Men Shave less as Economy bites

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Men are switching away from the smooth metrosexual ideal to the bearded and rugged look, as the financial crisis takes its toll on the grooming industry.

The sales slump in male grooming products has also been attributed to men following the example of actor Hugh Laurie, 52, in US television drama House and American stand-up comedian Zach Galifianakis, 41, who starred in the hit film The Hangover.

Research has revealed that in the past year sales of hair styling products have plummeted by almost 15 per cent, everyday fragrances are down 10 per cent and facial skin care fell by 1.8 per cent. The number of razors and blades sold were down by 7 per cent.

Market analysts Kantar Worldpanel said that the value of sales in the £862million male grooming ­market has slowed and the actual number of ­products sold has fallen 1.4 per cent, having last year grown 5.5 per cent. Last month former Blackadder star Laurie became the new face of L’Oreal skincare for men – and admitted that promoting the idea of beauty was a new departure for him.

Trade magazine The Grocer said: “The slick, urban guy who took care of his appearance – used products on his hair and face and was unembarrassed about being scented and moisturised – has made way for the more natural, rugged and beard-­loving Retrosexual ­as epitomised by Hugh Laurie, Zach Galifianakis and any male nu-folk singer you care to mention.”

The magazine added: “While the fact that the under-45s are shaving less can partly be put down to the ­austere times we are living in, it can also be attributed to changing facial fashions, rising prices and a sharp reduction in the number of ­promotions.”

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