The Modern Man’s BeardWritten by Advice Team on October 27, 2015
A beard is just about the most on-trend accessory you can wear this season and they’re no longer just for guys who dress down. A well groomed beard looks incredibly suave with a suit and gives you an air of confidence and an edginess that will make people sit up and take notice - even in the boardroom.
Good Things Come to Those Who Wait Growing a beard takes time and patience and it’s not going to be magnificent from day one. Facial hair grows at different rates and in different directions so you’ll need to wait a while for it to bed in and get an even coverage. When you first start growing, leave it untouched and untrimmed for the first 4-6 weeks. As tempting as it is to trim and style before then, you will just prolong this initial phase.
Style your Beard to Suit your Face Shape Just as with hairstyles, different beards better suit different face shapes. Your beard and your jaw should work in tandem to achieve a nicely graduated oval so pick a style that complements your individual face shape and beard length, thickness and texture. In general, oblong and rectangular faces better suit beards which are fuller on the sides while avoiding more length beneath the chin, whereas if you have a square or round jaw, you’ll want to minimise side growth whilst keeping your beard fuller on the bottom to elongate your face. If you’re lucky enough to have a naturally oval face then most styles will work well.
Keep it Clean Just as your hair will get oily, matted and smelly if left unwashed, the same will happen with your beard and trust us, that is not a good look! Keep your beard clean by using regular water daily and use a specialist beard cleanser twice a week. Beard cleansers are formulated to gently clean your face and facial hair without completely stripping your beard’s natural oils. Some also contain mild conditioners that help soften your beard while leaving your face clean and hydrated. Squeeze a small amount into your palm and apply to a wet face in circular motions to get a good coverage and coat all the hairs. Be sure to rinse thoroughly, squeeze out any excess water and then pat dry with a clean towel. Finish up by combing your beard with a wide-toothed comb to remove tangles. Though it might be more convenient, whatever you do don’t use your body wash or your shampoo on your beard. Body washes and regular soap tend to be stronger cleansers and will strip your beard of its natural oils leaving it dry and abrasive and shampoo will ruin your facial skin causing irritation and redness.
Trim and Shape Pruning is essential for a well-groomed beard and a regular trim will maintain your chosen shape and remove any split ends. The success of trimming and shaping will come down to one thing, your tools, so make sure they’re up to the job. Depending on the length and style of your beard you will need a wide-toothed comb, a fine-toothed moustache comb, a sharp pair of barbers scissors, a beard trimmer, an electric shaver or razor, a magnifying mirror and possibly a three-way mirror.
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As most men have learned to their detriment, you should never trim a wet beard or moustache. Wet hair is longer and when it dries you may find you’ve trimmed too much. It is better to err on the side of caution and cut less rather than too much. If you are using a comb and scissors, comb through the beard and cut the hair on the outside of the comb, trimming in multiple different directions to make sure you've caught any stray hairs. To help maintain a balance between the two sides of your face, you may find it useful to start near the ear on one side and trim down to the chin then repeat on the other side. Beard trimmers are a bit easier to master as they almost always come with an adjustable and removable trimming guide. By adjusting the position of the trimming guide, you control how closely it will trim your beard. Growing an epic beard also means growing a moustache. To keep it looking neat, comb it straight down and then trim the area under your nose with a pair of barbers scissors. Start in the middle and work sideways towards the edge of your mouth in both directions. Finally, after you’ve trimmed your beard and moustache, use the beard trimmer with the adjustable trimming guide removed or an electric shaver or razor to keep the neckline of your beard well defined.
Finishing Touches Many men dismiss beard oil but any connoisseur will tell you that nothing tames a beard like regular use of oil and it will take your beard from wild to wonderful in a matter of seconds. A good beard oil makes the hair far more manageable, softening it and stopping split ends from becoming like sharp razor wires. It also reduces dandruff, gives your beard a nice shine and makes it smell pretty good too. Apply a few drops to your fingertips (a little goes a long way), work it slowly into your beard and you’re good to go. If you’ve got an impressive moustache or a particularly long beard, a bit of moustache wax also works wonders, helping to keep the hair going in the right direction and adding shape and control.
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Follow these tips and you too can sport a beard to rival even Brian Blessed.