Four steps for stylish facial hair…
1. Grow It In First
A decent beard will take at least four weeks to grow in to a nice thickness and length. Resist the temptation to do much to it then. Yes, it’ll look a little scraggly and it’ll itch, but this is the time for patience. It’s no coincidence gents tend to grown theirs while on holiday – you don’t have to worry what your boss and colleagues think. Ensure you follow the washing and beard oil steps below. Then it’s time to hone your style with a trim…
2. Select Your Look
There’s no shortage of role models rocking beards these days, from the elegance of Ryan Gosling’s just-longer-than-stubble facial crop to Zach Galifianakis’s mighty lumberjack maw mane. Decide what you want and invest in a quality trimmer with plenty of length settings. For a beard of average thickness you’ll want to set it at three. Give your beard an all over buzz. Shift down to one for your neck and within an inch of your jawline. Blend in from there with the trimmer on two. Carefully shave any areas – cheeks, etc, you want to be hairfree. Increase or decrease the initial setting in line with the length you want. It’s also good to have a helper to assist you buzz/shave the back of your neck so you don’t have a longer crop there than on your face. You should trim your beard every four or five days because it’ll grow imperceptibly and bush-out before you know it. Hair-free areas require daily shaving or you’ll start to look unkempt. Don’t forget your moustache, either. It should be at the same length as the beard beneath your bottom lip. And make sure you trim your nose hairs. It’s easy to overlook them but God forbid they link up with your mo!
3. Wash It Regularly
Just as you wash, condition and brush your hair, so too must you maintain your beard beyond the trimming routine described above. Its proximity to your mouth means it’s a net for food crumbs. Dead skin cells can also accumulate for a nasty case of beard-ruff. There are numerous beard washes on the market that’ll help you keep it free of debris. Use one every few days. But take care not to attack your beard too zealously. While the hairs there might seem tougher than those up top, they’re still susceptible to splitting and ingrowing if pulled out accidentally.
4. Beard Oil
If you want your beard to be soft and inviting, rather than a steel-wool-like extension on your face, then you need to invest in a quality beard oil. Not only will it give your beard a pleasant scent, it’ll keep your facial hairs shinier and softer to the touch.