A compliment or two would sure make these guys’ day.
Half of men currently have grey hair (49%), and two-fifths of them are self-conscious about it (44%), according to a new study.
A survey of 2,000 men across all generations looked into how they deal with natural changes to their appearance that come with aging.
It found that most men who have grey hair worry that it makes them look older (70%), and another 42% are concerned about others’ opinions, specifically that they’d be seen as less attractive with grey hair.
While going grey can be something that some start to see as early as their 20s, Gen Xers and baby boomers shared that they weren’t comfortable being grey until they were nearly 50.
Perhaps this is why 38% opt to cover up their grey hair.
Conducted by OnePoll in partnership with L’Oreal Paris, the survey also found that more than half of American men sometimes feel insecure about their overall looks (56%).
Millennials feel the most self-conscious about their physical appearance (78%) versus 62% of Gen Zers and 55% of Gen Xers.
The data suggests that men, on average, feel insecure about their looks three times a week, worrying about factors like their weight (37%) and how their eyes look (22%).
While nearly two-thirds of all respondents like their overall natural look (64%), 56% said they feel less confident when they’re not looking their best.
One of the top concerns for millennials (34%) and Gen X men (39%) is going grey, which can contribute to why 45% of men admitted they sometimes feel pressure to look younger than they are.
Millennials (88%) and the silent generation (79%) especially worry about looking as young as other men in their age range.
“The physical, outward signs of aging can be an emotional journey," said Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, L’Oreal Paris international spokesperson. "We are all on our own paths and embracing the process can mean many things – for example, some may feel confident and empowered by going completely gray, whereas others feel the same way about applying hair dye. Ultimately it’s important to be the best you can be, at any age, and only you can define that for yourself.”
And half of all men said they put more effort into upkeeping their looks than others may think (51%).
More than a third of respondents spend over half an hour a day trying to look their best (36%), with Gen Xers and millennials putting in the most time.
Looking and feeling their best varies across the generations, with Gen Zers prioritizing showering (48%) and picking out nice clothes (39%). Meanwhile, baby boomers shave (34%) and style their hair (33%) to get that extra boost of confidence.
It’s no surprise, then, that 61% of respondents said receiving compliments helps them feel more confident.
“As a barber and colorist, I see first-hand the impact that appearance can have on one’s confidence," said barber Rob McMillan. "Men are often overlooked in this aspect, but in reality, they can just as impacted by women. If my clients choose to cover their greys, I always encourage them to make sure it’s coming from within and not because they feel pressured by external factors."