Hair removal among young British males is on the rise

Today, new research from Mintel reveals that more and more of Britain's young men are embracing the hair-free trend, in search of a baby-smooth torso.

Over the last two years, the popularity of body hair removal has shot up among the nation's men; in 2018, as many as 46% of all men removed hair from their bodies, up from just over a third (36%) in 2016.

It seems that no place on young men's bodies is considered too private, as they shave, wax and laser their way to the smoothest of looks. Now, 57% of young males aged 16-24 say they have removed hair from their pubic region, compared to 40% in 2016. Meanwhile, 42% of males aged 16-24 remove hair from their underarms, up from 16% in 2016. Hair removal from the chest has risen from 15% in 2016, doubling to 30% in 2018; while hair removal from the back has increased from 10% in 2016 to 12% in 2018.

Mintel research reveals that young men aged 16-24 are removing body hair almost as much as young women of the same age, with similar proportions of both (29% of men versus 34% of women) removing hair more frequently in the last 12 months*.

While almost half (45%) of adults agree that it is unfair that women's bodies are expected to be hair-free, around one in five (19%) adults agree that men should remove hair from their bodies.

46% of British men remove hair from their bodies, up from 36% in 2016
57% of young men aged 16-24 remove hair from their pubic region
UK sales of shaving and hair removal products to reach £558 million in 2018

      Roshida Khanom, Associate Director, Beauty & Personal Care at Mintel, commented: “Consumers today are feeling the pressure to be hair-free. However, whilst the pressure on women remains higher, we're seeing more and more young men in particular feeling the need to be hair-free too. This year has also seen new product development in the male body hair removal category, notably NIVEA's Men's Body Hair Removal range, as well as launches from Veet and Nad's targeting men.”

      Over 65s trim up

      It's not just the body that is receiving the hair-free treatment, as facial hair removal among Brits has risen from 73% in 2016 to 80% in 2018. The number of Brits removing hair from their eyebrows has risen from 33% in 2016 to over four in ten (42%) in 2018. Meanwhile, the number of Brits removing hair from their nose has risen from 11% in 2016 to 20% in 2018.

      While older men have traditionally been less concerned with hair removal (just 12% of men aged over 65 removed hair from their nose in 2016), modern times have seen a shift. In 2018, 31% of men aged over 65 removed hair from their nose, with 32% removing hair from their eyebrows and 34% removing hair from their ears.

      Although, the beloved beard trend shows no evidence of waning. 44% of men have some stubble, 20% a closely trimmed beard and 7% a thick/full beard. The majority (76%) of adults agree that beards should be well groomed.

      “Whilst young men are leading the trend of body hair removal, older men are driving facial hair removal, highlighting that older men are also feeling the pressure to keep up with appearances. Brands can do more to engage with this demographic, whether it is by designing products for their unique hair removal needs or including them in advertising and marketing material,” adds Roshida.

      *June 2016 to June 2018