by RYAN BOLTON, originally published in Chill Magazine

Gentleman, facial hair is here to stay. Why? Well, in part, because celebrities made them cool again. (Read: George Clooney and his salt-and-pepper moneymaker and even Brad Pitt and that odd billy goat thing he was rocking). And, let’s admit it, we can be a little lazy at times, shaving every day sucks and it’s cold outside. There’s been a welcomed resurgence in the everyday stubble (thank you, Gosling). The mustache has its own dedicated month (thank you, Movember). And, not to forget, the classic beard popping up on A-listers all over the red carpet. It’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment of the resurgence, but while there won’t be any playoff beards (single tear) we still have Zach Galifianakis to keep our spirits high and our faces warm for these winter months.

Ryan Gosling beardRyan Gosling and the Pretty Boy Beard

Gosling is able to make anything look good. Three-piece suits, magazine covers, poor boy caps, crushing skulls in elevators and sporting overgrown stubble on the cheeks. With a long angular face, Gosling is able to add a layer of well-maintained scruff while keeping the jawline pronounced. It gives him the “rugged” part in his patented pretty-boy-yet-rugged look.

Should you rock it?

Sure. This one is the easiest because you can also pass it off as being slightly lazy. Five o’clock shadow is dreamy and all, but a little more scruff gives you the “Yeah, I haven’t shaved for the past week, and I look damn fine” look. Aka. handsomely rugged.

Tom Hardy BeardTom Hardy and the Grizzly Bear Beard

Tom Hardy is a badass. Fact. Tom Hardy doesn’t really care what you think. Fact. Tom Hardy has a wiry, badass, I-don’t-really-care beard. Fact.

Should you rock it?

Probably not. This one is tough to pull off as Hardy isn’t even able to really pull it off himself. And he’s the badass here. Don’t let the beard go completely rogue; only Grizzly Adams can do that. Fact.

 

 

Gandalf Grey BeardGandalf the Grey and the Wizard Beard

Gandalf knows how to rock a beard. Full length beards take both time and dedication, something, in turns out, that Gandalf has the ability to do. There’s also something about that full, grey beard that adds to Gandalf’s innate wisdom. Plus, you can’t be a wizard without a dope beard.

Should you rock it?

Unless you’re in ZZ Top or a wizard that can return from the dead even greater than when you were alive, no.

 

Zach Galifranakis beardZach Galifianakis and the Full Beard

You can’t do a celebrities-with-beards article and not name one of its greatest. That would be beard blasphemy. Ever since this beard-toting demi-god came on the scene as a wolfpack of one, full beards have been sighted all over the place. Coincidence? I think not.

Should you rock it?

Possibly. The full beard takes time to perfect. You need patience to just let it do its thing for the first four to five weeks before starting to trim. You need to massage your beard. You need to shampoo (Bluebeards Original Beard Wash) and condition that beast. You need to be able to wear flannel and carry an axe. And, most importantly, you need a partner that loves you dearly and will put up with the scratchiness. This is paramount.

When to Beard: The Etiquette Guide

As beards have been coming into their heydey recently with hipsters adopting, construction workers presumably keeping warm, and your dad saying “I need a change, your mom isn’t talking to me anymore,” there are also some guidelines on acceptable bearding.

First and foremost, men, have fun with your facial hair, but never at the expense of your face. Remember, it’s your money maker. Well, for some anyway (read: Gosling. Oh, he’s so dreamy).

Furthermore, showing a little groomed scruff at the office or at a wedding is a totally acceptable look. Groomed is the operative word here. Showing up looking like Joaquin Phoenix in a death spiral is not.

When it comes to interviews, if the chin curtains aren’t patchy like a 10th grader and it fits your personality, go for it. If you’re coming out of the woods for an upper management position, consider a trim. And if you’re Ben Affleck, do whatever the hell you want with your beard—on any occasion. You’re Ben Affleck for chrissakes.

Written by Ryan Bolton

Ryan is a Toronto-based writer and photographer that likes to break the rules. His work has taken him around the world to do what he truly loves—storytelling. And drinking cold beer.