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Be a man, sport a stubble!

Let's face it, both cinematic awards and advertisements are doing away with the clean shaven look as the unkept beard makes headway and gains acceptance even at formal dos.

india Updated: Mar 20, 2006 10:27 IST

What does John Abraham, Abhishek Bachchan, Zayed and Shahrukh Khan have in common? A hot stubble!

The look is gaining currency as celebrities such as Abhishek Bachchan and John Abraham flaunt sexy stubble.

Let's face it, both cine awards and advertisements are doing away with the clean-shaven look as the unkempt beard makes headway and gains acceptance even at formal gatherings.

The sign of masculinity
To begin with, anchor and chat host Sajjid Khan seems most comfy in his shaggy beard that seems to add an air of masculinity. Even Shahrukh in the Airtel ad is somewhat comfy with his bearded look of a casual rustic with the dialogue that celebrates village lingo a la desi style.

Unkempt look is 'in'
It is pretty clear that as grooming trends go, the beard will probably never rival the faux-hawk but as celebrities such as Abhishek Bacchan, John Abraham and Nana Patekar once in a while continue to demonstrate, the look is gaining currency.

For many men, in India too, the unkempt hirsute is newly hip.

"It's a conversation piece," says Pooja Bedi who came in for Paresh Maity's book launch in Mumbai with a handsome bearded hunk.

"People that haven't seen me in a while tell me I look like Che Guevara," said Paresh Maity who has always sported a beard.

'It makes me look manly'
Indian American scientist Dr. Balasundaram, recently featured in a single page spread in the Straits Times, in Singapore, is no newcomer to the beard brigade: He grew his for the first time when he was 17 and has worn one ever since. The notion that the style has renewed cachet doesn't surprise him. "I just think it makes a man more manly," he says.

Still, that doesn't make the beard a solution for every man who's ever groaned at the thought of picking up a razor.

Stubble is way to success?
"The younger guys are getting away with it a little bit more," says James Kumar, co-owner of the Hair Lounge, an upscale barbershop that is scheduled to open its first location in a small corner in Defence Colony in Delhi in April. "For college guys, it's that slacker thing. It's cool to have a big fuzzy goes with their Docker trousers and faded tees."

To some industry watchers, the style's success owes more to men's desire to save time than their wish to follow a trend. "Men want to look and appear as masculine as possible," says John Abraham's hairdresser.

"But being a man today requires that one is well-groomed, and even a beard needs to be looked after because it must not look wild and woolly," he further added.

First Published: Mar 16, 2006 19:48 IST