You know we (secretly) love a totally made up holiday, especially one that celebrates food, booze, or facial hair. The latter took center stage on the first Saturday of September thanks to the person who decided there should be a World Beard Day. This month, as hirsute men across the globe celebrate the hair sprouting from their face, you too can grow a beard (and maintain it) with tips from Scott Serrata, founder of Imperial Barber Products.
Face the Facts
When choosing your style of beard, Serrata suggests taking your face shape into consideration. If you’re the square-jawed type, go for a triangular beard. “Keep hair fuller on the chin and shorter on the sides,” he says.
Rounder faces will look less, well, round, if “hair is longer on the bottom, and shorter on the sides”.
Long in the face? “Fuller beard hair on the cheeks will help give the impression of a wider jaw and balance out the face.”
And for those with an oval face, you can pretty much rock any shape you want because “you don’t really need to worry about balancing anything out, so you can feel free to play around with your look”.
Patch Things Up
If your hair growth is less than abundant, “trim your beard short after a few days of not shaving and really focus on shaping the jawline and cheeks,” Serrata says. “Keep everything nice and clean and make sure that the lower cheek area isn’t too high.”
Serrata also recommends keeping a clean neckline so as not to draw attention to your patchy problem.
Deciding how much time and energy to want to devote to man-scaping your face will help you choose the right length for you. A long beard calls for more grooming, care, love, and pride. A shorter beard requires less product like oil or balm to keep it tamed and looking clean-cut.
Short and Scruffy
Because these abbreviated styles don’t need much in the way of grooming, they’re pretty low maintenance day-to-day. You will need to swing by your barber to get your cheeks and neckline cleaned up (or DIY), Serrata says.
Product Pick: Imperial Barber After-Shave Balm & Face Moisturizer, $22
Why: “It’s important to moisturize and protect your skin to reduce redness after shaving and keep your skin feeling smooth,” Serrata says.
In the Middle
You’ll need to do a tune-up every few days, just as you would with a shorter style, while also “slowly starting to shape the mustache and side burn areas to keep everything tight,” Serrata says.
Product Pick: Imperial Barber Bergamot After-Shave, $12
Why: “Complete your shave with a healing after-shave to cool, tone, and refresh your skin while closing pores and restoring balance to the face,” Serrata says.
If you are going for a long beard, be sure to stay on top of lining up your cheeks. Depending on preference, you may not want to line up your neck. For some longer beard styles, you can ask your barber to blend in the cheeks down toward the bottom of the beard instead.
Product Pick: Imperial Barber Pre-Shave Oil, $16
Why: “Barbers use this before straight razor shave treatments with hot towels to soften the beard before applying shave cream,” Serrata says. Recreate the experience at home by massaging a few drops on your beards to protect skin and condition beard hair.