Is it time to shave off your beard? It might make you look a lot younger
Summer is just around the corner and it's time to take a good, long look in the mirror: will that beard you so carefully cultivated during winter last the summer?
The trend towards growing the sort of bristles that would make a bushranger blush has been so insistent we've even seen people attempt beard transplants to get one.
But thankfully, for those of us who neither suit or are capable of growing glorious chin curtains, the beard is on the way out.
STREAMLINED FOR SUMMER
Well. Kind of. Things are definitely taking a turn for the shorter, though, let's just put it that way.
Sasha Coxon, an Australian master barber, states a lot of clients who dedicated the winter to growing a Kelly Gang are now opting for a more cleaner and streamlined look. "Coming into summer, it's way too hot for heavy facial hair," he says.
"I'm definitely seeing a trend towards more clean-shaven looks or even just a light stubble."
"It's warmer so guys are going lighter. They're ditching the big hipster beards in favour of closer clipped styles that accentuate the jawline, similar to a fade haircut but for the beard."
THE BALD BENEFITS
If you feel your face hackles rising at the thought of clipping off your locks, there are actually some benefits to freeing the chin.
For starters, it makes you look younger. Yes, this can be a contentious issue and as someone who suffers from baby face syndrome I feel your pain. But – there's a point where you realise looking older than your years isn't always a good thing. And taming the mane back to a light growth is a nice compromise to going bald eagle.
Secondly, lopping off the locks gives you a chance to give your face a freshen-up. One of the drawbacks of bigger beards is that it can interfere with the general day-to-day maintenance your skin needs to stay healthy such as cleansing and exfoliating.
CLEANSE AND CONDITION
"The short beard and groomed stubble look should be well kept and maintained on a weekly basis," says Renee Baltov, founder of men's grooming destination Barberhood.
"Invest in a good facial cleanser and scrub to clean and exfoliate your skin. Milkman King of Wood Beard shampoo and conditioner is a great product to cleanse your skin and remove dead skin.
Beard oil is a must to soften your stubble – run a few drops into your palms and apply evenly over your beard. You can style a shorter beard in place with beard candy or beard wax to keep it looking fresh and neat for the office or to impress on a date."
But if all that hasn't convinced you to pick up a razor, Coxon says there is a compromise.
"Coming into summer, it's way too hot for heavy facial hair," she explains.
Her advice is to trim the beard by taking out all the weight, using a working-backwards philosophy.
"Start from underneath the beard and work upwards and outwards – this will help take out the bulk from the beard and also help shape it into a square, emphasising the jawline. Starting from underneath gives you a squared-off look. Most men round their beards off under the chin and this creates a double chin, shortens the neck and creates shadows making you look fatter than you really are.