In 2012, David Beckham became the first male style icon to stare moodily from the front cover of women's fashion magazine, Elle UK. With artistically coiffured hair and carefully chiselled stubble (the beard is back, after all), Becks has been treading that fine line between football god and sartorial star for many years.
And that's no mean feat either; the football crowd isn't known for its culture of metrosexuality. Hats off to you, Becksy.
In terms of gendered values, it just goes to show how far we've come as a country, over a relatively short period of time. In 2012, the male grooming industry was worth £574 million, and has been steadily growing for years. The under 35s are the biggest user of toiletries, with between 44 percent and 48 percent owning seven products or more. Looking at these statistics, we could lazily assume that the over 60s are still using Butch Wax and cut-throat razors... and they still think Lynx is a type of cat.
To Beard Or Not To Beard...
With the rising popularity of facial hair, the only market that seems to have suffered in recent years is the shaving industry. Now everyone and their mother has a beard. Popular folk bands must have whiskers and drink pints of ale -- there's some sort of unspoken law about it.
We've come a long way from a decade ago, when a five-o-clock shadow was synonymous with moral degeneracy. But although the shaving industry has suffered (for now), every other grooming department seems to be popping open the champagne due to booming sales.
We'd like to think -- for the sake of others on public transport or our co-workers -- that the male sex take a responsible approach towards body odor management. Thankfully, deodorants account for more than half of all male toiletry transactions. Lynx unsurprisingly comes out on top with 29 percent of market sales. Ninety-three percent of deodorant users choose to roll-on, while 64 percent go for body sprays too (as anyone sharing a bus with male teenagers can attest).
When it gets to winter, we really don't know how men go without their facial moisturizer; especially those with naturally dry skin. Twenty-three percent of men use a daily moisturizer, while 27 percent use lip balm products. This may be because there's less targeted advertising around these products, to do with sport, masculinity, science... and picking up chicks (we're looking at you, Lynx).
Unfortunately, there's still a residual feeling that beauty products are feminine. However, as perceptions change, so does the popularity of male grooming. With the steps forward in equality, people are increasingly blurring the lines between what's masculine and feminine. There's also been a 17 percent annual boost in male-run health and beauty businesses, which also welcome male clientele and put them at ease.
It hardly helps any male grooming insecurities to walk into a room full of female stylists, after all!
This post has been composed in partnership with fragrance and essential oil suppliers http://www.ungererlimited.com. Do you believe it's high time we strike off the stigma of femininity that surrounds male grooming? Sound off in the comments section below with your thoughts on male grooming trends for the modern-day man.