Maintaining your beard is important. While the unruly Bandido may mandate respect and intimidation, the average man prefers his beard to look good. And with fifteen minutes and a few simple tools, this can be easily achieved.
NB. Even if you are striving for maximum growth a light trim can mitigate your journey to Beardom.
Firstly, dry your beard. It is impossible to fathom your beard’s actual shape and size while it is wet.
Comb your beard straight and downwards to smooth out the curls and tangles. Check here for tips on how to use a comb and which comb to use – it does matter.
Time to cut. Many months have passed since your beard last met with a sharp implement, and a shaky hand and unsure mind can be dangerous. My advice for the first-time trimmer is to take it slow; while an immaculately shaped beard is godly, a few accidental beard amputations will return you to mortality.
Clean up your beard by averaging out its length with a pair of clippers. If you are unsure about which guard size to use, start big and work smaller once you feel confident that you won’t cut it too short.
When clipping your under-beard, stretch out your skin so you cut evenly around your neck and beneath your jaw line.
Now that your beard is even and uniformed, you must decide on which style you want as the border. Your choices are a clean line or to fade it out.
To achieve a clean line, simply shave above your cheeks and around your neck, cutting to the depth of your choice. For my neck I try to imagine a semi-circle is drawn from ear to ear, whose nadir lies just above my Adam’s apple. When shaving your cheeks you can choose a half-moon or straight line depending on your volition. The clean line gives your beard a crisp and direct edge, thereby maximizing its volume.
To fade out, go down two guard sizes on your clippers. Work the clippers about a half-inch into your beard. Tap the clippers instead of pressing them to give the borders a more natural steeze. Complete the fade by taking your clippers down to the half setting (no guard), and tidy up the areas outside of your beard line. Fading out not only looks awesome, it lasts longer.
Finish and detail with a pair of beard scissors. I prefer DOVOs. These scissors are crafted in the city of blades by fierce Germans who love a sharp edge. While cheap, blunt scissors push the hair from beneath the blades, DOVO’s hold and cut each follicle with utmost accuracy and precision.
Begin by lubricating your scissors with a drop of beard oil so they slice instead of rip, and then gradually work around the edges of your beard, taming any stray hairs that have escaped the clippers. There shouldn’t be any major pruning done at this stage – if you are unhappy with the style or feel that your beard is uneven, return to clipping and go down a guard size.
If you don’t have a clipper, and refuse to buy one, it is possible to trim with scissors. First you want to back comb your neck beard so that none is hidden. Then you must cut the edges in the shape you prefer: square or rounded. The freehand technique is difficult for the steadiest of grips and is not to be undertaken lightly.
Finally, don’t forget the Mo. Push your moustache to the sides and trim any hairs that dangle over your upper lip or protrude at odd angles.
Give your beard a thorough oiling to hydrate and condition its freshly cut ends. For a guide on how to apply beard oil head here.
The refinement and sophistication of a well-executed trim can be achieved as regularly as desired. However, I’d suggest waiting three to four weeks between cuts so that your beard potential remains limitless.