And their true Christmas gift buying motives revealed
The trend for ‘bare down there’ has found a new fan-base among men, with a third of men removing hair from their groin area, according to a snapshot survey carried out by the Skin Health Alliance, a leading independent skin care organization.
31.7% of men responding to the survey admitted to using hair removal methods, such as waxing, shaving, plucking or depilating, on their crotches, and one in ten (10.1%) on their backsides. Other popular hair removal areas were the eyebrows (28.8%), chest (20.1%), back (12.9%) and nasal or ear hair (41%). Less than a third (28.8%) preferred the natural look and refrained from body hair removal.
Despite a recent trend for facial hair, male waxing, known also as ‘maxing’ or ‘manscaping’ by its fans, has become a popular item on beauticians’ menus. This latest study shows that UK men are fast catching up with men in the US, where a study found that 73% shaved their groin area.1
But this was not the only grooming area where men’s efforts are rivaling those of women. Men spoiling their partners with Christmas gifts of cosmetics and beauty products may be less altruistic than they appear, as they are likely to pilfer such presents for their own use. A staggering three-quarters (74.1%) of respondents admitted to borrowing their partner’s moisturiser, over a third their lip balm (49.1%), and one in ten (9.8%) their partner’s anti-ageing creams.
It’s not just skin products that are likely to be shared, with one in five (20.5%) men happily using their partner’s hair styling products and, slightly less hygienically, one in six (17.9%) their razor. Interestingly, one in eight men (12.5%) said they had borrowed their partner’s fake tan or make-up.
However, these borrowing habits did not indicate an unwillingness by men to spend money on their grooming regime, with a quarter of men (25%) spending between £20 and £100 every month on shaving, grooming and hair products.
Furthermore, men no longer conform to the stereotype of idly waiting around for women to get ready – in fact, over a third (38.5%) take more than half an hour to get washed and dressed in the morning.
One of the respondents, 28-year-old James Stalley from London said: “I like to take personal pride in my appearance, and a hairy back - or worse - is just not a good look. Men expect women to be well groomed and in this day and age they should expect no less from us. And I’ll happily slap on a bit of my girlfriend’s anti-wrinkle cream, especially when parties and late nights have taken their toll on my skin. She’s more of an expert on knowing what does and doesn’t work, so it makes sense to just use whatever she buys.”
1 Boroughs, M., Ata, R., Burke, N., & Thompson, J.K. (2010). Body depilation in men: correlates and associated features. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the International Conference on Eating Disorders, Salzburg, Austria.
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Survey details: 140 respondents to online survey, December 2012.
The Skin Health Alliance is an independent not for profit organization working together with international dermatologists, scientists and industry with a common interest in the promotion of healthy skin. Surplus income derived from the Skin Health Alliance’s activities is donated to registered charities and good causes around the globe supporting skin disease and skin cancer research.