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Beard copyGood guys grow beards. Dumble­dore had a beard. Jesus had a beard before him. Santa has the best beard of all. You should have a beard. And you prob­ably do, because everyone’s wear­ing them now. Even the old guy in the Work­ing Style ad on the back of this magazine is in full Vic­tori­an beard mode.

It’s a sci­en­tific­ally proven fact that facial hair makes a guy about 200 per­cent sex­i­er. Proof: Wil­lie Api­ata. So, to make beards both great to look at and great to actu­ally be around, unlike stinky rugby play­ers, we’re going to have to set some rules.

Let’s start with trim­ming the sides, boys. If you’re not doing that, you’re the two-legged equi­val­ent of a car with over­sized wing mir­rors. You are going to take a wall out. I can’t get past you. You’re a danger. You’re for­cing your cheek-kiss­ing friends to face-plant in last night’s side­ways-drip­ping sleep drool. No. Trim it.

No one should actu­ally have to say this: wash it. Hon­estly, if you comb it and some­thing falls out of it, you run the risk of going to hell. It’s a sin.

Raise your sar­tori­al level. A beard on a well-dressed man is a delib­er­ate fash­ion state­ment. A beard on a man wear­ing track­suit pants and yesterday’s hood­ie is a week of being too lazy to shave. And prob­ably shower.

Speak up. If you’re a softly spoken guy, we’re not even going to know you’re try­ing to com­mu­nic­ate. We can’t see your lips any­more. You’ve removed a major visu­al clue.

Now, you may think it’d just be easi­er to reduce your whiskers to a ’tash. Nev­er, nev­er do this. There was a time when the mous­tache was a fine, fine thing. With­in each bristle, the ’tash con­tained the power of a stern — but fair — police­man, the uncom­plain­ing mas­culin­ity of an All Black from the 1970s, and just the per­fect amount of van­ity. It said, “I care, but not too much.” There was a day when Mark Sains­bury twis­ted his waxed ends in a room full of men also twist­ing their waxed ends, when Tom Selleck’s upper lip was more fam­ous than the Queen, when Richard Long was Ron Bur­gundy. Those days are gone. With the bene­fit of hind­sight, we now real­ise mous­taches make men evil. Hitler had a ’tash. Cap­tain Hook grew a big, curly ’tash. The ’tash was the uni­ver­sal uni­form of traffic cops.

If you’ve read this far and you’re still not con­vinced on the mer­its of a beard, do me a favour. Con­sider the things men can do that women can’t. Driv­ing? We can. Pee­ing stand­ing up? We can. Grow­ing a mous­tache? Sadly, we can. Grow­ing a beard on the oth­er hand? With the excep­tion of the bearded Euro­vi­sion lady and a hand­ful of unfor­tu­nate oth­ers, we mostly can’t. Also, the swish sil­ver-bearded Work­ing Style guy is a former porn star. Boom. Facial hair rests its case.

Heather du Plessis-Allan

Heather is a Jafa who's called Wellington home for seven years and counitng. The wind still drives her crazy, but the bucket fountain still makes her smile. She's running around Oriental Bay and learning to surf Lyall Bay. Her day job is reporting for TVNZ's Seven Sharp.

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