The soul patch: keep it or shave it?
Craig the barber helps answer this perplexing facial hair conundrum
The soul patch can be a big hit or a major miss based on its location alone. Positioned directly below the lip, this patch of hair extremely difficult to ignore – especially when someone is speaking.
It’s a very poplar style for many musicians and athletes. Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Billy Ray Cyrus, Bruce Springsteen, Randy Johnson, Phil Jackson and even William Shakespeare have all worn a soul patch. Choosing to wear the soul patch can be a fun decision, especially if you have a good amount of facial hair to work with.
The best way to make it work is to find a good balance. First ask yourself is this the only facial hair you’re planning to wear on your face? And this is where the balance comes into play because the less facial hair present, the more the soul patch will stand out. And that may not work for some.
So the first step is to determine how full your existing facial hair grows. For example – do you have long sideys, or a ’tache as well? This way, as you adopt a much fuller patch, the option of using other facial hair to create balance is a great start. Going “gung ho” and just shaving everything off at once and keeping the patch may be a bit drastic in appearance, not only for your friends but also for you. Trust me!
Hairstyle can also play a major part in this style choice since long hair seems to bring more attention to facial features. Not to mention, a bald head with no facial hair and a soul patch (think Howie Mandel…) may or may not work for you. So consider how much of a focal point you really want to make with your new lip hairstyle. Because there is a thin line between a win and a bust!
My suggestion is to start subtle and build on the style. This way it gives you and your friends time for your patch to grow on you (no pun intended).
Start with a style choice like Luke Evens, and then subtly move to say Jesse Metcalfe’s look. However, if you find yourself falling into the realm of the Billy Bob Thornton soul patch, you may want to consider taking it down a notch. Keeping the overall size of the soul patch to no more than three-quarters of an inch in length and width will maintain the balance required to stay in the “keep it” category.
If you find that very few hairs grow under your lip to truly create a noticeable patch, “shave it”. I also say the same if it’s a challenge to maintain the desired length or style on a consistent basis. Because the soul patch style is designed to accent your look. Never is it actually supposed to look like it has a soul of its own.