Beard styles come and go but a well-groomed and properly maintained one takes time and attention. To get an expert perspective on how to keep gruff going and growing strong, MODERN spoke to Hassan DeMarco, a second-generation Master Barber and salon owner from Philadelphia. DeMarco is an educator and industry ambassador who inspires the next generation of barbers and men’s groomers.
MODERN: Hassan, what are you seeing right now when it comes to beards, and what do you think is a trend in beard shapes?
HASSAN DEMARCO: I’ve noticed that beards have always been in style but in recent times the beard has become its own entity. At Ethos GSFM, a premium barbershop in Philadelphia, we have a 1-hour Grooming Session strictly dedicated to beard maintenance.
These days, virtually any grooming that can be done to your hair is being executed on the beard. We fade, clip, trim, color, shampoo, deep condition, steam, shape and moisturize the beard.
I think the biggest trend in beard grooming is the fade. An extreme beard fade starts below the earlobe or at least a 1 1/2-inch diameter from the ear canal. This abstract look allows for the best of both worlds. The shorter hairs provide long lasting, easy to maintain portions of the beard, while the long hairs accentuate the jawline and provide shape.
MS: How do you help clients keep their beards and the skin underneath healthy when they are at home?
HDM: When consulting with my clients about at-home hair and skincare, I enjoy recommending products that suit their individual needs. Generally speaking, a man’s side of the bathroom vanity is sparse. I ﬁnd that most men need to be educated on skin and hair care.
One of the biggest issues for men with beards are the dry, ﬂakey, itchy patches that are under the chin and jawline. This can be prevented by using a gentle beard shampoo instead of overly- drying facial or body soaps, then following up with a beard oil. Oils are very good for locking in moisture and can easily be rubbed into the skin through a full or thick beard with relative ease.
MS: How do you suggest clients keep their beards smelling great?
HDM: Another challenge for men with beards can be the sour or smelly area that develops under the jawline, in the neck area. Without being too gross, this section of the beard can collect product residue from your morning routine, as well as trap moisture and perspiration throughout the day, which results in an unpleasant odor.
To remedy this, I recommend regularly using a beard shampoo and conditioner. For men who suﬀer with dry, scratchy, or brittle beards, I recommend using a Co-wash, being mindful to thoroughly rinse the product. In either case they should follow up with a fragrant Beard Oil or Beard Balm.
MS: When you were able to service clients, again, what were many of them asking or in that ﬁrst appointment?
HDM: After returning to the barbershop I was surprised at the number of clients who fell in love with their long hair. Man buns, long locks and twists were a common sight. Most of my clients wanted to experiment with longer hair styles and needed advice on how to maintain their new look.
The Fade provide us with a great compromise. We were able to maintain length on the top of the head while executing a ﬂawless fade on the back and sides. However, the beard is a diﬀerent story. When ﬁelding phone calls, we often heard heard, “When are you guys opening?” and “Are you able to do beard trims?” Their relief with our reopening was quickly followed by the fear of not being able to have their beard trimmed due to mask mandates. But fortunately we had protocols in place. Men loved their newfound beards, goatees and handlebar mustaches but unfortunately had no clue on how to maintain them.
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