Insights - Pragma reveal beauty habits across the UK

Insights - Pragma reveal beauty habits across the UK

23rd June 2015

Research uncovering the beauty habits of men and women across the UK has revealed that a surprising 1 in 5 men are passionate about their grooming routine.

Pragma Consulting, St Ives Group, surveyed 2,000 consumers, looking specifically at the behaviours driving beauty and grooming sector.

The UK Hair and Beauty industry is estimated to be worth £4.9bn, and the online channel is set to grow by over 80% in the next five years.

The study identified five key consumer segments in the beauty and grooming market, based on attitudes towards buying, interacting and engaging with products. Fanatical, committed, curious, presentable and functional – with a total of 20% of the men surveyed being fanatical and committed. On average, men own £71 worth of products, which although a long way behind the £203 average cost of a woman’s washbag contents, highlights men’s growing interest in looking and feeling good.


When it comes to navigating the makeover minefield, men rely mostly on family & friends (31%) but also on counter staff (18%), magazines (17%) and even their barber (15%) as trusted sources of guidance.

Online sources are also important, with 23% of women and 15% of men consulting online articles for ideas, as well as 20% of women watching YouTube vlogs, compared to 8% of men.


With so many ways to make a decision, marketers’ understanding of the right channels to use to target consumers is critical. The importance of harnessing emerging channels such as beauty subscription services, apps and YouTube, alongside more traditional tactics, features loud and clear in the results.

A total of 12% of women and 8% of men said they were aware of product subscription services, with 4% of both sexes saying they had used such services; a further 12% of men would consider trying them in the future. In addition, 11% of women also said they were aware of apps such as Make-Up Genius by L’Oreal, used to virtually test different make-up looks, with 7% having already tried them.  Meanwhile, 41% of women said that tester availability was a choice driver, compared to just 18% of men, highlighting that the concept of ‘try before you buy’ is important for consumers.

In terms of traditional channels, 12% of men are influenced to purchase products by advertising, compared to only 6% of women.  Brand name was almost equally important for both men (40%) and women (41%) as a factor in choosing a new product.


Research done, choice made, it’s time to buy. People still appear to be fairly traditional when purchasing, with physical channels dominating sales.

Men in particular continue to use supermarkets (69%) and pharmacies (39%) in their combination of channels.  But web-based sales are catching up: 49% of men have bought products online, only 9% less than women.

View the infographic here or head to Pragma's website to find out more about their latest research and work.

Share This

  • The findings reveal the huge opportunity in play for male beauty brands. Men’s grooming routines are now an accepted part of daily life. As we can see, many are proud to be looking after their appearance. They are willing to invest a significant amount of their disposable income in the right products that make them look and feel better.

    Helene Mills, Director, Pragma Consulting

  • Men are online as much as women but they are reverting in great numbers to more traditional channels for advice and to buy items. As male grooming flourishes, the opportunities to talk to them online will be paramount for brands, as will giving them the opportunity to try before they buy, which is currently dominated by female consumers. Equally, for brands to stand the test of time, the ability to keep people engaged beyond their initial interest will be critical.

    Helene Mills, Director, Pragma Consulting

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