Male Grooming

Changing attitudes towards male grooming

Umair Afridi

Who spends more effort and money on their grooming – men or women?

It’s a debate which has been going on for years. The general belief is that women focus more of their efforts on personal grooming whilst men are assumed to be the more unclean, ungroomed gender. But is this really the case?

Harris Interactive was interested to get to the bottom of this and try to bring some clarity to the discussion.  In order to do that we questioned 986 men and 1,047 women in the UK to find out the truth behind their grooming habits. Click here to see full report

Initially, the results were as you’d expect. 90% of women use female grooming products with 83% of men using male grooming products. The results started to get more interesting as we delved deeper into their habits with 25% of males confessing to using female grooming products, and a fifth of females using male products.

So what does this tell us? Maybe people aren’t interested enough to go out and buy their own products so borrowing what they find in their partner’s cupboard is far easier? Or are the intended grooming products not providing the benefits they should?

When asked about their bathing routine, men were found to be the more unclean gender.  40% of men stated that they shower between every 2 days to once a week. Thankfully 63% of men brush their teeth twice a day but that was still lower compared to the 76% of women.

When it comes to spending, we found that a quarter of women spend £15+ per month on female grooming products, whereas only 17% of men spend this amount on male products. The research also shows that a quarter of men spend between £10 and £20 a month on male grooming products, which is similar to the number of women who spend this amount on female products (29%). We see here that men, like women, are willing to spend money on their personal grooming. Interestingly, the vast majority of men use shampoo and deodorant, and a sizeable 69% of men use conditioner, 59% use face moisturiser, and 55% use body moisturiser.

Attitudes to grooming do seem to be changing. 72% of people think it is just as important for men to take care of themselves as women, and 63% agree men are paying more attention to their hair and skincare. Men are also more likely than women to agree that ‘real men’ don’t use fake tan (50%) and moisturiser (16%).

So, whilst some of the research shows that male grooming does exist, there still seems to be a sizeable portion of men judging grooming as a feminine area. If I were a male grooming brand reading this, I would be looking at trying to understand the male consumers in greater detail and establish what areas to capitalise on to make my products more appealing to them.

If you’d like a copy of the results or to discuss how to better understand the general population then please get in touch with me on / Umair Afridi / Business Development Manager


  • Cosmetics
  • Harris
  • Male Grooming
  • The Grocer Report