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All About Beards

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The beard may have made significant headway in the hipster community but many guys who suit up on the regular haven’t yet embraced facial hair. Why? The average guy isn’t sure he can pull it off some of the best looking facial hair styles. But you’re not the average guy. You’re stylish enough to pull off anything, including facial hair. All you’ve got to do is decide what facial hair style works for you. And, yes, even if you’re “follically challenged” in the face region, you can get in on the action too. We’re not saying that all men need to grow a beard, but all men ought to know their options. Options like the following…

The Trim Shady

It’s your first foray into facial hair. Start with one of the simplest facial hair styles. Work on your short game. Put down the razor for a day or two and rock the permanent five o’clock shadow. It’s the easiest way to dip your toe into the waters of an ocean of beard options. From here you may never look back. Maybe you’ll sculpt that bad boy into some artistically styled sideburns a la Ludacris. Or maybe you’ll exchange your shaving razor for an ax, let your beard grow unchecked, build an impressive collection of flannel shirts and become the first person to list “Freelance Lumberjack” as their occupation on their LinkedIn profile. Ok, so that’s a bit of a stretch, but our point is, beard opportunities abound once you take the first step and step up your stubble game. Speaking of “opportunities,” many ladies find stubble sexy (witness the appeal of the Trim Shady style icons listed here) so you may also up your chances of scoring with this look.

Make it Happen

  1. Don’t shave for a day or two (depending on how quickly your hair grows).
  2. Trim using the lowest setting of your trimmer (see Tools of the Trade to the left).
  3. Repeat.
Ryan Gosling Ryan Reynolds Paul Ryan LOL
Wahl Beard and Mustache Trimmer

The Full Nelson

Perhaps you’ve been rocking the five o’clock shadow look since Don Johnson made it cool on Miami Vice and it’s getting old. You need a change, but you can’t face going all clean shaven. Still, the idea of a full beard has you conjuring up visions of Z.Z. Top and Duck Dynasty. Enter the close beard, a classic facial hair style that works well on many guys. It’s more than stubble but still short and stately. If you’re able to grow substantial stubble, mastering this look couldn’t be easier.

Make it Happen

  1. Let it grow. Resist the urge to tidy up your beard until it’s a little longer than your desired length.
  2. Using a medium sized guard on your trimmer, give your whole face a pass to even out your beard.
  3. Sharpen up the edges. No need to go all “chinstrap” and shave under your jaw, but do get rid of excess hair on your cheekbones to avoid the wolf-man look.

Nick Wooster

Bluebeards Original Trio

The Patch Adams

What if you’re a guy who thinks he can’t grow jackshit on his face? Every time you go a few days without shaving you are reminded of how patchy and downright weak your beard is. Your beard, or lack thereof, is a blessing in disguise. Just work with what you’ve got. Consider the facts. You might actually have an easier time pulling off more intricate facial hair styles. You can create the thinnest of lines on your face. Many bushy-beard men would kill for the kind of precision you can get out of your patchy beard. If they want to, say, connect a soul patch to a chin beard, they get a racing stripe down their chin like J.C. Chasez. When you pull off the same idea, you can shape a strip of wispy hair down to the millimeter, like the style icon on the far right, Kevin Wang.

Make it Happen

  1. Start by letting all of your facial hair grow for a weekend or longer (a small area of very short hair can look weird so start with all-around stubble before shaping).
  2. Shave all but the area around your desired hair area as you would normally (with shaving cream) leaving yourself plenty of clearance for more precise shaving.
  3. To shape your facial hair you need to see it. Use pre-shave oil and the least amount of shaving cream possible and carefully shape with your normal razor. Think of the hair like a rock from which you’re chiseling a sculpture, once you cut it, it’s gone, so use short strokes and work your way slowly to a more precise shave.

James Franco Kevin Wang of HVRMINN Daving Chang

safety razor

These are just three of many ways to make your facial hair work for you. Got an even better way to step up your facial hair game? Drop some knowledge on us. Leave a comment below.

*Model, Justin Passmore, wears a Highbridge Charcoal Houndstooth Custom Suit, White Broadcloth Custom Dress Shirt and Solid Black Tie, all by Black Lapel.

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14 thoughts on “All About Beards”

  1. This is awesome, I’ve recently started growing out my beard, it was a rocky start but then I caught some steam. The biggest issue for me was the itchiness.. which my girlfriend then found beard oil for. I’ve been using http://www.detroitgrooming.com for most of my products. Anyone else have any other tips? Love to hear them!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Itchiness is common in the early stages of a beard. The oldest solution in the book is still the best: let it grow. Once you get past the itchy stage it will not only feel better, but any patches in your beard will start to fill in.

  2. Terry Adams says:

    Great article. I can’t use just anything on my beard because my skin is sensitive. I’m a sensitive lumberjack! I tired the unscented blend at http://lumberjacksbeardoil.com/ and it seems to work for me.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      “Sensitive Lumberjack.” That’s less of a LinkedIn profile title and more of a dating site profile name!

  3. Well done BL, I’ve just discovered your site and think your styles and advice are on the money!
    Ive rerecently started growing a beard and it’s interesting the comments people make. Most have been “looks great” but my question is if you have any advice on beard oils? I’ve seen a few places recommend them and some say that keeping shaped and clean is enough.

    Any advice?


    Marc (UK)

    1. Black Lapel says:

      When it comes to your facial hair, every guy is different. Beard oil may not be necessary but a little moisturizer never hurts. That’s why we like the Bluebeards Trio we highlighted above. You get all three parts of the beard maintenance equation. Especially now, as the weather starts to turn cool and the air gets dry (for those of us in the Northern parts of the Northern Hemisphere), moisturizer will leave your beard looking, and feeling, great.

  4. I feel like these are replies to a Cosmo article.

    1. Um…okay. Wouldn’t know. We don’t read Cosmo.

  5. Really great article guys. I would personally recommend that if you’re going for a close beard, you don’t let it exceed the length of the hair on the side of your head (that is, if you have a tight haircut). For example when I grow my beard out I shape it with a no. 2 clipper, the same length as is on the back and sides of my head,

    1. Great tip James! #BLendorsed.

  6. “Freelance Lumberjack”? You made my day, guys!
    As a man with a suitable beard, I’m going to call myself like that.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We’d love to see that on your actual LinkedIn profile, Alexander. Better yet, we’d love to see how recruiters would respond to such a title!

  7. I really enjoyed this article! I just had an interview a couple of days ago and had to decide to go with a 3 month old beard or not. In the end I decided to go with the beard because any employer who cannot see past a beard probably wont be a good employer to work for. I look forward to more articles like this one which focus on beards, suits and style.

    1. Way to stick with your look. If you’re keeping your beard in shape, it’ll play in just about any workplace. Hope the interview went well and you nail the gig!

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