Thu, Aug 05, 2010 - Page 6 News List

UK men fret about looks, but do little

REUTERS , LONDON

It’s supposed to be a mark of distinction, but going gray is now the top concern for British men, according to new research.

Hair color is the number one appearance concern for men today, with more than half of British men worrying about graying hair, and 45 marks the age when panic really sets in, according to a poll from market research firm Mintel.

“Although gray hair is traditionally seen as a mark of distinction in men, the reality is many men are unhappy with their newfound gravitas,” Mintel Head of Beauty Research Vivienne Rudd said in a statement.

CRISIS CATALYST

“The physical changes associated with ageing can act as a catalyst to mid-life crisis and our research has discovered that men become less content with their appearance after the age of 45,” she said.

Hair loss or thinning, is the second most common concern, worrying 40 percent of the respondents to the Mintel survey of 2,000 British men.

Unwanted hair (in the nose and ears) preoccupied 38 percent of respondents, being overweight bothered 37 percent and 30 percent were worried about yellowing teeth.

Mintel said that men appeared to be more accepting than women when it came to their appearance, but found that at 45 years of age, men become increasingly less happy with their looks.

COMPETITION

Rudd said that delayed retirement and working later into life than their parents did as the British population ages will bring older men into competition with younger colleagues.

“As a result, older people may feel the need to try to maintain appearance and therefore bring a future boost to the male ­grooming market,” she said.

Despite the high level of concern many men display about their appearance, as many as 45 percent of all men remain unengaged with toiletries, and this rises to over half of those aged between 45 and 54. Just over one-third of men use as few personal care products as possible, while 31 percent have little interest in beauty and personal care products.

“Older men are significantly more likely than younger men to disregard a number of beauty and personal care products as being completely unnecessary and are also less content with the product results,” Rudd said.

“And the cynicism of older men extends not only to the claims that beauty products make, but also to a reluctance to try beauty services,” Rudd added.

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