The first months of 2021 are likely to be much the same as the last months of 2020. Most of us are working from home and going outside only when strictly necessary – for supplies or sanity.

For many, the recent change in lifestyle has impacted on the way we look, and our product choices. An overview of the market would suggest that lockdown has sent men in two very different directions in 2020. So which category do you fall into?

Makeup soars while shaving sinks

Reports into the male grooming market for 2020 have shown some surprising results. Shaving product sales have fallen sharply, while beard care has seen interest increase. Skin and hair products for men have also sold less this year than previously, but more men than ever are taking an interest in makeup.

Long-haired layabout

Requiring the least effort, this is certainly a tempting option. With fewer and fewer reasons to leave the house and little to no social contact, many men have decided to let it all hang out.

Why shave a face that no one is going to see, let alone touch? And if washing your hair seems like too much hassle, you can always declare yourself a devotee of the ‘no poo’ movement and let nature take its course.

If it comes to that, why even bother getting dressed? If loungewear is the new workwear, sleepwear is the new loungewear.

This look best suits: Those for whom working from home requires very little in the way of Zoom ‘meetings’. It’s also more appropriate if you’re currently single – or want to be.

Concealer guy

For some, lockdown has sent them in a very different direction. Where once meetings involved sitting in a boardroom looking around at other people, or at Powerpoint presentations, these days it’s more a case of sitting in your bedroom, constantly distracted by the sight of your own face in the corner of the screen.

These guys haven’t just continued with their normal grooming habits in lockdown, they’ve gone into overdrive. Facial imperfections they’d never even noticed before are being covered with makeup. Research is being conducted into Brotox injections, with a view to getting those pesky frown lines frozen just as soon as clinics reopen.

This look best suits: The go-getting career man – keep on top of your grooming and you’ll certainly leave a good impression on your superiors. You might even catch the eye of a potential mate while you’re at it.

There’s no denying that men these days are taking more care over their appearance than ever before. And it’s not just about ironing a shirt and polishing our shoes anymore. Oh no.

Today’s man is expected to make almost as much effort as his female counterparts if he wants to get ahead in life. And men are getting on board.

Take a look around next time you’re out and about. I can guarantee you’ll notice that most men you see are groomed beyond what you might have expected a couple of years ago.

So what are the top male grooming trends of the moment, and are they for you?


‘Brotox? What’s that?’ I hear you cry. Well, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that Brotox is essentially Botox, only for men. It’s the same product, injected in much the same way, although men do tend to be after a different result.

Where women are usually keen to eliminate all wrinkles and achieve the smooth unlined forehead of a teenager, men want to retain some of the gravitas that comes with getting older. We don’t want to look like inexperienced 20 year olds, but like men who look after themselves, who know their stuff but have a good few years left in them.


If you’re not quite ready for Brotox but wouldn’t mind slowing down the ageing process a bit, there’s a whole world of skincare options available, just for men.

In minimalist, masculine packaging, these creams and lotions promise to eradicate wrinkles, tighten eye bags and minimise open pores, all while maintaining your manly image. Even the most old-school of men doesn’t look askance at his mates for using a bit of moisturiser these days.

The ‘back, sack and crack’

Otherwise known as ‘manscaping’, this is probably the area of male grooming that has seen the biggest rise in popularity in recent years. No one needs to know about it if you don’t want them to, and many men find they actually find it more comfortable.

Manscaping is all about keeping your body hair in order. For some men that means going for a full ‘Brozilian’. For others it’s just about tidying things up a bit. For the full ‘back, sack and crack’ experience, you’re best off visiting a professional, but there are plenty of companies out there selling manscaping-specific products for home use.

Makeup for men

This one might seem a little out there for some, but 2020 has seen a huge rise in the number of men wearing makeup. We’re not talking eyeliner and lipstick here, but you might be surprised by how many men nowadays are wearing a little bit of concealer or a tinted moisturiser to keep their skin looking fresh.

Whether you’re embracing the Brotox and the makeup for men, or are just getting your head around the idea of a skincare regime, there’s no denying that male grooming is here to stay.

Male grooming is on the up! Experts predict the global market will be worth US$29.14 billion by 2024. Young men the world over are perming their hair, fake tanning, using concealers to cover up imperfections and waxing their chest hair.

But if you’re not in your twenties or early thirties, the idea of male grooming can be a bit alarming. For many of us growing up in the seventies and eighties, the only truly manly thing to do was to go au naturel and let your body hair do what the hell it felt like.

There’s a growing group of older men, however, who are starting to become intrigued by the idea of smartening up a bit. Maybe you’re not ready for a man perm, but you wouldn’t mind trimming your nose hair and thinning out the unibrow?

If you fit into this category, we’ve rounded up three of the top entry level male grooming treatments to help you get started.

1. Wax that shoulder fluff

We all know that hairy shoulders aren’t a good look; so why do we feel like there’s nothing we can do about it? If a woman has body hair she’s unhappy with, she zaps it off without giving it a second thought. Why can’t a man do the same?

It’s a tricky area to treat yourself, so unless you have a friend or partner who’s handy with a waxing kit, best book yourself in with the beautician. It will take all of ten minutes and you’ll feel like a new man afterwards.

2. Trim your nasal hair

Another no brainer. You can even buy special clippers for the purpose, so if you’re letting your nose hairs hang loose because of some outdated notion of masculinity now’s the time to bite the bullet and cut them off.

This one is a two minute job that can be done at home, in the comfort of your own bathroom. No one even needs to know. But they might notice you’re looking a whole lot smarter all of a sudden.

3. Curtail those wayward brows

Even if you’re not sporting a unibrow yet, chances are that by the time you hit your mid-forties your eyebrows are starting to get out of hand. Now, no one’s suggesting you need to do a full Ru Paul, but there’s nothing wrong with plucking the odd stray hair and trimming the extra-long ones.

Again, I’d head to a professional for your first eyebrow session as this is a very visible part of your body, so you want to get it right. After you’ve had it done once you should have a better idea of the best tools to use, as well as knowing which hairs need removing completely and which just need trimming down a bit.


A 2015 study published in the Archives of Sexual Behaviour found that a man with a beard is more likely to hold hostile sexist views then their clean shaven peers. However, another study published in the same journal the following year disputed that.

So what is the truth? And how much can you really tell about a man by his facial hair?

Beards and sexism

The original study, carried out by Australian researchers Julian A Oldmeadow and Barnaby J Dixon, surveyed 223 men from the United States and 309 from India. Participants were asked to give their views on women using a survey specially designed to assess sexist views – the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory.

The results of the survey were pretty conclusive. After controlling for other demographic variables, men with facial hair were significantly more likely to agree with ‘hostile’ sexist statements. For example, they agreed with the statement ‘women seek to gain power by controlling men’, than those without.

There was no difference between bearded and clean-shaven men when it came to ‘benevolent’ sexist views. Views such as, ‘women should be cherished and protected by men’.

Cultural differences

The second study, which was conducted by Swedish researchers Kahl Hellmer and T Johanna Stenson, used the same survey but using a cohort of 312 Swedish men. This study found no link at all between facial hair and sexism.

So why would bearded men from India and America be more sexist than their Swedish counterparts?

The researchers argue that in some countries, like Sweden, facial hair tends to be for stylistic choice. But in others, such as India and the US, it is more about fitting into certain socio cultural or religious groups. And these groups may be more likely to hold old-fashioned views around gender.

The counter-argument

The researchers from the original study responded to Hellmer and Stenson. They agreed that there is a link between facial hair and some religious or cultural groups. But they argued that the conclusion of their survey is still valid:

“If the relationship between facial hair and sexism is mediated by cultural groups that promote both conservative values and facial hair, the question remains.  Why do such groups promote facial hair?”

Don’t judge a man by his beard

So if you’re not from India or the US, and you don’t belong to a particular social group that holds sexist beliefs, your beard is unlikely to announce to the world that you’re a bigot.

But there are plenty of other character traits associated with facial hair. Some research projects have shown that beards are associated with aggression, others that bearded men are perceived as less generous and socially able.

On a positive note, however, other studies have shown that women see men with beards as more masculine and also more likely to be a good father. So your facial hair could be your route to a long-term relationship?

At the end of the day, men choose to have facial hair for their own reasons, and more often than not it’s a purely aesthetic choice. So if you’re tempted to put down the razor for a while and see what happens, have the courage of your convictions and go for it.

Male grooming is often considered a modern phenomenon. ‘Real men’ don’t care about their appearance, scoff the critics. In fact, however, male grooming has a history dating back as far as Ancient Egypt.

We’ve taken a look at how men’s grooming secrets have changed over time.

Ancient Egypt

Back in 10,000 BC, it was all about the milk bath. The Ancient Egyptian man would recline in a bath of donkey milk to keep his skin soft and supple, before lining his eyes with kohl (a powdered mix of burnt almonds, lead and ash, among other things). Then, he smothered himself in essential oil to disguise any lingering body odour.

Roman times

The Romans were more concerned with cleanliness than their Egyptian forebears and there was a big focus on communal bathing and steam. Although like the Egyptians, they did have a predilection for essential oils, which they would add to their bath water to create a fragrant scent.

Roman men also experimented with hair dye, mainly as a way of maintaining a youthful appearance (no change there then). Sadly though, the dye they used was so corrosive that many of them ended up losing their hair completely.

Tudors and Stuarts

In the 17th century, men were discouraged from spending too much time on their appearance, for moral and religious reasons. Most men would visit the barber for a shave, but that was about the extent of men’s grooming at the time.

By the 18th century, however, more men were beginning to shave at home, and a sudden rush of associated products began to hit the market. From shaving soaps to powders and pastes.

Often these products were scented, and many claimed to serve other purposes as well. One liquid soap, produced in 1745, was purported to cure smallpox, ringworm and pimples, as well as making shaving easier. Male grooming was on the rise again.

The Victorian era

Forget shaving products, in Victorian times, beards began to make a comeback. Whilst many men were still investing in soaps and powders to help them shave, others were purchasing products like “Russian Oil”, which claimed to help your facial hair grow thick and lustrous.

Beard combs and clippers also started to become more popular at this time, with every bearded gentleman wishing his to be the most stylish facial hair in town.

Men’s colognes also started to make an appearance around this time, representing both a nod to, and a step up from, the essential oils used by their ancient forefathers.

Mid-twentieth century to today

By the 1950s, products like Brylcreem were having a moment, as men began to focus on the hair on their heads as well as their faces. The 60s and 70s saw us grow our hair and beards long, while the 80s sent us spiraling into the crazy world of the mullet.

Fast forward to today, and anything goes as far as male grooming is concerned. Men’s cosmetics are having a moment, but you wouldn’t expect every man to use them. Beards are in, but so is a clean-shaven face. And long hair is as acceptable as a shaved head.

Whatever your male grooming style, rest assured that men have been taking an interest in their appearance just as long as women have.

If there’s been one positive thing to come out of this pandemic, it’s got to be the normalisation of male grooming. In these days of Zoom conferencing and homemade music videos, the male beauty market has never been stronger.

We’ve seen increased interest in men’s cosmetics, not to mention the lockdown buzzcut. Now we’re going to talk about something even more unexpected – the rise of the man perm.

The man perm?

That’s right. And it does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a perm for men. Now this isn’t an entirely new concept. Those of you who were alive in the eighties might remember footballer Kevin Keegan and his spectacular mane? But the style has been brought up to date.

Whose idea was it to bring back the man perm?

It started as a TikTok trend, with boys and men the world over posting 60-second videos of themselves entering the salon, then following the process through to the end result. And it didn’t take long before others followed suit and a new craze entered the mainstream.

How’s it different from the man perms of the eighties?

These days men are aiming for a more relaxed, tousled look, rather than tight ringlets. And instead of a full head of curls, the trendiest guys opt for short back and sides. Think the curtains of the nineties. Only permed.

How can I get this look myself?

Well, you’ll have to wait until after lockdown if you want it done professionally. If you want to prepare your hair now though, you could do worse than opting for an old skool bowl cut, which should provide the shape you’re looking for. And if you’re keen to see how it might look on you before committing to a perm, experiment with the curlers at home.

What if my hair’s too short for a bowl cut?

This is your opportunity to grow it! Seriously though, if you want to try the man perm but aren’t up for growing out your hair, a lot of men with shorter hair are going for a tighter perm. Shave the back and sides (opt for a fade if you can), then try for really tight curls on top. This one might be difficult to achieve at home, but you’ll have plenty of time to experiment!

Once I’ve got my perm, what’s the best way to keep it looking good?

You’re going to want a lot of products. Gel is your friend if you like a wet look, otherwise use a texturising clay to help separate out those curls and give a bit of definition.


Hair loss. It’s a pretty major part of a lot of men’s lives once you reach a certain age. Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones, but chances are by the time you hit your late thirties your hairline isn’t what it once was.

So what can you do about it? Do you just soldier on and hope nobody notices? Shave your head? Invest hundreds of pounds in products to try and battle it? Or do you go the whole hog and go under the knife?

The truth is that there’s no right or wrong answer. But we’re here to help and we’ve put together some handy tips on each of the above options, to help make your transition to bald – or not – as easy as possible.

Shave it off and embrace the bald

This is a popular choice and one that often comes highly recommended from those who’ve done it. The problem is that unless you go for the full skinhead look, which involves a lot of upkeep, then your hair loss will still be noticeable.

Don’t despair though! There’s a nifty little procedure you can have done that will allow you to shave your head and still look like you could grow it all back any time you choose. It’s called scalp micropigmentation, or SMP, which is like a permanent make-up treatment for your head.

Pigment is injected into your scalp at varying angles and in several different shades, to create a very realistic effect of a full head of hair, just shaved very short. You can even choose your own hairline!

If you do plump for this option, remember to invest in some decent scalp care products. And don’t skimp on the razor either.

Hair loss products and treatments

There is no shortage of products on the market that claim to prevent hair loss, but whether they all work is another story. As a general rule, if you can buy it off the shelf in your local chemist, then it’s unlikely to restore you to your former glory.

There are plenty of products and treatments out there that do work, but you will need to do some research. Your best option is to consult with a hair loss specialist, or trichologist, to discuss your options.

Laser treatments, topical treatments and hair loss ampoules can all be very effective, but whether they will work for you will depend on many factors, including the type of hair loss you are experiencing and how advanced it is.

Hair transplant

This one isn’t for the faint-hearted, as it can involve several hours on the operating table, but it is almost guaranteed to work.

In case you weren’t aware, hair transplant surgery involves harvesting hair follicles from a donor site (usually at the back of the head) and transplanting them to an area where the follicles have died off (most commonly around the temples). It can take a few months for final results to be seen, but there have been considerable advances in this treatment.

One thing to consider when planning a hair transplant though is that while it will replace the hair you have lost, it won’t do anything to prevent further hair loss, so you may need to hold onto some cash for a repeat procedure in the future.

Of course, the other option is to just accept your hair loss for what it is and carry on regardless. All we can say is, good luck! But if you’re tired of being bald and want to take back control, then pick up the phone and speak to one of our experts today on 07968 230787!

Beards are resolutely having a moment. They were pretty popular pre-Covid, but lockdown saw them become even more ubiquitous.

Whether it was the freedom of working from home spurring us on to experiment with our facial hair, or the apathy engendered by structureless days of furlough meaning we couldn’t be bothered to shave, one way or another most of us ended up sporting some kind of beard by the time we were finally able to get back to some form of normality.

But that’s just when things started to get tricky. Because as soon as shops, bars and restaurants started opening their doors again, we were expected to start wearing face masks in public.

Face masks and beards – a match made in hell

Face masks are now mandatory in most enclosed spaces, so simply not wearing one is not an option. And whilst some of us have reverted to the clean-shaven look post lockdown, for many of us our beards have become an integral part of who we are. So it’s imperative that we find a way for both beard and mask to work together.

But let’s face it, it’s not a great combination. Face masks tend to crush your beard, leaving it out of shape when it is eventually released back into the open air. They can also be very uncomfortable, forcing hairs to lie in the wrong direction, tickling your nose and lips – and God forbid you scratch!

Dampness can be an issue too – as breath and saliva get caught in the mask they bounce back to your facial hair, causing irritation.

So what can be done about it?

Believe it or not, some masks are better than others when it comes to wearing them with beards.

Look for a longer, pleated style, which ties at the back, rather than hooking over the ears. This allows you to tie at the back of the neck, allowing your beard more freedom to roam. Some brands also offer masks in a range of sizes – this is great, because the larger the mask the better in terms of beard accommodation.

There’s even an Etsy shop selling a beard-specific mask/bandana combo. Unhinged Labs makes beard-friendly face masks that fall right down the neck so your beard can hang naturally. With clear acrylic side pieces to prevent breath escaping, the masks are both practical and comfortable according to wearers – one of whom told the Strategist he found them “more breathable than a normal mask”.

Should I just give up the beard?

That’s a decision only you can make. But if you’re thinking about shaving it off purely on the basis of the impracticalities of mask wearing with a beard, why not consider one of the mask options mentioned above?

With a bit of work you could even fashion your own beard-friendly version; perhaps go a step further and make them to sell. In these trying times, it’s a business idea that could have legs.

With winter looming and most areas of the country already seeing restrictions on social mixing, now could be the time to start planning your look for the next lockdown.

Too many of us got caught out last time, just a fews days off from that monthly trip to the barber, and woefully unprepared for Zoom conferences with colleagues and clients. So this time, preparation is key.

Bring back the buzz

As far as men were concerned, the isolation buzzcut was the look of the first lockdown. Sharp, slick, easy to both create and maintain, shaven heads were being touted as the next big thing by celebrities the world over.

Line of Duty actor Stephen Graham posted footage online of his son shaving his head for him, while footballer Héctor Bellerín shared his finished look with followers, captioning it: “Stay home, enjoy the sun”.

But while it might seem like the easy option, we’ve all seen enough patchy, scarred scalps to know not to get too blasé… So what can you do now to ensure that you look as good as possible in that next video meeting?

Take a trip to the barber while you still can

Let’s not beat about the bush – there’s a reason so many of us entrust our hair to these guys. They’re trained professionals, and if anyone’s going to know which grade of buzz will suit you best, it’s your barber.

Bear in mind that there’s a possibility that you might not be able to get there again for a few months, so make sure you get as many tips as you can while you’re there, so you can reproduce the look at home with minimal fuss.

If you’re married or have a live-in partner, you might even want to take them along – the ideal scenario is that someone else shaves your head for you, so you may as well prepare them too.

Make sure you have all the right tools

If you’re going to brazen it out and go for the full skin head, some men even use a disposable razor. But as a general rule, the better the razor, the better the end result. If you invest in some decent electric clippers now, you’ll be reaping the benefits in months to come.

You might also want to think about products – with winter approaching, we’re all going to be spending a lot of time in centrally heated environments, and that can play havoc with an exposed scalp. Consider splashing out on a decent scalp conditioner to avoid embarrassing flakes.

Fill in any patches

Finally, it’s worth turning a critical eye to your hair line and crown. Are there any thinning areas that might become more apparent with a shorter cut? If so, that doesn’t have to spell the end of your buzzcut dreams.

Scalp micropigmentation (SMP) offers a quick and effective way to disguise hair loss, using pigment injected into the scalp to mimic the effect of real hair. The procedure actually works best with a shaved head, so if a bit of patchy hair loss is all that’s stopping you from taking the plunge, this could be the answer to your prayers.

Book it in now and you’ll be smooth and suave by the time any more big announcements are made.

There’s nothing like a pandemic to get men wearing makeup, said no one ever. But believe it or not, since the COVID 19 virus took hold in January, men’s cosmetics have seen a real boost. Web searches for ‘male make-up looks’ were up about 80% in April on the same period in 2019.

So why would a deadly global virus be causing men to wear foundation? This didn’t happen during the plague, did it? Well, not that we’re aware of. But one major difference between then and now is the number of conference calls we’re putting in – and if there’s one thing Zoom’s good for, it’s making you starkly aware of every blemish and dark circle.

The male makeup evolution

Rather than a revolution, proponents of men’s cosmetics see the process as more of an evolution – over the past few decades, it has become much more commonplace for men to take an interest in fashion and look after their skin and hair, so makeup seems like a logical next step.

And it’s not like men wearing make-up is a brand new phenomenon; David Bowie was doing it in the seventies. But the way we’re wearing it now is different. Where Bowie and his contemporaries were all about the shock factor, with glittery eyeshadows and heavy kohl, these days we’re after a more natural look.

The Zoom effect

Yes, men’s makeup is no longer about creating sexual ambiguity, or the ‘metrosexual’ look. The men of today want much the same effect from their cosmetics as women do – simply put, to make the best of what we’ve got. When we’re spending up to eight hours a day staring at images of ourselves on Zoom, we want to feel confident in what we see.

Danny Gray has been wearing makeup since his teens, when he would raid his sister’s concealer to cover up his acne-prone skin. “Growing up,” he says, “I never felt there was a brand for me.” A problem which inspired him to launch his own cosmetics line for men – the popular brand War Paint.

Gray has definitely noticed the effect lockdown has had on his brand: War Paint saw record sales in June. “I think maybe it has pushed things a little more quickly,” he says. Although he thinks the march was already underway.

Make-up for men: what’s holding you back?

There are a few things that prevent men from taking the leap into wearing cosmetics, according to Gray, and one is the preconceptions surrounding it. When we think of men in make-up, we tend to think of Bowie and his ilk, and if that’s not your style you might assume that make-up isn’t for you.

Another factor putting men off is the idea that make-up application is complicated:

“When I was learning to apply makeup, I was going to female brands and found it very complicated,” says Gray. “The order of the products, the contouring. Guys think it’s going to take forever.”

With that in mind, War Paint is deliberately quick and easy to use:

“My routine takes five minutes… We offer simple steps to get the best out of the product,” claims Gray.

It’s certainly not for everyone, but if the thought of logging into your next Zoom meeting with a fresh, flawless face appeals to you, rest assured you wouldn’t be the first man to reach for the concealer wand.


This contact form is deactivated because you refused to accept Google reCaptcha service which is necessary to validate any messages sent by the form.


It’s all on the head

A work of art using a creative process to recreate the most realistic 3D look of micro hairs on the scalp – the best a head can get!


It’s all on the head

A work of art using a creative process to recreate the most realistic 3D look of micro hairs on the scalp – the best a head can get!