Men are getting more creative about beards and other forms of facial hair, a trend that seems to have started around a decade ago. Men's face shaving styles.
“We always say ‘beards are the new six-pack,” said Aaron Meyers, President & COO of Hammer and Nails, a men’s grooming salon with locations across the U.S. “These guys really take care of their beards. We say, the more ostentatious, the better. It’s becoming more of an artistic expression.”
According to Quartz Magazine, the growth in facial hair coincided with the 2007-2008 global financial crisis and has been gaining followers ever since.
“Overall, men want to be unique,” said Lauren Victoria, a barber at Dr. Beard Barbershop in West Hollywood. “Beards are so versatile, you can really make it any way you want.”
Victoria said that skin fades, a style that leaves hair long on top and shaved at the sides are the most popular style option but also require monthly visits to stay fresh. Some of her regular clients opt for more adventurous styles, including colors and patterns shaved into the hairline.
“I believe the goatee was my main style even into high school,” said Atlas Brave, a 29-year-old artist living in Los Angeles. “I never wanted to look like anyone else…I guess my facial hair changes as I change my style.”
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Standing out from the crowd is in line with millennial values, says Victoria. And the data back it up. According to GlobalData’s consumer research, 72 percent of millennial males believe their looks and appearance are important. Almost two-thirds say they prefer to be unique and stand out from the crowd.
“Millennials are a very big part of who are taking part in our services,” Meyers said. “They are more interested in taking care of themselves.”
In addition to sporting facial hair, millennial men are more likely to take advantage of other self-care service. Hammer and Nails offer pedicures, manicures, and aromatherapy treatments to customers. Meyers says their services are focused on health rather than just aesthetic appeal.
“Some guys think it’s not ‘tough’ to take care of your feet, but we actually see a lot of pro athletes in here because they know how important it is to take care of themselves,” Meyers said.
Still, it’s not lost on barbers and grooming companies that more millennial men are also interested in looking good.
“I dated often and was constantly out and about, so it was a goal for me to look as good as I can for my appearance,” Brave said. “I always wanted to look like the best version of myself for my body and facial shape. Beards and facial hair really help a guy do that.”
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Beards are by far the most popular trend at the moment, say stylists. According to a report by Experian, 35 percent of young men age 18 to 24 have facial hair and 83 percent use a shaving product daily.
“It’s something you have to groom and take care of – you get into the ritual of grooming your beard just like you have a cup of coffee in the morning,” Meyers said. “It becomes something you enjoy taking care of.”
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