As the financial crisis is taking its toll on the grooming industry, the alpha males are making a comeback.
British men are switching away from the smooth metrosexual ideal to the bearded and rugged look during the economic downturn.
The sales slump in male grooming products has also been attributed to men following the example of actor Hugh Laurie, 52, in US television drama House and American stand-up comedian Zach Galifianakis, 41, who starred in the hit film The Hangover.
Research has revealed that in the past year sales of hair styling products have plummeted by almost 15%, everyday fragrances are down 10% and facial skin care fell by 1.8%. The number of razors and blades sold were down by 7%.
Market analysts Kantar Worldpanel said that the value of sales in the 862million pounds male grooming ­market has slowed and the actual number of ­products sold has fallen 1.4%, having last year grown 5.5%.
“The slick, urban guy who took care of his appearance – used products on his hair and face and was unembarrassed about being scented and moisturised – has made way for the more natural, rugged and beard-­loving Retrosexual ­as epitomised by Hugh Laurie, Zach Galifianakis and any male nu-folk singer you care to mention,” the Daily Express quoted Trade magazine The Grocer as saying.
The magazine added: “While the fact that the under-45s are shaving less can partly be put down to the austere times we are living in, it can also be attributed to changing facial fashions, rising prices and a sharp reduction in the number of promotions.”