It seems Meghan Markle’s not the only newlywed royal trend-setter — Prince Harry has sparked a renaissance for the beard, if latest figures in male beauty trends are to be believed.
According to a new consumer spending report by data firm IRI, sales of hair care products amongst men in the UK have jumped by a whopping 226 per cent in the last three years. And in the last twelve months alone, British men spent almost $9 million on specific beard care products, such as beard oil.
And IRI think the Prince has something to do with the trend. The firm’s Head of Health & Beauty Retail Insights, Chloe Humphrey-Page, shared some observations with The Telegraph, crediting the Duke of Sussex with the sharp rise in beard grooming. “Prince Harry’s decision to marry in uniform with a beard was widely reported on and shows even the Royals are embracing the beard in all its glory… It’s never been more popular and the Royal Wedding will only add to this popularity.”
We all know the hipster beard trend made something of a cultural splash the last decade, but Harry’s influence surely reaches beyond the confines of millennials in coffee shops and tech companies. Indeed, Humphrey-Page noted the popularity of products containing natural oils like coconut and jojoba, which help with texture and appearance, point towards men sporting smarter, neater beards “with pride.” If it’s smart enough for a royal wedding, it’s surely smart enough for your regular Joe — it seems the beard is shaking off its counter-cultural associations.
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But don’t let all these numbers fool you into thinking men are suddenly all over their personal grooming — the booming beard trend runs opposite to patterns in general male grooming which has seen a clear, though not major, decline. General men’s grooming products have decreased 9 per cent in sales, to the tune of around $9 million.
With grooming spending going down, and beard oil spending going up, it’s clear the beard is here to stay (a quick Instagram search of the hashtag #beardgoals yields no fewer than 101,000 posts), and if we have Prince Harry to thank for it, then long live the Prince.