For years, the clean-cut man-boy ruled the runway. Parted hair, waifish silhouette, and peachy smooth skin, before a grittier look rolled into view, and changed the game. With it the beard invasion began, becoming the most on-trend accessory of the season. However, a beard needs maintenance, nothing too manicured or man-scaped, nothing too wild and overgrown, so we break it down, meaning you can avoid the need for daily trips to the barber.
Chances are you’re going to need a little sculpting here and there, a little on the cheeks, a little on the neck depending on the kind of look you’re going for. Shaping a beard takes time and effort, so the evening is the best time as you’re not in a rush and are more relaxed. When picking the shape, always try to define a natural line that your beard has already, and on your cheeks look for a line from where your moustache meets your cheeks then up to your side burns. If you’re shaping your beard on your neck try and stay just above the Adam’s Apple, tilt your head back and place the line in a downwards semi-circle. When you look straight on it will straighten up.
From combing to hydrating, your beard hair is the same as what is on your head, it needs taming. A quick comb through may seem strange, but flattening down any runaway bristles makes you look a lot smarter and give the face better definition. After combing, it is key to add beard oil too. Just a pea size drop will do the trick, moisturising both the facial hair and the skin beneath, together with helping soften and tame hairs, acting as a styling agent too. Also, regular trims will help even it out. Your beard hair can grow in stages, getting thicker the longer you leave it, which is because some hair can take a bit longer to grow through. So, regular cutting will help even this out to give a more groomed and thicker look.
As the seasons turn, temperatures change, and together with the constant air conditioning, you may be prone to dry, flaky skin. As part of a complete grooming regime you should be using an exfoliating cleanser to regularly remove the dead skin from beneath the beard. In addition to this, an electronic facial cleansing brush will not only cleanse and exfoliate your skin but also simultaneously soften stubble. It is important to remember to keep the skin beneath your beard hydrated. Beard balm is the product you need, as it will give you the hold of a wax coupled with the conditioning agents of an oil. You should also continue to apply your normal lightweight daily moisturiser directly to the skin beneath your beard, leaving as little residue behind as possible.
What Style of Beard Will Suit Me?
Of course, you could oversimplify things and simply let your beard grow uncontrollably. However, beards can help define your cheek bones and jaw line, so to complement your face best we suggest you follow our guide to find the best style of beard suited to 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.
Avoid thicker, fuller styles and opt to grow your beard downwards on the bottom, to give your face a longer silhouette.
You’ll want a bit more length on the sides and less below the chin, or otherwise just an all-round coverage of stubble. This will give the illusion of a fuller face, preventing your face from looking too long.
As with a square face shape, you should grow your beard longer on the bottom to elongate the face. A fuller beard is only going to accentuate the width of your face, so at the very least, you should trim the sides and emphasise your beard’s length.
If your jaw is thicker than your brows, it’s best not to go grow too much facial hair, as it’ll only accentuate the difference further. Keep things neat and clean with minimal growth.
By Eliza Scarborough