Sunday 20 August 2017

Rise of young women going 'au naturel' as nearly a quarter don't shave their underarms

Image: Getty
Image: Getty
Miley Cyrus speaks onstage at the 2015 amfAR Inspiration Gala New York at Spring Studios on June 16, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images) Restrictions

Olivia Rudgard

Almost one in four young women have stopped shaving their underarms, figures show.

Research by analysts Mintel shows that there has been a steady decline in millennial women removing hair from their legs and underarms.

In 2013 95pc of women aged 16 to 24 said they removed hair from their underarms. In 2016, this had dropped to just 77pc.

Leg-shaving is also falling out of fashion - in 2013 92pc t said they shaved their legs, a proportion which had fallen to 85pc in 2016.

Miley Cyrus speaks onstage at the 2015 amfAR Inspiration Gala New York at Spring Studios on June 16, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
Restrictions
Miley Cyrus speaks onstage at the 2015 amfAR Inspiration Gala New York at Spring Studios on June 16, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images) Restrictions

Industry figures show that sales of shaving and hair removal products fell by 5pc between 2015 and 2016, from £598m to an estimated £567m.

Roshida Khanom, associate director in beauty and personal care at Mintel, said that women were influenced by the wellness movement.

Products such as shaving foam and hair removal cream are perceived to be bad for the skin, leading women to shun them in favour of natural beauty products.

"Clean eating is behind some of those changes. They're worried about causing irritation from their skin because of these products.

"We can also see that they're doing other things instead - so 29pc say they're adding steps to their skincare routine.

"There's also some pushing back against societal expectations of what women should look like," she said.

The "free from" trend, which sees women rejecting chemicals in favour of natural products, has been influential, with 53pc of women saying they only use products with "natural" ingredients.

Prominent food bloggers including Ella Woodward have written about using natural beauty products.

The writer, who has been a central part of the "wellness" trend, which champions natural ingredients in food, wrote in a post in 2014 that she uses coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, turmeric, honey and spirulina as part of her beauty routine.

Ms Khanom added that other trends have taken precedence over shaving. Women are increasingly likely to spend money on contouring products and coloured cosmetics popularised by beauty bloggers and celebrities including Kim Kardashian, in an effort to express their creativity.

A feminist push back against the removal of body hair has also influenced women's choices.

Julia Roberts famously attended the premiere of Notting Hill in 1999 with unshaven armpits.

More recently Madonna's 20-year-old daughter Lourdes was pictured on a beach in Miami with her armpit hair on show.

Growth in menswear is outstripping growth in women's clothing. Figures show that the menswear market grew by 2.8pc while sales of women's clothes grew by an estimated 1.3pc - the lowest level in five years.

Women's spending on handbags had also slowed, with growth of 2.6pc in 2016 compared to 5.3pc in 2015.

"The sector has been hit by a combination of factors including a slower pace of growth at the luxury end of the market and a continuing shift away from people spending their extra money on  fashion items to spending more on leisure," the British Lifestyles report said.

Men's increasing interest in image has driven growth in sales of conditioner, the report added.

Seventy per cent of men aged 16-24 now say that they use conditioner, an increase from 44pc in 2015.

Telegraph.co.uk

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