The full-on scraggly, all-over beard belongs to a very specific man — not many can pull off its wild ways. He is likely a creative and unpredictable specimen, perhaps a hunter or a woodsman at heart, but also one who is extremely comfortable in his own skin, as such facial growth is often stereotyped as messy and unkempt. But, such a forest of facial growth can be a blockade to new beginnings, be they jobs or relationships. So, the Woolly Wild Child may also be a temporary phase for many men — surfacing upon unemployment or after a breakup when razors become a thing of the past and personal grooming gets shoved to the back burner.
- The distinguished gentleman
A fully-grown but impeccably groomed, “older man’s” beard has all the makings of a discerning chap who knows his place in the world. The beard doesn’t wear him — quite the contrary, actually — nor is he concerned with the air of older maturity that it lends. In fact, he embraces it. With all that sophistication comes also an intelligent yet strict, Type-A eye for detail, as successfully maintaining a neatly groomed, full-on beard requires a high level of meticulousness and care. “I think the association for a lot of people is that it’s a scholarly beard, or academics often have those beards,” says Allan Peterkin, a pogonologist (aka beard scholar). And that likely isn’t too far from the truth. That his facial hair also looks similar to that of the “The Most Interesting Man In The World” is perfectly fine with him, as the Distinguished Gentleman is pretty interesting himself.
For facial hair agnostics and commitment-phobes, the trimmed goatee is a go-to, even if it is slightly outdated given its heyday hit in the mid-1990s. The bearer of said style is open to experimentation mainly because he is still figuring out his face, and the goatee is a holding pattern until something better comes along. He also may find satisfaction in this style’s ability to add masculine character, shape, and definition to a chubby pout or a soft chin. That said, the goatee is often the gateway to a more robust beard, or just as likely, a return to clean-shaven status when the mood strikes.
The Narcissus of facial hair, the chinstrap is nearly silly in its required mirror time as both the shaved areas and the hair must be trimmed with extreme accuracy and precision. But a chinstrap stud revels in the time spent for physical and facial perfection, recognizing the show-off status of the fruits of his razor labor. He is used to getting attention and to getting what he wants — or doing whatever it takes to get it. “It’s for a guy who wants to push the envelope and also wants to be asked about his facial hair,” says Peterkin. “Everything has been done under the sun, so I think men are sort of looking for what’s the thing that they don’t see on their street or in their workplace.” But, the chinstrap remains one of the more rare forms of face fuzz because even the most ego-driven have their limits when it comes to grooming time.
The mustache-wielding hipster rides a fun wave and rarely takes himself or life too seriously. The look may be considered rather creepy by some and silly by others given its history. As Peterkin puts it, “the mustache took on a s*xual connotation in the ’70s; there was the swinger mustache, the P0*n mustache and then the gay/bisexual mustache.” But, now, that bad rap is subsiding. So, for the real mustache man, the ’stache simply bolsters his confident, cool-kid, slightly indie cred. However, for the less dedicated of the hipsters, the style is merely a transitional phase indicating the prior trimming of a fuller beard or an adolescent move into adulthood.
Source: Cheat Sheet
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