By Yashika Mathur, New Delhi, Sep 26 IANS | 1 year ago

People at the workplace don't take you seriously. Your sweetheart, who once drooled over your chocolate boy looks, now seems distracted. So guys, it is about time to get a makeover! Grow your facial hair.


No, it's not just another wacky idea. A lot of lean, clean-shaven men are growing beards, moustaches or even goatees - and getting them groomed.

Celebrity stylish Ashmeen Munjaal, who has unisex salons across the capital, gets an average of five clients per day who want to groom themselves and grow facial hair.

"Chocolate and lean looks are out because there is a lot of immaturity in it and with facial hair, guys feel macho. For the same reason, guys in the age of 20 to 26 years come to my salon," Munjaal told IANS.

"If they get light stubble, they want to get that shaped properly. Specially 20 plus men get them designed properly as per their professionals environment," he added and informed that corporate have a different choice, and the call centre guys have a different requirement.

Designer moustaches are the corporate sector guys' favourite, while geometrical beards and sideburns are popular among call centre employees.

According to a survey by health and well-being company Philips, the rise in the trend is because men feel that they get more respect at work if they have a beard.

"Beards, which have traditionally been associated with power, authority, respect are also now a means of expression for the youth. Their facial styles reflect their personalities as much as their clothes and job profiles," said A.D.A. Ratnam, president, consumer lifestyle, Philips.

It is not just the job factor that is making men grow facial hair; women also have an inclination towards men with a rugged appearance, a survey revealed.

Close to 54 percent women respondents in the age group of 21-25 years find men with styled facial hair more attractive. While 50 percent women associate them with modernity and another 35 percent think of them as outgoing.

Psychologist Monika Kumar described the trend as a conscious effort to bridge the gap between the "real self" and the "idol self".

"I feel all of us do image management. We do it for the social front so that we can bridge the gap between the world and us," said Monika Kumar.

Elaborating, she said: "There are also many complexes that go into adapting an image for the environment. May be the person feels inadequate and decides to change the way he looks in front of the society."

Media student Nagendra Nath Neeraj agreed.

"My physique is not well-built. Every time I shave, I look a lot younger than my age and it somehow does not reflect sincerity. But when I grow a beard, I feel, I look sincere and serious," he said.

There is another school of thought.

Some men believe that corporate companies dealing with the public need young-looking workers who can strike a good rapport with the youth.

"People who grow moustachess are perceived to be the old school kinds. The corporate sector needs young and dynamic people who groom themselves like youngsters and strike a good rapport with the youth," said Nitin Bashista, 24, who works as a store manager.

At the end of the day it's all about being confident about oneself, says Monika Kumar.

"Anybody, who is confident and whose gap between the real self and the perceived one is not much does not pay attention to image building," she added.

"They believe in whatever they are saying is worth listening for the audience. They don't focus much on getting consent," she said.

(Yashika Mathur can be contacted at yashika.m@ians.in)

(Posted on 26-09-2013)