Don't Shave Your Beard Off Without Trying These New Styles First
Beards have been on trend for a while now, despite people thinking they'd phase out. In reality, they'll always be around in one shape or form, but the level of their trendiness and the style of beard will shift. We spoke to top grooming experts, who foresee a trend shift this year: manicured beards. From thick beards to stubble, the focus will be on keeping all kinds of beards neat and tidy. Beard trim styles.
"What I noticed in 2015 is that I had many clients come in for beard trims because it was their first attempt at having a beard," says John Rivera, a master barber at The Art of Shaving in New York City. "I realized this trend has finally reached the masses. Every guy or every guy who can grow some sort of facial hair will and must learn how to properly maintain it."
Believing many will go with a shorter, more groomed beard this year, Rivera says: "Most men who decided to grow a long beard most likely decided that they are going to have a beard for most of their life and probably purchased the tools to groom it. I think that with their efforts to groom themselves, they will [become] better at trimming it and shaping it."
With so many beard styles to wear, we’ve opened the conversation to several industry experts and had them share some pro tips on how to better maintain your beard of choice, while pairing each style with the best beard care products available.
For The Short-Beard Types
Being spotted more and all over, shorter beards and scruffs seem to be gaining momentum with the Oscars coming up. We spoke to Patti, an American Crew educator and director of shaving and skincare at the Groom For Men salon in Milwaukee, WI. Patti says she's noticed a trend of shorter and almost scruff-length beards across the media, advertising and entertainment industries.
"Guys are definitely learning more about how to keep a longer beard looking nicer — with proper shaping by a professional and also at-home care incorporating balms, oils and conditioning treatments so facial hair behaves properly and looks healthy," she says. As some guys have discovered, having a nice, full beard takes extra work — and not simply growing it out and never touching it again. "They have likely turned to scruff for an easier-to-manage look".
Braun MGK3045 Trimmer Multi-Grooming Kit
Braun’s 7-in-1 trimmer bundle is built to cut your facial fur in multiple styles including: stubble, short, medium, long, and more. Make the most of its 13 precision length settings, 60 minutes of wireless power, and detail trimmer attachment for contour edging. You’ll find that the bonus Gillette Fusion ProGlide razor comes in handy for lining up the neck as well.
The Art of Shaving Beard Conditioner
Tame unruly strands with this beard hydrator that relaxes facial hair and spoils your mug with vital skincare nourishment via peppermint and jojoba essentials oils. The product works on a range of beard styles and remains a favorite amongst short-beard conformists due to its shine factor and soothing properties.
Liberty Grooming Beard Balm
Made from all-natural ingredients, this beard balm boasts all the features to groom a short beard. Working it into your beard helps to moisturize and soften prickly hair. The subtle, manly scent it exudes is a bonus.
Best trimmed beard styles
For The Long-Beard Types
Nate Nagy, editor at Birchbox Man, says that the long beard trend may have passed its peak as a fad, but long beards are still the go-to style for beard enthusiasts. Focusing on the subtlety of beard growth and maintenance as men try to find what best fits their face, Nagy thinks the biggest shift we'll see is a lot of guys who traditionally wear stubble growing a neat, close-cropped beard. "These kinds of beards don't stand out or define you, but with the continual rise of beard grooming products and practices, they'll only be easier and more comfortable to maintain."
Philips Norelco Beard Trimmer 7200
In order to keep a long beard looking fresh, a man needs a versatile trimmer in his grooming arsenal. Our Editor’s Pick for Best Beard Trimmer is a must-own with over 20 built-in length settings, multiple comb attachments, and an integrated vacuum system that sucks up 90% of cut hairs for faster clean ups. Oh yea, it does a fantastic job of cutting hair too with sharp blades that take advantage of lift & trim technology for precise trimming.
Vimulti Beard Growth and Hair Loss
Healthy beards are reliant on numerous vitamins (B5, B3, and B9) and nutrients. A daily dose of these beard vitamins won't just guarantee thicker results in as fast as two weeks, it'll also stave off the effects of aging by improving skin elasticity. It accomplishes this with a secret formula that uses "breakthrough hair loss treatment technology" to improve quality and prevent thinning.
Rugged & Dapper Hair and Beard Oil
This dual-purpose moisturizer comes loaded with “16 all natural & certified organic oils to repair, tame & condition head to chin.” Besides calming stray hairs, Rugged & Dapper’s special rich formula helps promote full-length hair thanks to its use of Argan oil, which feeds your face with natural phenols that are beneficial for hair growth. The fact that you can use it to revitalize your scalp makes it a worthy purchase.
For The Stubblers
Blind Barber head barber and grooming expert Rob McMillen says the stubble will continue to remain one of the most popular looks given it is one of the easiest to maintain and the most acceptable across the board. "Guys will continue to experiment; but varying levels of stubble should stay in the forefront."
Conair Man i-Stubble Ultimate Flexhead Trimmer
Here we have a quality trimmer that specializes in stubble control. It’s backed by 15 ultra-precise settings, advanced blade technology, and an ergonomic design to execute anything from 5 o'clock shadows to detached moustaches. The electro-chemically formed blades trim with accuracy and are safe on sensitive skin.
Every Man Jack Skin Clearing Charcoal Face Scrub
One way to ensure the skin underneath your beard breathes and stays cleaned is to exfoliate it. A gentle face scrub will get the job done, but one with charcoal is more effective since the substance acts as magnet to pull dirt, oil, and other impurities from the skin's surface. EMJ’s offering does this and buffs off dead skin cells in the process.
Jack Black Epic Moisture MP10 Nourishing Oil
Sporting a shorter facial do makes you more prone to rashes. Minimize this risk by rubbing some of Jack Black’s award-winning beard oil into your face, which acts as a moisturizer and keeps skin from flaring up. It absorbs quickly and offers great consistency for all-day use.
For The Beardstache’ Lovers
Also, as beards increased in popularity in the past years, we saw an increase of experimentation with varying facial hair lengths, McMillen says. According to him, the beardstache is a product of that trend. "Most guys wanted to variate from a traditional beard or mustache and adjust the look to change their appearance. The widespread participation in Movember has also led to a number of guys feeling comfortable with a mustache and manipulating the look of it quite a bit."
"I love the beardstache. It's facial hair with definition," says hairstylist Megan Lanoux, who is represented by Exclusive Artist Management. "Typically, you see men with a mustache or stubble. I think the combination of both provides contrast and shape." However, she adds that it requires a lot of maintenance; we might see an increase in shorter beards rather than this specific style.
Philips Norelco OneBlade Hybrid Electric Trimmer and Shaver
Trim it down. Edge it up. Phillip Norelco’s hybrid electric trimmer and shaver affords owners with the ability to style facial hair as they please. The dual-sided blade opens the lane for precise edging to give your beard a more uniform look.
Beardbrand Tea Tree Mustache Wax
A niche grooming product that serves much purpose, Beardbrand’s stick of wax utilizes a special blend of essentials oils to give whiskers a soft, smooth, and shiny effect. It helps to keep hairs in place with a medium hold. Also, applying it above the lip leaves the face smelling of tea tree, vanilla, and mint.
Cremo Beard and Mustache Stainless Steel Shears
Tidy up your beard and ‘stache by cutting off split ends with these stainless-steel shears. Cremo's scissors are designed to seamlessly slice through the coarsest facial strands and come perfectly sized to reach hard spots. Strong, sturdy, and easy to clean, you just might decide to employ these more often than your go-to trimmer.
Beard Maintenance Tips
“The best way to keep a beard looking great is to start with a visit to your local barber or stylist who has experience with shaping beards," says Patti. "A professional can get you on track to line up and trim and assist with instructions on how to trim your beard at home. Additionally, they can discuss your facial hair goals and the styles you like or want to achieve."
She says men should get their beards touched up whenever they come in for a haircut, and also recommends the use of a moisturizing shampoo to wash their beards while in the shower, calm sensitive, dry skin and tame hair texture. "This will make it easier to trim the facial fair."
Before You Trim: Start by washing your scruff with a beard soap or shampoo, and then comb all hairs in a downward direction to even them out. This will give you a more accurate idea of what needs trimming.
Beard styles for men
The Neckline: Trimming your neckline is perhaps the hardest part to get right. Imagine a curved line that runs from ear to ear, meeting at a midpoint about 1.5 inches above your Adam's apple. You can place two fingers (horizontally) above your Adam's apple to determine where to trim. Shave everything below this line.
Fading: To fade either your neck or cheeks, first trim your beard with your standard clipper setting. Then, use a clipper that's two settings lower to trim the 1/2 inch along your cheek or neckline. This will create a smooth (but natural) gradient.
If You're Growing It Out: Yes, you should still trim your beard even if you're growing it! After about 1-2 months of growth, it might start to become uneven, so use a clipper on one of the longer settings (#4 should do it) and gently swipe at the edges of your beard to even it out and trim any stray hairs. Hold the clipper at an angle to avoid dipping it into your beard: You can always trim shorter, but you can't undo a cut. Make sure to pull the skin taught as you approach your neckline to get every hair.
Mustache: In general, most of the same beard rules apply when trimming your mustache. Comb it down to ensure hairs are even, run the clipper through it on your standard length, then use a shorter setting to trim any hairs that run over your lip. If you're really committed, use a pair of grooming scissors to tidy up the hairs around your philtrum (under your nose). Just snip a little triangle between the base of your septum and the two peaks of your upper lip.
Where Do Beards Go From Here?
Stating that facial hair is here to stay, McMillen says that guys have recently experimented with varying lengths and styles. He predicts we'll be seeing more of that in the New Year. "Most guys are wearing facial hair, and we still have a ton of variations, so I would expect to see more experimentation with facial hair," he says, adding that we will continue to see full beards — but ones with more defined, tapered edges and lines.