How to Shape and Trim Your Beard Like A Pro
We’ve seen those Insta-men with perfectly groomed beards and brooding stares to accompany them. They’re getting a whole lot of likes and have entire accounts dedicated to their debonair beauty. Whether the beards are extra-long, expertly coiffed, or closely cut, they can add a masculine layer of intrigue to the face that was perhaps previously unrealized.
Beards have been a fashion statement as well as a mark of aesthetic masculinity for centuries. From the founding father to the working-class go-getter, to the absurdist hipster, the beard has been through its fair share of style evolutions. One thing has remained constant: the beard is cool.
As we know, unfortunately not every man can grow a beard. Even worse, some men can grow facial hair, but could never hope to see their beard come together or grow long enough to groom and show off at the beard Olympics. We sigh, but we understand. Even so, there are so many styles of beards, that you can hardly limit yourself to just one look. Truly, there is a beard for everyone.
Having a beard is both a blessing and a curse (if you let it be). If you’re just beginning your foray into the bearded lifestyle, know that it will be the most committed to your look you have ever been. You might have to give up certain foods or get an entire beauty kit to keep your beard looking fresh and prevent it from looking unruly or scraggly. Please, please, please shave your neck. If you’re still down for the beard, there’s a lot you need to know about grooming it.
If you’re at a loss for how to start preparing your glorious Act of Being beard, there are tactics needed to ensure that your beard is looking its best while protecting your facial hair and skin from too much damage. You’ll thank us later. Once you get passed the itch, you’ve got this.
Prep Your Skin Before You Grow, and for God Sake Keep It Clean
First of all, you’ll want to have your skin at its best before you start the long journey of growing it into pristine beauty. It is also worth it to continue giving your skin much-needed attention during the time you’re growing out your facial hair and after.
If you haven’t been cleansing your skin before, now is the time to start. Better late than never. Act of Being HP+ Daily Face Wash exfoliating will especially help to clear away dead skin, prep your follicles for growth, and help you to grow your facial hair even faster. Full disclosure, you should be prepared to endure the especially itchy period of growth when most people just quit and shave it all off. Power through, with our Grooming Oil on twice a day and you’re on your way to beardly greatness. If you’ve ever seen the handsome shaved men on tumblr, you could be on your way to looking like that in no time!
There are some healthy alternatives to natural beard growth that will help the hair and skin to stay soft and clean. Adding eucalyptus to your grooming technique is a game changer. Using a moisturizer with eucalyptus has been proven to accelerate facial hair growth, rid the skin of flaky, dry parts, and keeps the skin and hair soft and full.
The healthier your beard is, the more you can groom it to your liking and keep it looking fresh. Taking a supplement like biotin can help to stimulate hair growth if you take it in increments of 2.5 mg once daily. Vitamin B has also been known to stimulate beard growth especially. You can get more Vitamin B into your system by taking supplements or adding more whole grains, eggs, meat, and nuts to your diet. This can be good for your overall health, not just your beard.
Second of all, if you aren’t using shampoo and conditioner on your beard, you’re doing it all wrong. Your beard hair is as important to clean as the hair on your head. Adding conditioner to the mix can make it that much more voluminous, and much easier to groom and shape properly. Keeping the hair soft makes it easier to control and helps with your aesthetic. For those men with sensitive skin, be sure to pick up a conditioner without fragrance to avoid irritation.
Once you’ve cleaned your beard, comb it for good measure. Get into the habit if you plan on going all the way on a full beard. You’ll want to brush it at least once a day, if not twice.
The Right Way to Shave
So, you’ve been shaving since you found your first bit of stubble at 15. That doesn’t mean you inherently know how to trim, shape and generally take care of a full-length beard. You’ll have to use some entirely new tricks once you take the plunge into beard-dom.
Once you’ve cleaned and combed your beard, you’re ready to trim. Instead of using a full-on trimmer, it’s best to use a pair of beard or mustache scissors to spot check and clip strays first. Trimming your beard is as essential as trimming your hair. Cutting it regularly will keep it healthy and growing out nicely. Do not skip this step. Skipping the trim is one of the reasons your beard will start to look rough, and not in a good way.
When using your trimmer for the neck and cheek lines, set it to the lowest setting to get the closest shave you can and to shape it into the style that you want. Trim in the shape of a “u” from the point behind your ears to your jawbone and about one inch away from the top of your Adam's apple. Many men use the two-finger rule. Simply place two fingers above your Adam's apple, the top point of your finger (closest to your skin) is where your beard should end.
Everything below should be shaved away, getting rid of the unsightly neck beard that may have been growing there before. Try to shave once a week if possible-- this will keep unruly parts in check. If you're particularly a blessed hairy fellow, trimming every day is essential to your men's skincare routine. If you are growing a beard past your neck, you don’t have to worry about this technique (but you do have a whole lot more to worry about).
When it comes to your neck and cheek hairs though, you can use a trimmer to avoid any nasty accidents with the scissors. These parts will also be the most important aspects of your beard when it comes to shaping. If you’ve stumbled upon an ingrown hair, that could be the obvious culprit to a nick. Otherwise, everyone makes mistakes. Try not to shave too fast or too forcefully to avoid scarring and irritation.
If you’ve nicked yourself and become the star of your own horror movie with the amount of blood leaking from your face, know that there are some things you can do to stop the bleeding and avoid any further damage quickly.
First, you can press a warm, damp towel against the cut, applying pressure, until the bleeding stops. Alternately, you can push an ice cube to the wound, which will constrict the blood vessels and entirely stop the bleeding.
For further relief, use a clean Chapstick (or slice off the used part) on top of the wound to moisturize it and keep bacteria out. Leave the balm on for thirty minutes before wiping it off completely.
Shape Up Your Beard
Once your beard is cleaned, trimmed, and all crises are averted, you can focus on precisely what kind of look you are going for with your beard. Depending on how your facial hair naturally grows, you might not be able to attain a very full or extra-long beard, but you can still have a manly chic look. It’s all about styling.
Just like a haircut, your chosen beard style should flatter your face and jawline. Some men prefer a big, bushy beard to hide parts of their face they are self-conscious about. Whatever you want to accentuate or hide, choosing the best look for you is about knowing what works and what doesn’t for your face and overall vibe.
If you’re thinking about an especially long style, there are some more commitments you will have to make to keep it appropriately groomed and growing beautifully. This is where beard oil, cream, and pomade come into play. You’ll want to get yourself a good grooming oil in order to shape the beard to your liking and keep stray hairs in line.
This will also keep your facial hair soft and healthy, able to withstand the routine and upkeep of having such a beard. The best time to oil your beard is at night before you go to sleep, and before you go out for the day. Comb a longer beard for more time than a smaller beard; it will help the hairs to sit in the place you want rather than where they would naturally grow.
Just like any other aspect of your life, keeping your body healthy and maintained will also help your hair growth and skin care. Come up with healthy ways to manage stress in your day-to-day by eating right and exercises. The nutrients and healthy blood flow will help your beard hair grow evenly and healthily, leading you to bearded perfection.
If you can’t grow a beard extra-long, don’t sweat it. There’s always the trusty mustache.