The full beard: keepin’ it trim
Tramp or Trojan? Craig the barber shows you how to maintain your full beard to ensure you keep looking at your best
Full beards are worn for many reasons: to create a specific style, to shape the face, to avoid shaving and even to cover a double chin! Whatever the reason may be, proper beard maintenance is the key to always making sure it looks great.Wash It
The first thing to make sure of is that your beard is never described as dirty or smelly. So the best way to make sure that’s never the case is to treat your beard the same way you treat the hair on your head with shampoo, conditioner, and moisturizer. Following, these three steps will put you in the ‘all clear’ status right out the gate.Trim It
The next steps are focused on the neck, the upper cheeks and the mustache, regardless of the length. Without these three areas properly maintained, you don’t have a beard - you just have hair on your face.
“Sharp lines” or the “natural look” are two of the most common choices when deciding on how to style the upper cheeks. Which style fits you best falls in line with personality and, oftentimes, career choice. The more popular of the two, “sharp lines,” can make an attention seeking statement, however it will also require frequent clean-ups (two to three times a week) at home or at the barbershop.
Also the sharper the lines, the more important the hairs on the upper cheek are in order to create a complementary face shape because the higher the lines are on the cheeks, the rounder the face will appear. In the same way, the lower they are trimmed (towards the jaw-line) the slimmer the face will look. The natural choice helps to downplay the beard, and allows for the upper cheeks to be less of a focal point, allowing maintenance to be on a weekly regimen.Maintain The Neckline
The most challenging area to maintain can be the fast-growing neckline. Not only does it reveal quickly that it needs to be trimmed but it can also be the area where shaving irritation can be most common. My favorite solution is to skip a defined line and go for the “faded” neck area. This creates extra time in-between trims because the hairs grow out similarly to how it was originally cut, which is more “faded.”
Here’s how you do it:
• Use the lowest clipper setting on the bottom quarter inch of your neck to give you the shortest length. Adjust the clipper setting every quarter inch or so to achieve a smoother visual transition as you move up the neck.
• Adjust the blade settings to blend any lines.
The last step will keep you from tasting your food later… the mustache trim. Every beard wearer should keep the hair trimmed close to the top of the lip, without it hanging over. This allows for the least amount of attention to be brought to the lips, guaranteeing that everyone notices what’s most important: your beard!