Beards are the new black, but sporting that sexy stubble comes with a price. According to a study published in the New York Times (and about a hundred other studies), women found men with facial hair to be more attractive than clean-shaven men. However, there is a catch. The women in the study found full, grizzly beards to be less attractive than shorter, groomed facial hair. Which brings us to the most important point of all – if you've got any sort of facial hair, you've got to learn to maintain it. That rugged piece of art isn't going to sculpt itself, now is it? Follow these four steps on how to line up your beard so you don't end up being the brunt of a scientific study about male attractiveness.
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Step 1: Know Your Face Shape.
Hear us out for a minute. When women contour their faces, they darken and highlight certain features of their facial structure to create more definition. Sculpting a beard is a lot like that, and just like women have to accommodate their faces when they contour, men have to tailor their beard to their individual face shapes.
If you have a round face shape, you want to create the allusion of having a stronger bone structure. Well-sculpted beards with length are ideal for covering up loose skin and for making your face appear longer.
If you have an oblong face shape, you want your face to look fuller. You definitely should avoid length at your chin to keep from making your face look drawn out. However, beard styles like the chin strap or mustache work will because they fill in the lower half of your face and create volume horizontally.
If you have a square, sculpted face shape – don't cover it up! This is one of the most desirable facial structures, so it's best to keep your stubble short so people can admire that jawline.
Step 2: Know Your Guidelines.
Feel around your jaw. Right behind the bone is where you should be trimming your beard, all the way to the back of your jaw by your ears. However, if you have a round face shape or loose skin around your chin and neck, your jaw/neck guideline should be two fingers above the Adam's apple directly to the back of your jaw. As for your cheek area, you can imagine a line from the corners of your mouth to the top of your ears. Get rid of all hair above that guideline.
Your mustache is a tricky area, but you can start off by combing through it with a fine-toothed comb to make it easier to trim. The, trim with scissors around the outside of your lips, just enough to keep the hair from overlapping your lips. You can work your way up with the scissors, but if you are comfortable, you can use clippers to trim the rest of the mustache to the desired length. Don't forget about snipping those nose hairs!
Step 3: Use The Right Products.
Unless you've got tough skin, you will probably need to use some sort of shaving cream or gel. Luckily, there are translucent gels that work just as well as that fluffy white stuff and it allows you to see exactly where you're trimming. We love recommending Pacinos Shave Gel.
Whether you are trimming your beard or doing away with the long, lumberjack look, you'll need a solid set of clippers. We love the Wahl Cordless Magic.
For trimming minimal length off the beard and mustache, scissors will do the trick and allow you a bit more control than clippers do. Try these professional facial hair scissors.
Step 4: Stay On A Schedule.
The ultimate key to a great and consistent beard lineup is staying on a schedule. So essentially, you do not have to "re-lineup" your beard after you do it once – you just have to trim the hair that grows in outside of your guidelines.
If you are working on growing out a beard, you won't want to trim it more than once every two weeks until you get to the desired length. Once you reach the length you want, you can up trim to once a week to maintain it. However, to keep the lineup looking good, you may have to groom it every couple of days around the jawline and cheeks. This is solely dependent on how fast your facial hair grows, of course.
Bonus Tip: Look For Inspiration.
If you can't think up a beard style on your own, don't sweat it. Google exists for a reason. Look up trending ways to trim your beard and pair it with a hairstyle that works. Here are some of our favorite ways to line up your beard:
Once you've got your beard under control, it's time to put your skills to the test. Try out one of these 20 Beard Styles.