Hair today, gone tomorrow: The rise and fall of the beard

9th March 2017

Prior to 2016, the idea of a full beard repulsed. It drew to mind a scratchy, un-kept and scruffy aesthetic. But then, seemingly overnight, a full beard became cool. Not only cool, but hot. And thus the term, ‘lumber-sexual’ was born. All of a sudden, your standard metrosexual man began donning checked shirts and growing very beardy, yet impeccably trimmed, beards in an effort to hold on to some of that outdoorsy, manly, ruggedness.

Haider Ackermann SS17 by Indigital

But it appears the full-face beards reign is over, and we’re internally rejoicing, as we’ve always championed beard-free – it’s a Candid trademark. Fashion week saw the return of fresh-faced, clean-shaven models as seen on the spring/summer catwalks including Lanvin, Dior Homme, Fendi, Givenchy, Haider Ackermann and JW Anderson. The clean-shaven look is undeniably a timeless look and there is something irrefutably satisfying about a smooth face but it takes near constant upkeep. With the right tools and expert guidance, it doesn’t have to be so high-maintenance.

Fendi SS17 by Indigital

Givenchy SS17 by Indigital

Stephen Shortt is the founder of Hawkins & Brimble, a relatively new grooming brand devoted to helping you ‘up your grooming game’ with simple, natural products. Hawkins & Brimble expertly applies the newly revived barber traditions to the hectic lifestyle of the modern day man. Stephen recommends shaving in the direction the hair grows in to reduce pulling on the hair. He says ‘hair on the neck especially grows in all different directions and dragging a razor against its natural direction can damage the follicles, leading to ingrown hairs.’ To combat this, he suggests to use ‘short, gentle strokes and let your razor glide over your skin without applying too much pressure.’

Walter Van Beirendonck SS17 by Indigital

Diesel Black Gold by Indigital

Lanvin SS17 by Indigital

However, if you are not quite ready to give up your beard game just yet, then subtle stubble is the perfect in-between look. Stephen suggests using a beard trimmer to neaten your beard to a more manageable length. If you are starting with an abundance of facial fuzz then it is worth investing in a visit to your barber who can hone your stubble to compliment your face shape. To keep your stubble looking luscious, consider investing in some quality beard oil particularly one that is infused with Argan oil. Beard oils dramatically reduce irritation and prevent troublesome, dry skin. They are an indispensable weapon in your facial hair arsenal.

Aleksey Lopes and Kris James of The Scheme visited the Hawkins & Brimble pop-up barber shop at the Grooming Room over London Fashion Week

We predict that the spring/summer 2017 catwalk trends will spur the return of fresh-faced. But however you choose to wear your facial fuzz, clean-shaven, subtle-stubble or full on lumber-sexual, be sure to keep your face touchably-smooth.

Words by Elle Magill

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