The Rise and Rise of the Beard Generation.

The Rise and Rise of the Beard Generation.

The how come’s, how to’s and how not to’s of wearing a set of whiskers.

Beards. We dig ‘em and we loathe ‘em. It’s the maintenance man, the maintenance. The one thing we men are proudly (not) good at. It’s hard enough trying to play “Saturday Afternoon Pool Guy” in front of the missus, with a half-baked, naked torso that needs a little more time in the gym (okay, a lot more) – and a strong stride with the pool pole net, catching leaves and bugs and the odd frog (which is pretty cool). It’s tough stuff being a bloke.

But let’s get real: alpha-beta-macho aside, if we really had our own way, we’d much rather be sprawled on the couch, in our favourite holey shorts from nineteen ninety something that should have grown legs by now, mucking our hands with a big ass bag of potato crisps, and watching our top 5 re-runs of Star Wars, or football – or anything, really, that meant we did not have to do, or think or live up to another single, globally incited, new-age man expectation.

Right. So while the couch sounds like a great idea, let’s take that pipe dream, save it for time in the man cave, and up the ante on what’s happening out there in the real world of testosterone. It’s called facial hair – and there’s no couch involved. The beard bro. It’s cool, it’s powerful and it gets right in there with that Spartacus-come-Selleck feeling (as in Tom).

Ask the Egyptian Pharos – they’ll tell you. In ancient times, facial hair was a denotation of power – the more you had, the more you were revered. Facial hair, in any shape or form, was the ultimate sign of roar. When you held your sword, you held it with a mo man; when you went to war, you did it only, but only, with follicle precision that breathed life into the lion inside you. Yip, good times.

Today, the beard – which is a broad term we use to accredit any kind of facial hair – has taken back its throne of glory in a variety of trendy styles and shapes, to suit any male persona, occasion or even, mid-life crisis. It works – and it works well. In business, at the bar, on the sports field, in photo bombing – no matter the time or place, there is always room for the guy sporting the killer beard.

And the maintenance? Well, that’s the best part good gentlemen: with the extra large scale of diverse beard pruning and grooming products on the market, that part of your man-up routine becomes easy, and fun. Swagger brands like Sorbet Man for example are all about less-fuss-more-play and remain committed to cool, convenient male grooming in the 21st century, taking the grudge-work out of feeling good.

There are more than 40 different beard styles that have made their way to the streets over the past decade – all of which are still doing their rounds with pride.  If you’re considering shaping up your look, it’s important to know which beard styles are out there, which will suit you, what they’re saying to the world and how to keep them in good nick.

Here are Sorbet Man’s Top 5 most frequently asked for beard styles:

  1. Street Name: Goatee

Looks Like: A Billy Goat’s chin

What is it: An obviously styled tuft of hair growth upon and around the chin and (sometimes) the lip area – resembling the gruffness of a goat.

Level of Maintenance: High. This one will need attention boys, every few days with a high quality beard trimmer (see Sorbet Man’s Beard Trimming Collection) and a good splash of confidence.

Public Opinion: It’s suave, dude. Eastwood suave.

  1. Street Name: The Bandholz Hipster

Looks Like: A Long Drop

What is it: All beard. Long and proud. Wildly astute hair growth that results from approximately zero days of shaving.

Level of Maintenance: Low-ish. Not much to do here but let it grow, yo. You will most likely need to maintain its unpredictable shape and trim the length every other week to keep it somewhat tidy, rather than scruffy.

Public Opinion: Named after the entrepreneur himself, Eric Bandholz, this jaw dropper is totally cool. A real winner any time of year. Not so cool though: when your morning scrambled egg gets stuck up in there. Do a mirror check, often.

  1. Street Name: The Ducktail

 Looks like: Holy Duck, Dude!

What is It: Neater than the Bandholz. Perfectly balanced beard growth with cropped furry sides, a modified mo and a long drop chin that peaks like a duck’s tail, literally.

Level of Maintenance: Medium. Shape is everything here; maintaining the wild slash sophisticated look takes just the right amount of shearing and beard oiling. Check out Sorbet Man’s Beard Oil for this one.

Public Opinion: One of the most popular beard styles with a solid, crafted look for the board room table, but can still shoot the breeze with the boys.

  1. Street Name: Full Beard

 Look like: A Full Beard

What is it: The beard that never goes out of fashion. All cheek, all jaw, all stach and all classic.

Level of Maintenance: Medium. You’d be surprised, but this let-it-all-hang-out kind of beard is easy to grow but particular to keep. Regular trimming is a must, while the cheek line should be cropped in tune with your face shape. Just #MeetTheBarber in any barber shop in Johannesburg or Cape Town and ask for some pro advice.

Public Opinion: Clooney knows how – and he bagged Amal – so that makes it the beard of all beards. A classic tribute to the man that knows what he wants, and knows how to get it. No contest.

  1. Street Name: Circle Beard

 Looks like: A Chuck Norris round house.

What is it:  This is a combination of a slick moustache and a rounded goatee. Best kept on square faces and jawlines.

Level of Maintenance Involved: Low. This wolfie is a best seller in terms of low keep. Keeping it front heavy, short and rounded in shape is pretty easy – and that’s all that is required.

Public Opinion: A little scratchy on the first kiss, but a beard rash never killed anyone, right.

So there it is, in beard and white fellas: all the coolest styles on the buzz, and some beard essentials too for your men’s grooming kits, to help you on your shape shifting journey. When you’re done with those re-runs have a scroll through the Sorbet Man beard collection, now available at any Sorbet Man or Clicks store nationwide And as for your regular pool guy gig; we say lose the shirt, keep the pole net, add the goatee. Power. #getthatfeeling