How to Shape Your Beard like a Badass
When it comes to beards, every man has his own unique style and preferences. Some really like the whole Zach Galifianakis beard, while others are more in favor of something a little longer than a five o’clock shadow. Some men like all the exotic cuts, sharp lines, and styles that have come out. Regardless of your preference, there’s a beard style out there for you and we’ll help you both achieve and maintain that look at home.
We also probably don’t have to tell you how much women love facial hair. Very rarely will you find a woman who prefers a clean-shaven man so if you’re tired of cutting your whiskers every morning, put the razor away; hair is IN. While women definitely have their facial hair preferences just like you, they’re not nearly as picky as you’d think. All they want is to see some hair on your face and they don’t care how much; just as long as you think it looks good they will too.
However, beards do mean maintenance; even the rugged lumberjack styles will take some level of grooming to keep it looking good. And if you’re trying out one of the hipster styles that features sharp lines and fine angles, you’ll have to get comfortable holding a blade and trimming whiskers. Beard shaping isn’t nearly as difficult as it sounds though; it’s pretty easy and once you get a little practice in, it’ll feel as natural as brushing your teeth.
So let’s go through the basics then get you ready to shape your beard!
The right tools for the job
There are all sorts of tools that will make beard shaping easier as well as tools that you actually need. After all, you can’t shape your beard without trimmers or a straight razor. So let’s go through what you need to get started:
- Shave gel- You might be tempted to dry shave your whiskers if you’re cutting fine lines with your straight razor since the areas are so small, but please don’t. Massage a small amount of EZ Blade Shave Gel into your skin before you put any razor to it.
- Straight razor- Straight razors will be your best friend when it comes to clean up and evening out areas. You can get a very precise cut with a straight razor and becomes it’s sharper than traditional razors, you’ll get a smoother, longer lasting shave.
- Clippers with a variety of guards- Brand doesn’t really matter here but make sure that you get a quality set of facial hair clippers and some guards. The guards will help you set the length and you’ll want to work from highest to lowest; you can always take off more hair you just can’t add it back.
- Scissors- Scissors are necessary for trimming the mustache hairs over your lip to give your beard a much more refined, groomed look. Rounded scissors like you use to trim nose hairs are also great for trimming up the mustache. However, small regular scissors will work but please don’t reach for the kitchen shears; think small.
- Comb- Please don’t put anything to your fave that’s going to cut hairs without brushing your whiskers first. Hairs that are “roughed up” will make it harder for you to get a precise cut and the hairs might get snagged in the blades, which trust us on this, it HURTS.
- Mirror- You’re probably rolling your eyes and thinking, “no crap” right now but hear us out. Of course you’ll want to work in front of your bathroom mirror, but we also recommend using a small handheld mirror that has some magnification power. Magnifying areas is a game changer in the beard-grooming world.
- Beard shaping tool- This one is completely optional but we highly recommend it, especially for beginners. It can feel a bit wonky at first manipulating the tool along your face and using clippers or a razor at the same time, but you’ll get a precision, even cut each time.
Rules, what rules?
Just like with haircuts, there are certain rules that you need to follow regarding your beard maintenance. Okay, there’s just one rule but it’s important: pick a style that flatters you.
Have you ever seen a hairstyle on a celebrity and thought, “wow, that would look great on me” only come home and hate how it makes your face look? Well, the same can be said of beard shapes. What works for some won’t necessarily work for you. Because of this, we highly recommend looking up styles that best fit your face shape or talking to a skilled barber for their opinion.
Shameless plug- we also have an article available on our blog that talks in depth about picking the right beard for your facial shape so check it out! We really simplified everything and broke it down into detail so you’ll have no issues finding the right style quickly.
Wash your damn face
We know we preach this one a lot but it’s incredibly important. Even if you don’t intend to do anything other than just run clippers with a large guard over your whiskers, you’ll want to prep your face. Clean hair is easier to manage and if you’re putting a blade to your skin, clean skin is much less likely to get infected (or get bumps, burn, and nicks) than dirty skin.
The hot water (you should always be using hot water before you groom) will also soften the hairs and stand them up, making them much easier to cut. And for the love of all that’s grooming, please don’t put any product other than shaving gel or lotion on your whiskers and face before you begin.
Even if you’re the world’s best groomer and have never cut yourself, dirt can still get into your whisker pores while you’re making your beard look nice so WASH YOUR FACE!
Also, make sure everything that you’re using on your face is clean and disinfected. A clogged pair of hair clippers can lead to irritation and nicks; the same applies to your straight razor. These are all sources of bacteria and the last thing you want to do is to put yourself at risk of putting said dirt into your pores or nicks. Plus, clean tools cut better so you’ll spend less time grooming and more time enjoying your fresh beard.
Now you’re ready to shape that bad boy
Alright now that your face is squeaky clean and you have all your tools ready and clean, it’s time to begin.
- Just a trim- Begin by using a comb to brush your hairs down straight. A wide toothcomb works best for this, but any comb will do. Avoid hairbrushes though as they can actually lift and fluff the hairs rather than smooth them. If you find that you’re happy with the length for the most part, then take a pair of scissors and snip the very ends along the comb.
- Bringing in the clippers- If scissor cutting isn’t your thing, you can always go over the hairs with a large setting/guard. This will help shape your beard, soften the hairs, and even it out. The hairs can appear “bulky” when untrimmed so even if you’re happy with the length, run the clippers through it or the scissors.
- Take it lower- Want it to be shorter? Then lower the settings on your clippers and run it through the hairs. You’ll want to work from the highest setting down.
- Sideburn maintenance- If you’re one of those men who are guilty of leaving your sideburns to do their own thing, then stop! Unkempt sideburns can ruin your beard look faster than anything. Start by taking just a patch of hair between your neckline and beard and going over it with the clippers until you find an acceptable length. One again, work from highest setting to lowest.
- My neck, my back…- Now it’s time for the neckline! You’ll want to use a straight razor to clean up and shape your neckline. This is one of those tricky zones because you don’t want too clean of an edge but you certainly don’t want it to look like Captain Caveman jus stepped outside from a long hibernation. We recommend starting from the curve of your ear for the bottom of the line and 1.5 inches above your Adam’s apple.
- Now the lips- Believe us when we say no woman wants to kiss your mustache hair; they want to feel your lips. So make sure you take care of this area! You’ll want to make sure your mustache hairs don’t encroach on your upper lip. Rounded scissors work best for trimming the hairs. Make sure you’re careful not to cut your lip though as you work.
- Use a straight razor to refine the edges- This is where you’ll need your gel and a straight razor. It might be tempting to reach for your four-bladed monstrosity (we have a thing against them, sorry) but a straight razor is going to be best here. Not only will you get a more precise cut since you can focus individual hairs, but the razor is also much shaper than your traditional Gillette and will get closer to your skin, preventing the hairs from growing back as fast. Holding the straight razor, you’ll want to shave with the grain in short, shallow strokes down your face to you’re the beard line. Grip the razor lightly and don’t apply too much pressure though; we can assure you even the lightest touch will get rid of those hairs.
Here are some tips that our expert staff wanted to share with you in order to maximize and prolong your beard shape experience.
- Work backwards from the largest setting- As we mentioned above, you’ll want to begin with the largest setting and work your way back until you reach the length you want. After all, you can’t undo a “too short” style, but you can take hair away from a “too long” style.
- Trim it frequently- Sorry to those of you who don’t like spending a lot of time on your beard, but frequent trims are going to be your friend. Frequent trims will keep the hairs nice and soft and will prevent them from fraying or becoming scratchy. It also helps to train your hairs to grow how you want them to grow.
- Pamper your hairs after you’re done- It can be tempting to just go on about your day once you’re finished, but we highly recommend using some product to restore moisture to your face and hairs. Even if you only used scissors or clippers, your hairs and skin will benefit from our EZ Blade Lotion or EZ Blade tonic. Plus, it’ll give your skin and whiskers a nice, fresh scent that the ladies love!
- Use a clear shave gel- If you’re not using our clear shave gel, then you’re seriously missing out on a great shave! The EZ Blade Shave Gel is colored in the bottle but applies clear so that you can see where you’re applying it but see the hairs underneath once you massage it in. Unlike traditional foams, you’ll be able to see the hairs underneath the gel so you won’t miss a single whisker. So you’ll spend less time going over the same area with your blade and more time enjoying the cut. Also, a little goes a long way so you don’t have to worry about pumping a ton of product into your hands just for a short cut.
Time to show off
Now that you’re shaped your beard to your preferences, it’s time to show it off! Call up your girlfriend or hit up that girl you’ve been crushing on that shares all the gorgeous Instagram swim pics. They’re sure to be impressed, especially if you have on our EZ Blade Aftershave or Tonic!
Or feel free to kick back on the couch and reward yourself with an ice-cold beer and a slice of delicious pizza!