On World Beard Day, Shikha Jain takes a look at different styles of beards and how to wear that badge of full manhood with pride
For many men, nothing demonstrates masculinity quite like a thick, grizzly beard. From keeping men warm to being a sign of adherence to their faith, beards have always been more than a fashion statement. Facial hair was often a sign of a man’s social status and wealth. Today, a man’s desire to grow a beard, whether a sexy stubble, or a full bushy beard, may be no more than a personal preference. Down the ages, beards have taken all shapes and lengths.
What’s your style?
A resident of Kolkata found his comfort in the Thin French Beard, even though he hasn’t experimented too much with it. “It has been this way for the last six years. For three-four years prior to that I would occasionally go clean-shaven or occasionally sport a stubble for a few days,” says Maanvardhan Baid. Speaking about his obsession with his beard he says, “For a genuine beard enthusiast, it is definitely something they are conscious about. Apart from completing one’s look, it also adds maturity.” Talking about maintenance he adds, “I personally look down upon unkept beards. It’s a sign of laziness and looks shabby; thus I get it trimmed once a week.”
In order to avoid being called ‘chikna’ and to keep his love for beards going, Luvkush Jain has tried the Verdi, Ducktail, all types of stubble, the Extended Goatee and a few more, as per the trend. The style he has currently is called Full Beard. He says, “I like to keep this style the most because it is cost effective and it gives me both casual as well as a professional look when required.” His favourite style is the Bandholz, but he can only dream about it as his beard growth is slow and his wife is not in support of it either.
From the experts
Hair maestro, Jawed Habib says, “The beard is an important part of men’s look these days, men of almost all the ages are experimenting with them… It’s definitely a big craze around.” Besides being a fashion statement, Habib also mentions that it is for specific face type and complexion, but if done professionally, can transform the whole look of a man. French, Goatee, and Full Beard are the most comfortable and common beard shapes, which have been famous for years, according to Jawed.
Vishakha Verma Singh, owner of Glam Blush make-up academy says, “The beard trend started to boom in 2010 when celebrities like Brad Pitt and George Clooney ditched razors.” She believes that beards make men look rugged, hide their blemishes and makes them look hotter. One needs to shampoo and condition the beard twice weekly, and also trim the ends of the beard to avoid split ends. “For a round face or oval face type, Full Beard looks amazing,” suggests Vishakha.
“The beard fashion in the past was more for the guys who have crossed their 40s, but now everyone wants to keep one. Styling it from time to time, keeping it in good shape and updating oneself makes a lot of difference in this era where people go gaga over playing with their facial hair,” says Naushad Ahmad, a hair stylist from Mumbai. Wolverine and Crumb Catcher are a great catch, according to him.
Significance of a beard
Sporting a beard is not only about fashion and masculinity, but also carries health benefits. It helps to prevent skin cancer, adds natural moisture to the skin, reduces infections and keeps skin looking younger.
“It is definitely a style statement for men. It not only enhances the features, but makes them look more attractive, thus adding oomph to their face and personality,” says Rayed Merchant, Director of SSIZ International. The classic beards that will never go out of style are Stubble, Handlebar Moustache, Yeard and Full Beard, according to Rayed.
While the popularity of some beards such as the lumberjack might be waning, there are signs that other styles are beginning to gain ground. Beards are, and will continue to be, all the rage. Ask the women!