The popular belief is that the beauty industry caters only to the most attractive women, as seen in commercials, theater, film or at fine restaurants. We see commercials for soap, shampoo, toothpaste, perfume and even mouthwash featuring the most glamorous, well-made-up women. However, that belief is now clearly in the past, because it is not only women but men who are into being well-groomed. No matter what you call it — beauty or something else — men are now concerned about those aspects of personal care, and they will continue to be in the future.
Whether the result of the COVID-19 pandemic or some other reason, men with beards are a growing phenomenon. We see short beards and mustaches; goatees; well-trimmed, full-face beards and every other variety of facial hair one can imagine. Beards require cosmetic upkeep, which has created another area of growth for the beauty industry.
Social media is part of what is driving the trends in beauty, especially for women. But social media platforms have also introduced men to beauty trends.
Dhani Mau, in, “All the Fashion and Beauty Brand Closures and Bankruptcies Caused by the Pandemic,” a 2020 article in Fashionista, wrote, “As we’re all now well aware, the COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly tough on the fashion industry, with sales down across the board. And given that many companies — especially those with more traditional business models — were already struggling to adapt to a new retail environment or keep up with more digitally savvy competitors (remember: there were also plenty of bankruptcies and closures in 2019), the stay-at-home-orders were enough to fully decimate a number of them.”
Essentially all of the described retail fashion businesses include an extensive section of beauty products for both men and women.
As described by Mau, in 2016, the beauty industry generated $56.2 billion of sales in the United States alone. Hair care was the largest segment, with 86,000 locations. Skin care was a close second. She suggested that the growth has been driven by a generally-increasing awareness of the importance of skin care, but specifically due to an increase in the market for men.
The research showed that in recent years, the industry segments of beauty care, in decreasing order, of size, have been hair care, skin care, cosmetics, perfumes and colognes, deodorants, antiperspirants, feminine cleaning and oral hygiene, followed by smaller segments.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly one million people are employed in the primary service segments of the beauty market, and there are strong growth expectations. The number of barbers, hairdressers and cosmetologists in 2014 was 650,000, with 10% expected growth by 2024. The number of manicurists and pedicurists was 113,600, also with 10% increase expected growth by 2024. There were 55,000 skincare specialists and a 12% increase expected by 2024 — with specific growth expected for businesses serving men. Message therapists employed 168,800 with 22% growth expected by 2024.
Trends in the beauty industry that are driving growth and revenue are organic products, products focused on aging, products focused on babies and young children and men’s products and services.
Places like the Boardroom Salon provide an ultimate relaxation experience for men, while the Hair Salon and 18/8 Men’s Hair Salon are reinventing the barber shop. On the other end of the scale are the hair-cutting shops offering quick haircuts for $25 — and even less in some places.
As all businesses are starting to open up, we can expect to see more offerings from the beauty business for men in the months and years ahead — another example of the new normal.
Benjamin S. Seigel, Esq. is of Counsel to the firm of G& B Law LLP, specializing in matters related to the textile, apparel and related industries. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.