Clean Shaven Hunk or Brawny Man? What’s Going on With Men’s Facial Hair-2006


Think of Marlon Brando, Inspector Clouseau, Ulysses S. Grant, Clark Gable, Sean Connery, Tom Selleck and John Lennon (on occasion.) What did they have in common?

Some people seem to be into it too right now. A rash of new whiskers has matured over the past year or two and now in places has escalated to beards at times reminiscent of Civil War Era style. Some have begun experimenting with different beard styles, instead of swapping tips on hair styling products. You’ve likely seen the goatee become less popular and the soul spots emerge. You may be seeing the beard without the moustache. Even though we haven’t seen it much since the 1980’s, the moustache itself is making a comeback too.

It may be the tendency to look deeper for reasons in the facial hair becoming mainstream phenomena. Deep reasons may not be at the core. These beards may not suggest dissatisfaction with “the system”, or outwardly manifest melancholy. Some feel that in this age it is more likely that style is to blame. People are choosing style for visual impact, not asserting a viewpoint, per se.

Could it be though, that certain men are bucking the tide of what they have seen as metrosexual conformity, and are beginning to sport facial hair styles ranging from unkempt, bushy to neat? Perhaps some are bucking the lately culturally acceptable look of the plucked, waxed, scrubbed and shaven man? Who can know for certain? Perhapsit is the case that some men want to feel manly and rough again.

Many models at runway shows, at times upwards of half, sport varying degrees of more extreme facial hair. City streets are sporting a skinny populace that flaunts a varied batch of unruly facial hair. These are lowering the bar away from the absolute grooming rules we’ve seen these past years. Designers and men’s magazine professionals alike are embracing the new, but old, masculine ideal of the lumberjack look. We’re beginning to see some celebrities show of their facial tresses too. It will be interesting to see just how far the beard trend goes.

Many of those newly favored with their facial hair accomplishments hope, feel, and swear they are carrying along with them new erotic charge. Some feel an increased sense of confidence and security. Some feel more laid back, some feel cool, others feel they walk differently.

And what do the girls think of the furry trend? Most surveys suggest that only about 2 to 3 percent of women find the full beard to be sexy. And that those women that love the facial hair, really, really love it. The general impression is that women either love moustaches or are repulsed by them.

A man named Della Vale made a documentary “The Glorious Moustache Challenge” in which 30 men were persuaded to grow moustaches for a month. These men were asked the reactions of those around them and what difference it made in their lives. Most of the men became quite fond of their new moustaches. Some would now feel naked without them.

On the flip side, some remarked on feeling less confident, more insecure, less like themselves, tired of discussing their moustache with others.

One may be accused of trying to find a new identity. Or maybe reminding your mother of a man she once knew well or an adult movie star from the past. Perhaps you’ll be accused of scratching the kids when they hug you. Only a small few may like it on you. Can you handle it? Perhaps the facial hair trend will prove to be a tougher sell for the average Joe.

If you are thinking about wearing your own variety of facial hair (moustache etc.), you should consider the following:

· Color of your facial hair

· Size of your nose

· Thickness of facial your facial hair

· Shape of your chin and jaw lines

· Texture of facial hair

· Length of your mouth

· Fullness and size of your upper lip area

Your barber or stylist should be a great resource to help you along. Facial hair has at times also been a way for folks to hide scars or what they feel are structural facial flaws. Some have disguised a soft jaw-lines, rounded, square faces or pointy chins with beards. Be prepared that keeping any facial hair takes time and care. Shaping, maintaining, shampooing, conditioning, trimmer and scissor trimming, even caring for your bare patches with blending attachments and/or waterproof colored eyebrow pencils. What kind of styling products do you use again???

Leave a Reply