Everybody and their mom is growing a beard these days, which is perhaps the most widespread symptom of the never-ending lumbersexual movement. Let us say upfront, we are beard advocates. In no way would we want to dissuade the growth of a good, healthy-ass beard. But like any other trend (ahem, man buns), there are those who can and those who can’t pull it off. If you fall into one of the following beard categories, consider grabbing a razor and ditching the facial fuzz.
Bald spots: Were you involved in a street fight? Did doctors shave the area for some sort of weird face biopsy? The mind wanders to a plethora of tragic events that could have led to the unfortunate disappearance of entire chunks of facial hair. This category is next-level patchy—and has got to go.
Neck beard: You know the ones. The stubble that starts around the jawline and travels far enough south to connect to some other indistinguishable body hair. Even if you trim it up to make it look like a beard, the lack of ground cover on the cheek area leaves you with an odd-looking Amish chin strap. Just hang it up, man.
Patchy: If your face looks more like a poorly watered lawn than a lush forest, it’s time for some new landscaping. The patchy beard is perhaps the most prominent beard foul, with a large percentage of the bearded population affected. Not even Ryan Gosling can pull off the Patch Adams. Shave your face. You’re not at a Kid Rock concert.
Pubey: Can’t tell your head from your crotch? Some textures not even the most industrial beard oils can manage. Scraggily, fuzzy and strangely straight facial hair is not a good look. Face pubes never look anything other than unkempt, unwashed and unruly—and send girls like me running for the hills.
All the colors: A little greying we can understand, but if you have 2-plus shades sprouting out of your face, consider a shearing. No matter how perfect your beard is, if it’s red, white and whatever else, it’s got to go. This rule also applies to men with beards stained from cigarettes, food, etc. If we can guess your bad habits by looking at your beard, ditch it ASAP.
Puberty beard: Fourteen hairs on your upper lip and three wiry whiskers sprouting from your chin isn’t considered a beard unless you’re a high school sophomore. If your grandma can grow a better beard than you, opt for a clean shave.