It’s that time of year again. The sun is shining, the beer gardens are full and everyone is asking you “Have you been watching Love Island?” Love it or hate it, you can’t help but watch and with Casa Amor recently introducing us to six new single boys, we at The English Shaving Company have been keen to see what kind of facial hair the lads are sporting this year.
Since Love Island was brought back to our screens in 2015, the male contestants have become known for their well-groomed appearance, sporting pristine beards and haircuts, but which styles are the most popular? Does a bushy beard help the reality stars couple up or is a smooth baby face what the Love Island girls want most?
Curious to know more, our shaving and styling experts at The English Shaving Company have taken a look at previous finalists and winners of Love Island to see how styles have changed over the years and which looks could land you £50,000.
Hairless chests were clearly a favoured look among previous male Love Islanders, with 88% of past finalists opting for this style. However, last year’s winner Liam Reardon sported a hairy chest, alongside fellow contestant Jake Cornish who walked out of the competition, taking fifth place.
Although two-thirds of last year’s finalists still had hairless chests, Liam became the second male winner in a row with chest hair, following 2020 series winner, Finn Tapp. The only other male finalist from previous years with chest hair was series four runner-up Paul Knops, but with our two most recent winners sporting a hairy chest, we may be seeing a rise in popularity of male body hair.
The research found that light stubble was the most popular facial hair among previous male Love Island finalists, with 44% preferring this look. Following this style, with 33%, was a medium-length stubble, known as designer stubble. In fact, all of the male winners had styled their facial hair in one of these two styles.
Starting from series five, the facial hair became bolder among finalists, with Ovie Soko rocking a goatee, which featured again on the series six runner-up Luke Trotman.
By the seventh series, Finn Tapp became the first winner with a classic beard, coinciding with the rise in popularity of beards during lockdown. In fact, all of last year’s male finalists donned thicker facial hair, with Liam Reardon sporting designer stubble and 66% opting for the goatee. Thinking of applying next year? You may want to start growing out your facial hair now.
In the previous seasons, 72% of finalists had their hair styled in a type of fade, which remained as the favoured haircut in 2021, with all of last year's male finalists opting for this look.
However, the Love Island men have sported variations of this style, such as an undercut fade, which creates a more apparent disconnect between the longer hair on top and the short back and sides. Some of the finalists had a more subtle fade, accompanied with a crew cut, or paired a high fade with a slicked-back quiff.
The other categories of hair from the past six series included a buzz cut and medium-length hair, with both styles seen on 11% of male finalists. The least popular look was a side-parting style, only donned by a small 5%.
Out of the 2021 top three male finalists, two had brown hair and one had black hair. This trend hasn't changed much over the years, as brown hair featured on 50% of the finalists in the six series before that, while a third had black hair.
Of the past male finalists, 16% were blonde, whereas none of this year’s male finalists had this hair colour, hinting at a decline in popularity. An interesting statistic is that no Love Island male finalist has ever had an experimental hair colour, suggesting that keeping it classic is the way forward.
Tania Fulton, Spokesperson for The English Shaving Company, says: "Most of the male Love Island finalists of previous years were very well-groomed with manicured facial hair and smooth chests. While this year's contestants still seem to be caring for their appearance, with coiffed haircuts, they're opting to maintain and emphasise their facial hair.
The increase in men embracing facial hair may be a continuation of the lockdown beard trend, with some choosing to keep and style the hair they grew through the pandemic.
While the public has voted for male winners with a more polished aesthetic previously, their preferences seem to have also changed along with this trend. We predict that with this win for hairier looks, the public will opt to maintain the beards they’ve grown over lockdowns.
The facial hair of the male finalists seems to have become more experimental over the last few years, too, stepping outside of the conventional styles of the classic beard and light stubble.
Men were historically discouraged from caring for their appearance, being told it wasn't masculine. However, Love Island completely changed this message.
Although more Love Island men are keeping their facial hair, maintaining any style of beard requires a regular grooming routine. The celebration of 'modern men' on TV screens across the country shows men that it's more than acceptable to develop a beauty regime, from waxing their chest to following a luxurious shaving routine with moisturising shaving soaps and quality razors."
So now the only question that remains is how to create your own Love Island beauty regime. If you’re one of the many modern men looking to sculpt their beard, style their hair and exfoliate their skin, check out our expert suggestions for worthwhile products you need to be using this summer.
First of all, the beard. We’ve established that fuller facial hair is on the rise but you still need a quality razor to define the shape and trim back unruly whiskers. As one of only three Gillette Trusted Partners® in the world, Edwin Jagger has created Mach3 and Fusion razors with ergonomic reusable handles for a shave that’s smooth and sustainable. The patented Fusion ProGlide® razor head adapts to the contours of your face, allowing you to precisely trim back your facial hair to make your designer beard more pronounced. And good news for Liam Reardon, you can even use an Edwin Jagger Fusion® razor to shave your toes before a big date.
After shaving, keep your stylish beard looking as full and healthy as Finn Tapp’s with Proraso Beard Care Tin (Wood & Spice). Containing three beard-loving products, this kit is a godsend for anyone suffering with itchy, straw-like facial hair. The beard wash softens and hydrates your facial hair while removing dirt and bad odours; the beard oil relieves dry skin and discomfort caused by your beard getting longer; and the beard balm moisturises and refreshes the skin beneath your beard while giving the hair an attractive matt finish.
Remember Brad’s face mask from last year? You too can get on the skincare hype with Clubman Pinaud Charcoal Peel-Off Face Mask. Apply evenly to the face and then sit back and relax for 15 minutes as the blend of charcoal and Moroccan Ghassoul cleans and unblocks your pores to leave your skin looking brighter and healthier.
Lastly, you need an upmarket hair wax to give your hair extra volume and definition. Designed specifically for the modern man, Uppercut Deluxe Clay holds firm in your hair without setting hard, allowing you to rework your style throughout the day. Perfect for taming all hair lengths and adding texture, you’re sure to set hearts racing in the villa adding this hair product to your men’s beauty regime.
Established in 1999, The English Shaving Company is a leading supplier of beard and hair care products within the UK and around the globe. The official home of Edwin Jagger, they offer a range of artisan products that enhance the appearance, fragrance and style of beards and moustaches.
The English Shaving Company is the specialist supplier of beard oils and conditioning washes that improve the sheen and healthiness of facial hair. The oils, moustache waxes, and beard balms ease the shaping of facial hair, while their grooming tools, safety razors and beard trimmers aid with shaping and styling.