I’ll be frank: I’m not a beard fan. And also not a moustache fan. Unless it is November & you are growing yours to collect donations for a great cause. But let’s stick with beards for a moment. I just don’t enjoy the idea of it. Not even to mention how much I dislike giving a kiss to someone who has a beard. Ugg.
So why am I even writing this post? Because beards are still trendy. For the last few years, I was quietly hoping that the beard trend will pass, but alas.
A couple of years ago beards were everywhere & every Tom, Dick & Harry – or should I say, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jake Gyllenhaal & Brad Pitt – had one.
The Male Grooming Industry is booming worldwide. Google’s 2017 Beauty Trend Report (which focusses on three prominent markets being Japan, USA & France) cited that Male Beauty is the fourth biggest trend in beauty right now. The global market for male grooming products grows daily. According to Euromonitor it was valued at US$17.5 billion in 2015 & is projected to reach US$60.7 billion by 2020!
As for beards specifically – let’s call it a trend in flux. Something that comes & goes. The real hipsters & serious lumberjack / Father Christmas lookalikes waved goodbye to their beard when it became too popular.
“For 2018 however, the beard looks set to fit somewhere in the middle – it’s less about the size of the beard & more about how you style it. It might seem like the most natural thing in the world, but wearing a beard is a lot more difficult to pull off than you might think,” explains The Idle Man.
For now, I am going to assume that beards & moustaches & facial hair are not going out of fashion soon. And so I’ve decided to line up some advice & product recommendation to keep those crazy beards in place. Pass this on to your brother, uncle, husband, boyfriend or male colleague who might need a bit of advice in the beard department.
Choose A Type
Having a beard is a bit like wearing an out-of-bed-look hairstyle. It doesn’t mean that the person wearing this style has literally just jumped out of bed & ran out the door with perfect hair. Nope. Quite the contrary. Seemingly effortless style often requires a lot of effort.
Local male grooming experts & fellow blogger, Richard Goller from Fragroom.com agrees: “Thankfully, the beard trend has moved on from the general facial WTF mess it was a few years ago to something eminently more sculpted & flattering. But as with most things, make sure you choose the right one for you. And keep it that way, with the necessary maintenance.”
“Just like you would choose a pair of sunglasses to suit the shape of your face, go for a beard style that makes the most of your facial features. Many men who took to the beard trend when it originally blew up were far too eager to get their beard on, without choosing the appropriate style for their face shape.”
You have to choose a style/type of beard & make sure you maintain the shape. Different beards also require different amounts of maintenance or upkeep. Check out this article by Beard Bro & graphic on styles of beards.
As you will see from these graphics, certain beard styles work well with all face shapes and others do not. You will save yourself a lot of hassle if you keep this in mind.
How do you determine the shape (oval, rectangle, triangular, round, heart, square, diamond) of your face? You will find a great guide from Fashionbeans.com.
“Whatever you do, ensure that your beard style goes with your hairstyle. You don’t want a situation where what’s on top of your head just looks plain silly with your hair down below (no, not that far down below). Remember, the two need to work in tandem,” adds Richard.
Select The Right Products
“The first & most important aspect to [get control of] an unruly beard is choosing the correct product,” says Johan Pretorius, master stylist from Carlton Hair & a bearded man himself. Johan stresses the importance of a quality product too.
And no, the products that you use on your head will not suffice for the hair on your face. This explanation by Milkman Aust is great:: “The hair that guys grow naturally on their faces is a very different beast than what grows on the scalp, or elsewhere on the body… Facial hair tends to be thicker & of a much more wiry texture than that on the head. The skin under the hair is also different. Scalp skin tends to be more oily than facial skin so using some cleansers might be great for removing excess oil from your head but too harsh & drying for the face.”
“Shorter beards don’t tend to get unruly but they could be hard to soften,” adds Johan. Conditioning the beard & the skin underneath becomes easier when you use a good beard balm. “It is great because it leaves no residue & absorbs completely.”
Longer beards need more work, so a product like a balm (for a matte finish) or an oil (for a slight shine) work really well. “With longer beards, you also need a good beard brush. The brush is not only for grooming but also used as an exfoliator for the skin underneath the beard before you wash your beard,” says Johan.
“For washing the beard I would recommend a specially formulated beard wash. It’s not only for the beard but can be used on the whole face as it’s designed for a face & beard wash. Finally, your moustache wax can be used for your beard or mo.”
Products To Try
With really amazing products on the market, there is no excuse not to keep your beard groomed. Give these a try:
Clubman Beard Oil (R199.95), Woody’s Shave Relief Balm (R229.90, exclusively at Clicks), Sorbet MAN Shaving Cream, R149 (select Sorbet branches).
Clubman Moustache Wax (R119.95)
The High Street Beard Tonic (R100 for 50ml). Available from The Space & online at thehighstreetbeardoil.co.za.
Dear Beard Shaving Milk (Carlton Hair); Clubman 2-in-1 Beard Conditioner (R119.95 from Dis-Chem).
So, if the man (men) in your life decides that a beard is a thing, encourage him to find a classy barber or spending time at a really good hairdresser to look hot, groomed & kissable.
Thank you for reading.
Images: Shutterstock via Carlton