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Why Male Grooming Is About Much More Than Vanity

November 2016Words by Mr Agnish Ray

Illustration by Mr Joe McKendry

Gels, creams, waxes, pastes, sprays, mousses, oils, balms, powders – there’s an endless number of products out there to help you control that weird stuff that grows on your head and face. It is estimated that the male grooming industry is now worth approximately £14.8bn globally, with hair making up the biggest part of this. Grooming experts everywhere are in agreement too – British men care about their hair more than ever. But is grooming just about vanity? Tomorrow is International Men’s Day – which is as good a time as any to think about what hair represents for men and how closely we attach hair to our identity.

The emotional significance of hair for men is particularly pronounced because so many of us lose it. By 35, according to the American Hair Loss Association, two-thirds of men experience some degree of hair loss. More and more men are taking on surgical hair replacement procedures to counteract this. 85 per cent of patients treated by members of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) are men; the ISHRS’s latest figures reported approximately 397,000 hair replacement procedures worldwide in 2014, almost 47,000 of these in Europe, with treatments like this becoming increasingly popular.

Hair loss can result in a lack of confidence which can hugely affect interaction when socialising or working