Just as fashion goes through trends, so does men’s facial hair. The 2016 is the year of the beard. The world is going beard crazy and it’s a trend worth trying. I know not all people are equipped to tackle the hairy face, but if you want to try some facial hair there’s not time like the present. If you can grow a beard, it isn’t hard to start, be patience is key. In a week or two, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a proper bearded man. Growing a beard is much more than just letting your face grow out. Beard maintenance is vital to any thriving, hairy face.
It may not be difficult to grow a beard, but without the proper care, your beard can become a Rip Van Winkle castle for bird’s nests and lazy mice. That level of unkempt rebellion is not in. I hope it never will be. If you’re going to commit to growing a beard, commit to trimming it as well. Half an hour a week for beard maintenance isn’t much, but it can make all the difference. Trust me.
Before you start a beard trimming session, make the proper arrangements. Even a short beard will collect dirt and dust over time. A quick rinse will clear away any residual dirt for a clean, healthy shave. Once you’ve rinsed and dried your beard, go find a comb. Brushing your beard down in one direction will help make the trim more precise and guide you as you move the razor about your face.
DEFINE THE LINES
Crafting a tidy beard is all about sharp, clean contours. A tame beard is shapely and crisp. Learning to trim is like figuring out how to color within the lines, but first you must define your lines. Your cheekline should be straight or gently rounded. The corner can be more angular, but make sure the curve is still gradual. Your mustache, if you have one, should be even and short. To keep a sculpted chin, carve two semicircles under your mouth. Then, trim that neckline.
RING YOUR NECK
Imagine a gentle curve that travels from right behind your ear lobe to under your jawline. It should stop at your Adam’s apple. This is your neckline and it should serve as the guide when you tidy up your neck hairs. Necklines are the easiest part of a beard trim to get wrong. It isn’t easy to clock an exact line in the shadow of your chin. Philips makes a laser attachment you can fasten to your razor to help mark the line as you go. If you’re new to beard trimming or have struggled with necklines in the past, this may be just the thing to help you become a beard maintenance pro.
SCRUB N’ SHOWER
How often should you wash your beard? You should be doing it every day. This should include a nice sudsy beard shampoo and conditioner to keep it soft and fresh. Notice I made a point of mentioning both shampoo and conditioner. Your beard is really going to benefit from both. Don’t be stingy. Right after the shower is a great time to shave too, since your skin is nice and hydrated. Don’t do your big trim, but a little work here and there will smooth out any rough, stray hairs you missed before.
THE FINISHING TOUCH
Invest in conditioner and invest in some beard oil Good beard maintenance leaves your facial hair soft and gentle. Without beard conditioning oil, the after-effects of showering will wear off by mid-day. By the time you’re puckering up for a kiss after bar hopping, you’ll be scratchy and harsh. Oil up so you’re prepared for the evening. If you have a long beard, it might help your look to pomade as well. Sculpt with a razor and then shape with pomade for some professional precise man-scaping.
Beard maintenance is all about details. Sharp lines, smooth hairs, and a nicely shaped mustache are all keys to grooming success. Let your beard guide you to world domination.
— Timothy Vest