Sculpting a beard is certainly no easy task, and as they say, if something is worth doing, do it right! Shaping and forming the perfect beard will take time, preparation, routine and a strong attention to detail. A beard is not simply hair on your face, it is the focal point of your face, it will accent your mouth, chin and lips and assert your masculinity and sexual prowess on your pears - make no mistake, a beard is powerful asset! Not only is it important to take care of your beard, but styling your hair to suit your look is just as essential.
Think of your face as a golf course, you wouldn’t just whip out the Flymo (a lawn mower) and hope for the best would you? Certainly not, in fact, quite the opposite! A beard requires tendering, cultivation and a fair bit of TLC to safe guard against you looking like a barbarian – unless that’s the look you want of course.
When beginning your beard, it is actually recommended to visit your barber and have them give you a professional shave. A Professional will be able to set the scene for you, think of this as laying the foundations, from which you can move forward. At the very least this will save you time and effort meticulously shaping, all of the lines are done and dusted, you just need to follow the formulae rather than hacking a new style each time you pick up the blade. There is much more science in the art of shaping a beard than what you may have originally anticipated. But threat no more Benjamin Bernard will reveal all!
Preparation is the key
We mean real preparation, not wake up in the morning, splash your face with water, beat your chest and start hacking away, no no. Shampoo, conditioning and the full nine yards, you’ve crossed a line, you now have to admit you are a metrosexual man! Most of us men get away with a simple commercial face wash, but for those with particularly stubbornly harsh and dry beards, it’s often worth investing in a beard specific shampoo. Typically beards should be washed 2 – 3 times per week, but before a trim this is an essential step!
Be sure to fully massage shampoo into the beard covering the full cuticle from root to tip. Assure that the beard is rinsed of all residual shampoo unless you like the flaky look. Nothing worse than a casual sneeze and a colleague think Christmas has landed! You should then apply a conditioning oil to the beard to soften it and make it more manageable.
Next, source a beard comb, try to go for a broad tooth comb in this instance as it will help gather all of the straggly hairs and combine them together. This helps hairs grow in the same direction once you are establishing a little beardage mass, brush the oil against the natural hair pattern and ensure that you cover every inch of your beard/tash.
Finding the Razors Edge
No man is born with the perfect beard and follicles are fickle creatures dispatching a rouge hair wherever they please! So with this at the forefront of your mind, balance finding definition with the growth that your face produces. Unless you have a particular unruly beard, as in it comes up to your eye balls or past the moustache, then you want to let your beard define its self naturally on the cheek and simply tackle rouge hairs with a cartridge razor or a cut throat.
If you are struggling, then visit the barber to define your line (which we had already specified – tut, tut.) As mentioned, once the lines are in place, it is far easier to maintain the beard shape.
Almost every man is guilty of using their ears as guide when it comes to trimming “sideies”, but don’t, if you want lop sided burns then go ahead, if not try your best to eyeball sideburn length. Almost everyone’s ears are lop sided to some degree so bear this in mind.
When trimming the side burns prepare them in the same manner as your beard, trim to length and shape with a precision razor or alternatively use the cut throat. Due to the position of sideburns they are often the most difficult to tackle, but practice makes perfect - right?
The neck is a minefield and shouldn’t be treated in the same regard as the face, we are taking about a different animal here – heed my warning!
The neck should be tended, but defining an even neck line is a very difficult task in itself, never mind the fact that you may be tending this yourself. Sometimes you can get away with not defining a neck line, but this is almost exclusively the men with full and long beards, short beards should always almost always have a defined neck line, this is particularly important for those individuals who require a beard to look clean and tidy for work. Once established, keep on top of it, it’s much easier to maintain than redefine.
Beards on the neck almost always look better if you treat them like a fade, use a slightly shorter guard on a trimmer for the neck and under the jaw area which helps tidy the beard and give it a cleaner look.
In general going with the neck fade will ensure you look that touch more sophisticated and it is quite popular for sporting a beard in the office.
After all of your efforts shaping, trimming, scissoring brushing and softening, you, hopefully, will be left with a piece of facial art! Now hold on a second Casanova, we’re not finished yet! For the final step in your journey, you want to apply that extra touch of class to your beard and apply some beard oil (what does beard oil do?). If you have a shorter beard, you use beard oil, but if you have a slightly longer beard then use balm.
The product which you apply really depends upon what effect you are trying to achieve. Well my bearded and non-bearded friends we hope that this guide helps you achieve beard nirvana!