Your beard is a matter of pride, so entrusting it to someone for a trim can be intimidating. Beards grow relatively slowly. That’s why a bad haircut is usually easier to deal with than a bad beard trim. To get the beard length you want, you might invest anywhere from a few weeks to six months, or even longer. Styling your beard.
The easiest way to find someone with a skilled hand and sharp beard shears is to ask. Find a friend, family member, or even a stranger with a well-groomed beard. Trust me, those of us with enviable manes will be more than willing to help a new member of the beardsman tribe and point you in the right direction.
Find a barber that specifically has experience trimming beards — ideally one that has a beard himself and understands the effort that goes into growing and grooming it. Also, look at their clientele. They should have a regular customer base built around beardsmen.
You want to find a barber that regularly trims beards and has experience. You can also look up their websites or social media pages and read reviews. It’s important for them to have the skills necessary to do a good job, but you also want to know about their personality. Reading reviews is one way to find out more. Another option is to stop in and talk to the barber before scheduling your appointment. This will give you the opportunity to shake hands and make sure he’s a good fit.
If you’ve only recently ditched the razor and started your path towards a full beard, then resist the urge to trim it yourself for the first few weeks. Use beard oils and balms to soothe the itching and control split ends. This will give your beard the time it needs to grow and mature so that your barber has a good idea what they have to work with.
After those first few weeks have passed, it’s time to make an appointment with your barber of choice. Let’s get you set up with the right questions to ask at your first appointment.
Visiting the Beard Barber: 5 Questions to Ask
Before your visit, there are a few things to keep in mind.
You should wash and dry your beard as normal.
Beard fashion style
Apply beard oils or balms as normal.
Allow plenty of time for your hair to dry before your appointment.
Use a wide tooth comb to brush it through — but don’t fluff it.
You want your beard to be as natural as possible so your barber has a clean slate to work with.
When you walk in to your chosen barbershop and shake hands with your barber, make sure that you have a conversation with your barber. Your beard grooming relationship is just beginning and it’s important for you both to be on the same page with what you want.
1. Style & Appearance
Show your barber pictures of the style that you like. Ask them if it’s a good style for your type of hair and grooming commitment.
Take your full facial hair into consideration. How do you want to style your beard, mustache, and sideburns?
Think about your job commitments and local biases. Do you have a job that lets you grow a long and luxurious beard, or do you have to keep it trimmed up short and neat?
What do you want your overall appearance to be? Dapper hipster, grizzly lumberjack, modern goatee, minimal stubble, or something totally unique.
2. Hair Styles
Your hair and your beard will work together to achieve your overall look. Talk with your barber about your chosen beard style and what hairstyles will look good with it.
Get their advice on cuts and styles that you like as well as the effort required to maintain them. Some styles might look good at first, but if the maintenance routine is too hard to follow, then you’re likely to let your hair get damaged or ruin your look.
3. Grooming Techniques
Discuss your follow-up grooming with your barber. Your beard grows in different directions and has different textures. Talk about the best direction to comb it in as well as what combs are the best to use for your hair type and desired style.
Also, talk with your barber about products that are good to use for your desired style. There will be some maintenance you will do between barbershop visits and they can advise you on the best steps to maintain your look.
4. Trimming Schedule
After your trim is done, talk with your barber about how frequently you need to come back in. You can work together to decide the right schedule of self-care and professional care to maintain your style.
Facial hair styles
As a general rule, you’ll want to let your barber take care of the more sensitive elements of your style, such as your chin line, cheek line, and overall shape.
5. Cleanliness & Health
You typically will not wash your beard every day. The soap and water can cause your beard to become dry and abrasive with frequent washing. Your barber can recommend beard and face washes that will clean your beard without stripping away all of your natural oils.
Split ends can also be managed between trims with specially formulated beard oils and balms. Life happens — there are competing demands on your time, stress, and unhealthy chemicals that can all work together to damage your beard. With the right products, you can turn it around.
I’ve been a bearded man for a large portion of my adulthood, and have a passion for beard health. Over the course of 12 years working as a barber, I’ve learned what it takes to maintain my long mane. I developed my own line of beard care products that I have personally used to rehab my own neglected, dry, and brittle beard back into a soft, healthy, and touchable state.