Beards are perfect for protecting your face from the sun’s burning heat and to keep you warm during the cold seasons.
They are also great for hiding the flab on your neck and are a guarantee of a razor burn free life. And let’s face it, women love a man with a beard – beards are manly, debate closed.
And while beards are great to rub when you are thinking deeply, an unkempt beard is nothing to admire. A beard needs to be well taken care of for you to enjoy its full benefits.
Cleaning, trimming, fading, shaping, conditioning, and combing should form part of your beard care routine. The changes you want on your beard will depend mainly on the facial hair styles.
There is no one size fits all way of having a beard just as there is no one style that suits all beards.
However, there are the basic dos and don’ts when it comes to styling your beard.
The Neck Line
Beards that are fuller are ruined by the number one error – a bad neckline. To avoid being a victim of a bad neckline, you will need to take a good look at the mirror and learn how to define your own natural neckline.
For a full beard, ensure that you have chosen the right cheek line too.
The design of a neckline is an art in its self as there is no one correct way of doing it. If you are unsure, it would be best if you visited a trusted professional barber and he would guide you in creating the best neck and cheek line.
The goal is creating a neckline which defines your beard in a shape that is smooth and eye-catching.
Why is defining a neckline of any importance?
While having a defined neckline is not compulsory, some men prefer it to an all grown out natural look which appears rugged and unkempt.
A well styled and well-trimmed beard enhances your looks greatly. The creative styles for a beard are numerous, below are a few ideas you need to remember when you are starting.
- For super-close sculpting, use a straight razor with a single blade placed on the back to use when sculpting. Don’t rush while shaving. Add some water into your shaving cream to get an extra-smooth shave; remember to shave along the grain.
- Open up your pores by placing a hot towel over your face and a cold towel to close the pores once you are through with trimming your beard. Don’t squeeze ingrown hairs as dirt in your fingernails can cause you to get an infection.
- The first step is to set the shaver guard to 3 and shave off the entire beard. Clean the lower part of your neck. Switch the guard to 1 and shave from the Adam’s apple all the way to about to two inches beneath your jaw.
- Switch the guard to 2 and shave off the remaining two inch, fading and finessing the 1 and 3 zones.
- Remove any stray hairs. Remove the guard to set it at 0 and shave below the Adams apple and along your neck. Invest in a reliable electric shaver that will cut off any stray hairs.
Once you are done with the shaving, it is time to clean your beard. Your face is different from your scalp and so you cannot use any harsh soaps or shampoos on it.
Pick a gentle shampoo and conditioner to clean and soften your beard.
Check the ingredients in the shampoo and conditioner to see if it has any additional protein that will help in nourishing your beard and enhance its growth. Apply the shampoo while taking your regular shower.
Style #1: Trimming it extremely short to give a five-o’clock shadow
You can do this by removing the trim guard or by using scissors very cautiously to cut close to everything off. The idea is to create an evenly sized very short beard. The final look should be a rugged masculine look. This style will be more suitable if your hair is dark and you have preferably pale skin.
Style #2: The goatee
This is my personal favorite. First trim your sideburns but leave a sizeable patch to circle your mouth. To achieve a great goatee, picture a line running from both sides of your nostrils to the corner of your lips; shave all the hair that is between your ear and that line, but leave the mustache and the hair that is around the chin. You may want to experiment with different sideburn lengths, or for Fu-Manchu style, remove the hair on the chin and beneath the bottom lip.
Style #3: Leaving the chinstrap on
For the Abe Lincoln effect, trim off your entire mustache and leave the rest. You can do this efficiently by using a beard trimmer. Maintain the style by regularly shaving your upper lip using a razor, alternatively, keep a bit shorter using a trimmer.
Style #4: The full-on beard
In order to pull off the full beard style, you need to have plenty of patience. While time is key, you also need to restrain yourself from shaving. Don’t shave, don’t pluck, don’t trim, don’t do anything!
Keep this trend going for 6+ weeks and you’ll start to recognize the direction in which your hair grows and the thickness of it. If it looks keep, keep rocking it out!
(This is a guest post by Alex Murphy from menshairstylesclub.com)