What Your Facial Hair Says About You

There is no shortage of facial hair on the males of Colorado. Is it freedom of expression? Is it to warm the cheeks on a ski lift? Is it just a way to save on razors and shaving cream? Let’s dive a little deeper, shall we? 

Illustrations by Karl Nicholason

  The Goatee   The ol’ faithful of the facial hair world, made popular in the early 90s (thank you, Ethan Hawke), and then wiped out with the boy bands of the early 2000s (we’re looking at you, MTV). The goatee today is the working man’s beard. If it’s a short-trimmed goatee, you’re looking at a businessman who is heading to the gym right after work, then making his way to the grocery store for veggies. If the goatee is full and long, you have a crossbreed with the Long Down, and are likely in the shoulder season transition to spring. Goatees are generally the first thing to go when a woman enters the picture, unlike the Long Down or the Big Curly.

The Goatee

The ol’ faithful of the facial hair world, made popular in the early 90s (thank you, Ethan Hawke), and then wiped out with the boy bands of the early 2000s (we’re looking at you, MTV). The goatee today is the working man’s beard. If it’s a short-trimmed goatee, you’re looking at a businessman who is heading to the gym right after work, then making his way to the grocery store for veggies. If the goatee is full and long, you have a crossbreed with the Long Down, and are likely in the shoulder season transition to spring. Goatees are generally the first thing to go when a woman enters the picture, unlike the Long Down or the Big Curly.

  The Big Curly   This is a mustache made popular by cowboys and brought back by hipsters. It is a confusing genre of facial hair, as it could send different signals. The Big Curly is a mustache that requires a little wax to bring the tips together. If it sits upon a lip under a large cowboy hat, you have yourself a real-deal cowboy who can likely rope a steer and takes pride in the boots on his feet. If the Big Curly rests on the face of a man with skinny jeans and a sleeve tattoo, you’ve probably found yourself a mixologist who can MacGyver you a drink with a toothpick, a Tab, and old, fermented fruit. The Big Curly is an eye-catching example of dedication to one’s craft.

The Big Curly

This is a mustache made popular by cowboys and brought back by hipsters. It is a confusing genre of facial hair, as it could send different signals. The Big Curly is a mustache that requires a little wax to bring the tips together. If it sits upon a lip under a large cowboy hat, you have yourself a real-deal cowboy who can likely rope a steer and takes pride in the boots on his feet. If the Big Curly rests on the face of a man with skinny jeans and a sleeve tattoo, you’ve probably found yourself a mixologist who can MacGyver you a drink with a toothpick, a Tab, and old, fermented fruit. The Big Curly is an eye-catching example of dedication to one’s craft.

  The Long Down   Less ZZ Top, more Avett Brothers. With its long, billowing fray of hair, this is the most recognizable beard in the state. The Long Down tends to be at least a few inches long and lays on the chest. Often these beards collect breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They require some maintenance in the cleaning department, but little when it comes to trimming or brushing. The one-handed, deep-in-thought stroke of the beard announces, “What I say is going to be wise.” If you age just right with the Long Down, you essentially end up with “The Wizard,” which works wonderfully for costumes, but poorly with seat belts. Owners of the Long Down are great with children, have good taste in music, and tend to like smoked meats.

The Long Down

Less ZZ Top, more Avett Brothers. With its long, billowing fray of hair, this is the most recognizable beard in the state. The Long Down tends to be at least a few inches long and lays on the chest. Often these beards collect breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They require some maintenance in the cleaning department, but little when it comes to trimming or brushing. The one-handed, deep-in-thought stroke of the beard announces, “What I say is going to be wise.” If you age just right with the Long Down, you essentially end up with “The Wizard,” which works wonderfully for costumes, but poorly with seat belts. Owners of the Long Down are great with children, have good taste in music, and tend to like smoked meats.

  The Dad Beard   The Dad Beard can be a mixture of hairs that tend to defy science. It can grow in patches due to stress, or grow wild and happy due to downtime. The Dad Beard changes color with the seasons, and is more often brushed and messed with by family members than by the actual owner of the beard. No amount of pulling, tugging, or trimming can lessen the impact of the daddy of them all. Colorado Dad Beard can cover a double chin or draw attention away from a growing forehead. It looks great over a necktie and blazer, and even more comfortable over a Broncos shirt and a smile.

The Dad Beard

The Dad Beard can be a mixture of hairs that tend to defy science. It can grow in patches due to stress, or grow wild and happy due to downtime. The Dad Beard changes color with the seasons, and is more often brushed and messed with by family members than by the actual owner of the beard. No amount of pulling, tugging, or trimming can lessen the impact of the daddy of them all. Colorado Dad Beard can cover a double chin or draw attention away from a growing forehead. It looks great over a necktie and blazer, and even more comfortable over a Broncos shirt and a smile.


John MessingerStyle, Humor