Like having a threesome and shooting tequila in Cabo, growing a beard is something every man should try at least once. Surely you’ve noticed by now that face fur is back in a major way and there are no signs the trend is ending any time soon. But if you think this is just a case of set and forget, guess again. There’s a long way between hobo and Boho. In fact, there’s just as much maintenance involved as shaving on the reg. That said, the dividends pay off quite nicely.
First thing you should know is shape is crucial. The one to bear in mind here is oval. That’s the silhouette every good beard should impart to the wearer’s head. That means, if your face is square, circular or the length matches the width, your beard should extend your silhouette slightly, as long as you keep the sides in check. Think of it as a hirsute Photoshop effect. Should your head be slightly oblong or rectangular, a beard can essentially reshape your entire face, without going under a knife.
A chic beard looks like it’s actually been cared for, intentional. That means a definite line as to where it stops on the neck. You want it full all the way around your jaw and under your chin. But where to stop? Here’s the trick.
Take your index fingers and place them on your Adam’s apple. Press down until you feel a tiny bit of strangulation. Now touch yourself. Kidding. Take each finger and draw a “u” shape from the Adams apple to where the bottom of your ear joins the scalp. That’s where your beard should run for a smart, natural line. Below that needs to be shaved, so don’t throw out that razor just yet.
If you’ve never grown a beard before, the initial stages can be tough. Especially since it will itch like your crotch did after that Thailand hook up in 2012. Regular washing, conditioning, exfoliating and oiling will ease the process. See our list below for the gear you’ll need.
Once you start to see some fullness around the cheeks and chin, some maintenance is required. Especially as different areas around the face grow quicker than others. With a beard brush or comb, brush against the direction of the natural hair growth and trim any of the hairs that appear longer than others. You can do this with either scissors or an electric trimmer. Be careful with the latter though and use only light, delicate movements so you only get the hairs in question, not the stuff you’ve been trying to grow. Do this process once a fortnight. And don’t neglect the moustache. It should not overlap your top lip.
Like we said before, dedicated beard shampoos and conditioners are mandatory. They are formulated for hair that’s more wiry than the stuff on the top of your head. Use every other day or daily. Up to you. Then, apply a beard oil to a dry beard. This one should be done on the reg. Once or twice a day. We recommend going for a scented oil that can take the place of an aftershave.
Become the bearded beast you were destined to be.
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