Men Are Rocking More Beards, Cutting Into Razor Industry Profits

Facial hair is in.

beardHipster moustaches, lumberjack beards, five-o-clock shadows. More and more, we’re seeing men wearing some form of facial hair. The clean-cut Ken doll is the prevailing facial trend no more.

While this is great for all the folks out there who like a little stubble, the razor companies aren’t loving it so much. Sales on razors fell to $2.3 billion last year. And a chart on The Washington Post shows that sales are projected to flat line for a few years.

But that doesn’t mean men have given up on primping all together. Skin care has seen a bump of seven percent to $260 million in sales. Experts say it’s because facial hair is more acceptable in professional circles. Others say men don’t want to spend the money on razors. Still others say that campaigns like “Movember” and “No Shave November” are playing a role. All of this is influencing men’s style, which has become a broader and more lucrative category in recent years.

Where we once obsessed about the growth of the “metrosexual” — that guy that spends more than 20 minutes to get ready every morning and uses different products to do so — it’s now more common for men to pay attention to the details that make up their look. Facial hair was once the mark of the guy who couldn’t care less to keep up a close shave. Now, it’s a fashion choice that men put thought and effort into, in some cases requiring just as much grooming as anything else.

A couple of years ago, Gillette had these ads with Andre 3000, Adrien Brody and Gael Garcia Bernal, showcasing one of its razor brands and what it can do for all sorts of facial hair styles. Maybe Gillette was a little ahead of its time. But razor companies might want to think again about the message there.

A razor is more than just a tool for shaving. It’s an accessory that helps to finish a look, the final touch on your outfit.  It too is a skin care item. And with more men using moisturizers and other products of that nature, it might be wise to align razors and shavers with other types of skin products. The better the quality, the better and/or more precise the shave, the better you look and feel.

Now’s the time for razors to rebrand to catch up with all those stylish men out there.