Sharpen up - tips for a better beard

22,05,2017 | by Michael Harbuck | (0) Commnets

Welcome back my bearded brothers,


Today I’m going to discuss some strategies for taking care of your beard, and how to keep it looking its very best. If you prefer to have a professional take care of your beard, I’ve got a list of things to keep in mind when choosing a barber. All information provided here has been supplied to me by a barber who has extensive experience with beards (And has been the resident beard sculptor at numerous shops over the years), so you can feel confident knowing that this article is backed by the experience of an expert. This is not an intensive step by step,  and will instead give an introduction to the mechanical side of beard grooming:


Getting Started on Beard Grooming - Guidelines for Success

So you’ve grown your beard, and now it’s starting to make you look more like a caveman than you wanted. This is completely normal, and it’s usual that regular maintenance is required to keep you looking like a distinguished gentleman (or Viking!).


First I’d like to point out the main spots that contribute to problems for most guys. First, the hair through your sideburns that connects your beard with the hair on your head (or lack thereof) will start to give your face a rounder and rounder appearance as it gets longer. Even if you have long hair on your head (and especially if you keep your hair short or bald) you will likely want to keep the beard hair through your sideburns as the shortest point of your beard. Even with a big, full beard you won’t want or need to keep your hair any longer than half an inch in most cases.


The next point of difficulty for many guys is their mustache. Unless you are intentionally growing your mustache for a specific look (often with mustache wax), regular upkeep on your ‘stache is important. Most guys don’t want to continually have food trapped in their mustache or be eating their ‘stache. The quick fix for this is to comb all the hair of the mustache downwards and carefully use a pair of scissors, or better yet a clipper to remove all the hair that is hanging over your top lip. 


The last I’m going to mention here is the neckline. Where you take your neckline up to is personal choice, but you should be careful to not take it too high. Generally it’s best to stay on the safe side and keep the neckline of your beard somewhere between the bottom of your jaw bone and your Adam's-apple. Most guys will see the hair on their neck switch directions and grow upwards from the bottom of the neck until somewhere in the middle, around the Adam’s-Apple. This hair that grows upwards is not often part of a sharp looking beard and is usually shaved or removed with an edging clipper. 



Procuring a Professional

I asked a barber I know about how he’d go about finding the right professional to be your beard doctor, and here’s what his insights were:

  • If the shop doesn’t advertise they do beard trims or shaving on their price list, best to find a shop that does.
  • If the shop has many barbers, make sure you tell them that you want your beard done, and ask specifically for the barber who specializes in beards (usually a large shop will have one or two).
  • Just because a barber has a nicely done beard doesn’t mean they are necessarily better at doing beards for other people. There are many barbers without beards of their own who are phenomenal at beard sculpting.
  • It might seem like micro managing, but you should be very detailed in telling your barber exactly what you want. Many barbers are great at understanding a customer’s needs if they are specific, but may not be great at asking for clarification if you don’t offer the information voluntarily.
  • If you have a beard over ½ an inch long (#4 in barber speak) then you can’t just have a barber run a clipper with a guard over your face and expect a good, clean result.
  • If you have a big beard, it should sound the alarms if the barber indicates they are going to use a clipper with a “big guard” on it (as you need your beard to be done mostly freehand) as clipper guards generally only go up to one inch long (#8 in barber speak)
  • Better to pay the extra $5 for a better service.
  • Above all else, If you are worried about the barber’s skills and abilities, don’t take the chance. Politely tell them you have reconsidered having your beard done.


Keep growing and showing my bearded compadres!




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