Zayn Malik's Beard: Unable To Grow Facial Hair With One Direction, Malik Says His Beard Is 'Now Quite Cool'

Remember those days when Zayn Malik's beard didn't exist?

Malik has always wanted one, but he refrained for a while because having a beard was frowned upon when he was a member of One Direction, Malik said.

In an interview released today by Complex Magazine, Malik said that he initially wasn't allowed to keep his beard, mostly because he looked so much older than his 1D bandmates Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Niall Horan, and Louis Tomlinson.

"I wasn't allowed to keep [my beard]. Eventually, when I got older, I rebelled against it, and decided to keep it anyway. That was just because I looked older than the rest of them. That's one of the things that is now quite cool. I get to keep my beard. I also wanted to dye my hair when I was in the band, but I wasn't allowed to."

Since splitting from One Direction about a year ago, Malik has had many disparaging things to say about his time with his former band. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Zayn Malik went so far as to tell Fader that the music he made while he was with 1D was "uncool."

"Would you listen to One Direction at a party with your girl? I wouldn't," Malik told Fader back in November. "To me, that's not an insult, that's me as a 22-year-old man. As much as I was in that band, and I loved everything that we did, that's not music that I would listen to."

Since splitting from One Direction, Zayn has been hard at work putting together his first solo album, called Mind of Mine, which is due out March 25 — exactly one year to the day that he announced his departure from One Direction. So far, Malik has released several songs from the album, including "Pillowtalk" and "Befour."

In his with Complex, Zayn also talked about how he'll feel when his new album drops, calling it "massively different" to anything he did with One Direction.

"I know already it's going to be massively different. I felt different when the single dropped. There's so many extra emotions tied into it because it's a personal song. None of the songs that I wrote in One Direction were personal to me," Malik said during the interview. "Whenever we'd get an award or this or that, it was never something that I was emotionally attached to. Whereas with this, I am. I know what's going to happen. I'm going to be crazy ecstatic when that album drops. I'm going to be buzzing and I'm going to go out. I'll probably party with my friends and enjoy it."

So far, the response to Zayn's crooning R&B-style music has been positive, with fans going crazy on social media when Malik released "Pillowtalk." The video, which featured Zayn and his girlfriend, supermodel Gigi Hadid, also was a hit with fans.

Despite his complaints about not being able to grow a beard or write his own style of music while he was with the band, Zayn says in the Complex interview that he's grateful for the time he was able to spend with 1D. Those struggles help him to appreciate his time on his own even more, he said — beard and all.

"No one can ever say I was ungrateful, even though it sort of comes across that way when I mention that I was frustrated with the band. That's not the case at all. That was just an experience that had to be dealt with at the time. With the music that I'm doing now, I get to express myself, and that creative tension is gone."

What do you think of the comments about Zayn Malik's beard? Are you surprised that he wasn't supposed to grow facial hair when he was with the band? Why or why not?

Find out more about Zayn Malik's new album in the video below.

[Photo by Photo by John Salangsang/Invision/AP]