One would think beard influencer and model Kevin Clark was the muse behind George Bernard Shaw’s quote, “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” Clark continues to carve out vastly different career paths for himself and rises to the occasion with each and every one of them. From semi-pro basketball player to a distinguished army veteran, to now a highly respected and sought-after model, the world can’t seem to get enough of Clark. Becoming a social media sensation and the bearded prototype wasn’t originally a goal of Clark’s but fate led the way and he’s dutifully followed, reaping much success as a benefit.
Clark shared his interesting journey from “ball is life” to the bearded guy of our memes, as well as some of his favorite routines that keep his renowned hair and beard aesthetically pleasing.
Many may be unaware that modeling came late in your career. Your origins consist of being an army vet and semi-pro basketball player, correct?
I went to the army after college in 2010 and served for six years, nine months of that time being in Afghanistan. I also pursued a very short semi-pro basketball career overseas. I left due to not getting paid. My stepdad was Air Force, so I knew about going into the military and being able to pursue basketball. I ended up playing for the U.S. Armed Forces basketball team while I was in there.
How did you go from a soldier in the armed forces, to the guy on almost every beard meme across numerous social media platforms?
Life is funny: I got out of the army, grew a beard, and life took off. I started modeling randomly last year when I was living in Miami. I wanted to do a photo shoot for my 30th birthday to show I was healthy, looking and feeling good. Life it just took off from there.
So modeling wasn’t something that you were actively pursuing. It was more so fate.
Even after my birthday photo shoot, it was some months down the line when another photographer reached out to me for a shoot. A picture from that particular shoot went viral and was posted on all of these different social media pages.That’s when I actually started taking it seriously.
Your beard landed you in the exclusive campaign with Shea Moisture, one of the first campaigns they’ve ever done for men. How were you chosen to participate in that?
Shea moisture contacted me through my DMs on Instagram. They told me about the details of the campaign and I was with it. That’s why I check my DMs because there are always job opportunities in there.
What is your beard routine and some of your favorite beard products to use?
I like to massage my beard with Jamaican Black Castor Oil 3-5 a week before bed. I wake up the next morning and wash it out with warm water, then comb out my beard and moisturize it with coconut or olive oil before I leave the house.
Some of my favorite beard products are Tropic Isle Living Jamaican Black Castor Oil and Palmer’s Coconut Oil Formula for Strong Roots spray.
Some think that beards on men are equivalent to makeup on women. Do you agree or disagree?
Agreed. Beards definitely enhance your entire look. They give your face a totally different shape in the same way makeup does for women. The only difference is we’re just not washing it off at the end of the night.
Why do you think beards are the new wave and do you think this infatuation will last?
I think beards are a trend right now because women have recently started liking the “manly look” more than in previous years. A beard makes one look strong and adds that manliness factor — women go crazy over that. I think the infatuation will last for some more years then eventually die out like everything else.
While guys are experimenting with many different hairstyles, you choose to keep it classic. What routine is used to produce your deep waves?
Yes, I prefer the classic clean haircut showing off my waves. My wave routine is pretty basic; I don’t do anything but brush my hair and get a fresh cut. To make my waves pop more I put on TCB Hair & Scalp Conditioner (Olive Oil) and wear a du-rag at night. People don’t believe me when I tell them my waves are natural.
Your modeling and distinctive beard have landed you some great opportunities. Where would you like it to take you in the future?
I would like to be one of the first urban looking models featured in a high fashion magazine like GQ or Esquire. You don’t see a lot of representation of men that look like me in that type of arena. It’s not common to see bearded Black men with a bunch of tattoos in the high fashion world.
Check out some more pictures of Kevin Clark below: