beauty options were constricted to standard services such as tanning and body hair shaping using professional hair removing wax products, men are now seeking a wider variety of treatments to help them achieve their goals.
Practising beauticians could see a significant boost to revenue by maximising their chances of reaching this new market. It is a good idea to get ahead of the game by keeping up with the emerging and popular trends for male beauty and adjusting your product offering accordingly.
In the UK, the male beauty boom has focused on wellness, driven by the desire to look not only youthful but more importantly healthy inside and out. Accordingly, male skincare products have had major success since 2020, and salons are seeing increasing demands for facials tailored to male skin issues such as shaving rashes and acne.
Alongside this, natural supplements to improve the health and appearance of skin and, on the flipside, Botox treatments are gaining popularity as well.
Grooming treatments for men that show attention to detail are also big news, such as male manicures to ensure healthy looking hands and treat dry and cracked nails. Tans and waving remain popular salon treatments, particularly in the summer when more skin is set to be on show.
In exploring the diverse facets of redefining masculinity, it is important to consider personal grooming choices and their impact on self-expression, including aspects such as hair care. Visit Allurium Beauty if you are interested in learning more about safe and reliable hair growth products.
Men are also visiting salons for the hair services that cannot be offered by a traditional barbers. Eyebrow threading and waxing is a common trend, but more particularly beard trimming and shaping and hair conditioning treatments that ensure nourished locks.
Haircare is the latest retail section to see a growth in male-oriented sales as more and more men invest in at-home hair treatments such as beard oils and dyes.
The Future is Bright
There is no doubt that it has been a difficult few years for the beauty industry as a whole, and those salons who have survived now face the additional challenges of soaring costs and reduced client visits as non-essential spending plummets.
However, with soaring demand from men adding to the steady interes of women, it seems certain that the future is bright for the beauty industry. Already, 2023 has seen beauty bounce back much more quickly than predicted, and by 2025 cosmetics are set to have a market value of 7.5 million dollars.
The next few years are sure to demand resilience and flexibility, but salon owners who can adjust to meet different demands in a timely manner will find healthy profits in an industry that seems set to continue to grow moving forward.