Bearded millennials are causing a crisis in the razor industry as the unshaven look loses its bad reputation

  • Beards remain extremely popular, especially among millennials. 
  • The era of beards is causing problems in the razor industry, with sales falling by 5.1% over the last year.
  • Razor makers like Gillette are scrambling to find a way to survive in the age of the beard.

The era of the beard lives on in 2018 — and it could be deadly news for the razor industry. 

The rise of the laid-back approach to shaving, most popular among men under the age of 45, is causing some serious problems and strategic readjustments in the razor industry, CNN's Nathaniel Meyersohn reports. 

"Today, men are not judged negatively when they skip a shave — it is not considered lazy or disrespectful," Massimiliano Menozzi, the vice president of Gillette North America, told CNN.  

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According to Gillette, studies show that the average number of times men shave per month has fallen from 3.7 to 3.2 over the last decade. And, that is resulting in some actual problems in the razor industry, with sales falling 5.1% by June 2018 compared to the year prior. 

With the downturn, CNN reports that razor makers are scrambling to adjust.

Gillette staged an "intervention" last year, slashing prices by an average of 12% and pushing facial-hair-maintenance tools like a beard trimmer. Edgewell, the parent company of brands like Edge, Schick, and Personna, is pushing e-commerce and relaunching its Schick Hydro brand in October. Razor startup Harry's raised $112 million in a round of financing earlier this year to move beyond men's grooming. 

There may be hope on the horizon. Edgewell CFO Rod R. Little said in a call with investors on Tuesday that the company is betting that due to the "cyclical nature of facial hair," the clean-shaven look should be back in due time. 

However, people have been calling for the end of the Age of the Hipster Beard for years now. Perhaps it is simply time to embrace a bearded generation of millennials and see whether the razor industry adapts or dies. 

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