While all men have to perform grooming regularly in their lives, there’s hardly a consensus on the proper way to shave or take care of your facial hair.
Since there’s no one educational resource that all men can access to teach proper hygiene, styles of grooming can vary greatly and misinformation often runs rampant.
We’ve commissioned a survey to determine what drives men to groom themselves and the habits, products, and resources they use to achieve their grooming goals.
Prim & Prep commissioned Pollfish to survey 600 men throughout the United States, aged 18+, for their habits and opinions about men’s grooming.
Prim & Prep designed and paid for the survey and welcomes the re-use of this data under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, as long as the original source is cited with attribution to “Prim & Prep.”
Relevant Results Overview
Overall, the vast majority of men do care about grooming and want to do it properly.
At the same time, the majority of men do not purchase the correct products, spend enough time grooming, or lack the right information to groom correctly.
This stems from a lack of time (or poor time management) or incorrect information about grooming and hygiene products and habits.
Below is an infographic with the highlights of the survey results:
Men Do Want to Look Good
Common wisdom suggests that men simply don’t care about their appearance as much as women.
Survey results say otherwise.
In fact, it appears that 76% of men spend some amount of time grooming or taking care of their appearance specifically to feel pride in the way they look.
Personal pride was the number one motivation for grooming among survey respondents.
Close behind was to be attracted to their partner or attract a new partner, and third was self-expression.
These results indicate that personal appearance and hygiene is primarily performed for self-respect.
The things that men focus on when it comes to their hygiene reveal more interesting information.
For instance, 96.5% of men find the way they smell to be very important.
Yet less than half of them, 47.5%, use a fragrance on a daily basis to enhance their smell.
By the same token, 89.5% of men are concerned with at least one skin issue (such as dryness, oiliness, acne, etc.), yet only 35.8% of them use a skincare product to counteract their problem.
This is reflected in tooth care as well; 78.17% of men are concerned about yellow or stained teeth, but less than half of them, or around 43%, use teeth whitening products regularly.
What is causing this gap between motivation and effort or results?
Men Lack the Skills/Products to Groom Properly
The survey results revealed something remarkable. While men have the motivation to groom themselves and maintain great hygiene, the vast majority of them are going about it in less-than-stellar ways.
For instance, 93.5% of men want to find the ideal product to solve their problem or meet their needs.
In addition, 86% of men want to use a product specifically designed (either from the box art, marketing, or actual chemical composition standpoints) for their gender.
This means that feminine hygiene products will not see a lot of use from most men, regardless of effectiveness.
So men want to find the right product for their needs, but most men are taking to the grocery store to find their grooming and hygiene solutions.
51% of men shop in person at a grocery store or drugstore to accomplish this objective.
These are hardly specialized markets where the best products are sold.
22% of men shop at a department store, while 18% of men shop using an online retailer.
The key takeaway is that most men are not shopping for hygiene and grooming products effectively.
They are going to the wrong market where they won’t find the ideal products for their needs.
In addition, the vast majority of men do not groom properly.
We know this is not a motivational problem since most men do want to look good for themselves.
Therefore, it’s likely that grooming and hygiene shortcomings are a result of poor grooming education.
For instance, 70% of men spend less than 20 minutes per day grooming themselves, and 86% of men use four or fewer grooming products per day.
This is much less than typical feminine grooming habits and is not enough for many adult males, particularly those who combat skin conditions or other grooming issues.
Why Does the Gap Exist?
The survey also revealed some interesting information concerning the reasons behind men’s improper grooming habits.
By far, the two most important factors leading to poor hygiene habits were a lack of time (or perceived lack of time) and incorrect information or guidance.
82% of respondents claimed that they found it important to have enough time for personal grooming, yet did not allocate that time for themselves due to a busy schedule or poor time management.
The lack of proper grooming information stems from an understandable problem.
77% of men get most of their grooming information from friends, significant others or online forums.
Needless to say, none of these resources can be relied upon with any consistency when it comes to choosing the correct hygiene or grooming product or learning the best grooming habits and skills.
Less than half of men used reliable sources such as online publications, blogs or magazines to learn how to groom themselves effectively.