Guest Post by Timothy Lemke:
To some men facial hair is what happens when they run out of razor cartridges and refuse to spend a small fortune on a three pack of wafer thin blades. To others, facial hair is an excuse to use mustache wax and wear a top hat they have always wanted. There are many reasons why a man might start sporting facial hair, but like the decision to purchase a pair of skinny jeans, not all of them are good.
Whether you’re trying to convince yourself that a five o’clock shadow makes you look more like Bradley Cooper, or start growing a beard so you can tell women you’re a fireman or lumberjack at bars, the right facial hair can make the difference between suave and slob if grown for the right reasons.
In nature, symmetry plays an important role in the reproduction, health, and survival of a species. Lest you think that symmetry only matters to the birds and the bees, multiple studies have been conducted that directly link how attractive you are viewed by others depends on how symmetrical your face.
Growing facial hair as a way to accentuate the positive features of your face and can dramatically change your appearance for the better. If you frequently receive compliments about your eyes or lips, then growing facial hair will help frame those features and cause them to appear even more dramatic.
Facial hair can also draw the eye away from parts of your face that lack needed definition or symmetry. A small chin coupled with round cheeks can be evened out by growing a full or circle beard, just as a chin strap can help create a jawline for those with a weak chin.
If you have the type of youthful appearance that gets you carded when trying to buy a ticket to a PG-13 movie, then growing facial hair can help you look more your actual age. Baby faced men, however, must be careful of being too ambitious when trying to grow facial hair. If your attempts at growing a full beard result in a patchy, straggly mess, you’re more likely to look like an overly ambitious teenager than a suave man of mystery.
A balbo or Van Dyke works better for men who grow lighter facial hair than for men who need to use an industrial strength bread trimmer to cut through their heavy growth of hair. When grown properly, facial hair should compliment your appearance, not make you look like a guy who owns a van with no windows.
Whether you decide to grow a pair of mutton chops, a full blown chevron mustache, or a handlebar, a lot of what it takes to successfully pull of facial hair is carrying the right attitude. If you feel self-conscious about your choice of facial hair, you’re not going to possess the necessary swagger it takes to pull that inverted horseshoe Sam Elliot helped make famous. Facial hair that acts as an extension of your personality will be easier to wear than trying to force a look that doesn’t seem like you.
Timothy Lemke is a freelance writer living in Portland who can be seen sporting his full beard at B.J. Willy’s, a restaurant in West Linn Oregon.
image via Culture Pop