I'm a bit surprised when I discover not many of my real bearded counterparts don't use curlers at all. I thought using them was common as they add a bit more magestic look to whiskers. Whether or not you are a real bearded or theatrical bearded representative of Santa Claus, I believe having a fundamental knowledge of reverse engineering is valuable when attempting to emulate a specific style of beard.
My first attempt at styling didn't go as well as I'd have liked. I picked, of all styles, the Santa Claus from the Polar Express film to replicate. As you know, the magical swirls in his beard are a bit different and don't look too magical when done in person. Though my beard was long enough to accomodate it, the whiskers straggled and divided as the season wore on.
Since then, I have come to understand curls and what it takes to get a good style to hold. Unlike most experienced theatrical bearded Santas, I am not afraid to use heated curlers (though I draw the line at curling irons). With these curlers I can achieve whatever look I'd like in my yak sets. This week's episode demonstrates a hard curl style.
I personally don't believe hard curls in a beard look that great. It reminds me more of Davy Jones' tentacle beard or a very scraggly and ratty look. I don't believe Santa Claus should look cartoonish when it comes to the beard. With the majority of whiskers in hard curls, it doesn't look as authentic and magical as it could. However, others disagree and enjoy the hard curls and many believe their beards look great out of the box, nothing could be further from the truth.
Two weeks ago I covered my process of what needs to be done between opening the box and the set being ready to wear. Trimming lace, altering head straps, and even the amount of lace in the sideburns are all crucial to getting a lace set to fit correctly to your face (on customized sets this isn't a problem as the pieces are made only for your head and face).
Heat will turn yak hair yellow very quickly. As I do my own bluing and styling, I'm able to keep up with my pieces and their color. I only use my heated curlers as much as I have to in order for my style to set, if I did this excessively without bluing or care for my pieces, they would be very yellow indeed.
For those interested in how to create a hard styled look after treating their own pieces to a bluing solution and washing all the product out, I have outlined my process very transparently in this week's episode on what I've dubbed "the Curly Style." I never use it, but you may find something in there that can be helpful for you. Going above and beyond to ensure your beard is "as white as the snow" and well-styled is part of the calling of Santa Claus. Don't neglect that.
You can watch this week's episode here: Season 02
Yours as always,