Beards are everywhere right now. With many a man adopting the look, there’,s plenty of room for rookie errors. We’,ve put together this handy guide to show you everything you need to rock the look without looking like John Waters. Beard trimming styles.
Have you noticed those fuzzy things half the population seem to be sporting at the moment? Yeah, beards, that’s the one. You may have picked up on this, but they’re pretty popular right now, and maybe that’s a bandwagon you want to jump on, if so, Great!
If you’ve been doing any research at all though, you may have realised there’s a bit more to it than putting the razor down and letting nature take its course. Lucky for you, we’re here to help: welcome to The Idle Man’s Ultimate Guide to Growing A Beard.
We’re going to cover pretty much everything you need to know here, from how to grow a beard, through how to maintain your glorious facial hair. We’ll talk about how to find the right beard for you, all those slick shaving techniques that’ll keep you looking stylish and well-groomed, and weigh up the pros and cons of some of the more popular trimmers and tools available. Ready?
How to Grow A Beard
You should start with exfoliating first as this helps remove grease and dead cells from your skin and lift the hair away from your face, which all adds up to a smoother shave. Lather up and get your razor in there –, remembering to shave with the grain to avoid painful ingrown hairs. Finally, apply a cooling balm to minimise irritation.
Now you’re smooth as a snooker-table baize, we can start growing that magnificent beard you’ve already dreamed of. This is a surprisingly involved process, and nowhere near as simple as just ‘,letting it grow’,. The first step, of course, is diet.
That’s right, diet. Time to get some science up in here! Ready? Here we go: hair follicles are technically dead cells. They don’t grow, so much as your body is pushing them out of your skin –, but they were growing, at one point, and just like every other part of your body, good nutrition is key to healthy growth.
Allow your beard to grow uninterrupted for at least thirty days. This will allow you to see what kind of coverage you can expect in the long term and will help you determine what facial hair style will best suit your face.
Strong follicles need testosterone, and that means protein, which you can get from meat and regular exercise, but those aren’t the only ways. Peas, broccoli, chickpeas, and spinach are all high-protein veg full of other nutrients and all that good stuff. If that doesn’t work, supplements like biotin, fish oil, and a multivitamin are all good options.
Following that, there are steps to take whilst your beard grows in too. Depending on how fast your hair grows, you’ll want to leave it at least a few days, if not a week, and then take a trimmer to your beard and give the whole thing a go-over. Remember, the point here isn’t take any of the growth off, obviously –, you’re just trying to even things out so your beard grows in nice and consistent.
Now, at this point you’ll want to start considering proper beard maintenance. Washing your beard on a regular basis is going to get real important around this point, but you don’t want to use shampoo and conditioner more than twice-weekly, simple water and a neutral-pH soap should do the trick without stripping away all those nice natural oils.
Don’t stroke, comb, or otherwise bother your beard too much, either, as this can lead to patches and split ends. We’ll cover a these points in more detail later though.
What Kind of Beard Should You Grow?
Once you’ve got some beard to play with, it’s time to start thinking about what kind of beard you’re going for. Since you’ll want something stylish, you’re going to want to consider which style of beard will best suit your face.
There’s a lot of variety out there, but the guiding principle is that your beard and your jaw should work together to achieve a nice, evenly-graduated oval shape. For example, if you have an oblong or rectangular face you’ll want a bit more length on the sides and less below the chin.
On the other hand, anyone with a square or round jaw should grow their beard longer on the bottom to elongate the face.
Now, a full beard is not going to change a round face at all –, in fact, it may accentuate things. At the very least you should trim the sides and emphasise your beard’s length, but you could also consider a goatee.
Beard trimming styles 2014
Paired with a moustache –, that doesn’t extend past the corners of your mouth –, a goatee will help to give your whole face a narrower, sleeker appearance. This same trick works great to soften a longer face without adding more length, too.
Photo Credit: Pinterest | SHOP: Grooming
On the other end of things, an all-over beard clipped close to the face is a good way of softening a square jaw, and works wonders for a narrow face, giving you a fuller look.
If you have a triangular face with a pointed chin, a beard is a great way to fill out your face a little and take the edge off your features.
The shape of your face isn’t the only thing you’ll want to take into consideration, though. As most guys will know, shaving certain areas can make others appear…, bigger. If your beard is patchy on top just shaves the edges a little lower so you’ve got a nice consistent all-over growth.
If your beard grows in patchy swirls then half-measures won’t cut it, commit to either stubble or a full beard. Either will obscure those swirls, whereas a mid-length beard will only expose the patches.
How to Style The Beard You Want
Time to get technical! Now you know what kind of beard you want, you need to know how to go about getting that style. The number one step is trimming. As we said earlier, the first step to growing a sweet beard is letting it all grow, but you aren’t going to want a consistent length all over.
Like we covered in the previous section, you’ll want to trim certain sections to emphasise different features depending on how your face is put together. Regardless of the shape of your face, you need to trim your neck in a slightly different way so that it all shades together nicely.
Whatever length you shave your face, take it down a notch or two when you shave below the jawline. Make sure the edge is below your jawline, otherwise your beard-line will move up your face every time you open your mouth.
Take things down a notch or so again when you reach the adam’s apple, and shave the remainder of your neck –, again, make sure to shave the curve above your adam’s apple, as ‘rounding down’ will make your face appear fatter.
Regular trimming will remove split ends and fast-growing ends, and proper shading will keep your style consistent. More than that, you’ll want to keep your edging game on point, too. Use a typical wet-shave razor to remove any stray hairs from the tops of your cheeks and around &, below your neck, making sure to follow the natural lines of your beard.
If you want a smoother shave then feel free to use an oil, gel, or creme –, but choose one that doesn’t lather so you can see what you’re doing. After all, if you shave too much you’ll be waiting a while for it to grow back.
This final piece of advice might seem a little counterintuitive, as we’re aiming to provide the ultimate guide to DIY beard style here, but it is key.
It doesn’t have to be a regular thing, but there is no denying it –, a professional is going to have training and experience that all the techy gear and internet-savvy in the world can’t replace.
I’d suggest visiting a barber once when you’re beard is growing in, and then again to touch things up every now and then. If you do it this way you’ll find it much easier to maintain a well-groomed look, as you’ll only have to follow the lines and shades that your barber puts in. Takes the guesswork right out!
Which Tools to Use on Your Beard
If you’re reading this, it’s a safe bet that you want to do this beard thing right, so that means getting the right tool for the job. Since this beard trend kicked in to high gear a lot of companies have been looking to cash in, so there is an overwhelming number of razors, trimmers, and clippers out there. How do you choose? Well, we can help with that.
Remington MB320C Barba Beard Trimmer
The Remington Barba is a solid, entry-level shaver, suitable for clipping your beard, shaving your head, or trimming designer stubble. It has nine length settings (1.5mm –, 18mm), and the blades are ceramic-coated for extra resilience –, although this seems a touch excessive to me, regardless of how wiry your hair might be.
It’s not all good news, though, you’ll only get 40 minute’s use on a full charge, and you may find that the battery life quickly begins to degrade. Unfortunately, the batteries aren’t designed to be replaceable either, so if you’re not handy with a soldering iron this could be an issue.
You can pick the Barba up for about £20 on Amazon though, so it could be a solid choice if you’re not totally sure you want to invest in a beard.
Gillette Fusion ProGlide Styler 3-in-1
The Gillette Fusion ProGlide Styler is a neat little tool that can be used as a razor, a beard trimmer, or an edging blade, and can be picked up at a very affordable £15 on Amazon.
The trimmer comes with three exchangeable combs of different lengths, and the razor has five blades –, if you own a TV, you’ll probably know that this is supposed to reduce friction and provide a closer shave. On top of that, the ProGlide Styler even has micropulse technology, which supposedly provides an even more comfortable shave.
Admittedly, it does carry a maintenance cost in the form of replacement razor heads, and it’s obviously not suitable for taking care of a longer beard, but if you favour a clipped look or you like to change between clean-shaven, stubble, and a short beard, the Gillette Fusion ProGlide Styler 3-in-1 could be the just the ticket.
Philip Series 500 Hair Clipper HC5450/83 with DualCut Technology
Coming in at around £30 on Amazon (we’re not repping them, honestly, all these items can be bought elsewhere), the Philips Series 5000 is a touch more expensive than the other options we’ve seen so far.
It’s got the specs to justify it, though –, you’ll get 90 minutes of battery life out of a 1 hour charge, to start. On top of that, the adjustable razor has 24 different length settings (ranging from 1-23mm), and three combs of 1.5mm, 3mm, and 5mm on top of that.
The dual titanium razorblades can be ejected for easy cleaning, too, although they’re so close together that you may not need to. If you don’t mind the price, you could do a lot worse than the Philips Series 5000.
Wahl 9906-2017 Silver Groomsman
If £30 is too much, then you can pick the Wahl Silver Groomsman up for a tenner or less at plenty of online retailers. A perfectly serviceable bit of kit The Wahl Silver Groomsman has an adjustable razor that offers 6 positions (ranging from 1.5mm to 13mm), 4 attachable combs, and a handy storage stand.
However, you get what you pay for, the Wahl Silver Groomsman is battery-powered only, and although you can use rechargeable AAs the reduced voltage will slow the razor, too.
Babyliss for Men Super Stubble
If you want something that’s more than merely functional, boy do we have the thing for you –, the Babyliss Super Stubble has more bells and whistles than the school orchestra. It has a floating trimmer to track the contours of your face for a closer shave, a motorised adjustable head that can be set to between 0.4mm and 5mm, and a memory function for a consistent shave every time your turn it on.
The Babyliss Super Stubble even has a neat little LED dispay that’ll show the length setting and remaining charge time –, the lithium-ion battery gives you 60 minutes of use from a 90 minute charge, by the way –, and it’s still 100% waterproof.
You’ll easily pay upwards of £70 for this bit of gear, but if you care that much about treating your beard right –, or you’re just a bit of a technophile –, this could be the trimmer for you.
Long beard trimming styles
How to Maintain Your Style
You’ve grown a beard, chosen your style, bought the gear… good job, right? Everyone go home, ain’t nothin’ left to see. Hoo, boy. Not quite! See, if you want to keep your beard looking healthy, tidy, and stylish, there’s a few more things you’ll want to bear in mind:
Let’s start with the obvious: shaving. Yes, that’s right –, part of a well-groomed beard is shaving it regularly. You’ll want to run a trimmer over the body of your beard every so often to remove split ends and stray hairs.
Use a razor to tidy up the edges around your neck and the top of your cheeks, too. This is 5 minute’s work, but it’ll go along way to keeping you from looking like a haggard old fisherman.
While we’re at it, keep your moustache trimmed back from your lip, too. Biting into that thing is painful, trust me.
Your beard-hair is no different to your head-hair and, just like your head-hair you shouldn’t be leaving it unwashed. Shampoo your beard, say, twice-weekly.
Don’t forget to use a conditioner, too, as it’ll replace all the natural oils that shampooing strips out, but don’t do it too much as it can damage the hair and skin beneath your beard.
If you’re going to use a beard oil or other leave-in conditioner, the best time to do so is just after showering. Towel-dry your beard and get to work with your product of choice.
You also have to remember to take care of the skin beneath your beard, though. The hair of your beard will actually ‘wick’ moisture away from your face, which can seriously dry out your skin. Massage a moisturiser into your beard to avoid dandruff and dry skin.
Finally, some inspirational words from CanYouHandlebar.com: “,Always remember that your facial hair is just that –, YOUR facial hair. It may grow differently than a friend’,s beard, but no one else can grow a beard just like yours. Keep it clean, keep it conditioned, and keep it healthy, and it will keep you looking great.”,
And there you have it! I mean, we’ve not even touched on the difference between a Verdi and a Garibaldi (hint: they’re not biscuits), and let’s not pretend like a £70 trimmer is gonna be a drop in the ocean if you’re serious about your beard, but… hey, it’s a start. People have literally written books on this stuff, after all.
The important thing is, having read our Ultimate Guide to Styling Your Beard, you now know everything you need to know about growing a slick, stylish beard. We’ve covered how to grow a healthy beard, how to work out which style best suits you, how to shave that style, the tools to use to do so, and how to take care of your fully-fledged beard. Read this guide and take its wisdom for your own, and before you know it you’ll be rocking the most stylish beard around.