Life isn’t always about extremes. In fact, more often than not, there is a happy medium. One of life’s happiest mediums is the short beard. This style is great for men who don’t like being clean-shaven, but don’t have the time or desire to grow and maintain a longer beard.
The short beard is a classic look that men with almost every facial hair type can pull off. However, to do it right, you need to know the steps to growing, trimming, and maintaining your short beard.
What length works best for you?
The short beard lives in that sweet spot between stubble and scruff. Less than 1/4 of an inch of length and you are starting to flirt with a 5 o’clock shadow, while any more than an inch and you start to stray into full beard territory.
Anywhere in this range constitutes a short beard, but within it there is a lot of room for experimentation. Exactly how long you want to keep your beard will have a lot to do with your face shape and the thickness of your facial hair. For men with more square, defined jaw lines it may be suitable to keep your beard at a much shorter length, while a slightly longer beard can help fill in the gaps for men with weaker chins.
Whatever you choose, the process for shaping and maintaining a short beard is more or less the same. Without further ado, let’s talk about the steps to a killer short beard.
CLEANSE YOUR SKIN
Before any kind of shaving or trimming, the most important thing you can do is make sure that your skin is clean and exfoliated. Excessive dead skin around your neckline or cheeks can clog up your razor, which can prevent you from getting the close shave you want, and even cause painful razor burn.
The best way to deal with dirty skin and clogged pores is to start every trimming session with a gentle wash. Use warm water to open your pores, and a gentle exfoliating wash to clear away dirt and dead skin.
NOTICE YOUR NECKLINE
Now that your skin is prepped for action, we can get to the actual beard building. The first thing you need to notice when shaping your short beard is the neck line. Too many men make the mistake of shaving a neckline that is too low or too high. While this is a less noticeable problem with a longer beard, a misplaced or uneven neckline can make a shorter beard look downright weird.
Pro tip: if you are struggling to get started with your neckline, don’t be afraid to go to the barber in order to get started. Once the barber has defined the edges of your beard, it will be much easier to maintain it with routine shaving.
The next step is to decide on the overall shape of your beard. This means a couple of things.
First, you will want to choose where to draw a line on your cheeks. Some men are comfortable with hair up to their eyeballs, but most prefer to trim the edges for a sharper look.
The other thing to keep in mind is that not every part of your short beard needs to be the same length. An electric trimmer with a short guard will allow you to not only keep your whole beard at a length you like, but also pare down different sections of your beard for unique looks like the beardstache, the goatee beard, or the beard without a mustache.
A common misconception is that a short beard doesn’t need to be brushed. While the need isn’t quite as obvious as in the case of a long beard, a short beard can also benefit from a good daily brushing.
The main reason for this is that, aside from helping you shape your beard and tame flyaways, a high quality brush can also make the hair follicles healthier by distributing the natural oils from your skin for natural conditioning.
BABY YOUR BEARD
As we already mentioned, one of the benefits of a shorter beard is that it is low maintenance in comparison to other styles. However, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t need a little bit of tender love and care every once in a while.
The best thing you can do for your beard once you have trimmed and styled it the way you like is to treat it with high quality, all natural products, like specially formulated beard shampoo or conditioner. Dryer beards especially can benefit from the regular application of beard oil in order to supplement the natural oils your body produces.
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