Beards have been a staple for the past 10 years and looking forward, we don’t see them leaving anytime soon.
Growing a beard requires more than just letting it go. Unless you’re a pirate or wandering the rural American West, a shaggy unkempt mat of fur is not appealing. Not only that, but most workplaces today won’t appreciate the mess and there’s no good reason for it.
This is why you need to know how to shape a beard. A shaped and cared-for beard can make you go from a semi-crazed mountain man to a professional-looking individual with a splash of class.
Shaping and caring for a beard will take some work. Some people prefer to visit their barbers regularly, but not everyone has time or money for that. Instead, invest in the proper tools and learn how to shape a beard on your own.
If you want to take your beard from a frazzled mess to a sleek shape that complements your facial features, here’s how you can shape a beard that’s perfect for your face.
Before you begin to learn how to shape a beard, you’ll need a few essential beard shaping tools. They’ll make shaping and trimming your beard easy and manageable, especially if it’s your first time shaping a beard.
Here are the essential shaping tools every beard-wearing individual should have in their bathroom.
A beard comb comes in handy when trimming your beard and for regular daily care. Combing your beard daily reduces frizz, distributes beard oil, and leads to softer beard hair.
You’ll need a comb for shaping and trimming your beard. We’ll dive more into how it works in just a little bit.
The best beard combs are made of metal, keratin, wood, or bone.
Whatever you do—avoid plastic combs. Plastic combs result in frizz and static. Stick to the materials above to accomplish a great-looking beard.
Using a beard brush will distribute your natural facial oils throughout your beard, giving it a healthy shine. A beard brush also removes dirt and grime from your facial hair. Like a comb, you can also use a beard brush when trimming and shaping your beard.
Look for brushes made with boar bristles or another type of animal hair. These fibers will naturally condition and clean your beard without causing it to frizz.
Yep, you bet there are soaps and conditioners designed to clean and soften your beard. Your face skin and facial hair are different from your scalp. Beard shampoo and conditioner will clean your beard without any unwanted side effects.
A dirty beard isn’t attractive and will make shaping it a pain. Regularly wash and condition your beard to make trimming it easy and keep it looking good.
Of course, you’ll need quality trimmers for shaping and trimming your beard. An electric beard trimmer with multiple guards will give you the most options for lengths. You may want to consider wireless options which will make trimming your beard easier.
When it comes time to tighten up your mustache, quality shears will make trimming that area quick and easy. Sure, you can use your electric clippers, but shears will help you achieve the perfect mustache length above your upper lip.
You’ll need a facial razor to clean up the edges of your beard along your cheeks, lips, and neck. There’s no trick to finding an effective razor and using what you have should be fine.
Shaving brushes make the shaving cream into a lush lather that softens and lifts beard hair when you shave. It also exfoliates the skin and makes shaving enjoyable.
When the cleaning, trimming, and shaving are complete, top your beard off with a few drops of beard oil. Beard oil keeps your face and beard moisturized while also revealing any stray beard hairs you can clip with your shears or clippers.
Can you get away without a few items on this list? Sure, however, you’ll find each one makes learning how to shape a beard enjoyable and easy.
Follow these steps to achieve your perfect beard.
Before you begin, wash your beard with beard shampoo and conditioner. Styling a beard is easiest when it’s clean and soft.
Once it dries, use a beard brush or comb and brush it against the grain causing your beard hairs to stick up and out. You’ll be able to see the varying lengths and inconsistencies when you start trimming.
Start with a larger guard on your clippers to avoid trimming your beard too short. It’s best to slowly trim your beard down to the desired length.
If your ideal beard is short and easy, then you can trim it to an even length. A longer style beard will require some variation in length and shape.
The most flattering style for a longer beard is to keep it longer along the chin and shorter on your cheeks. Use a 2 or 3 setting on your temples and cheeks and a 4 or 5 setting along your chin. The exact settings will depend on your beard length.
Your mustache is the densest and should be the same length as your cheeks. As your beard grows out, you can experiment with different mustache lengths and styles.
You can use clippers or shears to trim your mustache and clear the hairs away from your upper lip. Running the electric clippers broadside is one quick way to trim your mustache without getting the guard stuck in your nostrils.
How short or long you go is up to you. Start longer to avoid going too short too soon.
This is one of the trickiest steps. Ignoring the neckline altogether, trimming it too low, or trimming it too far forward will result in an unattractive beard shape.
A rule of thumb is to shave everything below your Adam’s apple. Those with shorter necks may want to stay below your Adam’s apple while those with longer necks may want to remove everything just above.
From there, create a curved “U” shape up to your ears. Your beard should wrap around your jaw and cradle your chin’s underside.
You can leave a hard line or soften your edge by tapering the beard length as it gets closer to the edge. To do this, start with a guard that’s one step shorter than your beard.
Trim 1 inch above the jawline and 1 inch towards the sideburns. Trim in towards your beard lifting your clippers away to create a smooth transition and not an awkward shelf.
Then, switch to a closer guard and repeat the process but trim only 1/2 inch along the edges. As you taper the sideburns, make sure the length matches your sideburns.
Once you’re done trimming and shaping, gently brush your beard to remove loose hair trimmings.
Moisturize it with beard oil to give it a healthy shine. Use your beard comb to distribute the oil throughout your beard and style it. Trim any hairs that are sticking out.
And there you have it! You now know how to style a beard. From here you can experiment and try new styles to find the best one for your face.
Here are a few popular beard styles worth checking out.
This full beard style, inspired by Eric Bandholz, founder of Beardbrand, requires patience and dedication. It needs about 6 months for you to grow it out into a full beard before you start styling it.
Like the Bandholz beard, a full beard is one of the most impressive beard styles of today. Simply grow out your beard for about 6 weeks and then start to shape and trim it. You can customize the length and shape to complement your facial features.
This shorter version of the Bandholz, the Garibaldi requires about 4 months to grow with occasional trimming. The goal is to keep it natural-looking. You’ll need to regularly trim the bottom to keep it rounded and tidy your mustache is all you need to do.
Whether you prefer short, medium, or long stubble, a stubble beard is the easiest to maintain. You may need to shave the edges to keep a short stubble well-shaped. The long stubble is the most challenging as you’ll need to trim strays, shape the edges, and maintain the neckline.
The Balbo is today’s most popular beard style. You’ll need to grow your beard and mustache for at least 4-6 weeks.
Once both are fully grown, you can shave off the sides of the beard with a razor or clippers and style to your preference. Use reference photos to find your inspiration.
Did you enjoy learning how to shape a beard? Learn more great lifestyle and fashion suggestions on our website. You’ll find tips on how to look and feel great for the start of the new year!
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