Beards are cool. Maybe cooler than they’ve ever been. Alright that’s a stretch, but they are no doubt envogue. You might be thinking, “maybe I can grow a pretty badass beard myself, or maybe just grow a cool ass moustache and pronounce it “moo-stahsh” to everyone who asks about it”. Well, you can boys! But, what beard styles are best for you and what’s the best way to go about growing one? Very good questions and the perfect place to start. Let me explain. Big beard styles.
Growing a Beard
Let’s start with the basics. A good beard style is only as good as its beard strength and beard growth. If you’re going to have a beard, you want a full beard am I right? Growing a beard big and strong entails proper beard care; keeping it beard clean, conditioned and moisturized. Many of my clients have epic beards, but they just aren't treating that beautiful hairy sculpture on their face the right way, making it look thin, scraggly and an all around mess. Well your very own barber of barbers is here to help, gents! Here are the tips and tricks to bring out the beauty of your beard.
Clean & Condition Your Beard
A dry beard is a weak beard. Simple as that. Facial hair is naturally dry as it is. If you don’t believe me just look at a guy who hasn’t taken care of his beard in a while. You can tell that thing’s as dry as a desert just looking at it. A dry beard is weak, because when a hair shaft is dry, like most dry things, it can break. For every hair shaft that breaks and falls away your beard gets that much thinner.
Ask any woman you know and the very mention of split ends will get you an earful of what damage it does to your hair. Enough breakage creates the dry thin looking beards that we so hate. Start by washing your beard, but don’t over wash it by washing more than 5 times a week.
Overwashing a beard can cause dryness by washing away natural oils. Get yourself a quality beard shampoo and conditioner and make sure you’re keeping that bad boy clean. Condition it as much as you shower. Even if you don’t condition your hair every day, you should definitely condition your beard more. It’s naturally more dry than the hair on your head and the strength in your beard really makes for optimal shaping and styling. Don’t skimp.
Don’t Shave The Underneath Of Your Beard If You Plan On Going The Distance
One of the biggest mistakes I see bearded guys make is shaving the underneath of their beard up to their jawline. I don’t know where that idea came from, I think it stems from the fact that people with big beards once had little beards.
Putting a chin or throat “line” isn’t so bad in a shorter beard, but if a big bountiful beard is what you seek, keep it natural, no shaving underneath the beard. By doing that you are taking out a giant amount of the “fullness” of the beard and you’re also creating a terrible silhouette of the beard, your beard then becomes thin looking from every direction.
Try to think about it like a forest, the more trees you cut down in that forest the easier it is to see through it. Well, seeing through a beard is what makes it seem thin. Don’t thin out your beard forest, protect the beard forest.
Keep Your Beard Trimmed and Tight
Trim those dead ends! A dead end is the “fraying” of the end of your hair shaft. When it gets frayed at the end it can split the hair all the way down the shaft, the way you pull apart string cheese.
This creates a thin group of hair. It also gives the appearance from any distance that your beard is unkempt or just scraggly and dirty even if you just washed and dried it. To remedy dead ends? You cut them. Go to a good barber and tell them you want a VERY LIGHT trim of just the dead ends and a “shaping” of the beard. I promise you, you will be blown away at what the lightest little trim will do to a beard.
Beard Styles and Face Shapes
Every face has a shape. Every beard has a shape. A good full beard should be trimmed and shaped to accentuate your face not take away from it. Your face shape has a lot more to do with your beard fullness than you may think. If you don't know the shape of the beard you want/need open up a magazine or go online to see some beard shapes that look good to you on a similar face shape.
(Details on this next) A good barber will know what you mean and what you need. Never be afraid to show your barber a picture, it’s not disrespectful to give someone a little guidance.
Your Beard Should Fit Your Face
As we all know, no face is the same. Probably more beautifully unique to each of us than anything else is our face shape. In my opinion, our face shape is the most unique characteristic we have as individuals. As a barber that is truly why I find my work to be an artistic experience.
The uniqueness of your face shape is what gives barbers the ability to shape your haircut or beard trim into what accentuates the greatness of your face and it’s characteristics. As different as your face shape is from mine, we can all put our face shape in a basic category.
Beard styles for work
Round, Square, Oval, Diamond, Triangle. We all fall into one of those and by looking at a picture of yourself or looking directly into a mirror you can see what I mean using these categories. They’re all exactly what you’d think they are, but if you are having a hard time being objective, you should go to your barber or stylist and have them tell you what general face shape you’d be in. It’s one of the first things we learn in cosmo/barber school.
Now, to choose from what seems to be an infinite choice of beard styles out there. The beard style for you is what accentuates your features and steers clear of an undesirable look. You’ll know when you see it. The mirror doesn’t lie, gents.
Round & Triangle Face Shapes
If you have a round or triangle shape, you’re gonna go with a “slimmer” beard. Think of the letter U. Looking directly at your face and beard, the chin would be the longest part of the beard and you’d bring the sides of the beard in a bit closer without taking too much out of the beard.
One way to start is to ask your barber for a beard fade . This will “fade” from the top into a close clean shape on the cheeks while letting the bottom grow as long as desired. The beard fade is a popular beard style right now and any technical barber will know what you’re talking about. It’s an especially great look coupled with a nice close cut or fade on the sides of your head when getting a haircut and beard trim together.
Square Face Shapes
If you have a square shape you can let that beard growth flourish a little more in all directions. Having a square face shape is definitely the more universal shape when it comes to beard styles and you have a little more wiggle room.
I do recommend keeping it uniform though. If you have the type of beard that grows a little heavier on the cheeks that it does on the neck, it’s a good idea to keep it lightly trimmed up, weekly or bi-weekly.
Oval & Diamond Face Shapes
My oval and diamond face boys! You know who you are. You guys are made for a beard and are also good to go on almost all beard styles. One good option for you would be a bit more square or “boxy”.
Grow it out, but watch out for the close sides and long bottom beard shape, you might be accentuating the wrong shape in no time. There’s countless possibilities when it comes to the design of your beard but you should try to base them off of these rules.
Styling Your Beard
Alright, so by now you’re basically a beard master. You know what face shape you are and you know what beard shape goes with your face. Now it’s time to style your beard! Wooo! A good beard product is the final and many times most important aspect of the beard style.
Fortunately the world of beard products is pretty simple. Keep your beard moisturized and conditioned every day, and when you wanna get gussied up and feel good rocking your beard you keep that beard shape in place.
Products Can Create a Full Appearance
Before anything else you’re gonna want to use a beard softener or beard oil daily. That feeds and protects your beard the way water does with a plant. It holds in moisture making the hair follicles stronger while protecting your beard and the skin under it from the elements.
Let that beard drink up those luxurious oils and walk around proud of your bulky beard. I don’t recommend it for everyone being that many on the market have stuff in them that can damage a healthy beard, but a good natural product can sculpt your beard into something really great looking. It’s similar to a haircut though, you can put all the gel and pomade you have in a bad haircut and it's like putting lipstick on a bassett hound.
As for keeping a beard in place when it’s time to leave the house, you may want to use a beard balm and/or mustache wax. Just watch out for heavier products being stuck on the hair shaft that might not be washing out when you think they are. I’ve seen the nicest of beards go to shit due to a crap moustache wax or beard balm.
Beard balm is the same for a beard as pomade or wax is to your hairstyle, it can keep it laid down or picked out. You top it off with a comb down or a nice twist of the mustache and you’re ready for the ball, Cinderella!
Biotin for your Beard
If you’re trying for a beard as big and as beautiful as possible, you need to use biotin. Period. Biotin speeds up the growth of your beard immensely. It also grows your beard thicker, healthier, stronger to fight breakage, and with a lustrous, beautiful shine.
Ask any guy with a big ol’ beard that looks so good you think its fake what his secret ingredient is and I will guarantee, if he was to be honest, that it is Biotin. Biotin works on the facial skin underneath the beard so make sure to rub it through the beard right onto the cheeks, chin and neck wherever the beard grows, not just on the beard hair. I’ve always loved my job, but never more than seeing the faces of my weekly or monthly clients walk in blown away by what Biotin can do.
It truly is a miracle worker when it comes to hair. You don’t have to be growing out a beard or thinning either. There has never been a time when stronger, healthier, shinier hair is a bad thing. Doesn’t matter how old you are or what profession you’re in these days, the beauty of the beard shines through as long as you keep it in shape. Follow these steps and most importantly: love the beard and the beard will love you.
How To Grow A Mustache
I know what you’re thinking. What’s the difference. The answer is a lot. A mustache has to be trimmed differently, styled differently and maintained more. It has to be kept after much more than the rest of the beard because it grows the thickest and it is, of course, above your mouth.
A mustache will grow down over your lips and will be a pain in the ass, causing many guys to just chop away at it in frustration. That very upper lip trimming could make or break your mustache and in a lot of cases your entire beard. I’ve seen a lot of guys get discouraged by the early mistakes they or their barber made with their mustache and eventually shave thinking they just aren’t cut out for a beard because of not knowing how to grow a mustache.
Now you do. The mustache is the pants to the suit, without it you’re just embarrassing yourself. Save yourself from the cardinal mistake by taking a deep breath and not trimming that mustache. If you can wait it out and not get too obsessed over your mustache growing into your mouth you’ll be ok.
Take a mustache wax or even a pomade you have lying around and start to train the mustache (parted perfectly over the center of your upper lip) away from the parting line. The hairs will eventually “lay” in that direction and start to look really cool. If it just won’t lay and you don’t have the patience, trim very lightly just outside of that parting line over your lip. It will be playing catch up with the rest of your beard, but if that’s what it takes to keep your beard growing than so be it.
Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Grow A Beard
If everyone was jumping off a bridge would you do it too? Hmm? I know men with beards are cool right now and I know it looks really good on most guys. What a lot of people don’t realize is that a beard isn’t just about sitting back, letting it grow and all of a sudden you’re Leo DiCaprio.
Good beards demand serious beard grooming. Ask yourself the following questions before attempting to grow that lustrous beard you seek.
Is it right for your lifestyle?
I know rooted in the reasons for growing a beard is to stand up against authority but let’s be honest, some of us need a little authority. If your job is asking you to keep the beard trimmed up no need to get all political about it and lose your income. An “out on the street beard” is a lot different from an “employed and I won’t be censored beard.”
Another reason to keep it kept due to your lifestyle is how active you are. Completely depends on the activity of course (I know many pro athletes have burly beards) but if you’re going to be sweating it out a lot, common sense would suggest that a sweater on your face isn’t going to help much.
Are you willing to add another thing to your grooming regimen?
The beards on guys that you think look good are undoubtedly groomed and kept up with. No question about it. That beard’s shape doesn't just grow that way, it isn’t just naturally that shiny and it didn’t just grow that long without cleansing and conditioning it.
Beard styles for medium hair
What you need to be aware of (unless you want an unruly and unattractive beard) is that you must shampoo the beard, condition the beard, comb the beard, and soften it using a quality beard softener or beard oil.
Do you have the extra cash?
It’s not a boatload of money to keep up a beard but it isn’t completely free either. To keep your beard looking the way you want it to and not look like a hobo, it’ll cost you an extra few bucks at the barber to shape it up or if you’re doing it at home invest in a decent beard trimmer.
Once trimmed, you’ll probably want to go the extra mile and have the beard grow stronger, fuller and with a healthy shine to it. That all comes with the right beard products. A good beard shampoo, conditioner and above all else a good beard softener or beard oil to leave it smooth, full, soft and smelling good for anyone who is going to be getting within a foot of it is a must.
Do you have the right growth?
Almost any man can grow a beard, but can any man grow a beard? Let it grow for a few days into stubble to see exactly what you’re up against. When I have a client growing mostly on just their neck and not much at all on the cheeks or mustache, I strongly recommend against growing it out. “Neck beards” are no bueno.
If you’re beard comes in patchy, growth can sometimes hide bare spots and make the beard look full as long as you are keeping up with the grooming of it. Above all else, don’t force it. Listen guys, beards aren’t for everyone.
We all have to make sacrifices in life and if you ask me the lack of a beard isn’t the worst sacrifice one can make. I know many guys who could grow magnificent beards if they wanted, but shave them off willing to trade their full follicle face growth for that of a fresh faced guy who doesn’t need to shave but once a month.
One man’s blessing is another man’s curse I suppose. Now you know, gang. Don’t say I never gave ya nothin’.
Timmy Yanchun began cutting hair at 12 and opened his own shop at 18 years old. Yanchun opened the first location in the Hollywood Hills with his brother Nicky and close friend Dan, after Timmy's stint at SLS Hotel's Ciel Spa in Beverly Hills. Svelte caters to men's grooming needs, offering haircuts, hot towel shaves, facials and beard trims.