It may not be right, but first impressions make a difference. What are the best facial hair styles to reflect your unique personality? If your facial hair sends the wrong message, you may never have a chance to reverse that mistaken first impression.
Just like clothing, facial expressions, body language and attitude, facial hair conveys information about you, accurate or not. Does yours send the right one?
While highly subjective, of course, here is some information about eight facial hair styles and the messages they send:
1. The conservative full beard. Once reserved for older men, full beards are common with younger guys now. It’s a classic style for an old-fashioned or conservative guy — until it starts to get a bit longer. Then it shows off a wilder side. The more carefully groomed it is, the more conservative and proper the guy is. Don’t over-groom if you want a carefree, young and modern look.
2. The throwback goatee. Popular in previous generations, a goatee either means you can’t grow a full beard or your going for a retro look. Most closely connected with the mid-90s, a goatee is a bit too much grooming for many guys. Be aware that you may look like your father or your accountant if you have a goatee. But if it’s all you can grow, don’t make the lines around it too perfect or you’ll look older and more precise than you actually are.
3. The trendy stubble look. Trendy and sexy, stubble is definitely in vogue. But you can’t get good stubble just by not shaving for a day or two. For designer stubble that makes a positive impression, invest in the best stubble trimmer available and use it every day or two. Shave around the edges, if necessary, for a clean and well-groomed look. This is among the best facial hair styles for students and casual workers.
4. The long and wild sideburns. An indicator that you’re a guy who enjoys some fun, sideburns can make you look older if you trim them too carefully. Leave them a little on the long side — both in hair length and overall dimensions — if you want to display your unconventional side.
5. The desperate chinstrap. A chinstrap is worse than no beard at all in many eyes and is often seen as a cry for attention or an indication that growing a full beard is impossible. A chinstrap — with or without the moustache — demands attention, and that isn’t cool. Guys see so many of them that they may think they’re in style, but choose a full beard, scruff or a stache instead.
6. The many moustaches. Bold with a hint of arrogance, a regular moustache is a sign of uniqueness and sexiness. For older guys, it may be a throwback to a different era. The horseshoe moustache is a clear sign of great rebellion and the handlebar moustache indicates pleasantness but old-fashioned values. The handlebar is in style, but it only looks good when worn alone. A handlebar with a beard signals an inability to commit.
7. The hated soul patch. While some absolute despise the soul patch, it can be a great way to express some individuality if it isn’t allowed to get too big. Surely, though, a soul patch indicates an offbeat man who wants to show some countercultural vibes. Don’t let the soul patch grow without maintenance, however, or you’ll just look badly groomed.
8. The plain clean-shaven look. For some men, the best facial hair styles mean nothing because they can’t grow anything. And that’s okay. While being clean-shaven can make you seem young, preppy and conservative, it can also show great attention to your personal appearance. Many men over 40 end up clean-shaven to eliminate some of the gray hair — plus some guys get more conservative in appearance and attitude as they get older.
Exploring can help you decide on the best facial hair styles for you. You’ll probably sport many different kinds of facial hair in your lifetime, and some will surely not go well with your face or your image. Others simply won’t be comfortable or easy for you to maintain.
But exploring the best facial hair styles for you is part of being a man. Enjoy the process.