Idris Elba is one of the most sought-after TV and movie actors in Hollywood. With his British charm and sophisticated East London Boy look, he has inspired adulation on both continents.
Idris’s beginnings were however quite modest, as he was born in Hackney – one of London’s poorest areas – in 1972 to West African immigrant, working-class parents.
It is that humble start that Idris credits for his work ethic and creativity.
Never did the London born and East Ham raised amateur DJ expect he would end up, as he did in 2016, on Time’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world – yet his acting ability, rugged good looks, and iconic style have now cemented him as a household name the world over.
Idris Elba started his theatre training early on. At the age of 16, he entered the National Youth Music Theatre after winning a $2000 Prince’s Trust grant.
His beginning roles as a young adult actor were in crime-watch reconstitution. He worked a variety of odd jobs in between acting, like night shifts at Ford and Tyre fitting.
Idris Elba has stated the “hustle” he was required to do to pay his bills has made him the person he now is – and undoubtedly has led to his street-wise edge.
Elba has appeared in a number of blockbusters – Ridley Scott’s critically acclaimed “American Gangster”, Thor and its sequels Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok, Prometheus, Pacific Rim, and Star Trek Beyond.
But his most famous role has been as DCI John Luther in the British television series “Luther”.
He was nominated for 5 Golden Globes and won once, proving he was more than an accent that made the ladies flutter and a stylish beard: he was a versatile leading man.
Many admit to know Idris more for his appearance than his career. In 2017, he was deemed robbed of the “Sexiest Man Alive” title by several editors and critics.
Known for his ability to rock both a stunning designer suit on the red carpet and swervy street-wear, no one does urban-chique like Elba.
The key to his elegance remains simplicity, statement pieces like designer sneakers or heavy coats, and impeccably trimmed hair and beard.
London barbershops are known to be among the most old-fashioned. Many claims to have particular techniques of the beard-trimming individual to their traditions.
This is why London street style has inculcated geometric beard shaping – or how to choose the best beard style for your face – in its culture.
Having always had a foot firmly planted in the underground street scene, Idris has often claimed a “good trim” is the essential part to being put together.
I’m an ambitious person. I never consider myself in competition with anyone, and I’m not saying that from an arrogant standpoint, it’s just that my journey started so, so long ago, and I’m still on it and I won’t stand still.
In ‘Pacific Rim’ I had to have a haircut I wouldn’t usually rock. However, the moustache I had in the film – that might have to come out again. It was a good moustache. Good times.
I don’t get recognised that much yet in London, but when I do I get a real sense of achievement.
Yeah, I know, any time you hear an actor say, ‘I do music’, you cringe. But I want to be gradual with my music. I want to earn my stripes.
Not obsessed with particularly Nike, but sneakers in general. I love them.
Whether it’s music or acting, that creativity all comes from the same source.
Idris Elba’s grooming style remains subtle and understated at all times. However, it remains distinctive because of the white strands he keeps untamed in his short, full beard.
He often plays the contrast game, sometimes switching his signature, charismatic full fuzz for a goatee. He is best known for his Van Dyke like goatee, which he contrasts with a 5 o’clock shadow on his cheeks.
Sometimes, he lets his whiskers grow a little longer and combs it down with a bit of wax. His face changes entirely with the style.
Before you choose which variation of Elba’s beard you want to grow, it is imperative you consider your own face shape.
Full beards elongate the face, whereas goatees widen it. The higher your beard creeps up, the more emphasis they put on your cheekbones.
Should you have low cheekbones and a wide face, you should consider the fuller version of Elba’s beard, only trimming the sides slightly if need be.
Longer faces, on the other hand, should opt for the thicker goatee Elba adorns with closely cut, shorter hair.
The bottom of the goatee can be kept longer on square faces to give the illusion of oval structure.
The challenging part of achieving the longer version of Idris’s beard is being able to grow your beard with full coverage.
This means growing out even the stubborn patches that remain bald longer than the chin or the moustache. This isn’t easy for everyone, and some need help from oils or hair growth vitamins.
Should you have difficulty getting rid of bald patches on your beard, consider frequently conditioning it and massaging the skin to increase the blood flow to your cheeks.
Use warm water to open up your pores. You should also apply argan or jojoba oil on the skin when still moist. Let it rest for a few minutes and then rinse with cold water to seal the pores.
To accelerate hair growth, you should also consider changing your diet. Adding protein and vitamin B to your diet promotes hair growth.
Adding frequent exercise, eating healthy and drinking a lot of water may be your best options for growing your beard faster.
You may shave off the sides lightly, leaving a little fuzz, and comb wax into the bottom part of the beard.
The moustache, when kept fuller, will require some plucking for strands not to get knotted or get in your mouth.
Applying a bit of conditioner on a moustache comb before running it through your whiskers will ensure you do not accidentally pluck out hairs.
If you’re looking for cool beard styles for black men, Idris Elba is the go-to model.
His sophisticated edge and salt and pepper strands contrast the classic with the street-wise and make for a perfect look for those with short to medium beards.
With only a little grooming, you may soon look like your favorite British movie star!
Photos from: Jean_Nelson / depositphotos.com, Twocoms / depositphotos.com.