Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Art of Facial ‘Manscaping’

George Clooney, who can do no "manscaping" wrong
The young ladies who come into my salon taught me a new term for their men’s constant changes in facial hair: Manscaping. I thought it perfectly embodies what we men do with our ability to grow, sculpt,  shave off, and then re-grow our facial hair, and just like “landscaping” it can be used to accentuate or disguise natural features and contours.

George Lucas
Sam Elliot
Facial hair can disguise a weak chin or otherwise undistinguished face (George Lucas), a too-long upper lip area (Sam Elliot), or a thin upper lip (Tom Selleck). 
Tom Selleck

Christian Bale
Zach Galafiniakis
It can change the proportions of the face, balance out a too-prominent nose (Christian Bale), sculpt contours that create the illusion of prominent cheekbones, camouflage the beginnings of a double chin (Zach Galafiniakis), and even bring back a youthful look by the careful and professional application of darkening agents to facial hair, which often begins to grey long before the hair on a man’s head. 

Jake Gyllenhal
Here we present to you a series of side-by-side images of men, with and without their trademark facial hair, and ask you to tell us which look you prefer, and what you would change if he were YOUR man (for the ladies), or if it was YOUR face (for the gents). 

Adrien Grenier
Full beard, just a moustache, or clean shaven? A little bit of scruff, or not? Goatee, chinstrap, or sculpted and groomed full beard? No facial hair at all? 

Steve Carell
For some of these celebrities, facial hair is grown for a role (Jake Gyllenhaal), or grown in between roles when they don’t have to attend to their grooming (Adrien Grenier, Steve Carell). 

Josh Hartnett
John Mayer
Some of them are so attractive that anything they do is going to look good (George Clooney), and some of them choose to look deliberately scruffy to downplay their looks (Josh Harnett, John Mayer, and most famously, Brad Pitt) or to make themselves look older or "manlier" (Burt Reynolds in his early career, when he was thought "too pretty," and androgyny was NOT a ticket seller).
Burt Reynolds

Now, gentlemen, look in the mirror, and ask yourself, “Could any of these facial hair ideas work for me?” Then, the next time you visit your stylist, ask him or her if it is something you should consider.

Unlike when a woman invests hundreds of dollars in a new cut or haircolor and has to consider that she’s likely to incur another round of spending if she changes her mind, you, my friend, can always shave it off… 

Until next week, ciao!

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