It's the beginning of the year, and we all want to be better, more kickass versions of ourselves. But some resolutions are harder than others. Eat 5 raisins rather than a donut? Harder. Try a new beard style? Much easier. If you’ve been a longtime beard owner, it can be easy to fall into a routine, keeping the same beard length and look without giving it further thought. Now’s the time for a fresh start. At Zeus, we constantly keep tabs on trends emerging in fashion and at barbershops, and the following 5 beard styles are the ones we think will explode this year.
Photo via Instagram / @jonaweinhofen
The nice thing about stubble is it looks good at any length and is relatively easy to maintain - just make sure to visit your barber every few weeks to keep the cheek line and jaw line clean, and do regular trims at home. Another selling point? According to a study published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, stubble is the most attractive type of facial hair. And if you find yourself in the group of guys who just can’t grow a full beard, stubble is a rugged alternative.
Heavy stubble, in particular, is trending for 2018. Allow your hair to grow past the point where your skin is constantly itchy, then maintain it. Apply beard oil daily, then brush through with a small beard comb to calm itch and keep your hair soft and touchable for your S.O.
Because much more of your skin shows when wearing stubble, you can’t neglect skincare. Wash your face twice daily and exfoliate a few times a week to reduce the chance of ingrown hairs. Follow up with moisturizer (don’t skip this step or all your hard work will be for naught). Use an electric trimmer to achieve your desired length, and a pair of scissors to catch strays.
Van Dyke Beard
Have you tried growing a beard, only to find the sides just don’t come in as thickly as the middle? Or maybe your beard growth is patchy? Then you may be suited to a Van Dyke beard, named after the famous 17th century painter. A Van Dyke beard consists of completely bare cheeks along with a moustache and goatee. You may have seen the beard style on Robert Downey Jr. in the Iron Man movies. Johnny Depp also frequently rocks a Van Dyke - an good call since his beard veers on the patchy side.
What’s fun about the Van Dyke beard is you can play with how it looks. You can work in a soul patch, and go with a small moustache or crazy twizzled one.
The Van Dyke beard is defined by its lines, so keep ‘em sharp with a trimmer and detailer. Remove hair from your neck and cheek, and disconnect your moustache from your goatee. Comb your beard at least twice a day to ensure stray hairs aren’t poking out. If you’re going out for the night, we recommend using moustache wax for extra hold and shape.
Medium Length Beard
Image via Instagram / @trchamberlin
When done right, the medium length beard has all the firepower of the long beard, but with less upkeep. It’s masculine without looking nomadic. This type of beard falls about 2 to 3 inches below your chin. In recent years, celebrities like footballer Tom Howard and model Ricki Hall have increased the popularity of this beard style.
An important note: the medium length beard requires the ability to grow a full, thick beard. It looks badass on guys with a weak chin or a round face, since it contours while adding length.
It’ll take a few months to get enough length for this beard. During this time, don’t remove any beard hair and only trim your cheek lines if they start to creep towards your eyes. Keep the cheek lines clean with a detailer. Once your beard is long enough, square off the bottom.
Because beard hair wicks moisture away from skin, restore what’s been lost with beard oil and beard balm twice daily. For maximum moisture retention, apply the two products right after you wash your face and beard, when skin is like a sponge. Neglecting to do this will cause itchy, dry patches on your skin - and dreaded beardruff.
Longer Short Beard
One step beyond stubble, the longer short beard does both rugged and classy well. Often referred to as the “business beard,” this beard style is frequently worn by professionals in the workplace. The longer short beard follows and accentuates your face’s natural angles. The sides are shorter, while the chin has a bit more length. You can also tailor this beard style to suit your needs, adding extra length and/or squaring it off at the bottom to add definition to a round face. Should you have an oblong face, keep the bottom cropped closer.
Because the longer short beard only juts out 1 to 2 cm from your face, this beard style requires the ability to grow a thick beard - or else patches will make a glaring appearance.
Exfoliate to remove dead skin and stimulate circulation (which promotes hair growth), and apply beard balm and oil. Use a detailer to get clean cheek lines, and always watch out for stray hairs.
Image via Instagram / @gregtbrown
A statement moustache rounds out your beard, while giving it a kick of a little something extra. Every moustache is unique, allowing you to show off your style. A thick, luxurious ‘stache a la Ron Swanson looks mature, while a wiry Dali adds a touch of dandy. When choosing which moustache you’d like to rock, be sure your hair type suits the moustache style. For instance, the chevron works best with straight hair.
Moustache hair tends to grow towards (and unfortunately, into) your mouth, so you’ll have to train your moustache to grow to the side, rather than down.
To achieve: arm yourself with a moustache comb and moustache wax. Apply moustache wax, first to one side of your moustache and then the other. Then comb each side horizontally and out. Use your fingers to style the ends by pinching and twisting.