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The Exfoliator: BAFTA beards

February 13th 2013 / Ahmed Zambarakji / 1 comment


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Thinking of copying the BAFTA boys and growing an on-trend beard? Here are the dos and don'ts you need to know first, writes Ahmed Zambarakji

If their Sunday evening Twitter feeds were anything to go by, excellence in British cinema and TV was clearly the last thing on any of the GTG girls’ minds as they watched the BAFTAS. Clearly, Mr Clooney had upstaged the whole event.

And while George could wear a paper bag on his head and still bring grown women to a full body orgasm, his decision to sport some substantial facial hair at the event only added to his appeal. No doubt leagues of men will attempt to emulate the BAFTA trend (and it surely is a trend; Hugh Jackman, George Clooney, Joaquin Phoenix, Ben Affleck and Simon Pegg were all gloriously beardy at the event).

A bit of facial fuzz can hide jowly signs of age, create an air of rebellion or even add years if you’ve got a babyface. But, there is a ‘but’. As mentioned in a previous beard-inspired article, the act of growing a beard involves some thorough grooming. You can’t just sit back and let your follicles go wild. Here are some hard and fast dos and don’ts worth keeping in mind:


Clean, natural lines are preferable to unforgiving hard angles. Shave from the ear to the corner of the lip with as natural a line as possible. Don’t get ‘experimental’ - leave the dodgy facial topiary to footballers.

Invest in some decent shaving utensils because you will still need to shave. Few are more stylish than those in Acqua Di Parma’s exquisite Collezione Barbiere, £170 ( Competitive beard enthusiasts ought to own Dovo’s Maintenance Kit, £165 ( or head to Geo F Trumper, who stock dedicated moustache combs, £3.50 ( and lavender tache wax, £11.50 (

Wash your beard with shampoo and conditioner every now and then, just as you would the hair on your head. Standard shampoos will work just fine, but exfoliating formulas like Aveda’s Pure-Formance, £19 ( will go the extra mile.

Oils make for a great conditioner or moisturiser if your standard face cream is too heavy or clumps in the hairs. Try Argan, jojoba and grapeseed oils. Melvita make great natural blends, £18 (

If the hair starts to get itchy, then try steaming it with some hot towels and massage some leave-in conditioner into the bristles.


Never let hair hang over the upper lip. Ever. Your ‘tache and beard are not a storage space for breakfast or stray canapés. Trim and vacuum your barb regularly.

Never let your beard migrate below the neckline and into your chest. Set a clear limit with the precision blade of a wet razor (brownie points if you can use a double edge razor but the back side of your Gillette ProGlide will suffice) or the twistable trimmer on Braun’s new-and-improved Cruzer6 face shaver, £69.99 (

Growth should never exceed a quarter of an inch if you have an office job - especially if you work in finance or law. Don’t hack away at growth with a pair of rusty scissors either. Debulk with a dedicated trimmer that has a comb attachment like Philip’s Styleshaver, £100 (

Join the conversation

  • Patsy
  • February 19th 2013

What about the beard with the most air-time at the BAFTAs - that of Stephen Fry? Neither Ahmed Zambarakji nor anyone else in the media has mentioned how good he looks in his. The fact that he's gay doesn't stop me crying into my pillow.

And why didn't you offer a word of consolation to women with men who just can't grow a successful one? I encouraged my husband to try and within two days it was obvious it wouldn't work - lopsided and uneven with strange little bald bits. I told him he was handsomer without - and he is.

Best wishes to all! Patsy XX

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