The Two Faces of Personal Grooming during the Pandemic

getting a haircut

Personal hygiene was in focus during the pandemic last year and this year, too. The World Health Organization (WHO) said that one of the most important things we can do is wash and sanitize our hands throughout the day. It also said to take a shower before entering your home when you went outside. All these measures reportedly protect you from contracting the virus. Of course, the fact that we were locked inside our houses for most of the past year means we cannot even think about personal hygiene or grooming without having an anxiety attack.

People have been so used to pampering themselves by going to the salon, spa, fitness centers, masseuse, and other establishments that it was particularly challenging to start cutting one’s own hair and shaving one’s beard during the lockdown last year. It was such a difficult transition that people are essentially divided into two groups: those that forego grooming altogether and decided to grow their hair to unusual lengths and those that took matters into their own hands and learned how to remove a pimple, give one’s self a facial treatment, and pluck his/her own eyebrows.

You can imagine how happy many people were when the lockdown restrictions were lifted and salons were back in full swing. Today, haircut places still have safety precautions, but they have started welcoming back their clients. The year that has passed was no joke, after all, that people cannot wait to start pampering themselves once more.

But how did the pandemic affect people’s thoughts on personal grooming and hygiene? How is it possible that some women thought it was unnecessary to shave their armpits? And what about the men who started showering three to four times a day for fear that a simple grocery run will turn them into a coronavirus vessel?

Liberating

In some cultures, people deliberately don’t shave their armpit hair and trim their mustache. Some religions prohibit women from cutting their hair that it goes way past their feet. Mintel’s research showed that 51% of beauty and personal care consumers in the United Kingdom felt during the lockdown that grooming was unnecessary. About 15% said they were removing their body and facial hair less often because of the pandemic.

It is liberating for some people, women especially, not to care if their hair was disheveled and the grays are coming out. Women have always felt the need to look put together every time they step out of the house. Having the excuse of closed salons allowed them not to care how they look like during the lockdown.

Of course, the reason is because of finances, too. People were, and still are, financially constrained. One of the first things they cut back on was their beauty and hygiene expenses. An ordinary germ-shield bar of soap is enough protection. Why would they need to buy that $10 soap to smell like lavender? Who would care under the circumstances last year?

Wake-up Call

grooming

On the other hand, manufacturing companies believe that the pandemic fueled the need for persona hygiene products. Consumers are more aware than ever before of how important it is to stay hygienic in and out of the house. More than hygiene, they also realized that they could do a lot of things themselves. They can dye and cut their own hair, give themselves a foot spa, and use a homemade wax to remove the body and facial hair.

As a result, people started investing in personal grooming supplies. They needed shears for their hair, a manicure/pedicure set, and some beeswax to make their skin feel youthful and supple. It seems to many that the pandemic became a sort of wake-up call to people who don’t take care of their health and looks.

Since the pandemic forced people to isolate themselves in their homes, they’ve had more time in their hands than ever before to learn new things and experiment with home-made beauty products. If it wasn’t for personal grooming, it was for curiosity and a way out of boredom. But the health and beauty industry was right in their assessment, in continuing to come up with new lines of products. The pandemic made it painfully obvious that people want to look good no matter what the circumstances are.

Many salons and spas are reporting that men specifically are more interested in their personal grooming. They have more male clients than before the onset of the pandemic last March. Some experts noted that this is because visits to the salon by men are usually for quick haircuts and beard trimming instead of women who usually have to stay hours in the salon to get a treatment done.

It can be said that the pandemic touched every facet of people’s lives. Even your personal grooming is somehow linked to the pandemic. Don’t lose focus on what’s important—grooming and hygiene. There are plenty of ways to protect yourself when you go to the salon. Or, in many cases, you can do the grooming yourself.

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