When it comes to facial hair, do what makes you feel good, but first, please hear me out.
Many guys prefer to sport facial hair that I feel is, well, hideous. But that’s just my opinion. I’m not an expert, I just run a company that is dedicated to keeping men appearing and feeling well-groomed (wink).
Needless to say, facial hair is in style, and it is not a bad thing. I even sport a little myself. The new class of the unshaven are even creeping into that anti-facial hair establishment of old–the bank. An unshaven bank teller, you say? Yes, and for once banking felt a little more chill. Gotta love California.
A little facial hair can pull a look together, but always remember that the man makes the beard, not the other way around. It’s not cool to be known as “that guy with the beard”.
There are a number of allowable DOs when it comes to facial hair, but there are also some serious DON’Ts to avoid. Here are the DON’Ts of facial hair and how to remedy them.
#1 DON’T: The Full Bum Beard
This is the one that says, I’ve given up on my dreams, and I’m okay with that. While the self-awareness is commendable, it is also an announcement to the world. Keep your dreams alive and stay fresh.
The right way to pull this off: Get rich or enlightened
Don’t fool yourself, you are probably not Brad Pitt. Most of us live in the real world. Unless you are a guru, a rockstar, or you have a reality show about a duck whistles and bearded men, you should shy away from this look. People might just confuse your great ambitions for those of the Unabomber. But, again, it’s not about other people. If you are a bum at heart, than you go for it!
#2 DON’T: The 1-day stubble Beard
A.K.A. the “Slacker” look. It screams I don’t care who I bump into today because no one cares anyway. This is a sad look for you. Regardless how you feel, that is the perception. A non-deliberate looking shadow of facial hair looks like you either forgot to shave or you don’t care. The upside, though, is that if you don’t care, nobody will ever mistakenly judge you.
The right way to pull this off: 2-3 Day Stubble
This is one of the most popular looks going. If done right and it is consistent, it looks natural, but also deliberate enough to know that you haven’t just gotten lazy. Consistency is key to pulling this off. It actually takes work to maintain this look, and you will need the right trimming tool at your disposal to keep the length in tact, since some patches of hair grow faster than others.
#3 DON’T: The Dad Beard
When facial hair was out-of-style, this beard made frequent appearances at dinner tables around the country. It was often accompanied by a cardigan and a simple ensemble completely devoid of style. This bushy mane hid the man by masking any hint of a jaw line or facial expression below the fray. It probably also robbed him of many potential female companions. Somehow, some mom somewhere got stuck with him.
The right way to pull this off: Keep it trimmed
Wait, all dad had to do was trim it back some, and he wouldn’t have been such a bore? Yes, it’s true! If you have a bit of nostalgia for the beard-mask of days gone by, you can pull it off. Just don’t let it grow to the point where your facial structure gets hidden. Use a #2 (or at the most #3) trimmer attachment. This will allow you to have the coverage you are looking for, but people can still see the man behind the mane.
#4 DON’T: The Wannabeard
Some people can’t grow a proper beard… not that there’s anything wrong with that. However, we’ve all seen the guy who’s walking around with 15 stray hairs on his upper lip and chin, and wonder where he got the idea that it looks good. He’s what we call a wannabeard. He is bursting with so much excitement that everyone can see what a big boy he is that he lets his desire for facial hair cloud his perception of reality. Luckily, if you are the better at something that people love (hockey) than anyone else in the world (Sidney Crosby), you can probably get away with it now and postpone your regret until the photos surface again years from now.
The right way to pull this off: Clean shave
You’re a man, be a man. If you can’t grow facial hair do what men have done for millenia and continue to do, shave your face clean. A lot of men choose to do this because they prefer it. They consider shaving an exercise in masculinity. It looks good. P.S. A woman will always (except in cases of gurus, rockstars, and reality TV stars) prefer a nice clean shave over bad facial hair.
#5 DON’T: The Graphic Design Beard
I’m going to try not to be too judgmental. This is odd. Beard art is not classy. It shows that you deliberately took the time to design your hair into the shape of an orsid (Egyptian Pharoah goatee–see you learned something). Is this supposed to visually prep people before they meet you, so that know you are a reincarnation of an Egyptian Pharoah? Maybe it means I like Pharoahs and I talk to cats. So, maybe this isn’t so odd after all.
The right way to pull this off: Let your personality shine through
Yes, a good sense of style and fashion says a lot about your personality, no question. However, creating shock value through unorthodox methods usually backfires for most of us. You just have to consider the audience you to which you are trying to connect on a daily basis. There is a place for everything, even beard art (say a superhero-themed party or Halloween). More importantly, there is a place for everyone. I say, let your personality lead, and consider your (modifiable) appearance only an extension of who you are at your core. And, this is important–if your appearance is the only thing that can speak for you at the moment, let it express the confidence, security, and go-getterness that resides within you.