For men, growing facial hair can be one of them. Beard goatee mustache styles.
Twenty-one-year-old Ben DeGaetano, a mustachioed employee of The Purple Mug, on Prince St., is taking his new facial hair seriously.
This may be life changing, and I just started a couple weeks ago, says DeGaetano. It started out as an experimentation, but I wouldnt put it past me to become a-guy-that-has-a-mustache.
Indeed, facial hair can easily become part of a mans identity, whether for several days or a lifetime. Styles reflect societal norms, but are also an an expression of individual style.
DeGaetano was intrigued by the way his mustache changed his face.
It just brings things into focus and makes you look at the entire face a different way just because there is a strip of hair above the persons mouth, says DeGaetano.
Lancaster County men sport a variety of facial hair, with traditional goatees, mustaches and beards complemented by a whole gamut of experimental styles.
Facial hair is also making a slow comeback as a fashion symbol, experts say.
From what Ive seen in the industry, a full facial beard is what is coming in for the fall, says Wendy Farrell, owner of American Male on Queen Street.
Farrells advice to men: keep it short.
To me, hair needs to be groomed, says Farrell. I like it where it is fashionable looking, styled, trimmed or well-groomed.
Champ Hall, owner of Champ Halls Barber School on King Street says shaved beard designs have recently been popular with the hip-hop generation, although the trend has started to wear off.
Hall himself has a goatee with a shaved head: I think it is a kind of neat look, shaved head with a beard, he says.
For men thinking about finding their own unique look, the options abound.
Steve Billinger of the Official Gentlemens Facial Hair Club, ( www.ogfhc.com ) documents 42 different styles of mustaches, beards and goatees on his Web site.
Beard goatee mustache styles
Luke Hussack, 23, of Lancaster wears a well-trimmed beard, while harboring a variety of opinions about other styles.
Mustaches exude power and are favored by local police officers, according to Hussack, while a shaved head paired with a beard is a way to attract women, he adds.
Eric Regester, a 23-year-old barista at Square One on Duke Street says his decision to grow a beard was simple: Theres something uncivilized about scraping your face, and I decided not to scrape my face anymore, says Regester, whose red beard is a year old, and has never been trimmed.
Yet Regester says he has mixed feelings about his beard becoming his identity, sometimes resenting being known as the guy with the beard at Square One.
For 24-year-old Keith Spicknell of Lancaster, growing a beard meant adapting to the rules at his Bible school.
Spicknell grew his current beard during Christmas break 2001, while attending Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. The school bars male students from growing a beard during a school term.
Spicknell says he was caught up in a beard craze on campus.
It may be hotter during hot summer months, but I would rather be a little warmer and have a beard then have that clean, boring face, Spicknell says.
No one grooms their image more than public figures, and several local bigwigs say they are very attached to their facial hair.
State Rep. Scott Boyd, 46, has a short, bristly mustache. Boyd first grew a full beard when he was 19 years old, then shaved everything but his mustache when he was about 30.
Recently, I started the beard back, and it was gray, Boyd says. It was gray and I looked old.
The gray beard did not poll well with his family, Boyd reports: I said I was going for the rugged look, and they said, it is not rugged, dad, it is old, he says
Boyds fellow state representative Mike Sturla, who has worn a mustache for years and now wears a full goatee, had a similarly mixed response when he tried to grow a full beard.
Someone told him his beard made him look like Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber. So, I figured I better neaten it up a little bit, so I went to the goatee, says Sturla.
WGAL-TV sports broadcaster Pat Principe usually sports a mustache, although he occasionally has a short beard or goatee. Principe says that he grew the mustache in college, but shaved it off when he got his first sports television job in West Virginia.
At that time facial hair was kind of a no-no in television... the good clean look was in, Principe says in an e-mail. Principe grew his mustache back before taking the job at WGAL in June of 1983.
I cant foresee parting with my mustache now... its too much a part of my persona, if you will, Principe writes.
A mans decision to grow a beard aligns him with a historical trend and bearded men of history such as Abraham Lincoln, Sigmund Freud and Karl Marx.
Men with goatees may be aping a style made popular by such baseball players as Mark McGwire and Jason Varitek of the Boston Red Sox.
Alan Peterkin, a Toronto psychiatrist, documents the changing face of beard growing in his book, One Thousand Beards: A Cultural History of Facial Hair.
The book traces the changing perspectives on beard wearing throughout history, which have included seeing them as diabolical, counter-cultural or as symbols of moral and physical strength. Today facial hair is more of an individual choice than a societal standard, Peterkin says.
In U.S. history, beard aficionados point to the Civil War era as a heyday for facial hair.
Jerry Jackson, registrar of the National Beard Registry, ( www.nationalbeardregistry.org ) calculates that at least 99 Civil War generals and admirals wore beards.
Union General Ambrose Burnsides mustache/sidebeard combination was the inspiration for the name sideburns.
Jackson, a 55-year-old systems analyst from Pensacola, Fla., began the national beard registry in 2002. The registrys credo is for men to resist conformity, corporate culture and androgyny by embracing the beautiful, unique and utterly personal habit of growing a full beard.
To date, 918 men have registered their beards on the site.
Jackson is a strong advocate for all kinds of facial hair, saying it reveals a mans true essence. It is not macho, it is just maleness, says Jackson.
Maleness can be sensitive and compassionate but it also has strengths and certain qualities that are just male, and one of them is this massive facial hair.
Beard goatee mustache styles
Dali - narrow, with long, steeply upward pointing ends
English - narrow, with long, slightly curled, sideward pointing ends, stiffly waxed and tightly twirled, like feline whiskers
Fu Manchu - long, downward pointing ends, generally beyond the chin
Handlebar - bushy, with small upward pointing ends
Imperial - whiskers growing from both the upper lip and cheeks, curled upward
Pencil - narrow, closely clipped, outlining the upper lip, with a wide shaven gap between the nose and moustache
Toothbrush - thick, but shaved except for a few inches in the center; associated with Adolph Hitler.
Trash - thin, trashy mustache most famously found on John Waters and Ted Turner
Walrus - bushy, hanging down over the lips, often entirely covering the mouth