Is it time to steer away from the beard?
Whether it's a sculpted chin-stroker, a salt and pepper shadow, a full Ned Kelly, or something in between, boisterous beards are everywhere. But have we reached "peak beard"?
"We're steering away from the beard now, I think they've had their day," says Sebastian Hoyle, artistic director of Melbourne-based men's grooming mecca One For Men. Hoyle has seen a few hirsute trends come and grow over 30 years in the grooming business.
Messy hair and unruly bushranger beards are giving way to clean cut, put-together style.
"Men are going for a more 1940s look – it's a great era for men – with hats and sharp haircuts, cleanly shaven with the top button done up. Why not?"
SHAVING THE SHADOW
Three-day growth is currently the way to go, says Hoyle – "It looks better on men who have a bit of a baby face" – but gents should tame the fuzz with a good quality clipper, like one from American brand Wahl.
"The blades are smaller and they shave down more thinly without cutting the skin," he says. "And you shouldn't get anything too cheap because the blades don't last as long."
If you've decided it's time to shave off the beard, Hoyle recommends exfoliating your face well first to lift ingrown hairs, and applying water-soluble shaving oil.
"I would always shave in the shower, too, where the steam is going, because it really opens the pores and you get a really beautiful shave."