Just like shoes, facial hair can say a lot about the type of man you are. Whether you prefer a full, wild beard or a smooth, clean-shaven look, it’s important to commit to a style and maintain it. To celebrate Movember worldwide, guys around the globe will rock facial hair in an effort to raise awareness for prostate cancer. With the World Beard and Moustache Championships taking place in Oregon in the US this month, it’s clear that facial hair is growing (quite literally) in popularity.
‘There are a few key factors to successfully growing a moustache or beard. Before making the decision, keep in mind that a beard’s initial growth steps are not the most comfortable,’ explains Mohamed Mahmoud Ijbarah, barber at Dubai’s 1847 salon. ‘It’s quite an itchy process, so to counteract, you should wash your beard with an anti-dandruff shampoo. If you are extremely sensitive, it would be better start the growth process in the winter months as you sweat less and your skin is less irritated. In addition, your hair growth is also influenced by what you intake, so a healthy and well-balanced diet as well as dietary supplements such as vitamin B-pumped Biotin is a must,’ he adds.
Trimming, shaping, cleaning, combing, and conditioning is all part of maintaining your facial hair, as is weathering its stages. ‘Fight through the itch as this is the point where the faint-hearted will always give up,’ Mohamed says. ‘You just have to get through the initial irritating period. Let it grow and wait a few months before trying to shape your beard as trimming or shaping it too early won’t give you a well-groomed look.
The growth process will just extend for weeks or even months, which is not something you want to put yourself through.’
What your facial hair says about you
While the steps may appear obvious, achieving a moustache or beard isn’t as easy as simply not shaving. ‘It’s important to know when to give up. If it’s been two or three months and your beard is still patchy and scraggly, it’s in your best interest to shave it off and move on. Beards are definitely not for you so opt for the clean-shaven look,’ he says.
From a full-on Magnum moustache (made popular by US actor Tom Selleck) to a simple ‘after eight’ trim, there are a variety of mo styles men can try. ‘It really depends on the shape of your face and personality. For the fashion forward, we recommend the ‘after eight’. It’s very subtle, with a barely-there element, yet has the right amount of scruff,’ Mohamed says.
Properly trimmed facial hair can enhance desirable facial features such as making your face appear thinner. ‘For those with a very narrow and defined bone structure, we recommend one of the most popular styles, The Zorro, inspired by the book and film character,’ says Mohamed. ‘It’s probably the easiest style to maintain and it will add an air of sophistication to your look. It’s perfect for jetsetters and busy executives. It’s stylish yet laid back, with a subtle twist at the end to give it an edge.’
Of course if you’re not quite sure of which style to go for, a classic moustache is a fail-safe option. ‘For the more serious, older gent, you can’t go wrong with the Magnum moustache. The thick shape and form is very bold and it gives off a more serious tone.’
From Dhs55 to Dhs125 for beard styling. 1847, various locations including Jumeirah Emirates Towers , Sheikh Zayed Road (04 330 1847).
What your facial hair says about you
It takes a certain type of man to pull off the classic Magnum. Confident, meat-eating, manly men need only try. This mo means business. Shave the rest of your facial hair daily and allow the moustache to grow thicker and fuller on its own. Buy a moustache comb a few weeks in, which will help to train the hair to go off to the side. This will help make your mo look more natural and it will be easier to control and style.
With celebs such as Will Smith and Brad Pitt rocking the goatee, it’s clear that it’s still very much in fashion. Alpha-male types can pull this one off, but others might end up looking creepy. Use a shaving oil (Sephora have serveral options, 04 339 9828) and shape it by keeping the outer edges and corners clean at the jawline. Use a trimming tool to keep everything neat. Be sure to move the razor in all directions to catch strays, and if your goatee becomes itchy, moisturise to take the sensation away.
This is a hybrid of moustache and beard – the chin and cheeks are all but devoid of hair, while the upper lip, sideburns and sides of the face boast a manly growth. Give yourself a few weeks to grow your beard but don’t let it get unruly – maintain your cheek and neck hairs with regular shaves using a rotary shaver in a gentle, circular motion. Once your beard has fully formed, use a beard trimmer with a comb to style and get rid of straggling hairs.
This one is really down to personal choice. While many a cutting-edge barber recommend it, it’s like Marmite: you either love it or hate it. This pencil-thin style requires moustache wax to set it in place. Once you have sculpted the bottom triangle with your trimmer, apply moisture to keep it slick and clean. For the top section, the full moustache, use a wax to turn and flick the edges outwards for a more defined style. You may also prefer to leave it flat.
Both Ryan Gosling and Leonardo Di Caprio are fans of this slick style. Younger blokes will find it easier to grow and maintain. A few steps further than the five o’ clock shadow, this style is full-grown stubble that imitates the shadow on a man’s face after eight o’ clock. You’ll need to sculpt it with a blade from The Art of Shaving (available at Sephora), there’s no alternative to a straight razor. Use a hot towel to open up your pores before you sculpt and apply cold water to close them afterwards. This will help you to avoid ingrown hairs.
Movember in Dubai
Every Tuesday throughout the month of November, those sporting mos (aka mo bros) will receive a free bottle of hops here. If the they wish to pay for it then the takings will be donated to the cause.
Societe, Marina Byblos Hotel, Dubai Marina (050 357 1126).
The venue will host various activities, contests and decorations for Movember and will create a moustache menu. A percentage of items bought will go towards prostate cancer research.
Jazz@PizzaExpress, Next to Mövenpick Hotel, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Cluster A (04 4416342).
The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride
This year on Sunday September 28, gents in Dubai, and worldwide, will take to their bikes wearing jaunty trimmed moustaches, silk vests, crisp shirts and tailored suits to raise money for prostate cancer. The themed ride is said to help combat often-negative stereotypes of men on motorcycles and the event is free to enter Participants are encouraged to raise sponsorship for the cause. September 28, venue to be announced.