Facial hair can grow wild very quickly, so beard grooming is key to looking stylish. If you’ve been letting your facial hair grow out over the past few weeks, you’re probably ready to embrace this new year with a newly-shaped beard. Beard care and maintenance doesn’t have to be difficult either; with a few simple steps you can shape your beard to give you the perfect look.
Beard shaping is not an exact science because your face, your hair type and your general style will all come together to dictate the kind of shape your beard should be. Choosing the right beard shape for your face is the first step. For example, round faces suit longer beards because it elongates the face making it appear slimmer. Conversely, if you have a square face you could go for a long and narrow beard sculpted into an oval shape to give the illusion that your face is the same shape.
Where to Start with Beard Grooming & Shaping
Once you have an idea of what style of beard will suit you, it’s time to prepare your facial hair to be trimmed and shaped. To start with, you need to have the perfect kit.
Your beard grooming kit should include:
Beard balm/beard oil
Beard shampoo & conditioner
Once you have your kit, you’re ready to go.
Comb & Trim
The first step to growing the perfect beard is a trim. If you’ve been letting your beard grow out over the winter months, you’ll likely have a bit of over-growth in some areas, making it look less ‘dapper gent’ and more ‘forest dweller’.
Start by washing your beard with a shampoo and conditioner that is designed specifically for beard hair. Once its dry, use a wooden beard comb (plastic combs tend to cause static) and brush outward so all the hair stands in one direction. This gives you a good idea of your beard’s natural shape and its length.
Now it’s time to trim. Use a beard trimmer to bring it down to the desired length for your style. Remember, if you go too short at the beginning you have nothing to work with, so it’s best to start with a longer setting and work your way down. If you want a thicker beard, you should trim in the same direction as your hair grows, whereas for a shorter beard you should trim upwards, cutting straight across the hair.
With beard grooming, we recommend working from the outside in. This is because the hair around your mouth and chin will usually be thicker than it is on the sides of your face, so if you start by getting the sides to the right length you can ensure the rest of your beard is even.
Depending on the length of beard you’re going for, the shaping process can either be a simple neatening up of the existing hair or a more extensive trim down into a specific style. For example, if you’re going for a full beard, you can trim the hair on the sides of your face then comb and cut the rest of the beard with small scissors.
Alternatively, if you’re going for a more slimline beard look, you will need to take a little extra time to ensure the shape is even. You can use the scissors-over-comb method to add a bit of precision and structure to your beard. Your beard trimmer should also have a shaping setting so you can get rid of stray hairs on your cheeks and under your neck.
What About Sideburns?
Sideburns can either be an extension of your hairstyle or part of your beard. For full beards, you need to work out where the beard begins in relation to the sideburns.
Will they be connected, or will they taper? The look of your sideburns should match the style of your beard, transitioning smoothly.
If you have a shorter hair, the sideburns should appear to disappear at the top of the ears, whereas longer hairstyles can afford a bit more length. Remember to keep them neat and tidy as bushy sideburns can look messy – not great when you’ve spent so much time on your beard.
Working Out Your Neckline
There’s a pretty exact science to working out where to trim your beard neckline but the general rule is that it should start just over an inch above the middle of your neck. You can easily work it out by putting two fingers above your Adam’s apple and shaving everything beneath the upper finger.
Now, imagine a line going from ear to ear, crossing the point where your fingers rest – that should be your neckline. It might sound a bit confusing at first, so if you’re not sure and you don’t want to risk it, get your barber to do it first then follow his lead. You should only need to trim your beard neckline every couple of weeks.
Keeping Your Beard Looking Sharp
Good beard care and maintenance needs good quality beard grooming products that are designed for men. Beard hair can be coarse, and the skin underneath can sometimes end up feeling irritated. To combat these kinds of complaints, you need to use products that nourish both your beard and skin.
Choose products with ingredients that can help hydrate and soften, such as aloe vera, camelina oil and green tea – all of which can be found in the Bulldog Skincare Beard Range.