Christian Guevara claims he "couldn't grow a beard to save my life," till last year, when suddenly -- whoosh -- things got grizzly!
Guevara, 27, a tennis pro at The Village Club of Sands Point, has gone as long as eight months sans shaving. But he'll have to shave it off completely when he begins Navy SEAL training later this year.
For now, though, he was just looking for a trim.
For Jack Labriola, 22, the beard-growing began in college, about three years ago, during No-Shave November, the now infamous anti-grooming holiday where guys have an excuse to let it all hang out (follicle-wise, at least).
"I liked it for the month ... so I kept it," says Labriola, a Commack native and technical communications grad student at Texas Tech University in Lubbock.
In the last few years the number of dudes sporting facial hair -- from modest goatees to full-on "Duck Dynasty" jobs -- has noticeably increased.
"Beards are so common in places like Williamsburg that now it's radical to go clean-shaven," notes Jon Roth, an assistant editor at Details magazine. They do serve a purpose, Roth notes, helping define a jawline. "And years ago, David Beckham said he considered his scruff like makeup for guys -- if you have a zit, the beard covers it up."
Whatever your reason for sporting one, proper upkeep is key, says Angelo Santodonato, owner of Angelo's Salon in Port Washington.
"Beards often get heavier on the chin, so we want to balance it out," he says, assessing Labriola's 2-week-old beard. He trimmed it with electric clippers -- "go against the grain," he says, as "you'll miss hairs going with it" -- then cleaned up the neck and cheeks with a razor.
"Follow the natural lines of the beard on the cheek, or it'll be tougher to maintain," he advises.
For Guevara's nearly 3-month-old beard, it was the scissors-over-comb technique, to ensure each snip cuts the same amount.
"I can't imagine what it'd be like without a beard," says Labriola, whose brother, dad and uncles all sport facial hair. "I can't go back."
Guevara's dad and brother also do up facial hair, and he's even experimented with a Civil War-style handlebar mustache.
"My girlfriend told me, 'Ya gotta shave that.' "
Santodonato, wearing a five o'clock shadow, agrees -- if the wife nixed it, he'd go clean-shaven. But he likes varying his look from time to time.
"You get tired staring at the same face in the mirror every day," he says. "Why not change it up?"