Most ordinary men have a go with the nail scissors now and then when it gets a bit too much. Photo: Simon Letch
If you've managed not to lose your way as you get older, chances are your hair has.
From early middle age it begins inexplicably to transfer itself from where it's most needed and desired - the scalp - to bits of the rest of your head where, frankly, it's plainly ridiculous. Luxuriant nasal hair, anyone? Fuzzy bunny ears? Freak rogue left-side eyebrow hair, singular (at least for now)?
It's enough to make you want to grab the whipper-snipper and fight the good fight. But don't, say the experts. Extraneous facial hair must be dealt with carefully.
Most ordinary men - that's probably you and definitely me - have a go with the nail scissors now and then when it gets a bit too much. It can be awkward. More awkward is when we don't notice how out of control it's got since we last looked and someone points it out.
''Men don't see it there and there's really nothing worse,'' says Brad Ngata, Darlinghurst hairdresser superstar (he's been on TV). ''I ask my male clientele if they'd like me to give it a trim.''
Nathan Armagnacq, leading Melbourne colourist, says ''a good clean cut and a mono-brow is just wrong''. ''The old barbers always cleaned up their clients and I think all hairdressers should be offering to do it too, though most don't,'' he says. ''The men are always grateful. It takes no time and it looks so much better.''
But for how long? Should a barber or even a pricey ''stylist'' be the one who does the honours?
Ngata admits that, for himself, he uses scissors and mini-clippers ''only at a pinch''. He has his stray hairs waxed. ''It pulls them out of the follicle.'' This makes the regrowth slower and softer. Surfers Paradise's Amy-Jean Linnehan knows a thing or two about facial hair - she's an eyebrow stylist to the bold and the beautiful (eg Dannii Minogue and the men from Underbelly) and she says waxing or plucking are the only sensible options. ''Sure, you'll have an instant result with cutting but they'll grow back spiky,'' she says. ''I isolate and pluck the long brow hairs. They're usually very strong and I warn the client it might take some months of appointments, but the result in the end is worth it.''
She says it's essential that men's brows are not over-plucked or styled because of the risk of them looking ''over-groomed''. Unmanly and unnecessary. We just the want the odd ones dealt with, all of those odd little age-related sproutings. Waxed, plucked, shaved, cut, whatever. Without fuss or awkwardness.
How do you attend to your wild and woollies - do you let someone else do the job?