When it comes to men's fashion; beards and moustaches are fiercely in style. One wouldn't think that men's grooming was the rising star in the beauty industry; however, it's hard to argue with the numbers. Last year men's grooming brought in approximately $21 billion, with small and large businesses alike jumping at the chance to create and distribute a variety of products for the fuzzy-faced male.
From sculpting waxes to shape your moustache, to balms, creams, and lotions that claim beard-growing properties to help those baby-smooth faces grow some hair. Men with cropped sides and sculpted tops are becoming more and more of a common sight, as are full, well-maintained beards. And nothing shows the popularity of a style like its appearance in the world of celebrities. Case and point: seven of the eight actors who won awards at the Golden Globes were all sporting beards.
But, beards have become fashionable beyond Hollywood’s red carpets even if motivations behind the trend are not easy to explain. Perhaps that’s why Alun Withey, a professor and expert in medical history at Exeter University in Great Britain, will spend the next three years studying facial hair and its relationship with masculinity and health.
Another study that’s already been completed reports 39 percent of U.S. men parade facial hair, up from 15 percent five years ago. What’s more, the number of men who don’t shave at all – 20 percent, according to Simmons Research -- has increased across all age groups.
Not surprisingly, the growth in facial hair has also sprouted a run on products to care for overgrown whiskers. Oils and balms are most popular. Scented beard oils are providing alternatives to colognes and encouraging entrepreneurial-spirited companies to find a niche in an industry once primarily devoted to women. There are even products on the market that will strengthen skin and prevent against beard dandruff.
The bottom line is that men are no longer afraid to admit they enjoy being pampered. Startup salons are sprouting up to meet not only their demands for shaves, trims and haircuts, but massages, facials and refined treatments, such as waxing or laser hair removal, as well.“The idea behind a more ‘casual’ look has only increased the need for more hair products,” said Chris Madeira, chief operating officer at the SalonSupplyStore.com, a Palm-Beach Gardens, Fla. e-commerce distributor of new and popular salon products that offers numerous hair items for men. “In truth, longer hair and thicker beards will, in all likelihood, boost the sale of men’s grooming products.”