Men in U.K. use male grooming products not as a way of being more attractive but because it makes them feel good, gives them greater confidence, will help them get ahead in life, research says

LONDON , October 17, 2011 (press release) – The majority of men who use male grooming products do it for themselves – not for girls.

Men use male grooming products because it makes them feel good, gives them greater confidence and will help them get ahead in life – and not as a way of being more attractive to the opposite sex, according to new research by market researcher SPA Future Thinking.

It’s not just the pretty boys using male grooming products any more – the survey of 1,000 UK men, conducted this summer, also found that the metrosexual man has grown up: 51 per cent of men who regularly use grooming products are married or living with a partner.

The results underline the trend in brands using more sophisticated and unapologetically masculine role models, with stars such as Hugh Laurie signing up to be ambassadors for brands such as L'Oreal and proclaiming that using them can be “a very masculine decision after all.”

More than half believe scrubbing up is de rigueur, and more than a third (34 per cent) subscribe to the view that using grooming products will get them into the sack.

There were some surprising claims in terms of products used, with more than 40 per cent of men claiming to have used body lotion, hand cream or moisturiser.

The research also threw up some interesting stats on personal hygiene: 1 in 5 men, for example, do not use deodorant or body spray. Thankfully, shampoo, shower gel and soap also feature in the top products used:

* 79 per cent of men use shampoo
* 71 per cent use shower gel
* 62 per cent use aftershave or cologne
* 54 per cent use soap
* 17 per cent claim never to use sun cream

Only 70 per cent of shower gel users, however, use it every day. 88 per cent of soap users use it every day.

Will Ullstein, research director at SPA Future Thinking, who headed up the study, said: “Our research shows the metrosexual has grown up, which is reflected in the way brands such as L'Oréal have moved from using classic Hollywood movie stars in their advertising to using people like Hugh Laurie as brand ambassadors. It’s a move away from the overt, showy and glamorous grooming of the metrosexual era, to buying and using these products for oneself because they have almost become a practical necessity for self-assurance. In fact, our research shows the majority of men claim grooming makes them feel good about themselves and gives them greater confidence.

“To put it another way, just because Hugh Laurie looks a bit unpolished, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t care about his appearance – or the grooming products he uses. The metrosexual has grown up. Today, he’s doing it for himself – not for the girls.”

Other key findings on men’s purchasing behaviour include:

* Young (18 to 34 year-olds) men spend more than their 55 to 64 counterparts: £14.60 per month compared with £10.50;
* Southerners (£14.44 a month) are the biggest spenders, Midlanders (£12) the lowest;
* Gay or bisexual men spend more than their straight counterparts: £16.19 per month compared with £13.19.

Media contacts:
Bhavna Mistry, Velvet PR: 020 8996 1802, bhavna(at)velvetpr(dot)biz
or Graham Willgoss, Velvet PR: 020 8996 1803, graham(at)velvetpr(dot)biz

SPA Future Thinking was formed by a merger in September 2010 and expanded further with the acquisition of Munro Group in April 2011. It is now the UK’s leading independent market research powerhouse with a turnover of approximately £20million and offices in the UK, France and Italy. SPA Future Thinking’s expertise in cutting through data to present user-friendly findings enables it to identify the insights critical to growing businesses and ensuring success.

SPA Future Thinking is consistently rated by its clients amongst the best for client satisfaction. Specialist areas include media and technology, shopper insight, concept, product and packaging development, customer satisfaction, kids, education, and employee satisfaction.

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