Some newly unemployed men are willing to take it on the chin—literally. The “recession beard” has emerged as the new act of “playful rebellion” against being a “corporate slave,” Esquire’s grooming editor—who also works for Norelco—tells Advertising Age. Despite the trend, the industry is sitting pretty, with Norelco seeing a 24% jump in sales of grooming products.
Men “desire to be a little more natural and casual,” says the Esquire editor. The chin-sweater trend could be the peak of a decade-long face-fuzz sea change; the logical next step would be the end of the stubble trend. “Let's face it,” said one industry rep, “the guy who's clean-shaven and showered has a better chance of getting the job than the scruffy, grungy guy.”