Stubble today, beard tomorrow!

Stubble today, beard tomorrow!

To shave or not to shave is a task, all men have to face every day. Atleast the office-going do not have much choice in setting the so-called ‘decorum”, and have to labour atleast 20 minutes a day in front of the mirror.

But there is also an equally powerful lobby of college going lads, who often debate and decide to follow the filmstars sprouting beards. For these kids, the question is “whom to follow?”. Amitabh Bachchan, Junior Bachchan, Prannoy Roy, Shekhar Kapur or even Osama Bin Laden? Here Abhishek Bachchan is the most cherished model, having come a long way from being a star-son to becoming a superstar in his own right, and on his own terms. Tall, dark, and definitely handsome, he's the guy who made beards cool again.

Beards arrive uninvited at puberty, marking a celebrated progression into manhood. But whether or not they are permitted or even obliged to grow them had, until the 20th century, been determined by class, religious beliefs, community precedent, and occupational status.

What are the unconscious reasons we wear beards? Why are so many associations dark, diabolical or subversive? What's the ritualistic symbolism of shaving? What about the gay beard, gender-bending facial hair, drag kings? If certain beards are archetypal (like Santa or Satan), then what are all of us modern guys saying with our beards, and why now? Is it rebellion, conformity, or a half-hearted compromise between the two? Why are advertisers increasingly using furry models?

But let’s face it! The great thing about facial hair is that you can never go wrong with changing your style. As one of your most natural accessories, you can try different looks.

No risk, no harm.

But it takes more than inspiration to change your look -- you need to make sure your facial hair (or lack thereof) is appropriate for your line of work and your image.
Before you throw away your razors, you have to understand what style suits your face best.

Beards should be grown based on the shape of your face:

*Square shape: Any style that is cleanly cut around the ears or any style that provides a square frame for the face. Square faces, generally, are suitable for experiments with facial hair.

* Rectangular shape: A well maintained beard may camouflage a soft jawline. A carefully trimmed goatee can also infuse an element of squareness to a soft chin.

*Round shape: Beards can be styled to make the face appear more oval. A neat
moustache can also enhance the overall appearance and shape of the face.

*Triangular shape: A French beard or its variations that helps to balance and fill out the jawline.

* Pear and diamond shape: A stubble trimmed into a rounded or square shape will disguise the prominent chin.

Beard trends today

*A few-day-old stubble: This is a classic, no-nonsense facial hair style! If you are tired of walking around with a 'good-boy-clean-shaven' look, then try growing your hair for a few days. It lends machoism and ruggedness to your personality. If you feel like your hair is growing out of control and is turning into a beard, use a trimmer.

* Sideburn: When it comes to sideburn length, the norm is for your sideburns to end at the midpoint of your ear. Trim your sideburns with a razor or clippers, or have them trimmed when you go for a haircut. This is a great default style that's easy to maintain and remains timeless.

* French beard: A pattern of facial hair with a thin moustache, which wraps around the lips to continue into a beard that covers the chin region only. The rest of the face, especially the cheeks, are clean shaven. 

* Below-the-lip goatee: The quasi goatee. You can call it a wannabe-French-beard. This style is to give you a 'different' look - it can't be termed as casual or formal. Although simple goatees are out, a thin moustache along with a small patch of hair underneath the bottom lip and another patch of hair on the chin (none of which are attached) can help add some edge to your style.

Ramesh Sahai fashion choreographer and model co-ordinator, believes that one can’t generalise on which type of beard, one  looks better.

“In fact on some people, stubble suits  better. Models who are between 18 and 23 tend to grow a stubble to look mature or to get rid of the baby-face tag used to describe them.”

He adds, “Stubble sits well on actors like Abhishek Bachchan or Prabhu Deva and that many keep a stubble because they would look much younger without one. Then, there are guys for whom both the looks suit. For example, Madhavan looks cute without stubble, and tough with it.”

Want to know the most apt and wackiest reason for keeping a beard? It’s a matter of saving ‘shaving’ time. One gets more quality time with “wife.”

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