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Brief Published: 8 Dec 2015

Men Google Hairstyles More Than Women

Extra
London Collections: Men street style, June 2015

For the first time ever, men’s hair-related web searches have overtaken women’s, according to Google’s latest report, with the ‘man bun’ crowned the most searched-for style of the past year.

Analysing beauty-specific search terms from January 2013 to August 2015, Google’s Beauty Trends 2015, Hair Care Edition (US) found that male haircare queries outstripped females by 6% in 2015. “How to grow a man bun” and “how to tie a man bun” were among the most Googled questions, inspired by influential celebrities like actor Jared Leto and One Direction singer Harry Styles.

Retro, side-parted styles referencing US 1960s-based TV drama Mad Men were also popular, especially on YouTube, where comb-over video tutorials received twice as many views as those for man buns.

In May 2015, global market research firm Mintel claimed a trend for longer hair was driving the UK male haircare market. Two-thirds of men who used products said well-groomed hair made them feel more attractive, while a fifth admitted to following the latest trends, rising to a third of 16- to 24-year-olds.

With man buns, headbands and quiffs all on trend, and the top three male grooming concerns being balding, thinning and hard-to-style hair, there is certainly a strong case for more targeted male haircare products.

“This trend has resulted in increased revenue for the sector and offers further opportunities for the men’s haircare market to respond to changing fashions, with products designed to stimulate growth as well as manage longer hair,” said Roshida Khanom, senior personal care analyst at Mintel. “Styling brands could also offer tips and advice to encourage experimentation.”

Marketers should also remember that hair loss is a universal concern for all males, not just boomers. “Younger men may find it harder to retain hair styles, or experiment with different hair styles as they lose hair,” says Khanom. “For older men, being concerned about hair loss may be more about not wanting to look older. Products that stimulate hair growth will therefore appeal to men of all ages.” 

Mintel’s research unearthed another interesting statistic: while UK sales of men’s haircare products grew from £59m ($88m) in 2013 to £60m ($90m) in 2014, the number of new male-targeted haircare launches fell by 46% during the same period. With sales of these products predicted to hit £68m ($102m) in 2019, male grooming brands must act quickly to own this space.

For more on male grooming, see Product Projections 2016: Hair, CEW: The Future of Male Grooming, Menswear S/S 16: Grooming and Male Grooming: Asian Style Tribes

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