Which Skills May Be Going By the Wayside for Men?

Which Skills May Be Going By the Wayside for Men?

(STERLING, Ill.) November 15, 2016 – Throughout the course of history there have been skills long considered “essential” for guys to know how to do—fixing leaks, changing car oil, starting a fire without matches, cutting their own hair and more. Men’s grooming leader Wahl set out to uncover if guys still know how to perform these tried and true skills and whether they are embraced by today’s younger generation of guys - millennials. The results suggest that what was once considered need-to-know is no longer needed—or at least not as much. 

Down but Not Out

For the study, Wahl identified nine skills that have long been identified as essential for men and asked 1,000 guys nationwide to weigh in on their ability to perform them. Here’s how baby boomers and millennials responded when asked:  Which of these skills do you know how to do?

Essential skills chart by millennials and baby boomers.

Boomers Have the Edge

Not surprisingly, baby boomers had the edge in most of the skills, outpacing millennials in seven of the nine categories. Shoe shining had the widest education gap with boomers 38 percentage points ahead of millennials and fixing a leaky faucet close behind with a 35-percent gap.

According to the results, the skills that millennial men knew most include grooming, as well as diaper duty and oil changes, showing that younger guys aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty.

Haircutting: the Millennial Skill

While baby boomers were more apt to know how to perform most of the skills on the list, the one skill millennials embrace more than baby boomers is cutting their own hair (39 percent versus 28 percent).

“We are not surprised that today’s younger generations who grew up in a culture of convenience and technology at their fingertips are taking up home haircutting,” said Steven Yde, division vice president for Wahl. “We were excited to learn from the study that 63 percent of millennials who cut their hair taught themselves how to do it. New powerful clipper technology and haircutting video tutorials available online all help guys to make haircutting an essential skill they can do anytime, anywhere.”

Not only are millennials picking up a clipper to cut their own hair, they are doing it frequently. Seven out of 10 millennials who indicated that they know how to cut their own hair stated that they have done so in the past month.

For guys who want to take matters in their own hands and take pride in learning how to master these essential yet teachable skills, Wahl offers how-to videos and tips to achieve a variety of haircutting and facial hair styles on  For how-to videos on the other essential man skills on the list, visit

About Wahl Grooming

Since 1919, with the invention of the first practical electric hair clipper Wahl Clipper Corporation has been the leader in the professional and home grooming category. Still headquartered in Sterling, Ill., this year Wahl is celebrating its 97th anniversary. In addition to manufacturing clippers, Wahl recognized the need for an easier way to keep facial hair well-groomed and created the men’s trimmer category more than a quarter-century ago.  Today Wahl offers a complete line of facial hair trimmers that feature the latest in power and convenience, continuing the company’s legacy of superior grooming for real guys. For more information, visit

Editors’ note: The study, commissioned by Wahl, was conducted by Opinion Research Corporation and included a demographically representative U.S. sample of 1,000 men 18 years of age and older. The generational breakdown is defined by age as: Millennials (18- 35), Gen X (36-51) and Baby Boomers (52-70). The survey was conducted August 22-28, 2016.

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