Life’s a feast made up of options. On a daily basis we get to choose how we take our coffee, how we’ll get to work, and what number of clips from Last Week Tonight and @Midnight we’ll watch during any given conference call. These are all facets of modern beardsmanhood and we couldn’t be prouder. Similarly, each man, or at least those capable of growing facial hair, faces the decision of how they want to style their facial follicles. The options are seemingly endless and allow you to greatly change your appearance without causing too much permanent change to the majority of your head. It’s the space within those changes, however, that can make the most difference from beardsman to beardsman.
There are minimal changes, maximal changes, and every degree between the two when it comes to how you can style your beard and the best part about it? Whenever you’re ready for something new, you can go ahead and make the change in a matter of minutes. If you’re visiting us here at Urban Beardsman then you’re probably familiar with some of these styles, but maybe by the end of this, you’ll be inspired to try something fresh in this young and new year. Here’s our ultimate guide to beard styles.
Like all facial hair styles, the mustache has made a comeback of sorts in recent years, evolving from its 70's porn star phase to, well, an unclassified phenomenon that few guys can properly pull off in more modern times. Those who can though, they are the gents of legend. Much like beards in general, mustaches themselves can be cut and styled any number of ways. Some opt for the thin 'stache or the Dali while others prefer the thicker Tom Selleck or Black Dynamite versions (if this second reference is new to you, stop what you’re doing and go watch this movie immediately). Mustaches can thrive as handle bars or live a more kept life, never preventing food-to-mouth contact or saving too much flavor for later. The options are seemingly endless.
The mustache is all about confidence and understatement. People are automatically going to notice it more so than most other styles of facial hair, but as long as you can accept the extra attention and take people’s commentary in stride, then you should be fine.
If there’s one facial hair style that became popular because of really famously handsome men trying it on for size and never getting rid of it (ahem, Johnny Depp, ahem), it’s the goatee. Essentially a beard without the chops, the goatee became the go-to hairstyle with all guys in their late 20's and early 30's during the beginning of the 2000's, for better or, mostly, worse. In recent years, the goatee has taken on a new life with the increasingly popular van dyke, a play on the often-mocked goatee designed to look more old-timey than Office Space-chique.
The goatee is ground that should be tread upon lightly, however, if you have the right face, you might be able to make it work in your favor. If you’re going to commit to it, really commit to the style as an overly sculpted goatee is a look that should be left on the shelf, along with your extensive Nickelback discography.
Does this relatively new style sound almost as likely to be an up-and-coming indie pop band as it does a look for men’s well-groomed facial hair? Undoubtedly, however, the beardstache, a cross between a well-grown mustache and a healthy amount of stubble, allows you to experiment with a mustache without all the stigma that typically comes from such a style. Really it’s all about the added stubble. Unlike the straight up mustache, the beardstache achieves a more balanced and rugged look by opting to not to stay completely shaven, minus the real estate above your upper lip. The beardstache announces itself more subtly and allows you to embrace your inner cowboy, something that every guy secretly wants to unleash on the onlooking world.
In order to achieve the peak beardstache look, you must first grow out a healthy beard. Once that’s been accomplished, simply use an adjustable electric razor to cut your beard down to the second or third lowest setting. If you want to try a new look without going completely off the rails, we suggest the beardstache as a happy medium for all.
Style is all about limitations, many of which a beardsman must accept in order to grow, both as a human being and as a constantly evolving persona. One of these things each of must accept is that we will sadly never be Wolverine, a sad moment for any young chap the world over. Besides the fact that very few of us will ever be that shredded, the real thing we must come to terms with is none of us will ever look cool with chops, it’s just the facts. Popularized by former governor of Rhode Island Ambrose Burnside, a man who pioneered not just the sideburns and chops, but also the act of connecting them with his mustache, chops became a common look among politicians and the upper class during the mid to late 1800's. Although massive sideburns found a niche among the “Jump, Jive, and Wail” crowd during the late 90's, chops never quite crept back into style and maybe that’s a fact we should simply let be.
Leave them for superheros. Much like Wolverine’s adamantium claws, chops of that magnitude are not meant for mere mortals.
We here at Urban Beardsman are firm believers in letting your beards grow in heartily, however, we know there are exceptions to this. As we’ve talked about before, some gents are simply incapable of growing full beards and sometimes it’s best to avoid putting your thinner beard on display for all to see. That being said, even if your beard doesn’t grow in that full you can still opt for the stubble look and achieve the same goal many aim for with a full beard. Beards serve as a simple way for guys to significantly change their appearance and the same can be said for scruff as well, just to a slightly lesser degree of “whoa” when someone sees you facial stubble-clad face for the first time.
Everyone looks good with a bit of stubble, but if you’re opting to not let it grow into a full length beard, keep this in mind: stubble isn’t always pleasant to the touch. Just because you aren’t growing a full beard doesn’t mean you can just forget about your facial hair. Make sure to let it grow past the rougher, more wiry phase to a point that at least feels good to both your hand and whoever you plan on getting close to in your spare time.
The short beard is the natural progression from stubble length to a fully formed, actual man mane. That being said, a short beard lives in a constant state where you can still catch glimpses of skin underneath it. Unlike its longer counterparts, the short beard is designed to look organized, groomed, and precise. For those not used to the maintenance even a short beard requires, it’s important to form some kind of routine to make sure your beard is staying at the length you want and looking its best each and every day.
Most beardsmen are probably safe at this point in terms of having to worry about super dry skin, and therefor a dry beard, and your facial hair’s cleanliness. However, as your short beard continues to get longer by the day, it’s important to keep these things in mind as you incorporate beard oil and wash into your repertoire.
At no other time in history have beards been as prevalent among professionals as they are right now. Well, minus whatever era The Revenant takes place in. Men old and young are letting their beards grow, regardless of their field, as workplace environments because increasingly casual and appearance significantly less boxed in by strict corporate guidelines. That being said, not every office place will welcome your yeard with open arms. If you’re the first beardsman in the office then chances are you should keep it on the shorter side as your coworkers, and especially your boss, warm to it. However, if beardness has spread across the company then you might opt to let it grow into a fuller degree.
When it comes to corporate beards, a little effort goes a long way. Keep your beard groomed, opt for a little beard oil, and trim your mustache from time to time. Remember, you probably spend more time around your coworkers than almost anyone else in your life. Even if they aren’t keen on facial hair, if you show a little bit of grooming etiquette to keep yourself looking sharp, everyone will be appreciative. We aren’t saying you should be constantly thinking about your perception in the office, but don’t completely ignore it either. Look your best, feel your best, and your best self will come out professionally.
When most people think of “beards,” the full beard is what usually comes to mind. Once only associated with Paul Bunyan, Santa Claus, and John Muir, the full beard has started calling to a new generation of beardsmen over the past few years. It’s a display of commitment, perseverance, and, well, genetics in a way. Not everyone is destined to be able to grow a thick, full length beard, but those who are give each beardsman something to aspire to. These are the gents who might get twigs caught in their beards, who might create Instagram accounts where they treat their beards as ever-changing galleries of artistic expression, and who identify most with showing the least amount of their faces. This is not the look for every beardsman, but for those who it is, we salute you.
No man’s beard grows in evenly and this is always on display the longer you let your beard grow. Even when opting for the longer length, a beardsman must perform a decent amount of maintenance in order to keep it looking and feeling its best. Utilizing beard wash, beard oil, and a proper comb will help ensure your beard stays healthy and strong, just like the man growing the beard himself.
Much like circumnavigating the globe on a bicycle or attempting to give up drinking for a month, the yeard, a beard one grows for an entire year, is something that many have attempted, but few have reached the summit of glory that comes with its completion. The average beardsman will never himself grow a yeard, but those who do, we certainly salute you. If you happen to find yourself on a year long adventure or working in a national park or practicing sorcery, most definitely give it a try! Yet, for the rest of us, we’ll have to look on from afar and praise both your fortitude and determination for you have accomplished what so few of us can.
If you’ve grown your head hair out for an entire year before, you know that the level of maintenance increases the longer it gets. A yeard is, of course, no different. In order to prevent knots or dreads from forming, you will need to wash, brush, and maybe even trim it from time to time, depending on how groomed you wish to appear. The yeard is an emblem of focus and planning, wear it proudly and accept that you will get many requests from strangers to touch it. Beard on, good sirs. Beard on.