Beards have been making a steady comeback for a while now. They’re a boon to bringing back masculinity in numerous forms: from the old school, classic 1800s mountaineers, to an updated, rugged appeal that also exudes a softer, approachable feel for the ladies. One of the more entertaining, amusing aspects of growing your beard are those fun contests that raise money for charity, particularly aimed at helping out the fellows with testicular cancer research. With the onset of websites and blogs aimed at touting the latest must-have products, and forums wholly dedicated to the art of facial hair, how does one break all of this down when just wanting simple instruction on how to shape a beard?
Well, it doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, it should be a fun endeavor if you so choose, or easily maintainable with little effort if that’s a better fit for your lifestyle. Whether you’ve already been growing facial hair, that’s quite bristly and impressive yet unruly, or this is just the beginning, and you want to get a jump start on the grooming game, the advice found here is universal and sound. That’s what’s great about your facial hair: it’s versatile, you can scale back to work with a more polished look, and you can keep tweaking it to fit your narrative every step of the way.
It’s consistently growing so don’t sweat a set back if you had to sacrifice a bit more than anticipated. Once you find that perfect fit for your face with the achieved end result, you’ll be confidently sporting the perfect beard with the least amount of effort. And what’s a better mantra for beard men than “this awesomeness is effortless”?
The Right Shape for Your Face
Ok, so maybe you don’t know this, but when women go into their hair stylists, how they get their hair cut depends a lot on their face shape. Ever notice how some can pull off a short bob and look amazing, while some wear too long of hair hanging down, and they look rather, er, witchy? Hair, whether it be on top or in front, is a frame for your face.
Done correctly, it showcases your best features, minimizes the lesser ones, and enhances your look. And yes, even a beard that covers the lower half of your face can still accentuate your chin and jawline when done properly. The two main components of how to shape a beard are proportions and symmetry. This all starts with knowing your face shape and the beard style that will best accentuate it.
You have a long face with wide jawbones that sit above your mouth, and a deep, square chin. The best facial hair is a beard that makes your face appear fuller, such as a chinstrap beard or mutton chops. You can also opt for a chevron or horseshoe mustache that breaks up your face vertically or a combination of a circle beard plus mustache.
The ideal face shape being the middle ground between all shapes, your cheekbones are slightly wider than your jawbone, with a rounded jawline. You won the lottery pick of any facial hair style, yet to make the most of your even proportions, opt for a short beard with clean lines for definition.
This shape describes a wide jawline with wide cheekbones and a short chin. Emphasize an angular chin by going longer there and shorter on the cheeks. Avoid thick, long beards that tend to make the face rounder.
This shape is highly coveted bearing a strong, square jaw. Go for a beard that highlights rather than exaggerates your strong jawline. Round out your chin area with a narrower, softer beard like the circle beard, which accentuates your jaw while lengthening your chin.
Your cheekbones are the widest part of your face with a narrow forehead and jawline being quite symmetrical. Keeping hair on your chin reduces the prominence of your cheekbones. Go a little wider on the cheeks and sides of your face. A full beard or chinstrap/ mustache combo works well here.
You have a prominent chin, and your jawline measures greater than your cheekbones. Place hair higher up on your face to draw attention away from your chin. Avoid hair on the cheeks so as not to emphasize the wide jawline. A full mustache with a beard that resembles heavy stubble fits this shape well.
The heart shape is opposite of the triangle, featuring a forehead larger than the cheekbones and jawline, along with a pointed chin. A long thick beard, mutton chops, or extended goatee will create the impression of a full, square jawline.
This is simply a guide to help you navigate on how to shape a beard to fit your face. You might not fall perfectly into any one category, so feel free to experiment with a mix of these looks to achieve your best look possible.
How to Shape a Beard – Conclusion
Beards have become a trendsetter of a man’s status symbol, either reflecting their lifestyle with an old-fashioned rugged masculinity, or an updated softer appeal. They’ve made a comeback, and as with any trend or style that’s been around for ages and makes its rounds again, the beard has been updated and polished, reformatted to reflect the times. It’s a classic with a new twist, prompting his caretaker to pay more attention and make it the forefront, not an afterthought. What was once considered a reason for other’s avoidance, has now become a reason to admire, revere, and approach with a desire to swoon and touch.
Knowing How to Trim and Fade
Trimming is a key point in how to shape a beard. Now that you have the beard style that compliments your face shape, you can’t stop there. Clean, trimmed lines and the right fade pulls the whole look together into a polished masterpiece. You’ll first want to position yourself in front of the mirror, standing straight, with your head upright. You’re going to want to eliminate any hair you can see below your chin from this angle.
Starting with border control at your neckline, imagine a “U” shape running from behind your jawline at your left ear, following that shape to behind the right. With the base being roughly an inch above the Adam’s Apple, everything below that point following the shape of your “U” should be clean shaven. You can define the corners of your beard with a chiseled, angular look, or gently round it off to soften it.
Fading your facial hair is equally important if you’re trying to soften that contrast between skin and beard. An evident neckline is important, but a gradual fade can really bring it all together with a smoother appeal. Your goal is to find a halfway length between the longer hairs and the abrupt neckline cutoff. Adjust your beard trimmer to a length two settings shorter than your actual beard.
Trim into the beard about an inch deep along the beard neckline, with a goal of finding the half-way length. As you progress, cut the set in half revisiting the starting point. Don’t get fixated on this being exact: you may need to experiment with the settings depending on the length of your beard. Consider this a good starting template in how to shape a beard.
Cleaning Up Regularly
The style is set, the trim and fade are where you want it, and so now comes the easy part: maintenance. This is equally important even as you’re growing out your beard. To keep your beard from becoming unruly maintenance should be applied once every week or two. Adjust the settings accordingly on your trimmer to maintain the shape and length you desire.
Combing your beard against the grain then back into place will set it up for a perfect trim. Keep an eye on the strays and be sure to clip those out with a quality pair of beard scissors that are stored properly to be kept clean and debris free. With a mustache, comb those hairs straight down and snip away anything that hangs over your upper lip.
The finishing touch in how to shape a beard (after all of this painstaking effort you applied) is finding the right product meant to condition, nourish, and style that facial hair you’ve nurtured thus far. There are many oils and creams out on the market geared towards giving your face luxurious locks that begged to be touched.
If you’re uncertain or unfamiliar with the brands, remember, it doesn’t need to be expensive, but it should contain ingredients such as shea butter, beeswax, and a blend of essential oils. Most are scented too so go ahead and test them out before making a purchase. A little trial and error might be in order, but it’s well worth it once you find the perfect fit.