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25 October 2014

More than 2 million* Aussie women regard good hair and grooming as essential to their wellbeing.

Australia’s $3.9 billion hair and beauty industry is in safe and well-groomed hands as new research suggests that at least one in four Aussie women consider regular grooming essential to their wellbeing. This is according to the latest research from the 2014 RaboDirect Financial Health Barometer.

More than 20,000 hair and beauty businesses cut, polish and wax Australia’s 17 million adult men and women, with the average adult contributing over $200 annually to keep themselves looking their best**.

Whilst once considered luxury or discretionary spend, the RaboDirect research has revealed males are even more likely than females to be completely happy with their life when they regard their physical appearance as essential to their wellbeing. The RaboDirect study asked a sample of 2,300 people about their grooming habits and general levels of happiness. The results showed that 58% of men and 46% of women who regard maintaining their physical appearance as essential to their wellbeing rating themselves as completely happy.

But is this money well spent? According to RaboDirect spokesperson, Carmen Kalinowski, there is nothing wrong with spending on hair, health and beauty as long as this doesn’t impact our overall financial wellbeing. “If good grooming has a profound effect on levels of happiness and wellbeing then we certainly wouldn’t suggest embracing regrowth, chipped nails or split ends. But by being smarter about where you keep your money, for example by careful budgeting and using a high interest savings account, you can not only maintain your appearance but also have money tucked away for a rainy bad hair day that you may not have been expecting.”

Key findings:
  • 30% of women and 22% of men regard regularly buying new items of shoes and clothes as essential to their wellbeing
  • Across the generations it is Gen X (29%) that attach the most importance to new shoes and clothes in maintaining a sense of wellbeing – compared to 28% of Gen Y and 22% of Baby Boomers.
  • Almost one quarter of women (24%) and 12% of men regard their spending on grooming as essential to their wellbeing.
  • Gen Y were most likely to associate wellbeing with spend on hair and grooming (20%), compared to 19% of Gen X and 15% of Baby Boomers.

Ms Kalinowski concluded, “In the 2014 Financial Health Barometer we’ve been particularly interested in the link between money, wellbeing and happiness and we’ve seen that many things contribute to happiness and wellbeing such as good financial habits, contributions to regular savings and even good hair.”

Notes to editors

* One quarter of adult women is approximately equal to 2 million (25% of 8.5 million)

** Calculation based on the size of the hair and beauty industry ($3.9 billion) according to IBIS World divided amongst the adult population of 17 million