For us men, there are few decisions we take more seriously than to grow, shave off, or restyle our facial hair. Just like clothes and the hair on the top of our heads, beards and mustaches go in and out of fashion regularly.
Why Do We Grow Beards?
There is obviously some sort of evolutionary reason why men can still grow facial hair, though scientists do seem to keep debating the exact cause. Regardless of the biological rationale, it is just a fact that almost all of us can grow some facial fuzz of some sort. And although there are many reasons why one may decide to grow or stop growing a beard, they can be usually grouped into a few main reasons:
- We don’t want to keep shaving all the time
- We think it looks good
- It keeps our face warm
- It helps us look older/younger
Growing a beard is a very personal choice, so ultimately, only you can decide whether to opt for a subtle five o’clock shadow or to go all-in on the face foliage.
How to Choose the Right Beard
The first thing you need to do is settle on a style. This will partly come down to how much coverage your facial hair has because if your mustache grows much slower (or not at all) than your beard, you’ll look like Abe Lincoln. However, if your mustache growing is up to the task, you could try and rock the handlebar look.
If you want it to make you look older, consider the classic mouth-brow look and join the mustachioed-man club with the likes of Ned Flanders, Hulk Hogan, and Tom Selleck. However, if you’d like to look a bit younger and trendier, you may want to find something more fashionable.
Beards come in and out of fashion frequently, but one way to stay on top of what’s in style is by looking at what celebrities do. Many celebrities are known for their famous facial hair, Jason Statham has rocked the long stubble for quite some time, while Nick Offerman’s ‘stache was legendary in Parks and Recreation (though he has now grown out his beard to match). In the poker world, there’s plenty of facial hair too, you can see just about every possible style of beard and mustache at the tables of the biggest tournaments, from Steve Zolotow’s “Ming the Merciless” mustache to Jason Mercier’s big bushy beard.
How to Tame Your Man Mane
Once you’ve decided on a style and grown it out, you need to take care of it. If you don’t, it will grow out of control, look wiry and wispy, and create the opposite appearance to what you’re aiming for.
There are a few things you can do to keep your face fleece under control.
Firstly, washing and conditioning it like you would your other hair will help keep it clean, soft, and shiny. Once it’s dry, you’ll want to brush or comb it (depending on the length).
Every so often, it’s worth giving your beard and mustache a trim. If you don’t, some hairs will grow faster than the rest and it’ll develop a messy and untamed look that’ll leave you resembling Tom Hanks from Cast Away. When you do this, don’t forget to define your neckline with a razor to avoid an overly bushy neckbeard.
Once you’re done with trimming, finish it off with some beard oil. This will help to lock in moisture that’ll keep it looking fresh and healthy. Just spray on and comb it through and you’ll be good to go.
What About Colors?
For many men, the hair of our beard doesn’t match the colour of the hair on our heads. Sometimes it can go even further, growing with patches of different colours in different areas. There’s no hard and fast rule here.
If you have a head of dark hair and a bushy ginger beard, you may be able to pull off the look, but you may feel you don’t have the confidence to be that bold.
Similarly, you may find that your beard turns grey before the rest of your hair does, but flecks of silver don’t mean you have to walk around with a bare face. You could always bleach it, but Brad Pitt, Samuel L. Jackson, Jon Hamm, Justin Theroux, and Joe Manganiello have all proven that a touch of grey can still look cool.