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How to Shape a Beard—7 Easy Steps
Don’t let your beard grow wild and out of control. Find out how to shape a beard like a pro with these seven easy steps.
Shaping your beard is the difference between looking like a caveman and a well-groomed gentleman. If you don’t take the time to rein in your wild mane, it can give people the wrong impression about you.
Luckily, taking care of your beard isn’t too difficult. With the right products and techniques, any guy can shape his facial hair into bearded perfection.
Here are three important things to keep in mind when shaping your beard:
- Give yourself a roadmap to follow by choosing your ideal beard style
- Don’t forget to taper your sideburns to blend them into your hairline
- Beard oil is your best friend at every stage of the beard-growing journey
Learning how to shape a beard is an important skill that every guy with facial hair should try to master. To help you do exactly that, here are seven easy steps to follow.
Step 1: Pick Your Beard Shape
It always helps to have a clear picture of what beard style you want before going at it with your grooming tools. Additionally, choosing a beard style that creates symmetry in your face is more important than you might think.
In a 1998 study published in Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, researchers found that faces with symmetry were perceived as being more attractive than asymmetrical faces (see claim: “Attractiveness increased when we increased symmetry, and decreased when we reduced symmetry, in individual faces.”)
To achieve perfect symmetry with your beard, consider your face shape and choose a beard style that creates balance. For instance, let’s say you have a rectangular face shape. You might opt for a beard style with full sides and a rounded shape to create the illusion of a fuller face.
Step 2: Start with a Clean Beard
Beards really aren’t as dirty as they’re often made out to be. In a 2014 study published in The Journal of Hospital Infection, researchers found that clean-shaven men had a greater number of certain bacterial species on their faces than bearded men (see claim: “…certain bacterial species were more prevalent in workers without facial hair.”)
That being said, it’s much easier to work with a clean beard than a dirty one. For the best shaping results, wash your beard regularly (about two or three times a week) and use a men’s face scrub once a week to remove dead skin cells and prevent ingrown hairs.
Step 3: Trim Your Whole Beard
Whether you’ve been growing a beard for months now or you’ve been sporting a bushy beard for years, regular trimming is key to maintaining a well-groomed appearance. To remove some of the bulk of your beard, use a longer guard on your clippers (to avoid cutting the hair too short) and take some hair off each side.
As you trim your beard, comb through it regularly to ensure evenness. Touch up any uneven spots and switch from side to side to achieve a symmetrical look.
You can also use a comb and grooming scissors to trim off any scraggly hairs. If you have a mustache, you can use your scissors to trim it as well.
Step 4: Define Your Neckline
Neckbeards aren’t a good look. To shape your neckline, you’ll first need to know where it is.
To find your neckline, locate your Adam’s apple and place two fingers above it. The top of your two fingers is where your neckline will end.
Shave everything that creeps past this point. However, you may want to fade it (you can do this using several guard sizes on your clippers) for a more natural look.
Step 5: Shape Up the Sideburns
Although sideburns are rather easy to overlook, do so at your own peril. If you allow your sideburns to grow unchecked, they can extend past your ears and distract from your epic beard.
When shaping your sideburns, consider your hairstyle. If you have short hair, use your clippers to give them a tapered look. Those with longer hairstyles can get away with slightly longer sideburns, so long as they’re kept neat and tidy.
Step 6: Trim Your Cheek Lines
It could not be easier to shape your cheek lines these days. All you need to do is pick up a beard shaping tool in your preferred edge, line it up with your facial hair and shave anything that extends past the edge with a safety razor or an electric trimmer (no guard).
Step 7: Finish Up with Beard Care Products
Once your facial hair is tidied up, you’re ready to add the finishing touches with a couple of well-chosen beard care products. While there are now many beard care products on the market, most guys keep it simple by using beard oil, beard balm or both.
Beard oil is a leave-in conditioning product for your beard and the skin underneath. It’s particularly useful in the early stages of growing a beard when itchiness and redness are common.
Beard balm doubles as a nourishing hydrator and a styling tool. You can use it in combination with beard oil to style your facial hair into the ideal shape.
Growing out a beard is one thing. Shaping it into a magnificent mane is another story. The former will get you passed up for job interviews, while the latter will earn you appreciative nods wherever you go.
With these beard shaping tips, you can take your beard’s appearance to the next level. Just don’t forget to take care of the skin underneath your beard to achieve a well-rounded look.
Rhodes, Gillian, et al. “Facial Symmetry and the Perception of Beauty.” Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, vol. 5, no. 4, Dec. 1998, pp. 659–69. Springer Link, doi:10.3758/BF03208842.
Wakeam, E., et al. “Bacterial Ecology of Hospital Workers’ Facial Hair: A Cross-Sectional Study.” The Journal of Hospital Infection, vol. 87, no. 1, May 2014, pp. 63–67. PubMed, doi:10.1016/j.jhin.2014.02.010.