Male grooming is booming: men’s salons and barbershops continue to lure

By Emily Kaye on September 10th, 2021

With salons and barbershops reopening, we explore why men are making more of an effort to look and feel their very best.

There’s been a lot of movement in the male grooming space over the past few years, but what’s the reason for this? What has urged men to take a look in the mirror and think, I can look and feel better about myself?

A sense of identity

One area playing a part in the decisions men are making about their appearance is social pressure. This pressure has led to a balance in the way areas of society are stereotyped and is moving the focus away from women and towards men. With social media dominating our lives, ‘real men’ face the same pressure women have suffered since … well, since marketing began.

However, another reason men are so captivated by their looks could be happening closer to home.

A cut, cuppa and a chat

Wood floors, leather chairs with chrome fixtures, and the red and white rotating swirl. Traditional style barbershops are making a come back. Nostalgic, yes, but far from a gimmick. This return to a gentleman’s experience has pushed male grooming onto a new generation and is breeding a passion for ‘social acceptance’.

Part of this shift is reflected in the services traditional style barbershops offer. And the price they charge shows how much money men are willing to spend to keep themselves in tip-top condition.

For example, a hot towel shave outside of London can set you back £29, with a supplementary face and head massage, an extra £6.

Include a wash, cut and a tip for service and you’ll be lucky to have change from £70.

Something for the weekend?

Barbershops are becoming more personalised spaces and are giving customers the opportunity to be part of a community.

Men are looking for a place to unwind and the chance to catch up with familiar faces. To be invited into a refuge, miles away from the grind of daily life. If marketed well, salon owners can blend ‘pub culture’ with a sense of refinement.

And it’s in this environment, in the barber’s chair – trusting your hair line or neck line to the professional – that advice is given and recommendations are made.

Review sites like TrustPilot play a big role in driving customers towards reliable brands. Recommendations are powerful. 

The chair presents a prime opportunity to upsell and offer guidance that can be carried into the wider world.

Men say that they rely on the advice of their barber for their look about 46% of the time.

So what are men spending their money on?

Search predicts behaviour

Internet search terms can be measured and give business owners a good idea about what customers are looking for online. Trends can be followed and used to steer recommendations towards popular products and services. And if you stock these products, you’ll be more likely to sell them.

Take a look at how a number of keywords have performed in 2021.

As you can see, men are searching more frequently for skin care and grooming products. This doesn’t always translate into a sale, but it does give you a good idea about purchasing habits.

It’s also worth keeping in mind where people were in 2020 and 2021. For most, visiting a barbershop or salon was not an option and shopping for grooming products happened online.

Where are we now?

The male grooming industry has seen incredible growth in recent years and is expected to double further before the end of the decade. In 2020, the market was valued at £40 billion globally. And with projected growth of 4.29% expected between 2021 – 2026 it’s prime time to jump on board.

As for online shopping, will we see similar numbers for search terms in the next twelve months? Possibly, but unlikely. With the world waking up and normality calling, men are increasingly returning to the barber’s chair.

Emily Kaye

Emily is a UX Designer at Salon Gold. She has years of professional experience working in different areas of design and is a skilled photographer.

All articles by Emily Kaye

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