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How to shave your beard — and why you may want to

Everything you need to know to shave your beard

Man Shaving Beard

Beards are a great sense of personal style, especially ones that are properly maintained with exceptional grooming products to help in doing so. They can be a wonderful style combo, particularly for those not so inclined to have Brad (Pitt) and Leo (DiCaprio) hair-like status and opt for a beard and bald head look, which works great by the way. Regardless of the hair situation on top of your head, beards can be a great addition that can really elevate your own personal look.

Some men decide at one point or another to start growing one out and never look back. Then there are some who want to give it a try or maybe a second or third go and decide to let the growing process commence. Even with proper grooming, using all the right beard oils, and choosing the best beard trimmers, conditioners, and balms, it just doesn’t quite work out for some reason.

Then there are those who like to start growing facial hair during the end of summer and the start of fall as the temperatures begin to dip, or perhaps partake in No Shave November or Movember, and keep on growing it out up until spring. For them, as the heat begins to rise it may be time to take some action. Some men just cannot handle the heat and it gets a little too much for their own comfort.

 The funny part about those that decide to shave off their beards due to temperatures rising may actually be misconceived, or so that is, according to some beard care experts. Beards may actually keep you cool? Let’s find out.

Do beards really keep you cool?

Many websites insist that having a beard during warmer days is not a problem. The beard care experts at Stubble and ‘Stache say, “Your beard keeps the moisture from your sweat close to your face. When a breeze comes through, you feel nice and cool … Your beard won’t make you any warmer than normal.”

Of course, another quick Google search finds many a reference indicating that a beard will also keep you warm during colder days, so that can definitely be confusing and incites feelings of skepticism. After all, it’s in beard care sites’ best interests to keep us feeling good about growing our beards so that we continue buying beard products.

We spoke to Dr. Robin Schaffran, the chief dermatologist at BalmLabs, to get a little clarity. “It’s just like guys getting summer haircuts, taking it all ‘down to the wood.’ It’s cooler to have no hair, whether it’s on your head or on your face. Thinner hair is less of an issue, but thick hair or a thick, coarse beard is going to retain heat. That doesn’t mean you have to cut it all off. Just like a good haircut, trimming your beard will be cooler; cutting it all off, cooler still.” 

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Why you should shave your beard

At the end of the day, there really is no one size fits all as to why some men do shave off their beards and others decide to keep them for the long haul. A good portion of men hopped on this trend a couple of years back during the whole quarantine lockdown ordeal. A good number have since shaved them off as most of life has returned to normal. Here are a couple of other quick hits as to why some decide to lop it off.

  • Work obligations – Unfortunately some jobs today still require men to have more strict facial hair guidelines and the image they must maintain
  • Youthful appearance – For the majority of men, adding a beard can age your appearance and some prefer the younger look
  • Too hot to handle – As temps rise during the summer, a good number decide to take the beard down to feel cooler
  • Less maintenance – Then there are some who just get too tired of the consistent maintenance a good-looking beard deserves

After making it this far in the article, maybe you find yourself thinking, “maybe it is time for a shave.”

For some inspiration, check out Beardbrand’s Jack Milocco, who grew his beard for a year, and then, at week 52, shaved it all down on YouTube. In the video, Milocco goes from a full-growth, untouched beard through a “Hollywoodian,” a Van Dyke, and some mustache variations, ending with plain scruff. If you ultimately decide to part ways with your facial scruff and without further ado, here is how to shave your beard.

How to shave your beard

  1. Start with a pair of trimmers and slowly work your way into the cut. Start with a longer hair length setting and slowly after each pass, take it down slightly further, until you reach your desired length
    • If taking things down all the way to a clean-cut face, make sure you have a high-quality razor to finish off the job
  2. Once you’ve trimmed things down to your perfect length, “Be sure to use a cleanser. Keeping the skin and beard clean in the summer is important to keep bacteria at bay,” says Schaffran (great year-round as well). ClearBalm by BalmLabs has a Gentle Foaming Cleanser that creates a light lather that penetrates the beard, and then fruit-based acids clean the skin without drying it. “Use a little conditioner, too, when in the shower,” she adds, “particularly if you have a dry beard.”
  3. Schaffran makes an interesting point and states “Be sure to apply sunscreen. A beard is not going to protect your skin from the sun. Find a light serum, lotion, or gel that has some SPF, and work it through the beard to your skin. Be sure to follow up after cleansing with a calming moisturizer. Always remember to care for the skin under the beard.” ClearBalm’s Serum Hydrator provides lightweight hydration but no sun protection. Stubble and Stache redeems themselves to me here, offering Protect, a “beard-friendly” moisturizer with SPF 30. 

After all, as French poet and novelist Jean Cocteau once said, “There is always a period when a man with a beard shaves it off. This period does not last. He returns headlong to his beard.”

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John Jones
John Jones is a Jersey City, New Jersey-based writer who enjoys covering design in all its forms, from fashion to…
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