Growing a long beard is one of the privileges of manhood.
Whether you’re new to the whole game of growing a beard or you’re a veteran whisker farmer, learning how to shape a long beard will help you stay well-groomed (an important component of our civilized society) as well as boost your confidence.
When properly shaped, long beards lend an element of manliness and virility to your appearance, but they can also be a double-edged sword. An out-of-control long beard can give you that “just been electrocuted” look if you don’t take some solid measures to keep everything in check. After all, there’s a fine line between sporting a cool-looking long beard and looking like a complete hobo. You want to err on the side of caution where these things are concerned.
With that in mind, here are some tips to help you achieve aesthetic glory for your long beard.
9 Easy Steps To Shaping A Long Beard Perfectly
Remember that the whole point of having a long beard is to have a long beard, so you don’t want to go crazy with the trimming. You’re only trimming your beard to give it a nice, symmetrical shape that complements your face. Let’s begin.
If you’re going to be successful at shaping a long beard, it is definitely necessary for you to have the right tools to start with. This means having a quality electric beard trimmer, sharp barber scissors and a good fine-toothed comb to kick things off.
Make sure that your face and beard are completely dry before doing any trimming or shaping. This is an important point, because even a slightly damp beard can throw off your shaping efforts. Everything needs to be bone dry in order for you to properly shape your beard.
Shaping a long beard is all about trimming and tapering those long hairs into a form that is pleasing to look at. This will require you to get a good idea of what you’re really working with, so combing out your beard is your safest starting point. Begin by combing your beard in the direction that it naturally grows. If you notice a bit of unevenness, that’s what this step is all about: You’re doing your “reconnaissance” work so that you can later trim, cut, shave and shape as much as needed to bring everything into a state of harmony.
Just from the initial combing effort, you may notice a few stray or straggling hairs here or there. For those hairs that stick out like a sore thumb and simply won’t lay down, give them a good snip with the barber scissors.
Much of how you want to shape your beard will be up to your personal preference. The general rule is that you want a symmetrical shape that makes sense in light of the overall shape of your face. This will often require trimming hairs, which can be done with your comb and a pair of scissors (or your beard trimmer). Starting with the section your beard on the side of your face (e.g. close to your ear), carefully comb a small portion of your beard hair out, so that a small amount of hair begins to show through the teeth of the comb – use your scissors, or the trimmer, to cut away those hairs. The teeth of the comb should be used as your guide, so that you can keep the cuts evenly distributed. Warning: Make sure not to trim away too much hair at first! You can always trim lower as needed, but you can’t put the hair back on your face once it’s been cut.
Repeat this same process as you work down towards the middle of your beard. When you get to the midpoint of your beard, switch sides and do the same thing on the other side of your face. Now take care of the center of your beard, i.e. the chin area. Be sure to keep your cuts even, so that you are trimming off the same amount of hair each time. This will avoid the “jagged beard” look.
Comb through your beard again, and clean up any wild or stray hairs you may have missed during the trimming process. Check for symmetry. If anything looks disproportionate or out of balance, shape up more as needed until your beard exhibits the desired appearance.
Use shaving gel and a razor or an electric shaver to shave the areas of your neck and cheeks that you want to be completely “hair-free”.
Once you’re finished shaving, clean up the area and apply lotion to your face to help soothe that freshly shaved skin. You can also apply a little beard oil to help you beard look richer and fuller. Comb through your beard one more time for good measure.
After that, you’re good to go!