There comes a time in every beard’s life that it will require some kind of “shaping.” Barbers are great and all, but sometimes you don’t have the time, patience, or desire to give another brother control of your beard.
They say if you want something done well, then do it yourself. You grew the beard yourself, so you should be up to the task of shaping the beard. Here are some ways you can shape it for personal style, needs and comfort.
Shaping for Style
A lot of guys completely mess up on the neckline. If you’re growing any sensible beard you don’t need to worry about the neckline at all. Keeping that grow-out long will add volume and thickness to the rest of the beard too.
Just remember that wherever you shave your neckline will be an additional area of weekly upkeep. If you so choose to do so, then use an electric razor and a comb to line things up accurately. Get into that goldilocks zone: not too high and not too low.
Also, it is worth mentioning that trimming the neckline is most important at the start of a young beard. Anywhere past a few months is going to spell trouble and not be worth the effort.
Another shaping concern is the upper cheeks. Most guys want to avoid that strange werewolf look that creeps precariously close to their eyelids. This can be easily shaved off starting from the inside of the face and working out towards the cheeks. Be very careful not to cut into any larger area of your beard.
If you do happen to shave into the cheek don’t fret and don’t try to even it up more- you may ruin it. Let it be. It will grow in seamlessly if it was a minimal cut.
Tools of the Trade
Keep your beard oiled up before going in. We’ll be using some tools of the enemy, and if you’re not a trained stylist there’s no need for an ivory handled avant-garde roaring 20s razor. All you’re going to do is cut your own throat while the spirit of your much manlier great grandfather rolls in his cosmic grave.
Look around the house for some beardless peasant’s razor. The quality doesn’t matter- just make sure it uh.. was used for facial shaving.
You can use that or an electric razor (probably less than fifteen dollars). These tools will take care of your neckline and cheek grooming needs.
Shaving some stubble and excess areas of growth is the easy part. What gets really hard is shaping the volume and length of the beard.
Unruly Growth Elimination
A major problem you’ll run into is runaway hairs on the sides (cheek/sideburn areas) of your beard. What happens a lot of times it that the beard gets tangled and these drapes of hair swoop down. They begin to look unruly and thin.
The best course of action here is to cut these and even them out with sheers. First, begin by combing out the hair and only cutting off a minimal amount. Then you can get to shaping by taking less than a quarter inch each time. It will take a while, but you’ll thank yourself for it later.
This begins to even out the hair and gets rid of any split ends. Yes, those are a thing with beards. Your beard won’t feel as dry, and the root of your beard will continue to grow out a fresh facial sprout.
By adding this into your routine once a week, you’ll eliminate any beard resetting problems. Under no circumstances should you restart a beard because of a runaway razor or stray cut. If you do mess up beyond belief, then try to salvage your beard and go for a shorter look if necessary.
To recap, the key ingredients to shaping a beard are: being careful, having the right tools, and knowing what areas need trimming or shaping. The tools of barberry may be old enemies, but we can strike a fragile friendship knowing we will never return to the ranks of the clean-shaven.