Let me start out this post by stating I have horribly destroyed my beard many, many times. When I had the chance to grow a beard (the military doesn’t take kindly to facial hair or stubble for that matter) I cherished that damn thing. Every time I groomed it, I would take great care not to screw it up. Guess what? It still got destroyed. Mostly because I would continually try to fix the minor mistakes in turn creating a much larger one. Bring on the razor! See you in a few weeks’ beard friend. Maybe we can hang a little longer next time. Then you go on to shame yourself until your beard grows to that perfect length you like. Vicious, vicious cycle!! Well I just wanted to go over some things I learned about grooming facial hair to avoid such frustration.
First and foremost, if you can have someone else trim your admiral’s pennant, do it. Your barber should be able to trim and shape your beard with ease. He/ She sees certain things that you will probably never catch. You can’t stand behind yourself, right? They can trim up all those stupid hairs that stick out like tentacles. Remember the ones that drove you insane? You just couldn’t get them but felt you had to, then you got a little too aggressive with the trimmer and bye, bye beard! Hello razor! Rip. Heart. Out.
If you don’t want to let your barber hook you up I understand. I didn’t really get beard trims until I became one. Money gets tight and that’s the last thing I’m thinking about. Got bills to pay and mouths to feed!! So when you do venture into the beginning dark stage of beard trimming it may take some time to figure it out. Just keep giving it a go and you will get there.
Length is the first thing I determine. If it’s a big beard, I don’t really cut it down. I just tame the grizzly. Trim down those flyers sticking out and you’re good! It’s supposed to look that way! For shorter beards it’s really preference. I just cut it down first to make sure my lines pop. Once I make my lines I want them to stay there. If your beard is starting to grow out, make sure the chin hair is longer. Kind of like Gerard Butler from 300, just not that prominent. A 45-degree angle from the bottom of the chin hair back to the neck should do it!
When lining up your beard I notice several things that are most important to me when I trim my own beard. Lots of times when you look at your growth one side is lower than the other on your cheeks. If you’re lucky they are symmetrical (cue envious, evil glare) and that is awesome! Most guys do not have this luxury. The most important thing I can tell you is a little goes a long way. You remove very minimal hair and the next thing you know the sides are looking even. Go too far and then you start to compensate on each side until you no longer have any fuzz on that chinny, chin, chin. The other alternative is to leave it and go burly. Let the bastard breathe! My favorite. Too bad some find this look unprofessional.
The next step I usually go to is under the chin. Now my beard helps me out in other ways besides making me look more manly/ attractive/ awesome etc… You get the idea. It hides that double chin I refuse to let go. Go to the gym or grow a beard? I choose beard every time. My line is either at the natural neck line where the head and neck meet (underneath Dom…yes my buddy gave my double chin a name) or just below the chin. Anywhere in between may look kind of weird. The best way to line it up is to start in the middle. Make your first cut in the center where you want the line to be located. Then go to the sides right underneath the corners of your jaw and make a small cut. Now start the line from the middle to the sides, one side at a time. Should be a pretty solid base line. Then clean it up a bit and you’re golden.
The mustache! What a pain in the ass!! Just joking. Most of my beard destruction occurred because I made an uneven mustache. I usually start on the sides and then cut the middle. Remember a little goes a long way! Comb those hairs you have been eating for days towards your mouth and curve around the corners of your mouth with your trimmer. Now it doesn’t feel like you’re eating straw with every meal.
Your barber is always there to help, so trust in their experience and knowledge! Remember to take it slow and there is a learning curve so be patient! Happy beard trimming!