Clean shaven is so last season. Turn heads with the best looking beard in town
The different types of beard
A beard can change up your whole look and, just like the hair on top of your head, you can style your facial hair in lots of weird and wonderful ways. Put simply though, beards tend to fall into three categories: Long beards, which usually need a bit more product and maintenance, short beards which range from a spot of designer stubble to slightly longer in length, and patchy beards where hair appears thinner in places or grows at different rates.
We’ll talk more about beard care in a sec, but for now it’s time to put your best beard forward and find out which beard style would suit you best.
Choosing a beard style that works for you
Jim Shaw, owner and director of top London salons Essensuals and EssensualsMEN, says the key when it comes to beards is to choose a style that complements your face shape.
“Oval face shapes suit most beard styles,” Jim says, but his top tip for those with oval face shapes is to go for a beard style that’s not too full and has clean lines.
Jim reckons the good old goatee is the beard winner for those with a rounder face shape. “A goatee is perfect for drawing the attention downwards, giving the impression of a more elongated face,” he reveals.
The goatee also works well for those with square face shapes as it lengthens the appearance of the chin. “I also recommend a messier beard for square face shapes,” says Jim, “as more precise beard shapes will draw more attention to the jawline.”
Finally, for heart shaped faces Jim says it’s important to keep beard and facial hair short to avoid making your face appear smaller. “Opt for stubble that’s well trimmed and won’t be too overpowering,” he advises.
Beard maintenance 101
When it comes to keeping the beard of your dreams in tiptop condition, you’ll need to put in a bit of legwork (but not too much, don’t worry!). With the right tools and know-how, you can keep a cool head with just a little at-home beard maintenance.
Celebrity beard groomer Charley McEwan shares his golden rule when it comes to creating and maintaining a beard that’s epic in every way: “Take care of the skin underneath and your beard will thank you!” He’s a big fan of beard oil, which is great to use as part of a beard care regime, or on its own if you’re short on time. “A drop or two of beard oil as you go out the door helps your beard look well groomed, in a second!” he recommends.
Charley’s top tip for applying beard oil? “Massage the product into the skin in an upwards circular motion,” he says. This technique helps the formula soak into the skin and daily massage will help improve circulation, which has a positive effect on the complexion. Win-win!
"Take care of the skin underneath and your beard will thank you!"
If you’ve got a long beard Charley recommends following a daily beard care regime. This can include washing and conditioning your beard, then massaging in oil or moisturiser and combing through any tangles. “I would use more beard oil for a longer style, to keep it well hydrated,” Charley says.
“For short, stubbly beards my top tip is to groom and smooth each hair in the same direction,” Charley shares. “This makes the beard appear well-groomed and styled.”
If you’ve got a longer beard, you’re going to want to invest in a beard comb to help detangle hair, distribute product and put stray wisps back in their place, designed especially for beards that are at least an inch long, and its generous size means it’ll make short work of grooming long beards.
And there you have it, everything you need for a best-in-class beard. After all, great beards don’t just happen by accident.