Men’s Style Column: Facial Hair

By Ryan Alphonso

Image from
Image from

There comes a time in every man’s life when he wakes up, rolls (half-heartedly) out of bed, takes a look in the mirror and jumps nearly a mile backward in horror of the caveman staring back at him.

Even though not every guy likes to grow facial hair, every guy does— to a degree. Whether it’s a handlebar mustache, goatee, or full-on lumberjack forest exploding from your chin, every guy knows his own stubble. However, not everyone knows some good ways (or even the right way) to tame what may sometimes seem like a labyrinth of scraggly fuzz.

So how exactly do we define facial hair? To make it easy, let’s break it down into some simple categories.

The Clean Cut– Totally shaven with no hair
The Stubble– Gone a couple days without shaving, and the teeny-tiny hairs are just starting to peek through.
The Half-beard– Think 2-3 weeks without shaving for the average guy.

The Full-beard– Zach Galifianakis. Gandalf the Grey. Dumbledore. And everything in between. Enough said.
The Goatee– Just around the mouth and on the chin. Yes, soul patches count too.

The Mustache– We’re talking full Super Mario Bros. status. Bushy, full and powerful.

Image from
Image from had five women analyze and rate each of these different facial hair styles on a scale of -5 (that’s the grodiest thing I’ve ever laid eyes on) to 5 (Sexiest Man Alive status). Not surprisingly, the clean-shaven and stubbly looks were the most popular, with a total score of +19 and +20, respectively. But who would have guessed that the Mario & Luigi mustache would have come in dead last with a depressingly low score of -8. Yes, negative 8. Looks like girls just don’t like kissing a fur blanket.

Now, for those mustachioed men of the world, be not discouraged. There were some girls in the survey that said the super ‘stache was attractive. You’ll be ok, trust me.

Either way, mustache, muttonchops, or goatee, sloppy facial hair is not going to be a turn-on for anyone. Anyone. Treat your face like you’d treat an expensive steak on the grill: with attention, delicacy and tender love and care. You wouldn’t just hack away at your brand new $20 filet, would you? So why do it to your facial hair? Follow these three easy steps, and you’ll be rocking the facial hair of a celebrity in no time at all.

1. Trim, trim, trim. You don’t want a forest. Just like the hair on your head, the hair on your face needs constant maintenance. Don’t just let it grow into something comparable to a Chia pet.

2. Scrub, scrub, scrub. Wash it! Yes, it’s still hair. It needs a good cleaning every now and then (and no, just picking lunch’s crumbs out of your beard doesn’t count.)

3. Watch, watch, watch. Keep an eye on it. If you feel like you’re outgrowing your 5 o’clock shadow, or you don’t love your precious clean-shaven look as much as you used to, change it! The great thing about hair is that it grows back. Don’t be afraid to try something or change it up. If you feel good, you’ll look good.

For years, People magazine has done an annual piece on the “Sexiest Man Alive.” Now, this isn’t to say you should go comparing yourself to Bradley Cooper (‘12) or Channing Tatum (‘13), but know this: four out of the past 10 “sexiest men” have sported some type of facial hair. So guess what? Facial hair can be sexy. You just have to know how to wear it and take care of it. Now, gentlemen, go forth and see what your face has to offer.
And remember: if you hate it, you can always shave it.



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