Growing Facial Hair

Submitted by SharpMan Editorial Team on Sunday 10th October 2010
In this article
  • What to expect when growing facial hair.
  • How to begin.
  • Suggested styles for different SharpFaces.
Growing Facial Hair

Thinkin’ of growing a goatee? A jazz dot? A full-on ‘stache? Check out these SharpMan tips on what to do, which to grow and what to expect:

Tips on What to Expect.

A la "Cliffy" on Cheers, here are some little-known mysteries of the facial hair-growing world:

On Success. Not every guy can grow enough facial hair to create a unified looking "piece." Many SharpMen have patchy beards that can take longer to become cohesive facial hair statements.

On Your Goal. Alternatively, your facial hair may not be full enough for every style. If you know you have sparse hair, plan on something smaller.

On Your Look. Just because you’ve got brown hair on your head doesn’t mean you’ll be a facial brunette. As it turns out, facial hair and head hair are rarely the same color or shade. Your brown head hair may turn out to have a red-bearded buddy. Consider whether your look still works with two shades rather than just one.

On Your Palette. But since facial skin is more sensitive, beard coarseness can be irritating to the SharpMan wearing the beard, in addition to his SharpWomen. On the other hand, facial hair is less oily that head hair, so you’re less likely to break out beneath and around the facial hair. Finally, because facial skin is softer, curly hair can create painful in-growth hairs.

You Still Want to Do It?

Check out these steps for growin’ it:

Step One: Don’t Shave. Stop shaving the area where you plan to grow facial hair. The scraggliest, worst-looking part of growing any hair on your face usually occurs the first week, so begin your experiment over a vacation or a long weekend. Where do you refrain from shaving? For mustaches — regardless of the kind you want — begin by not shaving in the area above your lips and in between your smile lines. You’ll edit later; for now, don’t touch. For beards, goatees and dots, overestimate the area you project for this hair. Be generous and you’ll save correction time in the future.

Step Two: Wait. This may take longer for some men than others. Like head hair (remember that night with your buddies?), facial hair takes time to grow out. A good, thick beard may take up to two months — or more. Chill.

Step Three: Edit. It’s important that you don’t trim emerging facial hair right away — no matter how much you wanna. Impatient pruning makes this step a lot more complicated, and usually requires extra time to fix the mistake made early on. Remember that it’s gonna look bad for a little while (see Step One), and short hairs, unless you intend to keep them short — are going to look scraggly. We recommend waiting at least seven to eight weeks to trim a serious beard, at least one month for a full mustache, and at least ten days for some of today’s shorter goatees and jazz dots.

Having proved yourself as a patient SharpMan, now decide what kind of facial hair you would like: a mustache (what length?); a beard with no mustache (the Amish look); a long beard and mustache (ZZ Top); a short, thin mustache (Clark Gable), a goatee (Fat or thin? Long or short?); a jazz dot (top or bottom of chin?). Your choice is dependant on what appeals to you, but must ultimately answer to how it makes you look.

Why? Facial hair changes the way your face looks because it tends to draw attention to itself. SharpMen moonlighting as male models may have their pick of styles featured in Interview Magazine, but the rest of us must consider how a new shape on our most visible feature changes the way we look. For example, long faces (both thin and full) tend to look even longer with a thin goatee, whereas a well-placed jazz dot under the bottom lip may round out this type of face. Short beards emphasize a lean face and body, whereas full beards give a fuller look to the face and the man it’s attached to. SharpMen of smaller bone size and stature may want to grow closely shaven beards and mustaches, lest they mirror the sprite of March — the leprechaun. On the other hand, SharpMen who believe they could use a stronger chin should consider fuller beards and goatees. Similarly, those with weak upper jaw lines should consider some form of a mustache, ideally a fuller one.

Remember, as with hairstyles, not every trend will flatter every SharpMan. Give thought to the shape of your head, face and body and experiment until you (and the SharpWomen around you) raise an eyebrow of approval.

This article last updated on Wednesday 13th October 2010
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