Beards arenít just for Santa!.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Beards arenít just for Santa!. thumbnailA festive touch to this manís beard with candy canes and baubles.

BEARDS are back! The penchant for facial hair is back in favour and is well and truly growing on local men.

The beard has been used as a symbol for masculinity for centuries from the verb 'to beard' defined as 'to oppose boldly'.

There is even a 'World Beard Day' celebrated annually on the first Saturday of September where facial- haired men can gather to appreciate their prized locks.

And with the festive season in full swing, we can't forget about everyone's favourite bearded man, Santa Claus. He really knows how to look after his locks and year after year he sports a glossy, conditioned beard perfect for Mrs Claus to run her fingers through.

Hilltown man Noel Smith from Lumberjack's barbershop in Rathfriland has been in the industry for six years and knows a thing or two about acquiring the perfect bearded look.

"I worked in Toronto for a few years as a barber and beards were a big thing over there so I like to think that I can bring some of that expertise to the men of Rathfriland.

"I have noticed an increase in the number of men growing beards as it has really come into fashion in the past number of years. Most men don't realise that when starting out you need to grow your beard for a month before trimming it to let it fully grow out.

"Facial hair is different from the hair on your head so it's even more important to look after it. If it is left alone it will go all wiry. There are many products on the market to help ensure a well-maintained beard; beard oil, moustache wax, shampoo and conditioner.

"I would say the most important product is the beard oil, it helps to soften the hair and keeps the beard in great condition.

"Around half of my clientele have beards and I like to think that I can offer them useful tips on maintaining their beards. You can't grow a beard and expect it to take care of itself."

It can't have gone unnoticed that there is a new trend of men adorning their beards in glitter and nestling Christmas baubles in their bristles.

The Outlook took to the streets of Banbridge to gauge the reaction of some bearded men and find out howthey maintain their look and would they be partial to decorating their facial hair for the party season.

Translink employee Simon Caulfield has been growing his beard since Easter and said: "Embar - rassingly I do use product in my beard; beard oil and beard butters. I just got it trimmed last night as I am involved in a Stars in your Eyes show on Saturday dressing up as the singer, Rag 'n' Bone Man. I have seen the festive beards but that isn't happening with my beard. There will be no glitter going into my beard unless I spill some."

Jim Haughey who was accompanied by his two daughters Emily and Sarah jokingly told us that he has been growing his beard for about half an hour.

"To be honest, it's not something that I take a lot of interest in. Men who decorate their beard for the festive season - it's entirely up to them but it's not my cup of tea." Jim's daughter Emily told us that her daddy's beard used to be a lot longer and she thinks it really suits him.

Friends Peter Harrison and Thomas Blair have been growing their beards since they started to get facial hair.

Thomas has tried many different beard oils but believes the winning product is his girlfriend's L'Oreal coconut shampoo and conditioner.

"It's by far the best, it makes my beard soft and shiny," he agreed.

Thomas said that all his friends have been tagging him on Facebook pictures of festive beards "so I might give it a go for a laugh and hope for the bearded Christmas tree look".

The next man we spoke to grew his beard a decade ago in an effort to keep women at bay he told us. John Downey believes it was his very beard that started the local craze.

"I'm the reason for all this beard growing, they've seen mine and wanted one of their own.

"I don't look after my beard at all and I haven't shaved in a very long time. My reason for growing one was to get a bit of peace from women, all I ever got was abuse to get rid of it so I knew I was on to something. I live on my own and I enjoy the peace and quiet."


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