Facial Hair Trends

Facial hair has been one of the biggest trends in urban fashion for quite some time now. What started with the comeback of the moustache carried onto full beards, then thicker beards and vintage hairstyles like mutton chops and the Bandholtz beard. But could the days of the facial hair trend be numbered? There have been quite a few articles announcing the death of this trend. Some quoted science, explaining that the initial attractiveness of the beards and moustaches were down to their rarity. Now that everyone has one, claimed the reports, it makes more sense for men who want to stand out to actually shave their beards. This is especially true since big, unkempt-looking beards became popular, meaning men no longer needed to trim their facial hair regularly or spend time shaping it. But are men really abandoning facial hair in droves? Unfortunately for those who were so keen to see this trend die, the answer appears to be no. Flip through the pages of any fashion magazine for men and you’ll see plenty of bearded guys casually doing their thing. So if you’re considering growing or changing your facial hair, worry not. You’re still in good company.

The following guide will help you keep track of current facial hairstyles, so you can choose one that works for you.

Match your style to your face

Have you ever looked at your face and tried to define its shape? While this may not be a normal activity for you, it’s worth taking the time to become familiar with the shape of your face if you want to choose a flattering facial hairstyle. Not every style listed below will suit the shape of your face. We’ve noted suitable face shapes for each style listed, so that you can avoid unflattering styles.

Facial hairstyles

Shorter, thinner styles

Many men are now opting to leave big, bushy beards behind, turning instead to lighter styles.  Balbo beards, goatees (and related styles such as the extended goatee) are coming back into fashion, as well as styles literally grown out of the stubble. The shorter, trimmed styles can be made to fit any face shape. Balbo beards are particularly suited for men with narrow chins, while goatees are great for square and oval shaped faces. A step up from that is the circle beard, a combination of a moustache and a well-trimmed, short beard.

Full, trimmed beards

Another trend that seems to be following the lumberjack beard phase is to keep beards full, but carefully trimmed. These are often combined with waxed moustaches and groomed sideburns. The key here is regular trimming, shaping and treating your beard so that it doesn’t look unkempt. This is not to be confused with just letting your facial hair grow. Similarly to the shorter styles, there is a full beard style to suit any facial shape.

Wild man beards

While some say this trend is on its way out, evidence says otherwise. The lumberjack beard is still very much in fashion. This style of beard includes the Bandholtz (which requires hardly any trimming at all), the slightly more trimmed garibaldi, which is nonetheless a low-maintenance style and, of course, the faded styles that involve facial hair that joins the sideburns to the beard. While these may take a while to grow, once you’re there, you won’t really have to do very much to stay on trend. Minimum trimming is required.

Moustache only

Having spent a few years sporting large beards, some men are returning to the moustache days that pre-empted the beard revival. Everything from pencil moustaches to handlebars, imperials and other fancy shapes are now popular as ever. Handy if you want a cleaner look for summer but still don’t want to go clean shaven.

Shaving it all off

In the run up to summer, some men are opting to give facial hair a miss altogether. Many celebrities who were sporting beards not so long ago have abandoned theirs in favour of a clean shaven face, so why not you? Getting a shave will definitely make your hair cooler over the summer months and you cannot argue about how wonderful a fresh, close shave can feel.  Using an electric razor can make keeping your face shaved a breeze, so if you’re feeling a bit beard-heavy, why not give it a go?

Setting Up Your Home Recording Studio

If you are an audio enthusiast, you must have somewhere to record your track or music. You also need a place to rehearse for upcoming gigs. One of the best ways to start off is to have a home recording studio. Building one isn’t such a complicated task, as long as you follow a few guidelines from the experts. Let us dig into the list.

How Much Can You Spare?

You need to understand your budget. How much money are you willing to set aside for the equipment? The best approach is not to spend too little, especially if you are starting out because you might end up spending more in the long run. Why is this so? Well, if you only go for the cheapest equipment then you are not going to get satisfied until you get something better. However, if you spend a little bit more on better-sounding equipment, then you won’t have to run to the store any time soon to upgrade.

Hint: don’t just buy equipment because it is cheap, buy because you are going to use it. However, before you come up with a budget, understand what you already have.

The Computer

If you already own a good computer, you can perform a few upgrades to bring it to the level you want instead of going for a new one. This will help you save some money for other items. You can enjoy great deals on computers on various websites. Consider the storage size, multimedia cards and the RAM when making the purchase.

The good news is that most newer computers today can handle audio fairly well so don’t worry so much about getting the best computer on sale. You might make do with a refurbished model that will serve you the right way.

What should you look out for?

  • The Processor – if you are going to record quality music, you need a processor that can handle bigger loads. Go for a quad core processor with a minimum of 2.3 GHZ. The faster the processor speed the better.
  • Random Access Memory (RAM) – go for a minimum of 4 GB. More is better as well.
  • Hard disk space – if you get a computer with solid-state drive, the better. This is because these drives are fast. You can use the normal drives or buy an external drive to work with.

Having a computer begs the need for a backup solution for those times when there is a power outage and you are in the middle of production. Get a UPS for this purpose.

Audio Interfaces

The type of audio interface you choose goes hand in hand with the kind of music you produce. If your forte is electronic music that you record on the computer, all you need is an audio interface that incorporates analog to digital converters, which you can go ahead and hook the monitors to. These are ideal for electronic music only, because an A/D converter comes with limited capability.

If you plan to record vocals, then you need to have a converter that has two or more microphone inputs. You can use the inputs to record a wide variety of instruments. If you plan for live rehearsals along the way, get an interface with as many inputs as possible to make everything easier.


You need to pick a great pair of near-field monitors that can fit within the designated space but powerful enough to reproduce the mix perfectly. Fact: Mixers that are more expensive reproduce your mix much better than cheap monitors do. Well, high quality monitors promise just, well, higher quality.

One of the best ways to get the best monitor is by listening in to the sound they produce. Go online and find a supplier that has streaming options showing live demos. Let your ears help you make the ultimate decision.

Alternatively, find a monitor from a trusted brand, or read reviews left behind by previous users before you make a choice. These reviews usually clarify any doubts that you have with a certain item.

Setting Up Your Monitors

You need to keep in mind various aspects when setting up your monitors:

  • The Height: make sure the monitors are at the right height to hit your ears perfectly. The monitors ought to be at the height of your head, and the tweeters aimed at the top of your ears. This gives you the chance to listen to the full frequency of the monitors as you roll. Place them too low or too high and you won’t be able to hear the output correctly.
  • The Distance: place the monitors an equal distance from your head. Failure to do this leads to panning and stereo imaging issues. Your position plus the monitors ought to form an equilateral triangle.

The Microphone

You need a proper microphone for your recording studio. The number of mics you get will depend on the number of people in the band and the individual equipment you need to capture. While you are starting out, you need a decent mic to improve the sound you produce. The mics you choose ought to be ideal for vocals and acoustic guitar.

One of the top mics is the Shure MV71, a large-diaphragm condenser microphone that supports USB and iOS connectivity. This mic gives you five preset recording modes and effortless headphone monitoring. A front panel gives you touch control to allow you change the settings easily. The large diaphragm gives you full recording capabilities as well. Check out more on this mic at http://microphonegeeks.com/shure-mv51-condenser-usb-microphone-review/.

Tip for Buying Audio Recording Equipment

There are so many equipment to choose from, and if you aren’t careful, you might end up being overloaded with these options. See what everyone else is buying, because there must be a reason why they are going for the item. Additionally, get credible reviews from previous users. These reviews tell you exactly what others think about the product you are looking for and the experience they have had with it. You can get audio equipment on various reputable online markets.

The Bottom-line

Setting up a home recording studio isn’t a hard task, and it isn’t an easy one as well. You would love to know how much you want to spend and budget it accordingly. It is always better to invest in high quality so that you don’t have to upgrade often. You also need to understand the perfect setup for flawless recording. User reviews are vital for making the final decision, because they tell you about the equipment you wish to buy. Take your time, know your financial muscle, understand the options you have, and then make the perfect buying decision.