SALES of beard nets are rocketing – thanks to Hipsters’ love of facial hair.
The trend for bushy beards has caused a problem for the food industry because of strict hygiene rules.
Beard wearers working in the preparation or packaging of food should wear a net – or snood – to stop customers getting a nasty surprise as they tuck in.
Firms that make the snoods report an increase of around a third in orders over the past three years.
The current trend for beards is said to have stemmed several years ago from the ‘Hipster’ subculture of New York, characterised by a bushy beard, shaven hair at the side, and tattoos.
Earlier this year it was reported sales of razor blades have suffered as a result of the trend but the million pound beard snood industry has reaped the rewards.
Lion Haircare & Disposables have invested in more staff and equipment to keep up with demand as the craze for breads has taken a hold in the UK and beyond.
The company based in Nottingham supply the snoods globally and have introduced a new range which include built-in antibacterial agents.
Adrian Wright, Chief Operating Officer at Lion Haircare & Disposables, said: “The last three years has seen a 32 per cent increase in beard snood volumes. This is a significant rise and we now sell well over three million snoods annually.”
“The rise in demand seems to be coming from a combination of factors. Trends towards more facial hair, whether that is full beard or the stubble look and increasing quality assurance demands during food preparation. The two aspects go hand in hand.”
He said the bread snoods have has to “evolve” to “meet the hygiene requirements of the latest facial hair fashions”.
Mr Wright continued: “This year our organisation modified its beard snood and hairnet products to include built-in antibacterial agents that inhibit microbial growth.
“It’s not something people necessarily want to think about, but germs are a consideration where hair is present. Even moderate stubble brings additional risks of touching and scratching.”
Barbers are also benefiting from the hipster trend.
Laura Howlett, manager at the Ruffians Barbers in Edinburgh, said: “For the last 18 months the trend has been really big.
“At least 60-65 per cent of our customers have beards. It’s quite a lot.”
She added: “People have always has stubble but guy of all ages, not just students, have decided they are going to grow beards.”