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.
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.
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?