To the 21st-century modern gentleman, the humble beard is more a sartorial statement of intent than a status symbol.
Cheap, versatile and adaptable, facial hair can change the shape of a man’s face and completely alter how he looks in jeans and a T-shirt or a suit. A few whiskers here and there can make a baby face look older, draw attention away from a thinning thatch and hide a multitude of sins (or chins). In short, it allows a man to be the ultimate chameleon.
Of all the facial hair styles available to man, stubble is the easiest to cultivate (you just have to stop shaving for a few days). It’s also the simplest to maintain; and the one that suits most face shapes.
Perfect for guys with baby faces, a sprinkling of stubble instantly adds maturity and a sense of ruggedness, making it the ideal option for those who struggle to grow thick, full beards.
Stubble also tends to make weak jaws look stronger and provides good camouflage for imperfections like acne scars and uneven pigmentation.
TMC Tip: Minimise the risk of painful ingrown hair by exfoliating skin with a face scrub twice a week, paying particular attention to the area around the neck.
Short on effort, big on style, the goatee has long been the facial hair choice for rockstars, intellectuals and those with a wayward, rebellious streak.
Essentially, this refers to any style featuring hair above the lip and on the chin only, sometimes connected to create a frame for the mouth.
Goatees look especially good on slim, angular faces (but don’t let them grow too long or they’ll make your face look too lean) and can make a round face look slightly slimmer.
TMC Tip: Use a razor and a shave gel or an oil to keep skin clean-shaven around your goatee. Transparent products like these allow you to see where you’re going with the razor so you can create even, better-defined lines.
Falling somewhere between stubble and a full beard, the beardstache is a hybrid where the moustache is kept longer and fuller than the surrounding hair.
It’s fun and shows you have an experimental side and there’s a practical aspect too since it’s the perfect lightweight alternative to a full beard come summer.
It works well on most face shapes but requires thick facial hair and looks best on guys with a wider philtrum (the stretch of skin between the top lip and nose) and a prominent chin due to it drawing attention higher up the face.
TMC Tip: Keep the ‘stache part tangle-free with the help of a decent moustache comb and shape with a touch of wax, distributing the wax evenly with the comb.