Struggling to find the right beard care advice? Follow this week’s Groomed guide on how to look after your beard and you won’t be left scratching your chin.
Beards are the ‘it’ men’s accessory, I know it, you know it, everyone in Shoreditch does for damn sure and they aren’t going away.
We love a good beard; for some it creates a cool edge to any look, for others it’s a sign of giving up on life as the facial hair slowly becomes neck hair then chest hair and beyond until one day your previously ‘kind of hot’ otter fuzz is now rivalling the furriest yeti.
If your anything like me then your beard is a strategic call to action, a façade and a life saviour – for without a beard my 26 years are undistinguishable and I begin to resemble an infant who has suffered from a premature growth spurt.
Creating a natural looking beard
Beards of all types are appearing in magazines, on the streets and on the catwalks, from the trim and sleek Tom Ford styles to the rugged Ryan Gosling look and the shaggy Fassbender finish. Depending on the style you opt for will decide on the amount of effort you’re going to need to put in.
If you want to opt for an au natural look then you’re going to have to get to grips with fading. Using a shaver with multiple length settings, you need to create a gradient from the cheeks down to the Adam’s apple. Choose your desired longest setting to trim the hair from your cheek line to your chin strap, then go a grade shorter from their to your Adam’s apple and finish off on the lowest setting for the rest. Pre-steaming your face and coming the hair against the grain to lift the follicles can help make shaving easier. Most shavers come with additional guards but shavers like the Babyliss i-trim(£59.00 Boots.com) have a handy digital screen, which makes it a whole lot easier.
If your office is a little stricter and you won’t be able to get away with the born free look, then you will need to think about sculpting. This is my preferred style as I like to keep my beard looking sharp. Trim the beard from your cheeks to below your chin to the desired length, then use the single blade on the back of a cartridge razor or the shaper on your shaver to line in the beard under the chin and along the cheeks. I recommend having this done for the first time by a pro to make sure you can be taught the right positioning. If you still find you need a little guidance then try out the Philips Series 9000 beard trimmer with its futuristic laser guides – seriously! (£100 Philips.co.uk).
To completely remove excess hair from the lower part of my neck, I clean shave with my King of Shaves Hyperglide (£9.99 Shave.com) or my Braun Series 3 (£69.99 Johnlewis.com).
For everyday up keep, simply get yourself a thin barbering comb (£6.26 Denmanbrush.com) glide through your beard to lift the hair and then use your shaver’s trimmer and remove the excess length. I use my handy little Gillette Fusion Proglide Styler (£19.99 Superdrug.com) as it’s small, light and get in close against the comb teeth.
Take your time – rushing means an uneven line, nicks in your skin and unpolished finishes.
Treat your skin and beard – use oils, moisturisers and conditioners like Carsons Apothecary facial oil (£19.95 thegroomingclinc.com) daily and weekly to look after the skin under the hair and the hair itself. This will aid in reducing itchiness if you’re growing your beard and prevent ingrown hairs.
Don’t try to ‘squeeze’ ingrown hair – soak it with a hot cloth and use clean hands and tweezers to pull the hair out at the root.
Know when enough is enough – unfortunately for some men, beards are just simply never going to happen. You only have your genetics to blame so don’t spend time trying to grow one. Bum fluff? Ain’t NOBODY got time for that.