Whether the hipster beard trend is on its way out or continues to rule the fashion scene, growing facial hair requires you to be cued on a thing or two about your style quotient
To give credit to all the idealistic discourses glorifying men’s facial hair, let’s assume that for men, beard is, indeed, what make up is to women. A veneer of perfection to hide facial flaws; be it uneven jawline, bad skin or even unsightly scars from earlier cuts/falls.
But like makeup that cannot do justice to every face, not every male face can rock a beard. Some faces are just not made for facial hairs… And if it doesn’t complement your facial features or, rather, makes the imperfect aspects stand out starker, it is best to keep that razor in business. But if you are willing to give it a try and check out for yourself before saying amen to facial hair for good, here is a checklist of dos and don’ts to keep you on the right track.
To begin from the beginning, the best cue to follow comes from experts who have identified square face as the most desirable shape on men, followed by oval shape. While some are naturally endowed, most can achieve this with some basic facial hair sculpting. It calls for some perseverance, though. For the most common complaint coming from men interested in growing a beard is that facial hair growth is not even; that it is rarely even or uniform. Often, there could be even bald patches that may make you give up your quest. Be patient and you will soon see all the patches covered and your beard shaping up. But if you are follicly challenged, you could, on an ambitious side, opt for a hair transplant or, better still, learn to sculpt around them by opting for a goatee or a chinstrap, may be.
Beard styles are, generally, dictated by the shape of the face. The idea is to ensure that the beard and the jaw work in tandem to create an oval shape. This means a fuller, chin-heavy beard if you have a square or a round jaw so as to elongate your face, and a side-heavy beard if you have an oblong or a rectangular face. A round face also demands a beard that is longer on the bottom and shorter on the sides. Oval shaped faces are able to rock any styles.
For a long and narrow face, keep the hair on your chin to a minimum length. Remember, the longer the beard, the more elongated your face will tend to look; it is best to keep hair in the chin area shorter. You could also rely on subtle stubble styling to soften the narrow look.
- Do not go for long full beards with bushy side burns if you have a round face; it will only make your face look more round.
- Go for a goatee if you want to make your face look narrow at the sides. Let the moustache connect the goatee without extending past the corners of the mouth to give your face a narrow look.
- A goatee is also ideal for a round or square face as it helps add length to it. Taper it to make it look crisper around the cheek.
- Soften the square face shape with an all over beard that is clipped close to the face, making the face appear slightly rounded.
- A chin-curtain or a short box beard can help soften the jaw line if you have a rectangular face.
- Mutton-chop beard is best suited to narrow faces with weak jaws, as it is designed to make your face look wider and the chin more prominent. The idea is to grow a full beard before chopping out the middle.
- A full beard that extends beyond the jawline can make smaller face appear longer and a pointed chin more rounder.
- Conversely, if the pointed chin is accompanied by a long narrow face, go for a goatee styling to get a rounded chin.
Stubble it out
If a full-grown beard is not on your style agenda, check out the combinations and permutations of wearing a stubble without adopting a ‘I-don’t-care’ attitude.
Tips for that perfect stubble
- Like beard, your face shape also has a say on the stubble. Find your perfect stubble length by first growing a short beard and trimming it until you are satisfied with it.
- To keep your stubble soft and itch-free, use facial cleanser daily and a stubble softener as often as required.
- To maintain uniform length, use an electric trimmer with adjustable lengths; keep it trimmed regularly.
- Give the stubble a natural fade by using a shorter length when trimming the edges.
While a distinctly shaped face can easily adapt one style or the other, the problem arises when you have a combination face or are not sure what shape your face fits into. The best way to get your beard style sorted in this case is to start with a stubble to find the one that best suits you. For, after all is said and done, beard, like any other aspect of fashion, can be changed as and when you feel like it; simply shave off and begin on an all new canvas.