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Beards, the state of play

Categories Grooming

We grilled Aiden Xydis, barber and owner of The Men’s Grooming Room in Sydney, about the risks and pleasures of facial hair…

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Beards — are they only for hipsters?

Anyone can rock a beard. It’s more about maintaining it and how you groom it. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and textures and will require a different level of maintenance and styling depending on the look you’re trying to achieve. Business professionals often request more of a neat and tidy beard trim with clean lines and defined shape. For more of a relaxed/hipster look, guys tend to grow their beard, adding length which better showcases the beard’s texture. Beards are also a great trick for guys with less defined jawlines, adding structure and definition.

The Ned Kelly look — here to stay or on the way out?

The Ned Kelly is a beard type that only a select few can pull off. In my experience, those numbers have dwindled, as they require a high level of maintenance! Given the current trends, the Ned Kelly Beard has been replaced by a more contoured and structured style and the clean shaven look.

What does a beard say about a man?

A beard can say a lot about a man from what type of work he does to expressing personal traits.  Traditionally, a full beard expresses an alpha man status while a more scruffy style gives off the impression of a more relaxed, free spirited vibe.

Beards in the boardroom — risky or power play?

These days beards are more widely appreciated and respected. If you can grow a solid beard, people tend to respect that…so I say it’s a power play! If you’re sporting facial hair, you tend to look more alpha male than those sporting a clean shaven look.

Aiden Xydis of The Men’s Grooming Room.

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Are we going to look back on beards in a few years the way we do mullets and big hair?

No, I don’t think we will. Beards have always been in fashion one way or another and every decade has its respected facial hair type. We’ve seen the beard used as a symbol of masculinity and even just a few cheek sprouts can make you a “hipster”. I think beards are like a classic white tee: you can always count on them to be in style. It just depends on how you wear your beard in combination with your overall style.

What are the latest trends in beards?

One of the more popular beard trends at the moment is the contoured beard – think straight lines, cut-throat shaves, keeping it well groomed at all times!

What are the essentials in terms of care, maintenance and shaping?

Beard oil and a comb are a must have in every bearded man’s grooming kit! Beard oil will help moisturise your skin and hair right from the follicle. This will also help keep your beard hydrated and soft to touch whilst preventing any dry and flaky skin, aka “beard druff”, aka beard dandruff. I’d recommend rubbing oil in every day or two, combing it through to reshape – just like you would your hair!

What are the definite no-no’s?

Most men shampoo their beards every day, which can leave your beard feeling dry as you are constantly removing natural oils. I suggest to only shampoo once or twice a week max and only if needed.  A pH neutral cleanser, like the evo Body and Cake Bar, works perfectly! It’s gentle on the skin, so safe to use daily if needed and will leave you feeling soft and moisturised.

Which celebs really carry off the beard?

Jake Gyllenhaal and Chris Hemsworth have all been seen rocking a beard on and off the screen and they do it well. Joe Manganiello also has a great beard – even with a little extra scruff, it is always well maintained.

And those who don’t?

I can’t think of anyone at the moment that isn’t pulling off the beard look. It really all comes down to personal preference. Some guys prefer the lumberjack beard while others prefer a clean shave. However, if you think it’s time to get rid of your beard, be sure to soften your whiskers before shaving – evo’s Uberwurst Shaving Crème is a great product that will prevent that irritating burn you can get from a rough shave!

Visit Aiden at The Men’s Grooming Room (below), 20-22 Elizabeth St, Paddington, NSW. Ph: (02) 9360 2444.

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