The Esquire Guide to Growing Your Beard
Sure, you have the basics down pat—hair, nails, scent, crisp, clean shirt, tailored pants, quality shoes—but chances are, your facial hair only gets a cursory wash or a little bit of shabby shaping with a disposable razor. Here's how to make the most out of your beard.
Should you grown one?
A change in seasons, in places with seasons, is usually a reason to grow a beard, but in our tropical neck of the woods, you can grow that five o’ clock shadow anytime. If you’re blessed enough to have enough facial follicles, go for it. The allure of a beard lies in its ability to send a big F.U. to conformity as well as project an air of mystery about the wearer.
What suits you?
There are many types of beards: from the day-old stubble, to goatees, the scruff, the ‘stash, to the circle beard. As a rule, short, neatly trimmed beards will suit most everyone.
The style and coverage highly depends on the shape of the wearer. Thin, longish faces can accommodate a little more thickness, while round faces are best with narrower styles. Smaller facial features are suited to shorter beard lengths. But those with a fuller, plumper face should avoid, say, a thin circle beard, because it will only draw attention to the extra pounds. If you have a prominent mouth (and if you are a big Tom Selleck fan), the “pyramid” mustache might work. A clean but slightly unkempt style might go well with a rock-and-roll look, while nothing says spiffy more than a well-groomed, medium-length growth over the mouth and chin.
What to avoid?
Unless you’re Tony Stark, it’s kind of hard to pull off, well, a Tony Stark scruff. Same goes with the handlebar mustache. And never, under any circumstance, ever go for the Gandalf—even when the benevolent-old-man look is your thing.
Give your beard the same attention as you would your hair and your face. In other words, keep it clean and neat. The skin under the beard should be as properly moisturized as the rest of your mug. Also, when shaping your beard, avoid cutting too close to your jawline, as this can give you a double chin.
Seek professional help
It won’t hurt to go to the professionals, like the highly trained barbers in establishments like Titan. They would know what style suits your face and how best to maintain your beard. Also, they have the best tools. Their meticulous, almost surgical shaving process is an experience in itself.
If you're doing it at home
But you can’t go to a barber every day, so it pays to have a few tools at home. Aside from your shaving cream, after-shave, and razor, invest in a good electric beard trimmer or clippers. These are ideal in obtaining an even, perfect trim. Pick one that comes complete with a variety of blades or guides. These ensure that you can sculpt your beard according to your desired length. Quite simply, it works like magic. Gandalf be damned.