The Best Razors For Men, To Get The Beard You Want
Beards are en vogue. That much is obvious. Whether it's your own hirsute genetics proudly on display, or the cortado purist you suffer each morning, facial hair is well-coveted. That's not about to change. Still, a beard isn't for everyone: like all trends, you have to consider whatever suits. Designer stubble isn't a universal compliment. Nor is a clean shave.
After you've decided upon the facial topiary that's best for you, it's all about maintenance. Men's electric razors are not created equal. Some are built to shave all hair (and several years) from your face, while others are adjustable to achieve several shades of five o'clock shadow. The secret to a perfect electric razor is to identify the desirable fuzz (if any), and what tools you need to keep everything in check.
Presenting: your complete guide to the whole prickly matter of not just deciding what level of beard you want, but how to keep it level 10.
Should I shave, or should I grow?
Like haircuts, different types of facial hair will complement (or spoil) your head, so the first step is to identify its shape. For example: if you're blessed with facial angles to rival a model, soften your glass-cutting jawline with a fuller beard. But say you're softer-cheeked, use stubble to carve out some much-needed geometry. And if you're just exquisitely beautiful no matter what (which we're sure is the case), feel free to keep your face totally free of fuzz.
Different types of facial hair will complement (or corrupt) your head, so identify its shape.
Of course, genetics plays a huge part. And for some guys, facial hair just isn't meant to be. Still, even the sparsest patch needs maintenance. Or risk looking like a 14-year-old before his first shave with papa, your choice.
How do I grow more facial hair?
If you fall into the latter camp, it's not a case of just dealing with what your father gave you: there are ways to stimulate beard growth that don't require mail-order hormone tablets from Guangzhou.
Place fitness first. Regular exercise raises your testosterone levels, which in turn, is responsible for hair growth on certain parts of the body. Better yet, improved circulation extends to hair follicles too, meaning they'll undergo a boost when you get your own down the gym
Beard growth needn't doesn't require mail-order hormone tablets from Guangzhou.
Alternatively, reboot your diet. Various micronutrients - zinc, magnesium and vitamin D to name but three - are essential for healthy hair growth, so consider supplements if you're not getting this stuff from natural sources. Of course, you need a reasonable diet too. A few Holland & Barrett pills won't offset a feast of doner kebabs.
What's the best razor to use?
Always read the small print. Specific functions will cater to the sort of facial hair you want to carve or maintain. For instance, a beard trimmer with an adjustable blade is perfect for keeping some fuzz, while a triple-bladed wonder will get rid of the beast entirely.
It also helps to recognize your skin type, too. Certain razors are equipped to deal with sensitive skin, so if your face flares up at the slightest drop of non-Sanex shower gel, you'd do well to spend the extra.
We'd also say do your research. But that part is boring (and probably the reason why you're here). So, we've shaved the way below, listing all the equipment to glean the facial hair of your choice.
How to get a clean shave
So you want it off: all off. Which is no bad thing. Many a famous (and handsome) face chooses to keep it clean, but it does require the most maintenance. You'll need to shave almost every other day, and then seal the deal with the right sort of moisturizer. Nobody wants a shaving rash last seen in a biblical plague.
Truman Set, £14, harrys.com
Neroli Post-Shave Lotion, £37, lookfantastic.com
Sensitive Shave Cream, £3.50, lookfantastic.com
Acqua di Parma
After-Shave Lotion, £53, acqudiparma.com
How to get designer stubble
Stubble is tricky. Too short, and you may as well be without; too long, and it's all a bit gap year. The trick is to stick relatively short, and keep it in check with an adjustable beard trimmer. It'll be worth the investment, too: a 2008 study by Northumbria University found that women are most attracted to those with stubble. That means you. And always remember that the added fuzz will be a block to hydration, so keep moisturized.
MGK3085 Trimmer, £52.50, amazon.co.uk
Men Expert Stubble Gel, £12.99, lookfantastic.com
Baxter of California
Exfoliating Facial Scrub, £17, mrporter.com
Sauvage Eau du Toilette, £54.50, johnlewis.com
How to get a short beard
So you're getting into lumberjack territory. Good for you. But as your face becomes filled with follicular goodness, you'll notice a few changes: dry skin, for one. Your newfound beard gulps even more moisture, which means a decent oil and a meticulous grooming routine are paramount. It won't make you any less rugged, we promise.
Series 5000 Beard Trimmer, £65.06, amazon.co.uk
Beard Balm, £12.50, lookfantastic.com
Conditioning Beard Oil, £44, mrporter.com
Orage Cologne, £185, louisvuitton.com
How to get a long beard
Color us impressed. You've reached Jesus-level beard, and you deserve the same adulation. Still, maintenance and a regular trim are mandatory, as is moisture, a conditioner, and the occasional shampoo. Enlist the below arsenal.
ER-GB86 Beard Trimmer, £51.20, amazon.co.uk
Recipe For Men
Beard Shampoo & Conditioner, £18, lookfantastic.com
Beard Oil, £47, mrporter.com
Mémoire d'une Odeur, £53, feelunique.com
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.