Beards are great for rubbing when deep in thought; they block the sun from burning your face; they hide neck flab; and they suggest a life free from razor burn. But while facial hair may be a product of natural processes, beards won't take a healthy shape without a little help.
Trimming, shaping, fading, cleaning, combing, and conditioning is all part of the game and changes depending on what style you want and type of facial hair you were born with. There's no one correct way to have a beard, so we asked barbers from across the country to weigh on what guys should be doing to grow, maintain, and care for the most popular styles of facial hair.
Goatees can skew '90s revivalist, but they've been on the comeback trail over the past few years as an alternative to sporting a full beard. "I always advise men to grow in more than just the goatee area to start with," says Paco O'Keefe from The Modern Man Barber Shop. "That way there's more to work with when it comes time to carve in the shape," which is best done after at least a week of cultivating.
First create the shape with a beard trimmer. A general guide is a straight line down from the corner of your mouth. It's your call if you want to connect it to your mustache or not. Shave the lower border line at the bottom of your chin bone. Then set it in stone with a wet shave. Cheeks and neck will need to be shaved on a daily basis to stop the goatee from looking like a peculiarly shaped beard. Both Brad Pitt and Idris Elba keep the goatee from looking too throwback by balancing it out with a mustache and wearing the hair relatively short – mowed every few days with the lower half of the guards on a beard trimmer.
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