Written by Gary Simpson
Beards can come in all shapes and sizes. Finding the perfect style of beard to compliment your look is a combination of styling know-how and understanding what type of beard you grow naturally. The right beard can be a powerful focal point of your entire appearance. Depending on how you decide to style and wear your beard, it can say a lot about you and have a dramatic impact on the look of your face. Are you looking for a refined, tightly manicured gentleman’s beard? Or a giant wild man’s shock of hair? Perhaps a simple goatee is your style, or a few well curated lines of hair which frame your face just so? As you learn how to grow a beard, you can make all of these styling decisions and experiment to find your perfect beard. But to begin with, you need to know a little bit about the basics of growing and styling your beard. Let’s take a look at a few universal tips for those new to the beard game.
How to Grow a Beard – 5 Tips from The Pros
1. Play the Waiting Game
short beadBefore you can worry about having a fancy style, you need to have some facial hair to work with! In the first stages of growing a beard, you’re going to need to approach the process with patience — and maybe even the willingness to look a little silly as your facial hair begins to grow in. Everybody’s facial hair grows in at different rates. Some men can sprout a huge bushy beard in a few weeks, while others will have a slow and steady progression towards a full beard. The first step towards getting the magnificent beard you’ve always dreamed of is playing the waiting game. Don’t give up in a few days or weeks into the process as you navigate your way through the awkward phase of looking unshaven and unkempt.
2. Define Your Beard Lines
long beard One of the most important things you can do — and you can do it almost immediately — is define the upper and lower boundaries of your beard. When you look at a well maintained beard, it might seem like it grows in perfectly with nice clean straight lines on the cheeks and neck. This is a carefully crafted illusion! No beard grows in nicely and evenly. It’s up to you to define the beard lines with a bit of help from your trusty razor. For your cheeks, you want to create an even beard line by shaving just above where the full growth of your beard stops. Take a close look at where your beard turns from full growth to a few random whiskers. Remove those upper whiskers and cultivate a nice, even beard line which leaves the upper part of your cheeks clean shaven. Similarly, unless you plan to grow a massive mountain man’s beard which covers your neck entirely, you’ll need to define the neck line with a bit of shaving. As a general rule of thumb for your neckline, you want to want to create a “U” shape between your ears and your Adam’s Apple. Take your index fingers and place them behind your ears on either side of your head. Move them down your neck drawing an imaginary “U” shape. They should meet somewhere just above your Adam’s Apple – maybe a half or quarter inch above it. This is the “bottom” of your “U.” Shave everything beneath the bottom of this point to define your neck line.
3. Trim As You Grow
getting shavedIn the early stages of growing a beard when you’re just trying to get as much length from your facial hair as possible, it might seem counterintuitive to do any trimming at all. But unless you’re hoping to look unkempt and wild, it’s best to do some trimming from the earliest stages of your beard growth journey. Get a good electric beard trimmer right away — as soon as you’ve decided to grow a beard — and integrate it into your existing grooming routine. No beard grows in evenly. You’ll have some hairs which decide to make a sprint for it and grow far faster than the rest of the hair on your face, while other hairs will take their dear sweet time to add any length at all. But even more importantly, the look of a nice, smooth beard relies on it being trimmed. Left untrimmed, your beard will be coarse, uneven, and patchy. Take your beard trimmer and use a large guard which just catches the outer hairs. This way you’re not losing any length on your beard, but you are trimming off the wild ends and catching those runaway hairs which lead to a patchy beard.
4. Find Your Style
nice trim with suitOnce you’ve got a bit of facial hair to work with, you can decide on just how you want it to look. You’ll need to do a bit of looking around and experimenting to find which facial hair fits you best. If you’re blessed with fast growing facial hair, it’s easy to experiment with different styles between trims. But if your facial hair takes awhile to come in, it’s best to do a bit of planning and decide what style you’re pursuing so you can be ready to trim it into shape ahead of time. The general rule of beard growth is to lend the face a more oval shape. This means letting your beard cover and soften the more extreme features of your face. A full beard allows you to widen and thicken your face, as well as accentuate the shape towards a more oval profile. Other than thinking of the shape of your beard and your face overall, you also have all sorts of extra options to play with. You can decide how much (or how little) of a mustache you’re after. You can go deep with the styling, creating a powerful jaw line with clean shaven cheeks. Or you can opt for the illusion of an au naturale beard — thick, powerful, and lengthy, but carefully styled to avoid the wiry and unkempt look. The sky’s the limit!
5. Try Beard Products
beard productsOnce you’ve got a beard going, you’ll want to seek out some kind of beard oil, cream, or balm. These act like a conditioner would for the hair on your head. A good beard conditioner softens your facial hair, keeping it soft and preventing it from being dry and scratchy. It will help keep your beard healthy and looking magnificent. Plus, it can be used to help keep the hairs in place, ensuring that your careful work styling it will endure as you go about your day and give you even more control over the shape and style of your beard.
Grow Strong, Beard Brothers!
Now you know the five most essential tips for getting that gorgeous beard. Keep them in mind as you work your way towards the beard you’ve always dreamed of. Before you know it, you’ll be sporting a face full of elegantly crafted beard. Everybody’s beard will grow in differently, and everyone’s face is shaped differently, meaning that there is no one size fits all rule for growing the perfect beard. It will require a journey of experimentation and testing to find the style which suits you best. Don’t be afraid to try new things! Growing a beard is an adventure which every man should undertake at least once in his life. Whether it’s been a lifelong goal or just something you do for laugh during No Shave November, you owe it to yourself to see what your face would look like coated in a glorious beard. Fortunately for you, your beard is already growing as you read this! Put the five tips above to work and you’re already on your way to realizing the perfect beard.