Decoding the beard

Blame it on the hipsters, but the festival of facial hair continues

Marie Claire Contributor / May 25 2017

“Beards are an ego thing – it’s a sign of masculinity,” explains Craig Meggs, master barber for QT Hotels The Barber Shop in Sydney and Canberra. Whether you prefer designer stubble or a bush, here’s what your facial hair says about you.

Sexy stubble

Ryan Gosling

Advocate: Ryan Gosling

What it says: You’re most likely a working professional: smart, sophisticated and have an eye for fashion. To keep looking sharp, you’ll need regular maintenance, “otherwise it could venture into the next stage”, says Meggs. “Keep it short and clean, and manscape it so it looks chiselled with neat edges.”

Wide & wild

Brad Pitt

Advocate: Brad Pitt

What it says: The classic hipster beard. “It’s a low maintenance style, but you still want it to look healthy, so using product is paramount,” explains Meggs. To groom your beard, “comb it out like an afro and trim it minimally to keep it sharp, otherwise it can get fuzzy and nest-like”.

Mo/Chinstrap combo

David Backhham

Advocate: David Beckham

What it says: You’re a high-maintenance man (but we’re sure you’re lovely). You are driven and know what you want, and you take your appearance seriously. Due to its intricate nature, this beard is a commitment. “A lot of effort is required so your style looks good all of the time,” says Meggs. “Keep the beard tapered with clippers, style your moustache with product, and regularly trim the ends.”


Johnny Depp

Advocate: Johnny Depp

What it says: “This beard doesn’t suit many people, as you need to have brilliant bone structure to pull this off,” says Meggs. A goatee is for those looking to make a statement, and the individual style means “you can change it as often as you like to reflect your personality”.

Full & shapely

Jake Gyllenhaal

Advocate: Jake Gyllenhaal

What it says: This is for men who want a beard without looking like they are trying too hard. “They generally have a baby face and as this is a clean beard; it’s very tidy,” says Meggs. Regular brushing is a must, and Meggs advises clippering to maintain the shape for a manicured look.

Tool kit:

Remington VacGroom 2-in-1 Beard Trimmer

L’Oréal Paris Men Expert Hydra Energetic Moisturiser For 3 Day Beards

Tom Ford For Men Conditioning Beard Oil in Neroli Portofino

Aimée is an established writer and editor with over ten years of experience working for some of the world’s leading print and digital titles. These include Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, New York Magazine and WWD.