Champion Soccer Players Rock Styled Facial Hair

We can’t quite put a finger on it (probably because it’s soccer and you’re not allowed to use your hands), but a growing trend seems to have sprouted on the soccer field ... like the hair on your face.

It’s clear that throughout the history of “the beautiful game,” global soccer stars have found their brush with greatness accompanied by the brush on their mugs. Not prone to hyperbole, we’re saying that their cleverly appointed facial hair was not only their signature, but the factor that sealed the deal to their worldwide success. (And we say that with confidence, because we’re pretty sure we don’t exactly know what “hyperbole” means.)

In the annals of soccer greatness, many majestic mustaches and beards have adorned the lips, chin and -- in the worst cases -- ears of the game’s biggest names. Join us as we examine the evidence that is as plain as the hair on the faces of these soccer giants. Meet the all-trim team of soccer’s hairy Hall of Fame.

Rudi Voller, Germany

This brush-beaked German played 90 times for the national team during the 1980s and 1990s, racking up an amazing 47 goals, which included eight biggies during the World Cup -- all of which were scored with his signature magnificent mustache. Germans everywhere modeled their above-the-lip hair after their national hero, whom they affectionately called “Tante Kathe” (Aunt Katie) due to his mustache’s faithful companion: his long, curly and graying hair. (Our Aunt Katie prefers to go for light ash blonde, but that’s just how it is here in the crazy USA!)

Socrates, Brazil

The term “genius” is thrown around quite a bit in sports. But that word truly seems well suited for the man who was a genius at soccer … and style. (Hey, if you can’t give that moniker to a guy named Socrates, who sports a brilliant beard, who can you give it to?) His sweetly styled brush matched his panache on the pitch as he captained and starred in 60 games as a midfielder with spectacular soccer sensibilities on some of the greatest Brazilian teams of the 1970s and 1980s.

Roger Milla, Cameroon

This African legend is best remembered for roaring like a graybeard when he scored four goals to take his country to the quarterfinals at the ripe old age of 38. But he’s also fondly remembered for showing up for the 1982 tourney with a bodacious beard that became the fledgling team leader’s signature during the African nation’s heroic stand that saw them go unbeaten in the first round. With Milla’s leadership, Cameroon forced draws against established powerhouses, including the eventual winner Italy, before bowing out bloodied (and of course, bearded) but definitely unbowed.

Djibril Cisse, France

This Ivory Coast-born, Iberian bad boy has sculpted his scrub so many different ways we can’t figure out his strategy for the future. But for today, his game face is one of the most famous on the planet. One of his country’s biggest scorers, he still is better known for the singular style of his brush than for his play. Having said that, he was one of the stars of the troubled and disappointing French team at this year’s World Cup. But no one can say his beard didn’t show up ready to go for each and every game.

Alexi Lalas, USA

Landon Donovan’s getting all the action as the glamour guy of American soccer these days, but when our USA boys broke out on the big stage in 1990, the face of the sport in our country was Alexi Lalas. And that face was prominently plumed with one of the coolest goatees this side of Iron Man. Looking like a blend of Yosemite Sam and that dude from the Spin Doctors, Lalas had a style that matched his flamboyant play as he introduced the game to grunge and American soccer to the elite level in the 1990 and 1994 World Cup and in the 1992 and 1996 Summer Olympic Games.

Razor Technology: 2010

Keeping up with the latest trends in music (Ke$ha in, Amy Winehouse out) and technology (iPad in, Kindle out) is easy. But razor technology is a different story. Even though razors are an everyday essential, it’s hard to keep track of what’s new, hot and different. And forget about asking the store stock guy for help on the subject. (You’ll be lucky if he’s even able to direct you to the razors.)

So here’s a primer on the two chart-topping cartridge razors, the Gillette Fusion ProGlide and Schick Quattro, and one best-selling electric razor, the Braun Pulsonic 790cc -- with insight from Michael Gilman, blogger for his site,

Gillette Fusion ProGlide

This upgrade to the world’s best-selling shaving system, the five-blade Fusion, incorporates a blade with thinner edges that’s covered in a low-resistance coating to slice with less tug and pull. A blade stabilizer has been added to keep the blades properly spaced apart, and the Lubrastrip is 25 percent bigger to help the razor glide across the face more easily. “Gillette has probably maxed out the number of blades at five, so they’re focusing now on making the quality of the blades better, and a better moisture strip,” says Gilman. “They succeed here.”

Schick Quattro Titanium

Most blades are made of stainless steel. The latest improvement to the popular Quattro line is clear from the name: titanium. Schick uses a coating of this precious metal on the four blades for a dramatically sharper cutting edge that doesn’t get dull as quickly. Its grip is now ribbed as well, for an easier hold. “Razors are kind of like golf clubs. Everyone is looking for new materials to make them with. What kind of difference they make is up in the air. I shaved with the Quattro Titanium just the other day, though, and I did get a really close shave,” says Gilman. 

Braun Pulsonic 790cc

Braun’s proprietary Pulsonic Technology oscillates the electric 790cc at 10,000 micro-vibrations per minute to help deliver an outstanding close and comfortable shave. Its two shaving surfaces also pivot and flex to contour the face, and you can clean, lubricate and dry the shaver with a simple press of a button. “There’s a lot of validity to the Pulsonic Technology. Barbers will do an aggressive massage with their hands to get the whiskers loose and the face putty-like for a better shave. It’s the same basic idea here,” says Gilman.

Eyebrow Grooming for Men

Eyebrows are one of those mysterious facial features that can make a huge difference in your appearance … but generally go unnoticed unless something about them is terribly wrong (like, say, you’re still sporting a unibrow or accidentally singed them off over a barbecue -- it happens).
When it comes to eyebrow grooming for men, it boils down to three simple things: de-bulking, shaping and knowing where brows should start and end.
Really thick eyebrows may call for major eyebrow grooming, so you may want to visit a salon -- a trained aesthetician can do them the first time and give you a good reference point for maintaining them solo.
Still, most guys can whack these little weeds themselves at home. Just follow a few simple rules. …

First, you’ll need to have the right tools on hand: razor, small electric trimmer, grooming scissors and tweezers. Next, shower or wash your face before attempting to shave or tweeze the area. The hot water and steam open up your pores and follicles and soften the hair, making the process easier (and less painful). Plus, this will help prevent ingrown hairs.

Now you’re ready for the big browbeating. Here’s how.


First, get rid of excess hair in the middle and the outside ends. The inside edges of your brows should line up with the inside corner of your eyes -- anything else is in unibrow territory and should be removed. To determine where your brows should end, use this simple trick: Take a pencil and place one end at the outside edge of your nostril, then rotate it so that it points towards the outside edge of your eye -- that’s where the brow should end.

As for how to get rid of those stray border crossers, take a razor and use short light strokes but take heed: A razor allows more room for error -- remember Steve Carell’s slipup in The 40-Year-Old Virgin that left him browless? -- but the hair will grow back quickly. On the other hand, you can use tweezers to pluck these areas, but you’ll have to be extra-careful; repeated tweezing can cause permanent hair loss.


Next, ditch the bulk with grooming scissors or a small electric trimmer. You want to remove just enough hair so the brows look tamed, not overly trussed. You don’t want to cut the hair so short that it refuses to lie flat against your face.

If you have fine hair, brush it upward, then trim till it’s about 5 millimeters long. If you have coarse hair, pick out one hair and trim it slowly, a little at a time, till it’s short but still lies flat. Then use it as a marker for the rest of the hairs.

And slow down -- this isn’t a race. It should take you at least a few minutes to do a proper job.


To arch or not to arch … that is the question. And the answer depends on your face shape. If it’s long and skinny, or anchored by a particularly strong jawline, you should probably forget about sculpting your brows into an arch -- thicker, horizontal brows can help divide your face to make it look shorter and draw people’s gazes up and away from the jaw. On the other hand, if you have a round or square face, a prominent arch can create the illusion of a longer face.

As a general rule of thumb, the arch should peak directly above the pupil; make a note of where that is, then use tweezers to remove hairs directly underneath that point until you’ve defined the shape.

Manscape for Bigger (Looking) Muscles!

You wouldn’t keep a new car hidden away in the garage. You’d show it off, right? So why are you still hiding your hard-earned pecs and quads behind a bear suit? Have you not heard of body shaving and trimming -- aka manscaping?

“Hair really does hide muscles and obscure their definition,” says Cynthia James, a former professional bodybuilder and a judge at the International Federation of Body Building. “A hairless body is the only way to show off the details of your muscles and physique and reveal symmetry.”

The good news is you don’t have to invest in any new products to manscape for bigger-looking muscles -- the tools you use to groom your facial hair will do. In fact, all you need is an electric trimmer, a five-blade razor, shaving cream, a full-length mirror and a nice long shower.

“If you’re going to shave your body, you always need to prep it first with water and soap,” says Dr. Jeffrey Benabio, a clinical dermatologist and skin care expert in San Diego and a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology. “It softens the skin and hair so that you get the closest possible shave, and it helps prevent razor burn and ingrown hairs.” A good rule of thumb: Wait until the end of your shower before body shaving. But if you have the time, try soaking in a hot bath -- it’s much more effective at softening skin than is a shower.

Unlike your face, your body’s unique bulges and curves require individual attention. Here’s how to conquer them all.


Show off your:

Pecs and abs

Manscape plan:

First off, if you’ve really got the goods (a well-defined chest and a 21-pack or whatever), you’ll want to lose all the hair (no need to keep the treasure trail when the real treasure is right there in view!).

As for your plan of attack, when it comes to chest hair, you want to shave with (not against) the grain of the hair. “Chest hair tends to be coarse and curly,” says Benabio, “and if you shave against the hair growth pattern, you could accidentally shave the hair beneath the surface, causing it to curl up under the skin” (read: ingrown hair).

One more thing: Mind the nipples. You might even want to put round adhesive bandages over them before you shave. Sure, they’re not the most manly of body parts, but fess up, you’d miss them if they were gone.


Show off your:

Quads and calves

Manscape plan:

Take out most of the bulk first with an electric trimmer or grooming scissors before you try to tackle it with a razor. Then use long, smooth strokes in a downward motion and let the razor lightly glide across the surface -- using too much pressure can cause nicks and razor burn. Pay attention to curves and bony areas, like your knees and ankles, and adjust the direction of the razor accordingly.

“You shave your face every day, so you’re used to the contours,” says Benabio. “It’s like brushing your teeth, you get used to the routine. But when you’re shaving in new places, you have to be more careful.” One trick is to think of your razor as a paintbrush and use the same loose wrist motions that you would use when painting.


Show off your:

Biceps and triceps

Manscape plan:

Shaving your arms is a lot like shaving your legs: Trim first with clippers before you pick up the razor, then use long, smooth downward strokes.

But the tricky part is figuring out where to stop and start. If your arm hair is light in color and not too dense, you can probably just shave from your shoulder to your elbow and leave the rest alone. On the other hand, if your arm hair is dark and thick, you’re better off shaving all the way down to your wrist for a more uniform look.


Show off your:


Manscape plan:

If you really want to show these off, then we’re assuming you’re going to be wearing something a little tighter and formfitting than surf trunks, so you’re going to have to manscape the hair back there (and down there, in the front groin area between your thighs). First, you’ll need to get a good view, and a full-length wall mirror usually isn’t enough. Instead, try squatting over a small mirror placed on the floor. Next, take your time. Women are experts at this, but men need a little practice. “The trick is to use lots of shaving cream, pull the skin taut, and shave using short, light strokes,” says Benabio. “And remember to rinse out the razor blade between every single stroke; a clogged razor will prevent you from getting the smoothest possible shave.”

Turbocharge Your Shaving Kit

Shaving cream and a razor are just a start. To take your personal grooming to the next level, equip your Dopp bag with these tools.

The humble Dopp kit -- named after its early 20th century inventor, leather craftsman Charles Doppelt -- has come a long way since it was a standard-issue razor-and-toothbrush carrier for WWII GIs. Just as modern man’s grooming needs have evolved to include more than a bar of soap and bucket of warm water, so have the innards of his Dopp kit.

Think of it as your personal arsenal of grooming weapons -- whether you’re headed off on a relief mission or simply prepping for another war at the office. Here’s everything you need:

1. Face wash
Put down the bar of soap and step away from the sink. Seriously. Now. Soap is drying and irritating. The trick here is to dissolve dirt and clean skin without stripping away all the oil, which can actually cause your skin to overcompensate by producing excess oil. And remember, when it comes to your face, you don’t want to over-cleanse. Once a day, preferably before you shave, is enough.

What to look for:

If you have dry skin, select a cream-based cleanser. If your face looks like an oil spill, look for an oil-free, soap-free liquid. And if you’re especially prone to breakouts, choose one that contains salicylic acid.

2. Pre-shave oil
Think of this as a primer for the second coat (that would be the shave cream). It softens skin and hairs to prevent razor burn and provides a super-slick surface for the razor to glide across.

What to look for:

Opt for natural plant-based softeners like coconut oil or olive oil, instead of petroleum-based products, which can clog pores.

3. Sensitive skin shave cream
Even if you don’t think you have sensitive skin, choosing a “sensitive skin” cream, gel or foam can help protect against redness and irritation.

What to look for:

Opt for one that contains aloe, glycerin and mineral oil -- key ingredients that soften and soothe. 

4. Shaving brush
This old-school tool is making a major comeback thanks to properly educated barbers and sophisticated consumers. It doesn’t just feel good on your skin, it’s backed by actual science: The gentle action of the bristles exfoliates skin and removes dead skin cells, then fluffs up your whiskers so they’re standing straight up for a closer shave.

What to look for:

Select one made out of badger hair -- it’s more expensive than boar but is higher-quality and softer on your face. (Plus, it will last a lifetime.)

5. Razor
If you’re still using the cheap disposable kind or one with too few blades, it’s time for a major upgrade.

What to look for:

Research has actually demonstrated the benefits of multiple-blade razors. The basic science is that the first blade engages the hair and pulls it out of the follicle so that the subsequent blades can cut the hair further down the shaft. Translation: a closer, smoother shave with less risk of nicks and cuts.

6. Styptic pencil
This short, medicated stick is a blast from the past that helps stop bleeding fast if you get a nick or cut. It stings but it works.

What to look for:

Aluminum sulfate in the ingredient list.

7. Aftershave
Use an aftershave gel or balm to calm the skin and reduce irritation.

What to look for:

Skip alcohol-based products, which can cause irritation and dryness. Instead, choose one that contains aloe and vitamin E -- Mother Nature’s original soothing and healing agents.

8. Electric nose and ear hair trimmer
You don’t need two separate tools -- one will do.

What to look for:

Look for an electric rotary version: It uses a rotary blade system that cuts in a circular motion to trim along the inside of the walls without getting too close. Other key features to look for are a built-in LED light (to help guide you in those dark cavities) and an integrated vacuum system (to collect hair as it trims).

9. Moisturizer
Contrary to every TV ad, face cream isn’t just about preventing wrinkles and fine lines: It helps keep your skin hydrated, protects against sun and wind, and can even promote skin cell regeneration.

What to look for:

If your skin is dry, look for ingredients like shea butter and aloe. If you’re prone to breakouts, look for an oil-free version labeled “noncomedogenic.” Either way, always choose one that contains sunscreen. (The American Academy of Dermatology recently upgraded its minimum SPF recommendation from 15 to 30.)

10. Eye cream
The finest, most delicate skin on your face is around your eyes. That’s also the first place to show signs of aging (like puffiness, crow’s feet and dark circles).

What to look for:

If your main objective is to reduce puffiness, pick a product that contains cucumber and caffeine (to soothe and tighten) with a roll-on application -- the simple act of rolling it on helps redistribute lymphatic buildup under the eye skin. To combat dark under-eye circles, look for a product with vitamin K -- studies have shown it can be an effective treatment because our body uses this vitamin in clotting.

11. Lip balm
Let’s face it: No one wants to kiss a pair of cracked smackers.

What to look for:

A non-petroleum-based product. It moisturizes without drying and promotes faster healing.

12. Stainless steel
This blanket category goes for all those little metal doodads: grooming scissors, nail clippers and tweezers. And when we say stainless steel, we mean it: You might be tempted to cut corners and go for the cheapest versions, but when you’re manscaping and clipping your sensitive zones, do you really want to risk diving in with rusty, dull blades? Didn’t think so. >

What to look for:

Select tools that can accommodate the size of your mitts. More and more companies are coming out with “man-sized” grooming tools for this very reason.

13. Hair styling products
Here you have many options, including gel, for an all-day, extra-strong hold with a bit of a wet look a la “Mad Men,” or paste/putty for a textured and spiky bed-head look.

What to look for:

If you’re a gel guy, look for a glycerin-based version for added moisture. If you swing for the paste/putty league but can’t decide which team to join, remember this: Putty offers a stronger hold (similar to a gel), while paste allows you to go back and restyle your mop throughout the day.