How to make facial hair look good

November 22, 2010, 12:17 pmmenshealth

Facial hair isn't just for porn stars and pirates

Style
Rating:

From dictators to boy bands, facial hair has long been a tool of male expression. Problem is, too many men go for looks they can’t pull off. “Whatever tribe he belongs to, a man’s face is his canvas,” says Dr Allan Peterkin, a pognologist, or beard scholar, and author of One Thousand Beards. Here’s how to get the right look.

CHECK OUT OUR MOVEMBER PORTAL FOR MORE MO STYLE ADVICE

The goatee
COLIN FARRELL

What it means “Goatees went from beatnik to gay to mainstream,” says Peterkin. The good news: you can wear one without getting fired; the bad: they’re sported by the likes of David Brent in The Office.

“For many, the goatee has become like the middle-age ponytail,” he adds.

How to maintain it Use preshave oil only, so you can see where you’re cutting. “It will also prevent irritation from repeated strokes,” says Eric Malka, author of The Art of Shaving.

Who can rock it Men with receding hair, 40-something professionals who still think they’ve “got it”, Swedish metal bands.

The 5 o’clock shadow
JOEL EDGERTON

What it means You don’t have to be in the cast of Lost to pull off scruffy. Girls dig the rugged, just-rolled-out-of-bed look, to a point. Fresh stubble can be sexy, but the three-day-old look might signal that you just don’t care.

How to maintain it Keep your scruff even with a beard trimmer set on the shortest length. And trim at the same time each day for consistency, says Malka.

Who can rock it Men with sparse beards, Australian cricket captains, lazy men.

The moustache
VIGGO MORTENSEN

What it means “You might not crave attention, but you don’t mind a look or two,” says Phil Olsen, former organiser of the World Beard and Moustache Championships. Look for ironic handlebars coming soon to a hipster near you.

How to maintain it Use an electric trimmer to get the proper length and a single-blade razor on the edges.

Who can rock it Guys with dark or olive complexions, veteran cops, Freddie Mercury impersonators.

The soul patch
TOMMY LEE

What it means While the patch was once popular with visionaries like Shakespeare and Dizzy Gillespie, let’s be honest: those were different times and different men.

Some women find it hard to get hot for a look once dubbed the “flavour saver”. “It’s popular with cavalier, young guys,” says hairstylist Vaughn Acord.

How to maintain it Let it grow. “It actually looks better after a few weeks,” says Acord.

Who can rock it Twenty-something extroverts, yoga instructors, guys who wear short (or no) sleeves to work.

The full beard
RUSSELL CROWE

What it means Beards are a bit of a mixed bag. Studies show women rate bearded men as more virile, but also less sexually appealing. “Men often grow beards during a period of transition or mourning,” says Peterkin.

How to maintain it Be sure to keep a defined edge midway up your cheek and shave your neck, but not underneath your chin, Olsen says.

Who can rock it Chubby-faced men looking to simulate a strong jawline, aspiring hipsters, deposed dictators.

WHISKERS A-GO-GO


Planning to rock some top-lip topiary for Movember? Here’s how to keep it in shape.

TRIMMING YOUR MOUSTACHE

If you are going to use scissors, moisten your moustache hair and comb it straight down over your lips. Don’t force it to lie completely flat as it will return to its natural hair growth direction when dry, and you may discover that you have trimmed it too short. Using narrow, pointed scissors, trim outwards from the centre of your lip to each corner using a comb to gauge how much you trim away. Hold the scissors at a diagonal as this will give you greater control and ensure you keep to a straight line.

If you want a pencil-thin style or a very straight lower edge, use a clipper as directed below. Once your moustache is tidy and shapely, you can use the scissors to clip away any stray, long or unkempt hairs. Consider using moustache wax, especially for longer moustaches.

THE ELECTRIC-SHAVING METHOD

If you’re going electric, make sure your moustache hair is dry before you start. Comb it straight down over your lips. Comb away from the moustache hairline. Define the upper edge below the nostrils.

If you are going to wear your moustache with a beard, use your blending comb attachment. Make sure everything looks even.

If you only have a moustache, taper it as desired using a comb attachment and working your way from the centre to the corners of your mouth. You may also want to work downwards from the moustache’s upper edge to the rim of your upper lip, reducing the density of growth through its mid-portion. Find the lower edge using the comb and the electric shaver, taking care to trim gradually

and avoid slipping.

Edited extract from The Bearded Gentleman: The Style Guide to Shaving Face, by Allan Peterkin and Nick Burns

Got a mo? Check out our Movember portal for more tips and tricks

Show:
Newest First
Oldest First
Top Rated
Most Replies

7 Comments

  1. Jesse03:51pm Wednesday 11th December 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    I wouldn't say any of these pictures look masculine. I wouldn't even call them beards.

    Reply
  2. Martine B09:35pm Saturday 19th November 2011 ESTReport Abuse

    To Yahoo Serious, in this society, men are insecure, no matter what, and expect women to pay for that; I may be out of tune, but as a woman, I prefer men with long hair and a beard; they have the advantage of hiding wrinkles and sagging skin; and long hair are soft, and can shape a face, just like it works for women! But stiff body curls, no, thanks!

    Reply
  3. Martine B09:26pm Saturday 19th November 2011 ESTReport Abuse

    Is this "article" sexist, or what? What about blondes (I mean WOMEN ); they are often covered with facial fluff/"duvet"; should they wax/ shave/trim or, something....................? To me , they look quite OK, even sexy! About non- facial hair and men?Looking at, or sleeping next to someone covered with rough fur from head to toes? Sounds attractive? we can have pets for that: less trouble, more rewards! Sorry guys, nothing personal! Just sick of discrimination and cliches; most people are attracted to charisma; not the plastic, flawless and empty "beauty" advertised on glossy paper.

    1 Reply
  4. Emma02:02pm Sunday 28th November 2010 ESTReport Abuse

    Beards are hot ;D

    Reply
  5. Pam06:18pm Tuesday 23rd November 2010 ESTReport Abuse

    I love beards, they make a man look so masculine!

    Reply
  6. ao06:06pm Tuesday 23rd November 2010 ESTReport Abuse

    They really "don't" look that good. Especially when the hair looks like it's coming out of the nose. eck

    Reply
  7. Robert12:33pm Tuesday 23rd November 2010 ESTReport Abuse

    Beards are great, more men should be proud to grow their beard, reclaim your manhood brothers and stop shaving!!!

    Reply

Subscribe

Most Popular Articles