Informal guide to beard grooming. Tips should be regarded as suggestions or guidelines only
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Trimming a Beard
Some recommend only having this done professionally. Others won’t let anyone else get near their beards with scissors or trimmers.
If you’re going to trim your beard yourself, you’ll need the right tools. You will have to decide whether to trim using scissors or a beard trimmer.
If you decide to trim primarily with scissors, consider purchasing a pair of professional barber’s scissors.
When considering beard trimmers, a rechargeable cordless model might be a good choice.
You should also have a good wide-toothed comb. Optionally, for the mustache, you might want to have a fine-toothed comb. Some specialty stores sell small mustache combs.
A good-sized wall mirror is usually indispensable. You might also benefit from a magnifying mirror and possibly a three-way mirror.
Do not trim a wet beard or mustache. Wet hair is longer. When it dries you may find you’ve trimmed too much.
If you use a comb and scissors: Comb through the beard and cut the hair on the outside of the comb. It will take some practice to perfect this technique. It is better to err on the side of not cutting enough rather than cutting too much.
To help maintain a balance between the two sides of your face, you may find it useful to start near the ear on one side and trim down to the chin. Then repeat on the other side.
Beard trimmers almost always come with an adjustable and removable trimming guide. By adjusting the position of the trimming guide, you control how closely it will trim your beard. Refer to the instructions supplied with your trimmer for details. Until you’ve mastered the use of your trimmer, it is best to adjust the guide for a longer beard length setting at first.
To trim your mustache, first comb it straight down. Then use either the beard trimmer or scissors. Start in the middle and trim first towards one side of the mouth, then towards the other. Normally, you should not shave or trim the top of the mustache. It usually looks best if you let it grow all the way up to your nose.
After you’ve trimmed your beard and mustache, then you should maintain the shape of your beard. Use the beard trimmer with the adjustable trimming guide removed (be careful) to keep the neck line of your beard well-defined. Alternatively, you could carefully shave the lower portion of your neck to maintain the neck line of your beard.
Miscellaneous stray hairs can be removed with a trim razor. Plucking them is not recommended.
Keeping a Beard Clean
Just like your hair, wash and shampoo your beard regularly. A mild shampoo is easier on your skin.
After shampooing, you may use a conditioner. Be sure to rinse thoroughly. Failure to rinse sufficiently may result in flaking. Because beard hairs are so coarse, conditioners will have less effect on the beard than on the hair on your head. But a conditioner will still help make your beard feel softer.
Gently pat and wipe your beard dry with a towel. Blow drying is not really necessary and can be harsh on your skin.
Comb your beard and mustache with a wide-toothed comb to remove tangles. Optionally, you can finish up by using a brush.