Health and Beauty

Interest in grooming is prevalent in men and women, but although they seem equally prepared to exercise in the interests of looking and feeling good, men lag behind when it comes to using professional hair and beauty services, and in following

<b>Attitudes towards personal care</b> % all adults apply a lot a little not at all I think getting enough sleep is very important to how you look 65 20 15 My appearance is very important to me 59 30 11 I take exercise regularly 42 27 31 I wish I could lose weight 27 26 47 You only look as good as you feel 64 25 11 I follow a special diet to maintain my appearance 18 22 60

Attitudes towards personal care

<b>Frequency of visiting hair-dresser or barber</b> – % all adults Once a week or more often 4 Once every two or three weeks 7 Once every month 22 Between a month and three months 41 Less than every three months 10

Frequency of visiting hair-dresser or barber

<b>Things done regularly by a hairdresser</b> – % all visiting at least every three months A dry cut 50 Cut & blow-dry 43 A wet cut without drying 20 Colouring or bleaching 21 Shampoo & Set 12 Permanent Wave 8

Things done regularly by a hairdresser

<b>Exercise taken at least once a week</b> – % all adults Run, jog or power-walk 28 Work out at home 26 Take an active part in a sport 26 Swim for exercise 23 Bicycle for exercise 18 Attend a gym 15 Attend an exercise class 12 None of these 33

Exercise taken at least once a week

<b>Services used at least once every three months</b> – % all adults Beauty salon treatment for the face 7 Beauty salon treatment for the body 7 Sports massage 4 Sauna or Turkish Bath 9 None 81

Services used at least once every three months

Exclusive research for Marketing Week shows that the majority of the population places a high priority on personal appearance and fitness – and the effort that they are prepared to put into maintaining them. NOP Research Group asked 1,000 people aged 15 or over about their personal care regimes, including exercise, sport, hairdressing and using beauty salons, and about the underlying attitudes that prompted their involvement.

Nine out of ten people interviewed agreed that their “appearance was very important” to them; the majority – six out of ten – placing great importance on how they look. Age had very little bearing on the interest people took in their appearance. Pensioners showed the same level of concern as under-25-year-olds, and there was virtually no difference between people belonging to different socio-economic groups or living in different parts of the country. But women were much more interested in grooming than men, with two-thirds placing great importance on their appearance, compared with just over half of the men interviewed.

Although most people agreed that “you only look as good as you feel”, the majority were supplementing inner contentment with concrete steps to maintain or improve their appearance and fitness. Eighty-five per cent of the population believed that “getting enough sleep is very important to the way you look”; more energetically, two-thirds claimed to take regular exercise.

Just over half the population wished they “could lose weight”, although only four out of ten were actually “following a special diet to maintain [their] appearance”. The desire to be slimmer – and the active pursuit of weight loss – seemed to be mainly a feminine concern. Nearly two-thirds of the women in NOP’s survey expressed the desire to lose weight, compared with four out of ten men – and women were twice as likely to be keen dieters.

Exercise and sport

NOP asked everyone participating in the survey to select which exercise they took at least once a week, from a list of seven types. Two-thirds took at least one type of exercise, while just over a quarter – 27 per cent – took two or three, and 12 per cent did four or more.

“Running, jogging or power-walking” was the most popular form of exercise, undertaken by 28 per cent of all adults – perhaps because it required little or no specialist equipment or expenditure. “Working out at home” or “taking an active part in a sport” was almost as widespread, followed by 26 per cent. Just under a quarter “swam for exercise” at least once a week, 18 per cent “bicycled for exercise”, 15 per cent attended a gym, and 12 per cent an exercise class.

As people get older, their involvement in regular physical exercise diminishes. Nearly nine out of ten 15- to 24-year-olds practised at least one of the activities on NOP’s list at least once a week, compared with three-quarters of 25- to 34-year-olds. The decline levelled off, hovering around two-thirds throughout the 35- to 64-year-old groups, but then fell sharply; only 47 per cent of the over-65s exercised regularly.

Although men and women are equally active, their exercise regime tended to take a different form. Gym usage, home work-outs, swimming and cycling were equally popular with both sexes, but women were three times more likely than men to attend an exercise class, and twice as many men as women played a sport.

Under-25-year-olds had the highest level of involvement in all the types of exercise on NOP’s list. More than four out of ten young people played a sport, “ran, jogged or power-walked”, or “worked out at home”, nearly twice the average level of all ages interviewed.

The professional and managerial group, the ABs, were the most committed to exercise. Nearly eight out of ten people in this group took regular exercise, compared with seven out of ten white-collar and blue-collar workers. ABs had the highest participation rates in all NOP’s exercise categories, and they were particularly prominent in playing sports, swimming and using a gym.

Hairdressing and beauty

Three-quarters of all adults go to a hairdresser or barber at least every three months. Of these regular customers, three out of ten made a monthly visit, and 15 per cent (“frequent customers”) went more than once a month. Beauty salon or sports massage treatments had a much smaller franchise. Only a fifth of the population took any face or body treatments as often as once every three months; just under one in ten people had a sauna or Turkish bath, seven per cent a facial, and seven per cent a body treatment.

The most basic of hairdressing services, the “dry cut”, is also the most widespread; of all the people who go to a hairdresser four or more times a year, half “regularly” have a dry cut, seven per cent more than a cut and blow-dry and more than twice as many as a wet cut. A fifth regularly have their hair coloured or bleached. Only eight per cent have a regular permanent wave, twice as many as have a shampoo and set, which tends to be applied to permed hair.

Women are by far the more important customers for hairdressers. Not only do they tend to visit more frequently, they also favour more time-consuming – and expensive – treatments. Men make up three-quarters of customers for dry-cutting, the quickest and cheapest process. By comparison, two-thirds of “cut and blow-dry” consumers are women, and they form the vast majority of customers for all other services.

The customer profile of most hairdressing services is surprisingly stable across the main divisions of age, social class and geographic regions. The main exceptions are the linked markets for shampoo and set and permanent waves, which would vanish without the regular support of those over 55, who make up more than six out of ten customers.

Main Findings

– Six out of ten adults say their appearance is very important to them

– Two-thirds take regular exercise

– A third go to a hairdresser at least once a month

– A fifth have a face or body treatment at least once every three months

<b>Attitudes towards personal care</b> % all adults apply a lot a little not at all I think getting enough sleep is very important to how you look 65 20 15 My appearance is very important to me 59 30 11 I take exercise regularly 42 27 31 I wish I could lose weight 27 26 47 You only look as good as you feel 64 25 11 I follow a special diet to maintain my appearance 18 22 60

Attitudes towards personal care

<b>Frequency of visiting hair-dresser or barber</b> – % all adults Once a week or more often 4 Once every two or three weeks 7 Once every month 22 Between a month and three months 41 Less than every three months 10

Frequency of visiting hair-dresser or barber

<b>Things done regularly by a hairdresser</b> – % all visiting at least every three months A dry cut 50 Cut & blow-dry 43 A wet cut without drying 20 Colouring or bleaching 21 Shampoo & Set 12 Permanent Wave 8

Things done regularly by a hairdresser

<b>Exercise taken at least once a week</b> – % all adults Run, jog or power-walk 28 Work out at home 26 Take an active part in a sport 26 Swim for exercise 23 Bicycle for exercise 18 Attend a gym 15 Attend an exercise class 12 None of these 33

Exercise taken at least once a week

<b>Services used at least once every three months</b> – % all adults Beauty salon treatment for the face 7 Beauty salon treatment for the body 7 Sports massage 4 Sauna or Turkish Bath 9 None 81

Services used at least once every three months

Analysis: The Human Factor

Contact: Elaine Hunt

Telephone: 01993 831202

NOP Research Group interviewed a sample of 1000 adults over the age of 15 using its Weekend Telephone Omnibus

Contact: Carol Bernasconi on 020 7890 9565

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