Grooming can be a tough subject for men. On the one hand, it's the 21st century and it's fine to care about how you look; but on the other, you don't want to spend more time getting ready to go out than the lady in your life. Thankfully, facial hair is one area that has been a male style staple for centuries. Used to express the individuality of the wearer, and to create different looks for men.
According to a widely cited study by psychologists at Northumbria University, women looking at photos of men’s faces in various phases of hair growth greatly preferred the look of some stubble. Not only that but it reduces the regularity of shaving, which is helpful for gents with sensitive skin that may find they need a longer break to prevent shaving rash.
The full beard is the classic bearded look. Relatively easy to maintain, but the growth is hugely dependent on the individual, meaning that some men may find their beard looks at little patchy in places. This look requires occasional trimming to keep in shape, but it can get hot in summer months.
Very popular at the moment, the moustache is the name given to hair above the upper lip. It requires regular trimming, and the rest of the face must still be shaved as normal. Some gents find that the hair touching their upper lip is unbearable, so it is usually cut to just above; although styling options abound for the moustache, with twisted, spiked and even plaited options.
The soul patch found popularity in the 1950s, coming to attention on the jazz musicians and soul artists of the time. A patch of hair under the lower lip; size, shape and even colour allow for variation of this look. Trimming must occur regularly to keep it in your chosen shape, and the rest of the face must still remain shaven for the soul patch to take centre stage
The goatee refers to the hair on a man's chin. This look can incorporate a moustache in line with the goatee beard, or not. Fairly regular trimming and shaving of the underside of the chin, neck and sides of the face must still be undertaken. This look is a wearable version of a beard, and often a first step to facial hair experimentation.
Otherwise known as sideburns, this is a very strong look that is often reserved for Movember charity challenges, eccentrics and the more venerable, older gentleman. But fashions do have a habit of coming back around, and Hugh Jackman as Wolverine has raised the profile of the mutton chop. Trimming and shaping must be undertaken to maintain this look, as well as shaving the remainder of the face.