The Grooming Manual
No one likes to look like a novice. You make embarrassing mistakes. It feels like all attention is on you. And it can erode your self confidence.
A good grooming routine is all about the opposite - building poise and confidence in your personal style. So if you’re going to grow a beard for the first time, what can you do to avoid that embarrassing first-timer feeling?
First, embrace the long term benefits. Beards have long been associated with strength, wisdom, and masculinity. Even now with beards more popular than they have been in decades, you will stand out in all the right ways - if you have a well-groomed, personally flattering beard.
How can you do that? It’s all about finding the right shape and accentuating your jaw line for a square silhouette. Don’t worry, that sounds harder to achieve than it really is.
Get Started: No Shaving
This seems so simple. But many guys struggle with step one when they first grow a beard. Why would it be hard to just stop shaving?
If you’ve been clean shaven for most of your life, it can feel extremely awkward to stop shaving. A day or two of stubble is fine, but a few weeks into the process you may start to feel uncomfortable. It will be obvious that you’re trying to grow a beard. And the comments - some negative - will start flying.
Stay focused on the long term goal. You’re going to look great in your beard. The growing process will be over soon - give it about two months. Any temporary frustration is worth it.
Growing: Focus on Three Lines
To achieve a flattering, masculine beard shape, focus on these three lines:
- Cheek Line - from your sideburns across the cheeks to your mouth
- Neck Line - from the corners of your jaw across the neck to your Adam’s apple
- Lip Line - around the top and bottom lip
During your first 1-2 months of not shaving, focus on keeping the neck line clean. You don’t want to do any excessive trimming here. It’s okay to have a messy beard during this growth phase. In fact, there’s no good way to totally avoid it.
To keep your neck line clean, you can make some minor trims. Here’s how to do it:
- Look straight ahead in the mirror.
- Check for any hairs that are visible below your jawline. Don’t bend or twist to find them.
- Trim only what’s visible. This keeps your neck clean without messing up your square silhouette.
Conditioning: Stay Comfortable
Many guys struggle with itch and other skin discomfort when first growing a beard. The best thing to do - both for your facial hair and for the itch - is to use a natural beard oil. This product conditions, softens, and shines your whiskers so they look and feel their best. It also hydrates the skin beneath to prevent dryness and irritation.
Shaping: Seek Professional Assistance
If you want to look your best, do the smart thing and visit your barber for beard trims and shaping. Doing it yourself can be disastrous. Just look around at some of the low-quality, poorly shaped beards you see some guys rocking. They should have let a professional help them out.
Your barber will consider your face shape and trim your beard to be most flattering. They have an objective, professional view and can give you beard grooming advice you may have never considered. Ask them any questions - they’ve heard it all, so no need for embarrassment here.
Barbers are like mechanics - finding a good one you trust is incalculably valuable. Get your beard shaped and trimmed every 2-3 months, depending on your rate of hair growth, to keep it in pristine shape.
Trim the Outside Lines
Again, your barber is the best choice for trimming the length of your beard. But you can handle making trims to the outside lines at home.
Keep in mind this key principle of good beard grooming: easy does it.
Use a beard trimmer to clean up the cheek, neck, and lip lines. You can use a scissors to remove stray hairs. But resist the urge to do too much trimming. That can throw off the shape and leave you with an unflattering look. Less is more when it comes to beard trimming.
First Beard, Best Beard
You don’t have to be anxious about how your first beard is going to look. Use these beard grooming tips and the best grooming products for men. You’re certain to like the results.