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November has become synonymous with beards, mustaches and the like as men embrace their facial hair in support of men’s health awareness and fundraising efforts. New research from Mintel reveals that men’s facial hair is growing more socially acceptable as 41 percent of US men who use shaving products don’t shave daily, including half of men age 18-24 (50 percent) and those age 45-54 (51 percent). What’s more, nearly one quarter of men (22 percent) agree that facial hair, including beards, is fashionable.

For the nearly one third of male shaving product users (31 percent) that don’t feel well-groomed without a shave, Mintel research shows that more than a quarter of men (27 percent) use a professional service, such as a barber, for shaving. Additionally, 20 percent of men age 18-34 use pre-shave preparation products, including oils or creams designed to soften beards for a closer shave.

“A new approach toward facial hair grooming among younger consumers has directly impacted the men’s personal care market. Not only are we seeing an attitudinal shift in the frequency of shaving among men, which is lessening the stigma around facial hair, but we’re also seeing men take pride in their facial hair, resulting in a willingness to invest time and money in maintenance,” said Margie Nanninga, Home & Personal Care Analyst at Mintel. “Despite the fact that many US men report shaving less often, grooming innovations, such as cleansing gels or holding creams for facial hair, and facial hair grooming tools present opportunities in the men’s personal care market.”

Subscription services gain momentum

Curated subscription services are shaking up the men’s personal care market where sales have traditionally occurred through brick-and-mortar retailers. Subscription boxes are making an impact on men’s shaving specifically by offering personalized, convenient and affordable options with everything from razors and shave butter to styling products delivered right to the consumer’s door.

26% of men who have not tried a shaving subscription service are interested in doing so

Half of men age 18-34 who use shaving products (50 percent) report an interest in subscription services, as well as 40 percent of men overall. Another 26 percent have not tried a subscription service but are interested in doing so. As more than one in 10 male personal care consumers express interest in a greater variety of subscription service options, Mintel research indicates that the market will likely see more brands entering the subscription model space.

The convenience of subscription box services is equally matched by the appeal of saving money with bundled product packages, as more than half of men who use shaving products are interested in razors and shaving cream sold in bundles (53 percent), with interest peaking among men age 18-34 (63 percent). One in five of these consumers also agree that they almost always buy the lowest priced shaving products possible (17 percent).

“Subscription services are a growing trend across the personal care category. The model is shaking up men’s personal care specifically by offering men the convenience, affordability and variety of options they seek for their shaving routine. While usage remains modest, the ability for consumers to conveniently make product selections and have them delivered right to their doorsteps is increasingly appealing, especially among younger consumers,” continued Nanninga.

Men’s personal care market stabilizes after strong gains in 2014

After experiencing large gains in 2014, driven by strong skincare sales, growth in the men’s personal care market is stabilizing in 2015. The market will likely continue to remain relatively flat, with sales predicted to reach $4.7 billion in 2020. Growth will be driven by a rising haircare segment, which benefits from increased engagement among men as well as new product launches. Growth in haircare will help the market to overcome a struggling shaving products/aftershave segment as men take on a more laid-back attitude toward facial hair and are using less shaving cream as a result.

“While 2014 saw gains in the men’s personal care market, the market is anticipated to remain flat in coming years as men decrease their use of shaving cream and the shaving and aftershave products segment continues to struggle. Opportunities do exist in the category, however, as strong projected gains in haircare reflect men becoming more invested in their haircare routines,” concluded Nanninga.

Press copies of the Men’s Personal Care US 2015 and Shaving and Hair Removal US 2015 reports and interviews with Margie Nanninga, Home & Personal Care Analyst, are available on request from the press office.