The right beard for any age

It seems men of every age group are starting to sport beards… it has become all the rage! But what should a guy think about before growing a beard? Great Clips Stylist Telia Foster discusses age-specific trends and guidelines, what is right for your face and how to keep that beard looking great!

Age-specific trends and guidelines

Goatees and soul patches are out. What’s in?

·         Teens and hipsters: “Young guys are doing the longer beard below the chin and full cheek. You can thank actor Jared Leto for starting this trend. We’re also seeing more mustaches.”

·         Gen X: “This age group is more about classic beards that are full around the mustache and bottom, and maintained around the sides. George Clooney had this look for a while.”

·         Working professionals: “Their beards are immaculate on top. They often have haircuts with deep parts and a lot of length. It’s about balance.”

·       Baby boomers: “Many baby boomers are going clean shaven. It’s less maintenance and skin always makes you look younger. However, some still prefer a little five o’clock shadow, or as much as a ten o’clock shadow, ala Sean Connery. If they have beards, they should keep them cleanly maintained with nice, visible lines or risk looking like David Letterman, post retirement.”

Are you ready for a beard?

Carefully consider what’s appropriate in your work environment before deciding to grow a beard and/or mustache. “Some men who naturally look young feel that a beard ages them so that they are taken more seriously. Just make sure you are comfortable with the daily maintenance. Are you willing to clean up your neck every day? How about defining a goatee or mustache? Be honest with yourself about the upkeep.”

What’s the right look for your face?

·         It’s all about balance. “Whether it’s on your face or head, you always want to maintain a square shape because that’s the most flattering.”

·         Think of facial hair as a frame. “Use your beard to contour, as women use makeup. Dark beards that are heavy on the sides will make your face look narrower.”

·         Bring a picture into the salon. “Find someone with a similar face shape and hair texture to get a real feel for what’s attainable. Stylists love photos because it improves communications.”

·         Be realistic about your hair color and density. “If you are a straight, red head then your facial hair will appear very different than someone who has dark brown curly hair.”

·         If you have a strong chin, use a beard to balance your face. “Keeping the hair length on your cheeks longer than on the chin will balance the prominence.”

·         If you have bushy eyebrows, consider adding length to your beard to keep it in proportion. “Or, opt for a shorter look to draw the eye to your eyebrows.”

·         Avoid a mustache if you have a large nose. “If your nose is wide, a short beard will keep your head from looking too big. If your nose is long and lean, some length could help keep it in balance.”

·         Square jaws typically look great with any shape. “Square shapes are generally the most flattering and masculine. Stylists are always trying to give the illusion of structure, so when someone already has it, our job is easy!”

·         If you have a small face, or small facial features, add longer length on the beard’s sides. “Or go higher on the cheek to add some real estate.”  

How to keep your facial hair looking great

·         Let a professional help you maintain your look. Most men are pleasantly surprised by how good they look once a professional has taken care of their facial hair. Often, men only learn how to shave from their dads. Having a professional get your lines in place, and show you how to work with your hairstyle, can help you look great.”

·         Care for your facial hair just as you would the hair on your head. “Facial hair is typically drier and has more texture. Shampoo opens the hair follicles and conditioner makes them more obedient. Otherwise, your beard may feel like a scrubbing pad. Beard oils are also popular for softening the hair. It’s a good office look.”  

·         Keep a clean line between the neck and the bottom of the jaw. “Otherwise, the frame will look jagged.”

·         Sideburns are a big part of looking groomed. “Consult with your stylist. A lot of men don’t have much there. If you have lots of hair, let your stylist know so they don’t zip it right off between the beard and sideburn.”