To beard or not to beard — that is the question. From Captain Birds Eye to Captain Jack Sparrow, gorgeous George Clooney to our own George Best, generations of men have been sprouting facial hair down through history.
But while some men can carry it off — think Viggo Mortenson or Russell Brand — Hollywood sex symbol Brad Pitt spoiled his pretty boy looks with scruffy, uncombed tangles which he later got rid off.
Now Northern Ireland politician David Trimble has joined the ranks of bearded men — but has his ginger and grey-tinged attempt grown on us yet?
Not according to internet forums, where his beard — grown at first to cover up a skin condition which he developed while working in Israel — has become a subject of much discussion.
Some posters have unfavourably compared Lord Trimble to a “mad Scottish explorer from the 19th century”, a “superannuated member of the Hells Angels”, or Captain Redbeard Rum from Blackadder.
Another poster wrote that he looked like he’d just come off tour with The Grateful Dead.
Even wife Daphne is not impressed, allegedly expressing her displeasure at the new addition to his face.
Male grooming expert Pearse Sharratt, who styled some of the male celebrities backstage at this week’s Brit Awards, said that while it was now fashionable to have a beard, Mr Trimble’s was “too unkempt”.
“Older men need to be careful with beards because if they let them get too untidy they can end up looking like vagabonds,” |he said.
“Beards on older gents need to be very precise, clean lines blended into their sideburns. People like David Beckham made beards fashionable and guys like George Clooney looked good with one, but then again, having a beard fitted in with their lifestyle.
“To me, Mr Trimble’s is at odds with his. He is a Lord after all, and he dresses in a suit. The whole beard thing just doesn’t work on him.
“To be honest, I think he looks a bit like Roald Dahl’s Mr Twit — and that’s not a good look.”
Pearse, who works for Man Grooming on the Lisburn Road, said he would be happy to give the former leader of the Ulster Unionist Party a makeover.
“If he came in here I’d either shave the beard off completely or give him a nice, neat trim to make it more sculpted,” he said.
“At the moment he’s lost his direction with that beard.
“It’s just too unruly, and, really, it should go.”
Should David Trimble's beard be decommissioned? Let us know in the comments section below.