The Beard and How to Grow One

Growing a beard is an adventure into uncharted grooming territory for many men. You want to discover a style that flatters your face, and you’ve got to perfect the length. Where do you start? If beard neckline and cheek line borders are a mystery, here are tips you need on sculpting and manicuring your prized whiskers. Give your beard at least three weeks to see its full potential. A healthy, full beard is the reward if you comb, wash and condition it every day through the itchy growth phase.

Choose a beard style that flatters your face.

Look at the shape of your face if you’re uncertain about choosing a beard style. Length and angles, square or round can determine which style is for you. Here’s an example: A long, thin beard does nothing to flatter a long, narrow face. A wider, fuller beard will round out the face’s length. Check with your hairstylist if you need advice.

Groom with these essential products.
The essential hairstyling product that every guy should have, regardless of hair texture, is classic pomade. It gives hair a long-lasting, clean finish all day long. Use beard oil for daily beard styling. Beard oil moisturizes skin and hair follicles while leaving a nice shine. Beard balm, one the other hand, leaves residue in the beard.

A beard trimmer on its lowest setting without the guard allows you to trim all the way down to the skin. It won’t break the surface of the skin, and it allows for more precision than a razor in perimeter detailing.

Where to start sculpting the beard.
Always start shaping from the bottom at your neckline. Think of this like building a house—you start from the ground up to build the foundation for your beard. That bottom line becomes a level you can check while shaping up the cheek areas to make sure everything is even and proportioned. Trimming without that reference point may give you an uneven beard.

Draw an imaginary “U” (also like a curved “L”) shape from behind each ear behind the jawbone. The base of the “U” should land at a point on your neck about an inch and a half above your Adam’s apple. Find this point by placing your index and middle fingers together above the Adam’s apple lump. Shaving or trimming bare the skin below and behind this “U” reveals your beard neckline.

Next, continue on to shaping the cheek lines. The cheek line runs in a “U” from the sideburn to the lip. Boundaries are based on where your natural cheek lines stop, your preference and the beard style you’ve chosen. If your whiskers are sparse, eliminate stray hairs and embrace your natural lines. If your beard is bushy and luxuriant, invest in a beard shaping tool to help with the basics.

Keep trimming while it grows.

Manicuring your whiskers into a style pattern is more flattering than just letting them grow wild. Trimming your hair as the beard grows will remove frayed and scratchy ends.

Finding your most flattering length is going to take one or two trims. Set your ever-essential beard trimmer at the longer guard length and start by trimming the beard at large. Gradually trim off the hair until you find the right length. Don’t get in a rush and shear off too much. You can always move toward the shorter setting but remember the only way to undo a style that’s too short is to let the hair grow out.

Plan on grooming the beard on a weekly basis for upkeep so that you’ll keep the same clean appearance. Weekly grooming is essential, especially for trendy, tighter styles. You can get away with skipping the haircut for a week but definitely need to maintain your beard on a weekly basis.

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