From Lincoln's bushy beard to Salvador Dali's iconic mustache, facial hair has been a fashion statement since the first crude razor was invented hundreds of years ago. There are a variety of different facial hair styles for men to choose from, and the constant growth of follicles gives you the freedom to try out as many different looks as you want.
Facial hair has gone in and out of style. Beards were considered a sign of intelligence in Greek society, though in later years a more clean-shaven look came into fashion. Both King Henry VIII and Elizabeth I instituted a special tax on men with beards, and Russia's Peter I took this a step further, making bearded men carry a medal calling their facial hair a “ridiculous ornament.” Archaeologists have discovered razors made of flint from 30,000 BC, however there is some evidence to suggest that men were shaving as far back as 100,000 BC.
Beards may be worn both long or short, and with or without an accompanying mustache. Abraham Lincoln famously sported a fuzzy beard without a mustache, while the rockers from the band ZZ Top are known for their long, wild beards. Clippers are often used to trim and shape beards, though some men prefer to leave them natural and ungroomed. Other men prefer to keep their beards very short, giving just a hint of all-over stubble for a rugged look. The thickness and texture of a man's facial hair will partly determine how a beard will appear.
A goatee is a facial hair style that surrounds only the chin area. A mustache may also be worn with a goatee, creating a ring of hair around the mouth that is sometimes referred to as a “puddin' ring.” The "soul patch," popularized by 50's and 60's beatniks, is a small tuft of hair below the lower lip which can be grown long and styled or trimmed short. Mustaches may be trimmed short or grown long and shaped. General mustache styles include the pencil-thin mustache worn by film director John Waters, the handlebar mustache, which has long curled ends, and the Fu Manchu, which extends down on either side of the mouth to the jawline.
Sideburns gained popularity in the 70's, especially the thick "mutton chops" worn by Elvis Presley. Sideburns may also be worn thin or shaved into points. Sideburns may extend all the way to the jawline, or stop at any point between. Sideburns can also be grown and shaped to connect to a mustache or beard.
Shaving in the shower or directly afterward is recommended, because the steam helps to soften facial hair. Washing your face with hot water before shaving will also help soften your hair follicles. Use shaving cream and a quality blade—make sure that it is clean and not too dull. Shave in gentle small strokes in the direction of hair growth to prevent razor burn and rashes. Apply a moisturizer to your face afterward instead of aftershave, which is drying to the skin.