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Beards: Do’s and don’ts of grooming facial hair

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Man looking good with a beard. Image from http://www.amazon.com/One-Thousand-Beards-Cultural-History/dp/1551521075

Author Alan Peterekin points out in his book one thousand beards: a cultural history of facial hair; beards are, first and foremost, a symbol of total defiance, a refusal to conform to society’s endless list of expectations.

There’s not much in this world that’s manlier than facial hair. Guys like to show it off in all different varieties and women love falling over the threshold of masculinity that a beard brings over the subtle clean shaven man.

Man looking good with a beard. Image from http://www.amazon.com/One-Thousand-Beards-Cultural-History/dp/1551521075
Man looking good with a beard. Image from http://www.amazon.com/One-Thousand-Beards-Cultural-History/dp/1551521075

So as you grow out your facial hair, here are some simple do’s and don’ts that you should take into account:

1. Stay trimmed: Every man who grows any kind of facial hair needs to take the time and effort to keep it trimmed. Also, if you do want to grow it out, be patient. It becomes easier to trim when the beard has grown out evenly and had a much fuller form. You must tend to the beard, nurture the beard, provide the beard with boundaries and stern but loving guidance

2. Keep the beard clean: always be vigilant with your facial hair especially after having a meal; you can have all sorts of things nestling in your beard nest, like the mincemeat from samosas to the foam from a delicious early morning cappuccino on your way to work. Also take time to wash your beard regularly and pat it dry to avoid split ends as well. There aren’t a lot of beard-dedicated products out there, but the products you use for your hair should suffice. And don’t forget to pat on some good quality moisturizer.

3. Trim according to your head structure: Unless you’re trying to look like wolverine, abandon the out-of-control hippie look and embrace a trimmed beard if you so choose to grow one. Always make sure that the beard trim you want suits your style, whether you’re going for the dapper look or the business cut or the pompadour, be sure that the beard is trim according to your head and face structure.

4. Experiment: Go for something outside your comfort zone, but don’t wander too far off. Try something new like sideburns. They are a classic look that is also easy to maintain, they also carry a sense of appeal and panache. Keep in mind that sideburns need to balance your facial features and complement your hairstyle, but even more importantly, they need meticulous shaping for a stunning effect.

Don’t

1. Don’t braid: I once came across a guy who had braided his entire beard, in multiple colors!! Do not put some weird horse colored extensions on your face. Or beads. Not cool.

2. Don’t leave patches: If you can’t grow a respectable amount of hair on your face, then don’t grow any at all. What’s the point of growing a goatee if it doesn’t even connect? The end product looks more unkempt than the wolverine look. Besides, there are too many struggles in life, don’t let a ‘forced beard’ be one of them.

3. Don’t feel pressured into getting dye on your facial hair: This mostly goes out to the older folk; embrace the salt and pepper, let the salty gray hair color take its course with all the wisdom that it has soaked up over the years just like George Clooney with his ever so vibrant peppery youth.

In as much as it’s good to get a look at what’s in style, always go for what makes you comfortable. Don’t just be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you; you decide who you are and what style you represent.

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