While it may not be time to reach for the razor just yet, beards are getting a style update that calls for neater, shorter, shapelier facial hair requiring a little-added maintenance and product investment.
Think more barrister than barista. Look to Donald Glover, Chris Pine, Jon Hamm – and away from Matthew McConaughey, Andrew Garfield in Silence or Zach Galifianakis, in general.
Depending where you are in the process – we steadfastly refuse to use the term beard ‘journey’ unless actual travel is involved – different tactics are required.
We sought the wisdom of Paolo Ticli and Minas Georgiou from GQ favorite, The Barberhood in Sydney, for all the tips and equipment you needed.
Where to start
For the first month, Georgiou advises you do what the experts call Sweet FA.
“Let it grow naturally for the initial four weeks and then start to maintain with the help of a barber,” he says, adding that the main challenge – especially for beard virgins – is overcoming the itchiness which can leave you reaching for a shaver. Combatting this is a two-step affair.
Georgiou recommends exfoliating the skin in circular motions to prevent ingrown hairs and subsequent skin irritation, followed by a moisturizing beard balm to replenish the dehydrated skin that often lurks beneath the stubble.
The right style (for you)
Time to enlist expert help, as this is not a decision you’re qualified to make on your own.
“You need to take into account the rate of hair growth, the strength of your hair, the shape of both your face and the beard you want to grow and your skin type,” says Georgiou. If in doubt, defer to a barber, rather than a hairstylist who may not have as much practice below the ears.
Unless you don’t plan on doing any home maintenance whatsoever, Ticli recommends asking your barber for tips on the right beard trimmer guard length to maintain your look. This is the equivalent to the clipping numbers 0-4 when getting a haircut.
Knowing your guard number will save you precious time – and help avoid any disasters. Ticli’s final recommendation is a beard oil to keep things soft and glossy.
TRY Parker For Men ‘The Original Beard Oil’
Stay in shape
Remember how we said you’re going to have to invest in some new equipment? Now’s the time.
What you’ll need is an electric clipper plus a pair of specialist scissors for trimming any stray or rogue hairs – and trust us, you will become obsessive.
“Trim the edges [with a clipper] every two to six weeks depending on your hair growth,” says Georgiou. “You’ll know if your beard is too long if the sideburns are overly full and the beard loses shape. If you have defined clean lines under the jawline you will see regrowth after a few days, particularly with darker hair. You can use a razor and quality shaving cream to clean this area up daily.”
The final touch is a beard and mustache comb that you can keep in a desk drawer at work or breast pocket for on-the-go grooming.
Source GQ Australia