Mens Facial Hair Removal
For 15 years, Malek Aziz visited his barber every Friday night to get his beard trimmed. Now, the Brooklyn auto-shops owner is using a manicuring tactic far more extreme: laser hair removal.
“It’s a mature look, ” he tells The Post of his immaculate beard. And it’s one that adds shape, he says, to his “not very slim” face.
Aziz, a 39-year-old who lives in East New York, is doing the procedure at Beam Laser Spa near Columbus Circle, where owner Andrea Young says she lasers some 10 beards a month. Her clients, she says, tend to be “superstylish, well-groomed, well-maintained” hipsters who like the look of a full beard with a perfect edge, but aren’t so cool with putting in the effort required to maintain it. At Bliss Spa on 49th Street, laser technician Niso Subkhanova estimates that 25 percent of her clients are men who are coming to get their beard line lasered.
Lasering is the newest, and most radical, way to achieve the latest trend in beards: contouring, or the careful sculpting of scruff to help faces appear slimmer and cheekbones sharper. Variations have popped up at men’s fashion week in Milan this past January, where Etro, Billionaire and other labels sent closely cropped bearded models down the runway, and on the red carpet, where stars including Chris Hemsworth and Ryan Reynolds have facial hair that looks more drawn on than grown out.
“The bushy, out-of-control lumberjack look is dead, ” says David Yi, the New York-based founder of men’s beauty blog Very Good Light. “It’s all about men being conscious about shaping their beards, and ensuring they can make their faces the most chiseled they can be.” He compares it to the way women contour with makeup, using dark and light shades to make cheekbones pop. Facial hair, which generally runs darker than skin, can do the same for men, he says.
At Persons of Interest, a trio of Brooklyn barbershops that cater to hip, young professionals, men come in for beard-shaping “all the time, ” says barber Austin Klucker. “Most of the time, it’s to elongate their faces and make them look thinner, ” he says. “If you take a round face, and add a little length, it’s a little more aesthetically pleasing — it’s square, instead of circular.”
Celebrities who contour also include Zayn Malik, whose carefully shaped beard marked his transition from boy-band crooner to standalone act (and boyfriend to supermodel Gigi Hadid) as well as Drake, who solidified his jump from “Degrassi” to the top of the Billboard charts just as he began to wear a razor-sharp beard.