Whether you work in the corporate world or are a cafe jumping hipster, it is pretty clear that beards are everywhere you look. If you look a little closer, you will notice that a good portion of these beards are well shaped and groomed. Part of the reason beards are now widely accepted regardless of job role is that men are putting a bit of time and care into those once untamed and unruly beards. Unfortunately, beard hair grows uneven and at different rates and if left alone, within a few months you will have longer and shorter sections all throughout. At some point in your beard growing journey, you are going to want to trim up that face beast. Now, we wouldn’t want you to go in alone and risk losing – in a matter of seconds – something that has taken you months to craft. The best possible advice we can give you is DONT trim your beard!
Yes we are aware that we just contradicted ourselves, confused? So are we. So to better explain we have sought expert advice from our good friend Steve Purcell. Steve is the co-owner and co-founder of Uppercut Deluxe. Steve also has his own bustling barber shop in Brisbane, Bare Bones Barber Shop, not to mention 15 years barbering experience and a beard that rivals some of the best.
Of course you will want to trim your beard, what we mean to say is it is best to not do it yourself at first. The best option is to see a barber if you have a specific look you are after. Let’s let Steve explain more:
Steve: In my experience home jobs can be an absolute disaster. Working barber shops for the past 15 years, I see at least 1 or 2 clients on a daily basis walk through wanting us to fix up there dodged attempt, more so with beards in recent times. It is always safer to start of with a Barber.
TBS: Is there anything specific somebody should ask for when coming in to a barber with a beard trim in mind?
Steve: I recommend having the length in mind of where you want your beard to end up, If you want a big beard don’t touch it, grow it as big as you want it, think of a beard trim as a gardener shaping a hedge, you can’t shape what isn’t there already. Bring in a picture of what you want your beard to look like, the best haircuts and beards always come from good communication between barber and client. Also any good barber is going to be able to tell if you will be able to get a similar result with the beard you have. Beards are difficult and everyones beard is different some are thick while others are whispy. A picture speaks a thousand words.
TBS: Any beard tips you’ve learnt that you would like to pass on?
Steve: I blow dry my beard every morning, not only does it help remove excess water which can sit under the beard and on the skin but it will help straighten and stretch the beard out, make it look longer and give a more consistent direction.
Still not ready to part with your hard earned dollars and go to the Barber? It is possible to trim and shape at home and certainly maintain once you have reached your desired length. To help minimise the chance of a massive stuff up when trimming or maintaining at home, here are our expert tips:
1) Dont trim wet.
When your hair is wet it has more weight and will actually appear longer. Once the water dries, your hair will curl up and shrink a little. It is not uncommon for guys to trim the beard when wet and then realise that they went too far when it is too late. Before you trim make sure you have towel dried or blow dried your beard to remove as much water content as possible.
2) Clippers or scissors?
This is down to personal preference, we prefer the control and comfort a specially designed pair of scissors will provide. It may take a little longer, but far less risk and we have found it can be rather therapeutic gradually crafting and trimming. We stock some of the best for trimming, with specifically designed handles for control and comfort. Alternatively, some guys have a little less time and will opt for the clippers. We recommend you start small and use small strokes with the clippers and always remember that a small slip could see more of your beard removed of in an instant.
3) That damn neckline.
Listen up, this is single handedly the biggest thing guys do wrong at home with their beard trimming. Far too many beards have been ruined by guys trimming too high and believe us when we say your jawline is not your neckline and no, your beard does not look natural there at all. It is actually an inch or so below this. You want your beard to go beyond your chin, cover any double or triple chins and meet at – or just above – your neckline (the part where your neck and chin meet). An easy way is to imagine a line running from the outside of your ear that gently curves down and meets with your neckline before following the same path up to your other ear.
Next, trace a line along your outer sideburns heading straight down towards your neck, it is the area behind where these two imaginary lines meet that is waste and can be removed. It is always best to keep a bit of roundness where these two points meet, just to keep it natural.
4) Comb the opposite direction
Next you want to expose any uneven areas in your beard, this best way to do this is comb upwards and make it fluffy, this will enhance these parts. Trim these areas up, starting off small. Once you are happy with the length and shape, comb the beard back to its natural position. Now you can spend a little time and trim any strays that still remain to give you that solid shape.
5) The Cheeks
This one is pretty easy but also an important part to finishing and tidying up your look. This isn’t necessary, but it will help create a clean line and shape to your beard. Simply find the best place to create a line from your inner sideburns down the rest of your beard and trim anything above this area. A lot of guys find that the the lines created when they smile are a good guide
Now the hard work is done, it is easier for you to build some time in to your beard grooming routine once a week for maintenance. If you can stay on top of the strays that take away from the shape, you will see better longevity out of your beard shape.
Like most grooming, it really is a case of practise makes perfect. While we still recommend a trip to your Barber for a good hearty trim and shape, home maintenance is definitely achievable if you arm yourself with all the right knowledge, and of course reliable tools.Beard Tools and Accessories