By Suzanne D'Amato, Washington Post, Sunday, December 18, 2005
As grooming trends go, the beard will probably never rival the faux-hawk for sheer faddishness. But as celebrities such as Dave Grohl, Jason Schwartzman and the cast of "Lost" continue to demonstrate, the look is gaining currency. For many men, hirsute is newly hip.
"It's a conversation piece," says Onis Castaneda (left), 27, of Silver Spring. "People that haven't seen me in a while tell me I look like Che Guevara."
Michael Kirby, 30, of Lanham, is no newcomer to the beard brigade: He grew his for the first time when he was 17 and has worn one since. The notion that the style has renewed cachet doesn't surprise him. "I just think it makes a man more manly," he says.
Still, that doesn't make the beard a solution for every man who's ever groaned at the thought of picking up a razor.
"The younger guys are getting away with it a little bit more," says Michael Gilman, co-owner of the Grooming Lounge, an upscale barbershop in the District that is scheduled to open its second location in Tysons Corner in February. "For college guys, it's that slacker thing. It's cool to have a big fuzzy beard ... it goes with their rocker tees."
For older, professional Washingtonians, however, Gilman maintains that an unshaven face is often seen as socially inappropriate, even as goatees have become commonplace. "It's like showing up to work in a short-sleeved shirt, or not wearing a tie," he says.
To some industry watchers, the style's success owes more to men's desire to save time than their wish to follow a trend. "Shaving is painful," says Candice Rainey, associate editor at GQ magazine. "It comes down to the fact that guys don't want to [do it] every day."
But having a beard doesn't necessarily mean you can forget about shaving -- unless you want to look like a member of ZZ Top. There's still hair on the neck (and the area above the beard) to think about. Factor into your new regime time spent trimming errant whiskers, conditioning the hair that's left, dealing with patchy areas and, in some cases, even sculpting the parameters of your beard by laser: Alase, a laser hair-removal and skin care center with locations in Maryland, Virginia and the District, is one such company performing the service, which requires multiple treatments and costs hundreds of dollars per visit, with results that can last years.
"When I first started here over four years ago, men were coming in to get the whole beard removed," says Shannon Ginnan, Alase's medical director. "Now more guys are coming in just to get the lower neck cleaned up."
Whether or not you shape your beard via laser, anything overly groomed remains a style don't. "You don't want that George Michael look, where it's really linear," says Rainey.
And so some men are becoming attuned to what many women have known for decades: that the "natural" look requires a lot of effort -- and, usually, no small amount of cash -- to attain. Gilman cites Grooming Lounge regulars who come in for beard maintenance as frequently as three times a week. It's no surprise, then, as the wild and woolly look becomes more popular, men's shave products are one of the beauty industry's fastest-growing categories.
"Men want to look and appear as masculine as possible," says Karen Grant, senior industry analyst at NPD Beauty, a division of market research firm the NPD Group.
"But being a man today requires that one is well-groomed."
Surfing The Net/Harry Tales
By Parthasarthi Swami, India Syndicate, March 2, 2001
Walt Disney characters may sport the most lavish mustaches, but hair on the upper lip has been banned in the organisation for several decades now. No longer. According to a recent relaxation, employees may have mustaches. The only catch: they have to grow them while they are on leave. The Chicago Tribune quotes Disney World spokesman Bill Warren: "It’s a very common corporate guideline that you should grow a mustache on your vacation so you wouldn’t have an unkempt appearance. I’m not a hair expert, but I’m sure someone can grow a mustache in a reasonable amount of time."
Disney is not making any hair-raising change in corporate culture; the mustache has already made a quiet comeback in Corporate America. "The age of mustache prejudice has ended and Mustache Summer has begun," says a site styled Mustache Summer.
This is no hairy-fairy site. It claims to be "an eternal testament to those who braved the anti-stache establishment to forge new paths for today’s youth, in a profound effort to liberate the upper lip". Among its offerings is a section on the Mustache in History, which starts from 1800 BC, when "the Pharaoh Teqikencola outlawed mustaches among the elite of Egyptian society; hence the inevitable decline of his nation’s empire."
It also has a Commustache Mustafesto, which states in no uncertain terms: "Mustache Summer is free. Mustache Summer is freedom." The Mustafesto objects strongly to the goatee generation or Generation G. "These cretins think nothing of growing furry rings around their mouths (or worse, dating the goateed)." Goatees obviously get their goat.
The hairos of the mustache movement also don’t think much of beards. Mustache Summers actually makes only one concession: "Jesus... had a mustache (although slightly sullied by the addition of his beard, but I think Jesus is allowed a break)." But you do get a lot of decent mustaches at Fuzface Gallery. Another handsome collection is available at GRUF. This is an acronym for Great Unshaven Faces and surfers are warned that this is an adult site, meant for men who love mustached men.
If you find that too hairy to handle, check out the official headquarters of the National Heterosexual Mustache Month. According to the site, it is an all-new national observance... founded by manly men to celebrate the venerable lip rug’s capacity to melt the hearts of fine ladies everywhere". Among other things, you can share your "Mustache Moments" here.
The mustache aficionados have even put together a selection of the 15 sexiest mustaches of all times. They include Charlie Chaplin ("It looks so much better on him than it did on Hitler") and Yosemite Sam ("It blends into his eyebrows for that ‘all over’ hairy look").
There is also a wealth of Net resources on the upkeep of the mustache. Sites such as eHow explain in detail how to trim a mustache. Step 1: Wet your mustache slightly. Tip: Work carefully. Clipping even a small amount of hair can change the appearance of a mustache greatly.
It matters, because a changed mustache can send a different message altogether. Mustaches send metamessages, says Cheryl Berg. "How many of us have watched those movies where the villain has a Fu Manchu type mustache? Does this prompt us later to view, in the "real" world, a man with that choice of style with suspicion and hostility?" There are different types of mustaches and their interpretation on display on this page. (Actually, Fu Manchu never had a mustache to start with and there are places on the Net - The Irony of Fu Manchu’s Mustache - which see this as more evidence of the activities of the anti-stache brigade).
But in one sense at least, the mustache has still a long way to go. According to PlacesNamed, it is the 69,791st most popular surname in the United States. No one seems to have met a Mr Mustache; his existence is mere hairsay.
Learning to Accessorize Those Chinny-Chin-Chins
By Ruth La Ferla, New York Times, February 4, 2001
If Al Gore had a beard, maybe he would have been president." His assertion might be a stretch, but Salvatore Fodera is going to stand by it. Mr. Fodera, who has tended the hair of merchants and moguls at the salon that bears his name in the St. Regis hotel in Manhattan, is not suggesting that a fuzzy face alone can make a man electable. But pruned to perfection and worn with flair, "a beard can create a strong impression," he said. And an impression of strength.
That theory comes as close as any to accounting for the recent public outcropping of whiskers on mediagenic personalities as diverse as Tom Hanks, who shows off his Robinson Crusoe bristles in "Cast Away"; Russell Crowe, who sprouts a savage stubble in "Gladiator"; and Johnny Depp, who wears a rascally swatch of chin hair in "Chocolat." On the street, too, men seem increasingly inclined to show off a stylish brush.
Not since the 1970's has the unshaven face so caught men's fancy. "Suddenly, facial hair seems to be in unending supply," writes Helen Bunkin in "Beards, Beards, Beards" (Greene Street Press, 2000), a photo anthology of contemporary bearded men. "Everywhere I go I see more of it." Adrian Mole, who has tended clients at his barber shop, Paul Molé, on the Upper East Side for 30 years, agreed that whiskers have become more visible in the last few months. "Lately I've trimmed more beards than I have since I've been in the business," he added. "Growing a beard seems a manly thing to do."
That seems to be the dominant assumption of a legion of would-be renegades and rakes, some in the public eye, some not, for whom a beard is a badge of hip virility. They range from baby boomers cultivating fuzzy faces to distract from their shiny pates to men in their 20's with a layer of stubble, sometimes called a "shadow beard," to "make themselves more interesting," Mr. Mole noted. He defined this shadow beard as a saturnine three-week growth, a manicured variation on the noncommittal stubble popularized by Don Johnson in the early 1980's.
Groovier than the goatee and covering more acreage, the shadow beard has become the insignia of male fashion plates. "It's a romantic Humphrey Bogart shadow," said Roxanne Lowitt, a photographer known for snapping fashionable scenes. "It's a mark of style and an American kind of glamour."
The shadow beard is one of two variations in vogue now. The second is a softer, denser, scruffier alternative worn as a mark of authority. It is the latter that Mr. Hanks made his latest cinematic signature. The tonsorial equivalent of a flannel shirt, it suggests warmth and a rough-hewn individuality some people like in their leaders.
Ripe-looking whiskers certainly lent Richard Hatch, the winner on "Survivor" last season, a compelling air of authority. And Mr. Hanks's shaggy countenance in "Cast Away" transformed him into an archetype of self-reliance, a man to count on in a pinch. To a public grown weary of plasticized public figures who might have been styled at Madame Tussaud's, an untamed face might well seem sincere, even presidential.
People are yearning these days, not for a stern Lincoln-like bearded figure but "a softer alternative, a warm and fuzzy earth father," said Harold Koda, the curator of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A beard goes some way toward creating that image. But the challenge, Mr. Koda warned, is to cultivate a style "that bespeaks maturity without suggesting that you are a granddad."
Between the two extremes of fashion beard and authority beard there are almost as many subgenres as there are theories to explain them. One can choose between the Honorable Recluse, a style epitomized by Sean Connery, who wears a donnish salt-and-pepper beard in "Finding Forrester," and the Gentleman Jock, represented by Mark McGwire, the Cardinals slugger. There are the folksier, more flowing beards of the sort flaunted by the rock group ZZ Top at the inauguration festivities in Washington last month, and the patrician plumage that fanned out extravagantly on a model in the latest Louis Vuitton men's wear ads.
The most provocative expression of the shadow beard is the scruffed- up quarter-inch stubble of the kind that appeared on Kevin Spacey at the Golden Globe Awards last month. Similar styles have lately cropped up on the actors Stephen Dorf, Tobey Maguire and John Hurt, all of whom were photographed for the current L'Uomo Vogue, the Italian men's fashion bible.
Featured in the same issue, Vikram Chatwal, owner of the Time Hotel in New York, shows off a full beard cut close to the face. A Sikh, Mr. Chatwal maintains his beard for religious reasons. But he doesn't deny that it offers certain perks. "A beard is fun to play with," Mr. Chatwal said, "and people often view it as a symbol of wisdom. Sometimes women find it irritating, but they live with it."
The broadening range of acceptable styles attests to a shift in cultural attitudes. In the 1960's, when hippies and other marginalized types wore beards, a hairy face was often considered disreputable, said Steve Wilson, a 40-year-old Silicon Valley software engineer and the founder of All About Beards, a Web site. But now beards are no longer viewed as a badge of rebellion. "Fidel Castro has still got his beard," Mr. Wilson said, "but he's kind of old news by now."
In the movies and on television, a beard might connote power and wisdom, but in real life it can still raise eyebrows. Maybe that's because in some quarters, growing a beard - be it shadow or bush - seems self- conscious and suspect. Maureen Connelly, a partner in McLaughlin & Connelly, bipartisan political consultants, has yet to advise one of her clients to grow a beard. "The media would focus on that, and the candidate's beard would become just another issue that he has to deal with," she said.
Those reservations don't trouble the unshaven masses. For many, a new beard is something to brag about. "Hey, guys," gloated Headshok in a message accompanied by Bunyanesque photos on one of the many beard enthusiast message boards on the Internet. "This is my action at Day 39. It isn't as dense as I'd like it to be - but give it another few weeks."
But sometimes a beard is just a prop. It gives a man something to do with his hands. Alexander Julian, the fashion and home furnishings designer, has maintained the same beard for 30 years. "Stroking it makes me look smart," he said, "and gives me time to ponder. It's one of the great affectations a man is allowed."
Groomed Goatees Clip Grizzly Styles, Facial Hair Augments Angles: Cropped Beards, Trimmed Sideburns Enhance Looks
By Leonard McCants - Cavalier Daily, November 29, 1995
Whether men want to improve their looks or just avoid shaving, facial hair allows them many ways to alter their looks. Following the latest trends, some men opt to grow a goatee.
As we grow up, the first physical sign of maturity for little boys is facial hair. The peach fuzz on the upper lip and chin proves boys have become men, almost as much as, if not more than, when the voice changes. As the hair grows, at least men do not have to worry about embarrassingly funny high-pitched noises. Now the peach fuzz is the first step, but the most important part actually is shaving for the first time.
I remember the first time I shaved. I was in Connecticut for a wedding, and the hotel provided free toiletries for guests. Because I was 14 years old and the old fuzz on the chin had grown about as long as Rip Van Winkle's, I decided to go to the front desk and pick up my complimentary sample-sized bottle of shaving cream and a cheap disposable razor. When I got to the bathroom I applied the cream just like on TV and started shaving.
I came out of the experience feeling like a grown man and with half a roll of toilet paper on my chin and the other half on my cheeks. But at least I was a man. I shaved finally. During college, nearly eight years after the first incident, I have grown to hate shaving and sometimes will procrastinate as long as three weeks without putting the razor to my cheek.
I became lazy my senior year of high school, when I started growing a goatee. Save for a few mishaps with the clippers, I have not shaved off my goatee since then. I also noticed as soon as I started growing a goatee, they became trendy and everybody else followed suit.
But as in everything, facial hair comes in two categories - good and bad. The goatee is the best type of facial hair around, but not because I am biased. The smooth, short cropped goatee adds more than hair to a man's face. If it were not for the tuft of hair on their face, some men would look five years younger than they do now.
In addition to keeping men from looking young, it adds years to men who naturally look their age and adds dimension to a man's visage. If a man has a round face, the concentration of hair on the lower front of the face elongates the head, accentuating the cheekbones and the chin. If you ever dreamed of looking like those angular-faced male models for Giorgio Armani, grow a goatee. It definitely will help in most cases.
Well, at least you will have the angular face; no guarantees about the Armani modelling contract. Nevertheless, growing a goatee has its caveats. Some men look absolutely horrid with them.
Please, I beg you, if your goatee does not connect, or at least give the semblance of connecting, do not grow one. You will look like you wanted to grow a goatee but could not. There is nothing worse than half a goatee. You might as well be half a man.
Another one of my facial hair pet peeves is the bushy goatee that goes well past the chin. There is no excuse for having that lumber jack, hippie madness on anyone's face. It looks stupid, unkept and messy.
That goes for the gross bushman beards and mustaches some men sport because they want the messy look. It is totally uncalled for and unnecessary. I do not understand the mustache either. Young people, particularly college students, really do not look good with them. They make men look like child molesters or country rednecks who wear tight-fitting, acid-washed jeans.
Very few people look good with a moustache, and they certainly are not between the ages of 17 and 22. If a man wants to try facial hair but cannot get the chin to produce, close-cropped and well-cared-for sideburns are another facial-hair plus.
If men pair sideburns with a goatee, they are in business. The goatee makes the face more angular and the sideburns augment them. The combination of sideburns and a goatee provides just the right amount of facial hair without making men look like Grizzly Adams. Who in their right mind wants to do that?
Although it may be trendy, wearing a goatee will add much to the faces of men who want a temporary change in their style. It is cheaper than dying your hair or cutting it off. More important, it is easy to remedy: Just cut the darn thing off. Heed this warning, though: If people start calling you Rip or Grizzly, take the hint and shave it off or trim it. There is no need to look like you just came from walking the Appalachian Trail.
Portal Of Evil - Fuzface Gallery - fishfucker - 08/11/2001 - Category: Society & Culture, Fetish Rating: 4.00, Votes: 1 - For all your beard-related jerkin' needs. Over a hundred galleries of men with facial hair..... - 6 Comments (1) ive always been a sucker for that 70's classic rock look..... (2) look, its my reflection over and over - in time - advance stages, over the course of 24 hours. my skin naturally gets darker when i blowtorch the stubble off. it doesn't last long..... (3) In Next Months Fuzz Face..... (Ted Kaczynski) Now THAT'S sexy..... (4) No excuse at all..... No excuse for facial hair in this age of cheap, quality razors. None whatsoever. Turns mens' faces into lopsided vaginas. Collects dirt and pollution and spider eggs. Looks fucking stupid and disgusting. Bad bad Bad. Shave it off. Shave it all off..... (5) I bet cliff yublanski has something to say about all of these...n/t..... (6) Blech! Ew ew ew! I do not get some people's attractions. Those people all look like they're in prison.....
Fuzface... The Internet's a big place and here's some proof
I think it's a tragedy that I'm going to start off my new commentary by talking about facial hair and the Internet. Something about that just screams pathetic, but whatever: it's humor and that's life.
I've been working at home for a while now, which has been great. I've been doing a lot of reading, good work, contributing to the FreeBSD project, and living life at my own pace. The problem? I don't have to interact with people, so I've let my appearance slide a bit, most notably I've gone two weeks without shaving and I have an awful hairy face.
Nothing is worse than going for a hard run, coming back, and then bending your head down so that the hairs under your chin touch the hairs on your neck. This has to be one of the most disgusting/gross feelings I've experienced in a while. While today wasn't the first time I'd experienced such a slimy tangled mess, it is the first time I seriously considered shaving part of my face, but not all of it: I was considering a beard.
Alright, so it's 5pm and I'm a sweaty post-run mess (it was 110 degrees in direct sunlight according to my thermometer) and considering the possibility of growing a beard. Swifty nift? Maybe. This is something I'd never done before, let alone seriously consider. Normally I'd call my dad for such manly advice, but he is: a) normally in another state, and; b) in another country right now probably growing a beard (he's notorious for coming back from a trip with a gnarly unshaven face, sometimes he'll shape it into a decent beard). So, what's a tech-junkie to do? Hop on the Internet and see if Google's able to provide me with some inspiration.
Sure enough, I typed in "pictures of bearded men" and I was able to find something: 14,000 pages of something to be exact. Anyway, so most of these were rinky dink sites, a few of them had some promise. One guy was trying to start a tradition where everyone grows a beard for New Years. As I was scrolling down the page trying to find some pictures, my mind was having the following thought process: "This seems like a dumb idea... New Years provides a perfectly good excuse to kiss some total stranger that you've had your eye on for the duration of a New Years party. Why waste such an opportunity with a crappy kiss?" And at about this point I said this page sucks, and flipped back to my search results.
Since I'd never done this before, I didn't know what was fashionably correct in terms of where a guy should shave under his neck, or what the deal was... I knew there were lots of styles out there, just none that I could picture in my mind (save maybe Santa Claus and a few really gnarly beards that are long enough to be used as full-body covering. Oooh! And don't forget the Russian and Amish beards, those stand out in my mind too.). Google, being pretty comprehensive, and the Internet being huge, found the exact screwball page I was looking for: ffgallery.tripod.com.....
I don't know if I really should be amazed at the sheer number of entries that Google returned, or that the Internet is big enough to house such random gallery of crap, but it is and it never ceases to amaze me... it's almost as amazing as the fact that some bozo spent the time to create such a page. Don't people have lives? Oh wait, I just visited his page... so back to my diatribe...
There were tons of faces, lots of men, lots of hair, and plenty of styles to choose from. Page after page of faces and hair. Ugh. This wasn't getting any where and I was now entertaining the rebound though of shaving my head. Time to close my browser and hop in the shower: I reak. So what'd I do? Well, after looking through enough of those pictures, I decided a few things:
I'm amazed that the Internet is big enough to foster the creation of such random and utterly useless information. Then again, I've been on and using the Net since '95, so this shouldn't surprise me that much.
There are a lot of guys out there with varying tastes in, shall we say, "facial hair styles," most of which I find pretty unappealing.
I don't like beards. After one clogged drain, two reapplications of shaving cream, and a few pases with the razor, it took me about 5-10 minutes to get a nice cleanly shaven face.
And - back me up here fellas, you can sympathize with this feeling after you get done looking through a magazine for a hair-cut style (ladies.. just smile and nod and pretend you care) - after looking at a few dozen pictures of men, I was able to safely reaffirm my desire for heterosexual relations (translation from Bill Clintonese: have sex with a woman). And with that thought in mind, I began to pine for the college porn collection of old. Mmmm, Playboy.
Until next time. -Sean
Libero, Italy, 5 settembre 2002
Una passione per il pelo
Barbe, baffi, basette e pizzetti. Un intero sito dedicato a chi al mattino non si rade
Una galleria infinita di immagini (101 pagine, ma la crescita è continua) per un vero e proprio lavoro di catalogazione. Il sito si chiama FuzFace (faccia pelosa), una specie di progetto nato nel 1997 da un gruppo di amici che vivono a New York. Ognuno di loro contribuisce regolarmente agli aggiornamenti, anche se la vera mente, colui che ha avuto l'idea, è tale Jason Hunterman, anche lui irsuto. Obiettivo: promuovere baffi, barbe, pizzetti, basette «perché - spiega Jason - aggiungono all'espressione di un uomo quel non so che di mistico».
Le fotogallery vengono mescolate e rinnovate con una certa frequenza in modo che ogni volta che si scorrono le immagini l'esperienza sia unica e irripetibile. Perché in effetti il sito vanta una nicchia di visitatori fedeli che, strano ma vero, tornano frequentemente a girare tra le pagine web. Non solo: il portale dei barbuti è ormai un fenomeno di costume con i suoi 100/200 visitatori unici al giorno, 50mila/60mila l'anno. Tra i Paesi che cliccano di più l'Europa (in testa), seguita da Asia, Australia, Indonesia e India. Le e-mail di sostegno e approvazione si sprecano.
Le immagini pubblicate arrivano un po' da ogni dove: tv, siti, giornali e riviste che poi vengono scannerizzate. Lo standard è bianco e nero, per tutti. I navigatori possono a loro volta inviare materiale. «Se qualcuno si riconosce in una foto e vuole essere rimosso - si legge in un avviso sul sito - ce lo faccia sapere e sarà accontentato».
«Si possono inviare foto di donne con i baffetti?» chiede un lettore. In linea di principio no, perché l'idea è quella di mettere online solo immagini di volti pelosi sì, ma ben curati. Insomma, irsuti per scelta e non a causa di scombussolamenti ormonali. «Però - fa sapere Jason - se si tratta di donne con una barba davvero bella...».
Ma i soggetti più gettonati sono gli uomini under 30. E una ragione c'è, come spiegato tra le pagine del sito: «È più difficile trovare barbuti tra i giovani. Si tende a pensare, erroneamente, che radersi sia più trendy e farsi crescere i baffi una cosa da mezza età. Il nostro sogno è vedere più peli sulle facce che incontriamo per strada».
kai's blog, August 12, 2001
Fuzface Gallery : yest another fetish site.. just when I think thats the last one, wham-o.. whats next?
Goatee Style, October 2002
Ross: For your goatee fans who inadvertently end up on your site, direct them to www.zzapp.org/fuzface -- they'll find hundreds of examples of various facial hair designs.
(Response:) Inadvertently? You saying my site isn't good for goatee info? Heh. Well yeah, I don't have any bad yearbook photos or mugshots, so the site you suggested should help people looking for that kinda thing.
thepeculiarone.blogspot.com, June 21, 2004
LOTS of good looking men MAY NOT BE SAFE FOR WORK
It takes balls to grow a beard..... hehe :)
Comment: eww... i think i see someone, i recognize a face... oh it's a nightmare!
From very bearded men:
I have been (ok, weirdly) collecting pictures of other bearded men from .. to be very interesting, fun and filled with lots of good looking men.
Wednesday, June 22, 2005...
Not By the Hair of My Chinny Chin Chin...
I've never been one for facial hair. It looks pretty goodon some men but it has never really done much for me. I have also been beard challenged most of my adult life. I was a smooth-faced looking kid until my late 20s. I was 28 before I started shaving regularly. I hated it. Shaving hurt and burned and I have unusually coarse and curly hair. I dabbled in a few face-dos in the past. Only a year or two ago, I sported the ever popular Goatee. I eventually went back to my clean shaven look after I saw a picture of me in it. Recently, I have had some major skin issues. Because of a skin infection I am forbidden to shave. I have already gone 10 days or so without shaving and I am started to not itch as much. I can't say that I totally like the beard but it is growing on me. **GROAN** Sorry, I couldn't resist. While I still prefer the aesthete of clean face, I may keep the scruffy look even after I have healed. After all, it takes balls to grow a beard.
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