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Hairy hipsters and bearded blokes: sales of shaving products down among Aussie men

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2008 – June 2009 (n = 8,479) and July 2012 – June 2013 (n = 8,830). Base: Australian men 14+
You’d have to be living in a cave or serving in the armed forces not to have noticed that the number of Australian men with beards, moustaches and/or sideburns is growing. And with fundraising, ‘mo’-growing month Movember almost upon us, things are set to get hairier yet. But is this pursuit of the hirsute just a passing fad or does it constitute a threat to sales of shaving products?

The latest data from Roy Morgan Research reveals that sales of these products are indeed down, and have been declining gradually for the last five years. In the year to June 2013, 11.9% of Australian men aged 14+ bought shaving soaps or foams in an average four-week period — in the year to June 2009, this figure was 14.2%.

This downward trend is consistent across most ages, with young men under 25 years old representing the largest proportional decrease: from 9.3% buying these products in 2009 to 6.2% as of June 2013. Shaving also lost popularity among men aged 25–34, 10.2% of whom bought shaving soaps or foams in any given four-week period (down from 13.4% in 2009), but even the 50+ demographic saw a decline.

Australian men who bought shaving soaps/foams in last 4 weeks (by age)

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2008 – June 2009 (n = 8,479) and July 2012 – June 2013 (n = 8,830). Base: Australian men 14+

Teenagers under 18 were the only group to register any increase in purchasing these products, but whether this trend continues as they mature remains to be seen.

Across the different states, sales dropped most in Victoria (from 13.8% of men to 10.6%) and NSW (from 14.9% to 11.9%), but increased from 9.5% to 12.4% in Tasmania.

Sales of razors are also down among Australian men, with 17.1% buying disposable razors in an average four-week period during the 12 months to June 2013, compared to 19.4% in 2009.

Norman Morris, (bearded) Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“With beards and moustaches being fashionable for the first time in decades, fewer men are buying shaving products such as foams, soaps and razors. It’s interesting to see that this decline in sales spans most age groups, however, as the fashion for facial hair seems to have been embraced mainly by younger men.

“Of course, many men leave the purchase of shaving products to their wives, girlfriends (or, in the case of our younger respondents, their mothers). But even accounting for this, overall sales of shaving products have gone down. In 2009, for example, 11.1% of the population — male and female — bought shaving soaps or foams but by June 2013, this figure sat at 8.8%.

“The popularity of beards among high-profile celebrities such as Hugh Jackman and Brad Pitt has almost certainly contributed to the facial hair revival, as has Movember, a popular fund-raising initiative in which men grow moustaches during the month of November to raise money for men’s health research.

“To weather this trend, manufacturers and marketers of shaving products for men must ensure they know who among their target market is still buying their products, and tailor their communications accordingly.”

For comments or more information please contact:

Norman Morris
Industry Communications Director
Office: +61 (3) 9224 5172
Mobile: +61 402 014 474

Related Research Reports

View our extensive range of Personal Product Buyer Profiles, including Shaving Soap or Foam Buyer profiles,Aftershave/Cologne for Men Buyer Profiles, and more. These profiles provide a broad understanding of the target audience, in terms of demographics, attitudes, activities and media usage in Australia.

About Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices in each state of Australia, as well as in New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan Research has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

In Australia, Roy Morgan Research is considered to be the authoritative source of information on financial behaviour, readership, voting intentions and consumer confidence. Roy Morgan Research is a specialist in recontact customised surveys which provide invaluable and effective qualitative and quantitative information regarding customers and target markets.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%