The definition of masculinity is evolving, with men expressing their manhood in dramatically different ways, most notably when it comes to grooming choices: the scruffy, plaid-clad lumberjack look juxtaposed with the smooth, hairless, hydrated spornosexual. Both types of men exemplify the peak of manliness but their aesthetics vary drastically. We weigh up the two style philosophies to help you make the right grooming choices.

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If you want to look like a barista who brews up a mean cup of strong black coffee or a new-age chef who stuffs rhubarb and seaweed into a lamb-rump pot pie, then that Brooklyn beehive beard is for you. There’s an earthiness to a man who has his hair in a bun, alongside a strong, hardy moustache and beard; the sort of man who walks barefoot at festivals. The trick to pulling off this aesthetic is to salt-spray the hell out of your hair, live out of a van, and have a closet full of flip-flops, chambrays, tattered jeans and plaid. A scruffy man lives life on his own terms and suits are his worst nightmare, which could affect career and professional options, but who cares? The downside to an unkempt beard is looking dirty and potentially homeless. This can be cool for a while, but after your youth fades you might end up looking a crazy old kook.

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Clean Shaven

If you want to look like your life is all about maximising efficiency, working out at elite gyms and closing those big deals, a face as smooth as a baby’s bottom is a must. Match your freshly shaven face with hair faded at the sides and styled into a low pompadour. Finish off the look by wearing a suit to look like you’re to be loved, not judged. A clean look is timeless, classic and makes people take you seriously. When it comes to fashion, it’s also easier to pull off most looks, from casual to formal, with a clean face and cut. It’s the most sustainable look, which is why we’ll have to go with looking like a prince. Just don’t come off as a douche.

For more on men’s grooming and skincare, check out our article here

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