The majority of men who use male grooming products do it for themselves – not for girls. Men use men’s 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 [1. 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.].

  • Two-thirds of men use male grooming products because it makes them feel good
  • Nearly two-thirds agree that it gives them more confidence
  •  More than a third think it will help get them into the sack
  • However, 1 in 5 men do not use deodorant or body spray
  • A quarter do it because they think it will get them ahead in life
  • 14 % of men think grooming is a waste of time altogether

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% 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”.

“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.” – Will Ullstein, SPA Future Thinking

More than half believe scrubbing up is de rigueur, and more than a third (34 %) 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 % 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 % of men use shampoo
– 71 % use shower gel
– 62 % use aftershave or cologne
– 54 % use soap
– 17 % claim never to use sun cream

Only 70 % of shower gel users, however, use it every day – 88 % 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. “

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