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10 Burning Questions About Beards

Posted on 18 August 2020

10 Burning Questions About Beards

Words by Mr John Lockett

01. What are the key differences between a good beard and a bad beard?

There’s a fine line between sophisticated facial hair and sloppy scruff. As with everything else in the grooming realm, it’s all about effort. “The entire growth process of a beard is like that of a garden,” says Ms Kumi Craig, groomer to many of Hollywood’s leading men, including Messrs Timothée Chalamet, Jordan Peele and certified beard god Mr Justin Theroux. “Care and maintenance are key.” You don’t want to look like you just gave up and let your facial hair go wild. So, what exactly does it take to grow a great beard? “You want a beard to shape and complement your face, the same as you would with a haircut,” says Ms Craig. “Another factor is the care you put into your beard while growing it. Just like the hair on our heads, beards need to be washed, moisturised, conditioned, brushed and trimmed. A clean beard is a good beard.”

02. Do I have to wash my beard every day?

03. Do men who sculpt a false and unnaturally high jawline with their beards think we’re all stupid?

Grooming gimmicks rarely achieve what they set out to accomplish and, more often than not, just make things worse. Beards can go a long way when it comes to complementing your face shape, but you must do it right. While facial hair can help fill a weak chin or enhance a jawline, anything overly sculpted will just look unnatural and eye-catching (in a bad way). According to Ms Craig, you should strive to “avoid super sharp lines on the cheeks and jawline, and be careful not to create a sharp line too high to the jawline. Instead, make it naturally fade down the neck towards the Adam’s apple.”

04. Is a chin strap ever acceptable?

Unless you’re the designated “edgy” one in a 1990s boyband or a street magician (statistically speaking, we’re pretty sure you are not), chin straps are a no-no. A moustache is essential for balancing any beard and 100 per cent of chin straps just look over-manicured. See above for notes on why you should stay away from sharp lines in general.

05. How long is too long?

06. What can I do about a two-tone beard?

07. Are respirator face masks still effective when you have a beard?

Unfortunately, no. While a cloth mask should be fine, depending on the length of your beard, with a respirator face mask, you need a skin-tight seal between your face and the mask and beards will almost always break that seal. But all is not lost on the beard front. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a handy infographic for facial hair that can still function with filtering respirators. In short, now is a great time to try rocking that moustache you’ve been mulling over.

08. Do beard oils actually do anything?

They sure do. Beard oils are essential for keeping your beard soft and conditioned while reducing itchiness. “Beard oil is beneficial to the skin under the beard that can easily be neglected,” says Ms Craig. “Start with a few drops, depending on the length of the beard, warm the oil between your palms and press into the cheeks. Hold for a few seconds and let the oil get to the skin under the hair, then run your palms in a downward motion through the beard hair straight down the neck. If there’s any oil left on your palms, rub it into your elbows.”

09. What can you do about patches?

10. Can I use my beard trimmer for manscaping?

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