Facial Whiskers for Mens
OK, crying ‘peak beard’ earlier this year might have been a touch hasty. But what’s clear is that – while we’re not all clamouring to get clean shaven – beards are definitely lessening in bulk.
Ahead of the new year, we asked our go-to hair experts to forecast the changes in facial furniture. So, what’ll it be, sir?
The Shorter Long Beard
Beards of a bushiness to rival Rasputin’s are, like the Russian mystic, dead and buried. Which is a godsend for those of us who always thought you looked a bit ridiculous with them anyway. Instead, our sources are predicting that 2016 will see a calmer, more controlled version come to the fore.
“Also, the lines on the cheek are sharp in order to contrast with the full, natural and unpredictable growth below. Finally, the bottom of the beard lies up to two inches below the chin.”
Who’s It For?
The hirsute. “This style only works if you have extensive facial hair growth, ” says Brady. “It’s a good way of concealing a smaller chin, a double chin or elongating a rounder face – but if you have a longer face, choose a beard that’s a bit shorter.”
How To Get It
Miracle-Gro. Just kidding. You’ll need patience primarily, because – as the longest of the facial hair styles on this list – it could take few months to grow to the required length.
“Just make sure that during this time, you don’t remove any weight or hair from the interior of the beard (especially underneath between the chin and neck), ” says Brady. “It’s this hair that will eventually form the foundations and support the full beard. And only trim the lines on the cheeks if they are growing too high up.”
Once you’ve grown your beard and shaped it to suit your face, remember that care is key. “Use a moisturising beard shampoo [once every few days] to help the beard retain its moisture, otherwise it could flake and cause beard dandruff, ” warns Brady. “While damp, run beard oil through it with your hands to keep it moist.”
For a more thorough styling, and to iron out any madcap kinks or curls, you could paste. “Apply a hair paste to your damp beard and blow dry on medium power while brushing to relax the beard’s hairs. Not only will this make your beard appear longer, but it will also make it easier to shape and style.”
The Short Beard
Looking for something that sits between the follicular statement of a full beard and the subtlety of stubble? Or maybe you like having a beard but your boss isn’t so buzzed about it? Then get shorty.
“[A shorter beard] is a versatile look that can slip in with most hairstyles, and appear smart and rugged at the same time, ” says Brady. Which is good news if you’ve been flouting employee conduct codes with a fuller style.
“The shape follows the face’s angles, and the beard is kept close to the cheeks, with the hair measuring around 1cm long. As the beard approaches the chin, it is left ever so slightly longer, in order to elongate the face and give the beard a better, more masculine shape.”
Who’s It For?
Good growers, as it were. While a shorter beard won’t require you be the facial hair equivalent of Fabio, you’ll still need ample coverage.
“You need to be able to grow a full face of hair for this, as you want to avoid any patches and uneven lines, ” says Brady. “In terms of face shape, generally speaking, this style is achievable and adaptable, and one we’ll be seeing plenty of in 2016.”
As the wise (bearded) man once said: “a watched beard never grows”. Or something like that. So you’ll be happy to hear it shouldn’t take much longer than a month to lay the foundations for this one.
It does, however, require upkeep once in full bloom. “You’ll need fortnightly trims, done either by your barber or at home with a set of decent trimmers, ” explains Brady. “You’ll also need to keep your skin in good nick, so make sure you exfoliate and moisturise around the beard, and that you use a beard oil to keep the hairs hydrated.”
Bonus tip: “For extra definition above the cheeks, use a set of detailers to get a nice sharp line, ” says Brady.