Is It Boom or Bust for the Beard Trend?

One question remains: Is the beard still in, or is it going out of style? Are we going back to stubble or a clean-shaven look? What is the future of facial hair?
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We've all noticed that trends in facial hair come and go. Some men ignore them completely and make decisions on a whim, while others like to stay up-to-date, especially if they work in a profession where professionalism comes first and foremost. Many others are compelled to take advantage of Movember (and Decembeard) or other seasonal opportunities to grow out their facial hair.

There is little doubt that there are more and more people -- both men and women -- taking interest in this topic. Suave Grooming recently interviewed prominent style and beauty experts regarding their thoughts on facial hair. Venessa, founder of We The Classy says, "I'm a fan of men using their facial hair to show their style and I think many people are excited for this variable to be in the spotlight as of late."

Facial hair gives men the opportunity to express themselves and to "accessorize" in ways they might not be able to otherwise. It's a statement about who they are and how they want to be perceived by others.

But one question remains: Is the beard still in, or is it going out of style? Are we going back to stubble or a clean-shaven look? What is the future of facial hair?

The Rise of the Beard

Search the term "beard" in Google Trends, and you will soon discover that queries related to beards have been seeing a fairly steady climb from 2011 onwards.

An even faster growing trend is the term "beard styles", which has also been on a major growth curve. There are clearly more men looking into how to wear their beards than ever before - and looking at the pictures in the search results, there aren't too many "styles" that should scare you away.

This study also features some interesting facts and stats about beards and facial hair, such as the fact that about 33% of American males and 55% of males worldwide have some kind of facial hair. They also note that beards were once looked upon as a sign of honor and were only cut as a punishment, and both men and women agree -- beards make men look older, more respected, of a higher status, and even powerful.

There are a lot of thoughts out there about the kind of impression the beard makes -- especially on women -- but even fashion and beauty expert Brooke from KBStyled said, "With the growing trend of men's personal care products and annual events such as 'Movember', it seems that beards (and all facial hair) is here to stay."

She is absolutely right -- it is plain to see that the beard is still in full force, and it won't be going anywhere for a long time to come. It's here to stay.

Are There Any Other Options?

Is this to suggest that the beard is your only option if you want to wear facial hair? Plainly, no. There are still other relevant and trendy ways of expressing yourself.

The beard is a great option, first and foremost, if you're able to grow one, secondly, if you're able to care for it, and thirdly, if it doesn't unnecessarily limit your personal and professional opportunities. That's for you to decide.

But smart, groomed long stubble is also in style. Dannon, fashion and beauty expert from Like The Yogurt says, "Scruff is everything you want in a guy: sexy, confident, mature, carefree and mysterious." Maintenance of your beard is key and you can see this guide for the best beard trimmer.

Search the term "stubble" on Google Trends, and you will see that it is also on an upwards trend. There has been steady growth for the term from about 2007 onwards, in fact. "Beard stubble" is also a trending query, though the beard trend is still a relatively new development compared to stubble.

So, scruff is also good, as long as it is managed. Make sure to trim regularly and keep it neat.

Final Thoughts

In summary, facial hair is still a hot topic, but your choices are limited. Smart, groomed long stubble, or "scruff", is in style. Beards -- though they may cycle in and out of fashion -- are also still in style. The future of facial hair is sure to rely heavily upon on these two styles and beard trimming will be a prevalent part of that.

How will you choose to express yourself? How will you wear your facial hair, and is it well-matched to your personality and fashion choices?

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