UK men 'adding masculine edge to grooming habits'


British men may be changing their grooming habits to add a more masculine edge, new surveys suggest.

UK men can spend an average of 32 minutes a day - equivalent to eight days a year - perfecting their appearance, according to one study.

At the same time a second survey found that traditional barber shops are leading a high street independent shop revival as chaps shun unisex salons.

It comes as Friday marks National Grooming Day, a celebration of all things shaven, trimmed and styled.

Trevor Studd, from the British Barbers' Association, said: "The rise in personal grooming does not come as a surprise at all - some high streets have 10 or more barber shops and men's grooming operations now.

"There has definitely been a growing migration of men going back to barber shops from unisex salons in the past three to four years and this doesn't seem to be slowing down."

The study by the Centre for Economic and Business Research for the Royal Mail's Address Management Unit (AMU) found that 626 new independent "personal grooming" businesses - including barbers and beauty salons - opened last year, a net rise of more than 10%.

Jo Goodman, sales and marketing director at the Hair and Beauty Industry Authority (Habia), said: "SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) salons contribute heavily to this success, from high-end luxury services to hair salons and budget nail bars, with the number of new salons/businesses growing by 5.95% over the past year.

"The prevalence of social media has been particularly influential in fuelling this growth, with high-profile celebrity trendsetters - both male and female - helping to drive demand."

The analysis also found that the typical high street contained seven barbers, four beauty salons, plus 11 independent cafes - driven by the coffee boom - and an independent "vape" shop selling e-cigarette paraphernalia.

Vape shops accounted for 334 new independent stores in 2015, an increase of 54%, it found.

The second survey, by Wilkinson Sword, found that men spend more than 194 hours a year "perfecting their look". Almost a quarter (24%) of 1,000 men polled claimed they would not leave home without taking deodorant with them.