New Trend for Men: Lots of Facial Hair

Posted on March 5, 2009

Photo of Josh Holloway


Now here's a trend we could do without: male facial hair is making a comeback. Beards, moustaches and goatees are all experiencing a resurgence. There are multiple causes for the trend: one is the recession. Remember when Al Gore lost the presidency after the Supreme Court ruled against him in Bush vs. Gore? He got depressed, gained weight and grew a beard. Others just like the way they look. And some think they make them look more masculine.
Some guys go for the backlash beard -- ungroomed growth meant to defy the fussy scrubs and sprays of yesterday's metrosexual. Others sport recession stubble: 5, 6 and 7 o'clock shadow in desperate need of a time clock. There are beards grown on bets, mustaches that raise money and whiskers worn simply (and sensibly) for winter warmth.

*****

These days, the hirsute pursuit has evolved into a full-blown, full-grown trend. According to the marketing research company The NPD Group, sales of electric shavers and men's facial trimmers have dipped 12 percent just in the last year while beard-related activities are, well, bristling.

*****

Patchy or sideways hair is a big topic on sites such as BeardCommunity.com and Beards.org, where wannabeardees seek advice on everything from neck beards to uneven growth to appropriate terminology (soul patches, chin curtains, fus, friendly mutton chops - there's a name for every speck of hair that grows on a man's face).
We despise facial hair on men. No moustaches. No Unabomber beards. No goatees, no soul patches, none. Nothing. Well, okay -- fine. There is the Josh Holloway Exception. But he is clearly the exception that proves the value of the no facial hair rule. And speaking of Josh Holloway, how awesome was Lost last night? Sawyer as the new head of security for Dharma! True Love! Contentment! The Giant Egyptian Statue! It was amazing.