There comes a certain decision that every person that loves sporting a beard has to make.
Usually it's between three options. The first, is to get rid of the beard completely, after all, it has has started getting messy and wild, which brings us to the second option: keeping the beard and just letting it grow naturally, the classic caveman look if you will. Then there's the third and most logical option: to trim and shape your beard which will allow you to keep the beard, and even create a unique look for yourself, this is what we call Beard Maintenance, and also when The Art of Manscaping comes into play.
But before we get to the actual subject maintaining the beard, there are two simple things we need to prepare:
The first is a beard comb, (also known as a wide toothed comb), and the second, is either a beard trimmer (also known as clippers), or a pair of scissors. Out of the two options, a beard trimmer would likely be the best choice, as it does a better overall job and requires less work and expertise.
The use of scissors is best when dealing with trimming of a lengthy beard, the only problem is once you've reached beyond that point, it is very difficult to stay consistent, as you're always in a position where you have estimate if you've cut your hairs evenly, plus they're not the best option for defining and stylizing your beard.
If you do decide to go with scissors, it is recommended you use professional scissors that were made with the intention of cutting hair, but tak einto consideration that they are more expensive than beard trimmers.
Beard Maintenance - Step by Step
- Wait for your beard to finish growing, this will prevent your beard from looking uneven after it has been trimmed.
- Decide in advance how you want your beard to look.
- Take a shower and shampoo your beard, but remember to dry your beard fully before you start trimming it. It is well known that when the beard is wet, it tends to appear longer than it actually is and thus might cause a person to trim more than necessary.
- Comb your beard in the direction of your hair growth several times using your beard comb, this makes all the hairs face the same direction, which eases the trimming process. If you're using scissors, comb the desired area you want to trim, but move the comb slightly away from your face, and then cut the hairs that pop out through the teeth of the comb (you've probably seen your barber use this technique). This isn't necessary of course if you're using a beard trimmer, since all you have to do is put on one of the protective guards that comes with it.
- When using either a trimmer or a pair of scissors, it is best to start small. Remember, you can always cut more, but you can't go back after cutting way too much. If you're using a trimmer, use a low level of trimming first and always use your guard (the only exception is when we define a neck line), and either increase the power or use a shorter guard when you pass the area again, in case you want to trim more.If you're using scissors, just don't cut too much of the length of the hairs that pop out.
- Begin by trimming below your ears following the lines of your jawbone towards your chin.
- Now it's time to focus on the main part of the beard. Start from your bottom neck area and trim upwards from your neck to your chin on all sides, remember to follow the hair growth in a straight upwards fashion.
- Go to your cheek area and trim the area of your upper cheeks down towards the corner of your mustache, which brings us to the next stage.
Trimming the Mustache
- Avoid trimming the upper area of the mustache, this usually ends up looking very unappealing.
- You need to expose your upper lip by trimming the bottom of your mustache, the correct way to do is to follow the contour of your upper lip, starting the trim on the middle area and moving away to the left, than again going for the middle area and moving to the right.
- Now it's time to for us to create and define a neck line, which basically defines our whole beard.
At this stage we take off our guard (if we're using a trimmer of course).
If you're using scissors, just focus on cutting more hair length than before, another way to highlight your neck line is to use a razor, because as opposed to what we've done so far, this is actually more of a shave than a trim, with the sole intention of highlighting your neck line. To do this, you go in a downwards movement, using one inch above your adam's apple as a reference point.
Enjoy your new look!
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