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A Well-Manicured Beard
There’s no debating the fact that beards, like people, come in all shapes and sizes. Some are long, some short, some narrow and some wide. But at Detroit Grooming Co. we can’t stress enough how any and all of these myriad shapes and sizes are intentional. That’s right. There is one shape that anyone can recognize from across a room, and that’s the shapeless shape of a beard left to its own devices. And a beard doesn’t have many devices of its own, which is why it’s so important that you care for it and treat it well, which basically means don’t fear the scissors. A trim doesn’t necessarily mean a shorter, less magnificent beard.
We’ve explained the fundamentals regarding several key items on your regular beard maintenance inventory, but this particular one supersedes all others, rendering them little more than superficial. Without the right shape, or without any shape at all, it doesn’t matter how moisturized and conditioned your wild whiskers are; you’ll still look like a delusional street person.
There are a few specific points that need to be considered even before the scissors leave their protective case. First, the shape of your face should, to some greater or lesser degree, dictate the shape of your beard. A long, narrow face might benefit from the added volume of a rounder, more full beard, while a shorter, square face might look better with the added length of a chin-heavy beard. This is always up to the discretion of the beard wearer, but requires some discretion, is the point, rather than none whatsoever.
So, you’ve got to decide if you’d look better, or simply would rather have a beard long all around or dominant in the goatee region, but that’s just the outline. Now, you have to consider the parameters or the boarders of the beard. It isn’t necessary, but advisable to at least consider trimming the line across the top of your cheeks. Again, this isn’t necessary if your beard comes in as thick on your cheeks as it does on your chin, but this is often not the case for most men. The cheek trim just makes your beard look that much thicker and more prominent, as opposed to allowing the natural gradation from the baby, peach-fuzz whiskers below your eyes to the thick, dark and luscious mane beneath.
Another trimming option for the bearded man is to clean up around the neckline. This is, again, not an absolute, because there are no absolutes in the world of beards (except, of course, that beards are absolutely awesome). Depending on the length of your beard, this can have either an aesthetic or functional benefit, or even both. With shorter whiskers, cleaning up the bottom boarder can prevent itching as well as accentuate the jawline and give you an even stronger looking jaw. Similarly, with a longer beard, trimming out some of your whiskers between the chin and neckline can free up space for mobility and comfort while also making your chin whiskers appear longer.
With your boarders tended to, you can now consider the options that lie within. Even a bigger beard can be trimmed to a desired shape and style, and without compromising on the ruggedness and length. As mentioned before, trimming the sides ever so slightly shorter than the chin will create a lengthening effect that can either make your face look narrower, longer, or both. Conversely, allowing the cheeks to bush out evenly with the chin can give a rounder and fuller look that says “lumberjack” or “Hasidic rabbi,” if that’s what you prefer, which, yet again, is the most important factor in any and all of these decisions.
Last, but not least, we have to think about the mustache. Perhaps the most highly diverse part of any beard, the mustache can be either the centerpiece around which the beard serves as an accessory, or it can be a miniscule presence that gives way to the grand finale of your chin growth. If the latter is true for you, then a simple, straight trim across the line of your upper lip will keep it short, sweet and out of your mouth while you eat. If the former, though, then you might consider letting it get a little more voluptuous, only trimming the strays when they appear, and waxing the rest into a nice think mantle of man. Even a little wax on the ends will send it up and out into the classic handlebars, if you’re so inclined. And we know that some mustaches connect in the middle and some do not, but this is no cause for alarm or resentment. Whatever you have is great and absolutely your own, so own it and make of it what suits you best!
Like all good things, you get out of your beard what you put into it, so take care and trim well, my friends. Until next time…
- Jacob Smith