Who is a Millennial, why are they important and what does this mean to the beauty and barber industry? I am a Millennial, and an old one at that having been born in 1983 under the Reagan Administration and MTV had already taken the nation’s’ airwaves by storm.

The range of birth years for Millennials is 1981-1997. We have two distinctive sides of our personalities that has been impacted by our up-bringing and society as a whole. On one side, we are a generation plagued by some stereotypical terms like; hipsters, self-entitled, annoying, narcissistic, opinionated. And the flip-side we are; civic minded, globally conscious, environmentally friendly, seekers of work-life balance and super tech savvy.

Recently the global Millennial population surpassed that of the Baby Boomers! Globally, we make up 27% of the entire world population, approximately 2 Billion Millennials world-wide. So without a doubt, this generation of DIY’ers, innovators, craftspeople and tech savvy consumers are making an impact in society. As Millenials, we revel in the past, embrace the present and are seeking more for our future. We embrace all the past generations; we are on the cusp of a new and modern “Arts and Crafts Movement” which was first seen in the USA economy in 1910. This generation is on the forefront of societal change; from the fast-paced, “bigger is better” to a paradigm shift of “buy local” and quality versus quantity mentality. So what exactly does this mean or have to do with the beauty and barber industry?

Here is an excerpt from a that discusses trade school vs universities:
‘What advice should one give to a young person? If you have a natural bent for a scholarship; if you are attracted to the most difficult books out of an urgent need, and can spare four years to devote yourself to them, go to”. In fact. approach college in the spirit of craftsmanship, going deep into liberal arts and sciences. But if that’s not the case; if the thought of four more sitting in a classroom makes your skin crawl, the good news is that you don’t have to go through the motions and jump through the hoops for the sake of making a decent living. Even if you do go to college, learn a trade in the summers. You’re likely to be less damaged, and quite possibly better paid, as an independent tradesman than as a cubicle dwelling tender of information systems or a ‘low level’ creative. To heed such advice would require a certain contrarian streak, as it entails rejecting a life course mapped out by others as obligatory and inevitable.’ [1]

The beauty of the hair industry is that we are not replaced by technology. We are crafters of our own destiny. Our role and use of our hands to create cannot be shipped off shore, given to a tech company or lost. We, barbers, cosmetologist and instructors, create, discuss, manipulate and transform other people right in our own chairs, with our very own hands. This modern crafts movement continues to boom. We can see this in the industry as a whole but also in the Male category. The US Beauty Market is right now sitting at $62.4B and looking back to a decade ago it was $47.8B, the Men’s Market is right now sitting at $21.4 B industry and is expected to grow to over $26 B by 2020. [2]

The Millennials want the best in every aspect of their lives. They are seekers of information and of the highest quality. They want to learn, they want to be hands on, they are inspired by others that have passion.

We want inspiration, we don’t want mediocre. ‘These days, it’s the dreaded “millennials,” those seemingly over-confident 20-to-35-year-olds who are becoming an influential force in the business and consumer worlds. They’re energetic, fearless and uncannily comfortable with technology. And they’ve chosen the beauty and grooming industry as one of their favourite vehicles for creativity and self-expression. Within this erupting demographic, there’s an interesting societal twist∫ Young men are breaking out of old, conventional stereotypes about what is and isn’t “manly.” Unlike their dads, these dudes are pretty comfortable with the concept of investing time and money in their personal care. And they’re proving it in the professional grooming sector as avid and savvy users of grooming products and services, and as talented, forward-thinking grooming professionals.’ [3]

Content from:
1. Matthew Crawford, Shop Class As Soulcraft, Book 2009
2. Statista.com
3. Launchpad.com
4. AtKearny.co.uk