Gillette Fusion: Top Five beards

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Whatever beard you wear, chances are you need a top-notch razor to keep it in trim. Gillette’s new six-blade Fusion razor claims to offer the most comfortable shave yet, thanks to five blades squeezed very close together on the head. Meanwhile, aficionados of the Van Dyck or Soul Patch will appreciate the bonus blade on the back giving you ultimate control. With that in mind, here’s our pick of the five most influential beards of all time, along with some of the men who made them famous.

1. THE VAN DYCK
Sadly nothing to do with covering your chin in soot and singing in a fake cockney accent. Instead, this beard’s named after 17th century painter Sir Anthony van Dyck, who besides captivating King Charles I’s court with his portraits, also sported  a mean moustache’n’goatee combo. Sadly unfashionable nowadays, although it’s the first stage nu-metallers go through when they let themselves go.

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2. THE HENRY VIII
Facial-hair of choice for tough managers and despots ever since Henry sported it during his time on the throne. Key characteristics: closely-cropped, often ginger, and liable to lead to beheadings if anyone laughs at it. Noel Edmonds and Alan Sugar have modelled the look in recent times, and look at the success it’s brought them.
Not that we’re suggesting Sir Alan has lopped anyone’s head off. Not yet.


3. THE SOUL PATCH
Also known as the stinger, the Attilio, the royale, the scruff, the impériale, the blues beard, the bebop, the liptee, crab-catcher, flavour-saver and, er, the ‘womb-broom’. Eew. Anyway, it’s a small tuft just under the lower lip, and is a popular choice for musicians, including Bruce Springsteen, Frank Zappa, Ray Charles and Eddie Vedder.
Oh, and Robert Pires, who can’t hold a tune, but conducts a symphony of passing brilliance. Something like that.


4. THE BURNSIDE
Remember that grumpy detective in The Bill? This beard isn’t named after him, which is lucky, as he was clean-shaven. Instead, it was invented by Ambrose Everett Burnside, a 19th century US industrialist and politician. It’s basically a big ole beard and moustache, except with a completely shaven chin. Legions of Victorian gents followed suit, although nowadays it’s only TV Belgian detectives who dare to wear it.


5. THE RASPUTIN
Full beard, as unkempt as possible, ideally teamed with mad, staring eyes and an unhealthy amount of influence over a prominent royal dynasty. Obviously, most wearers don’t achieve that last part. Rasputin himself popularised the look, despite stiff competition from W.G Grace. Best seen nowadays on Brian Blessed. You can also spice it up with a few burning fuses, if you’re a pirate.

For more information go to the Gillette Fusion website.

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