Beard envy is a real thing. I’ve experienced it and if you’re reading this then you probably have too and some point in your life.
You see those guys out there who have this whole beard game nailed down perfectly and you silently curse them while also cursing your own scraggly face.
You see the smooth cut, the precise styling and the lack of patches and you wonder where you could possible be going wrong.
Well, some people just win the genetic lottery when it comes to facial hair, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t more you could be doing.
In fact, I think no matter what your beard is like naturally that you can still do a lot of extra work to make it look well-taken care of.
Here’s five tips on how to shape your beard.
1) Style to Suit Your Face
Not everybody has the same facial shape, and so not every style of beard is going to work on every face.
Pretty simple logic, but it can be a little tricky to determine which one is right for your face. The only way to make that decision is to see what different styles look like on you.
You want to try and decide which parts of your face you want to draw more attention to to make your face appear proportionate.
If you’ve got a wider face that’s kind of round or square shaped, you should try and keep the beard a little longer so that your face seems slimmer.
This can be especially helped if you keep the hair on the sides of your face more close cut while letting it grow longer on your chin.
If your face is more oblong or triangular then you should essentially do the opposite. Keep the cheek hair long and the chin hair short to give your face a little bit more width.
There’s other things to think about too, but most facial shapes fall into these categories and so you should try and determine which one your face resembles.
2) Use Beard Oil
There’s many different types of beard oil out there and some of them serve different purposes than others, but the main idea of using oil is to hold the shape that you’ve cut.
These oils are packed full of nutrients that are designed to keep hairs and hair follicles as healthy as possible.
It also helps to keep your beard moisturized without causing it to look greasy and it should keep itching and irritation at bay.
If you want to get the best out of beard oil, you should pay attention to the ingredients and make sure that you are picking an oil that is rich in nutrients.
Good ingredients include castor oil, grape seed, jujuba oil and vitamin E. You can also look out for oils that are made from eucalyptus or pinewood, which are beneficial in their own right.
You should do a bit more research before you decide on which brand is the best one for you and your beard.
Applying it is pretty simple. Just put a 2-5 drops in the palm of your hand, the amount will depend on your beard length, and then just rub it in.
3) Wash Regularly
The hair follicles and the skin cells in your beard are very easily agitated, and if your beard isn’t kept clean then it will become itchy and the growing will be hampered.
You would think that the longer the bear gets, the more important it is for it to be washed, but it’s actually in its earliest stages when it’s most susceptible to damage.
You don’t need to wash it every single day, but while it’s growing you should give it a good scrub at least twice a week.
You can get a beard specific shampoo and then use that in the shower every couple of days. This will keep the roots healthy and also prevent itching too.
Also be careful about how you dry it. Use a dry towel, and don’t go too vigorously. Just pat it dry, otherwise it will frizz up.
4) Don’t Ignore Your Sideburns
We often forget that sideburns are actually a part of our beard and how we choose to shape them will affect how the beard looks overall.
The thing that gets a bit awkward because many barbers will cut your sideburns instinctually and then it can be hard to shape them yourself.
But you have more control over the style if you do it yourself so maybe ask your barber to avoid the area.
The sideburns should look sort of like a transition from your hair to your beard. Depending on your style you will have to cut them differently.
The shorter your hair, the tighter you should cut the sideburns. Even if your beard is on the longer side your sideburns will look odd if they’re too long and the hair on your head is short.
If you get a good beard trimmer it should be designed specifically so that it can target different parts of your facial hair and this includes your sideburns.
5) Consider Letting a Professional Do It
I know that this piece of advice is somewhat of a contradiction to everything else that I’ve talked about in this list, but beard shaping is hard.
All of that stuff that we talked about above, it does take effort and it can be frustrating and tricky when you’re not experienced.
Most barbers will be trained to cut and shape beards too so you could just have your beard shaped professionally.
Even if it’s just while you’re learning. You can practice yourself at home but then let the professionals do the real work until you have it mastered.
This is going to cost you a little bit more than is ideal and it might mean visiting the barber more frequently, but you are pretty much guaranteed a fine looking beard.
So give this a bit of consideration, it doesn’t have to be a permanent solution but it is definitely a reliable one.
Follow these steps, and you’ll be rocking the Ernest Hemingway beard before you know it. Well maybe we can’t all achieve that but you never know.
Either way, forget about all that beard envy, because if you work on it then your facial hair can look just as good as anybody else’s.