Beard has become more of hipster cliché that some wearers now need an embellishment to set them apart from every other 20-something with scruffy facial hair. The trend for ubiquitous coloured beard is on rise.
Numerous street-style sites, Instagram pages and Tumblr homages like The Bearded have been featuring stylish lads with rose whiskers and aqua stubble. And none of this comes cheap. Salons are seeing men part with $200 for an intense double process. Call it the high point of facial-hair grooming.
So how did we get here? According to Diana Schmidtke, celebrity groomer to Jon Hamm and Michael Keaton, the beard trend was born in Brooklyn in the early 2000s, when “it was showing up on younger guys there”. The urbane-rugged look caught fire, dominating men’s fashion and birthing a name. “Forget metrosexual, it’s the whole lumbersexual thing,” Schmidtke said.
“Funnily enough, the Brooklyn beard is actually very high maintenance,” she said. “It’s a full beard, so you need regular trimming and conditioning for it to not look crazy. Nobody is trying for a `mountain man’ look.”
Apparently, when it comes to his facial hair, today’s guy doesn’t mind pitching in for extra credit. About a year ago, for an Instagram selfie, photographer Tyler Dean King used a spray chalk to colour his hair cobalt and his beard minty aquamarine. “I was originally just going to do my hair, but then after I did it, my beard looked weird,” he said. He snapped the photo, then washed out the chalk. “I didn’t even leave my apartment,” he said.
In January, BuzzFeed ran a story on dyed beards, which included King’s photo. “That’s when everybody lost their minds,” King said. “I was just doing it for fun. I can’t imagine going out with a coloured beard unless it was for a drag night, or something really niche.”
Other men are more committed. Mara Kadish, a colourist at Warren Tricomi salon, has had several male clients request beard colours in jewel tones and pastels. And it’s not only rebellious 20-somethings. “I’m seeing all ages, but mostly guys who work in creative industries,” she said.”In the past, men were more hush hush about the way they look -it was about looking like they hadn’t gotten their hair or beard dyed,” she elaborated. “They’re feeling bolder now.”
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