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Tips on Managing Male Facial Hair & Sideburns

by Diane Bautista

Impressive-looking male facial hair is well-maintained, complements face shape and enhances physical features. Regardless of whether a man is sporting a mustache, beard, sideburns or some combination, hair on the face should be cleaned and conditioned regularly and trimmed to an appropriate length. Many grooming tools are available to help men manage and style their facial hair.

Mustaches

Mustaches are defined as the hair grown above the upper lip on a man's face. They come in all varieties, from dramatic handlebar mustaches to subtle pencil styles, and can be paired with beards. Although mustaches are relatively easy to grow and maintain, certain grooming etiquette still applies. For any mustache style, keep from looking unkempt (and keep food crumbs out of your 'stache) by trimming hair, starting in the middle and then trimming out to each side. Depending on how the mustache is styled, pomade or mustache wax can be used to hold hair in place.

Beards

Beards should be styled according to facial shape. Well-trimmed beards cover the lower part of the face, but do not extend down the neck. Men should shave just below the jawline. Chin hair should be kept relatively short, especially for long faces, as a beard exaggerates the length of the face. Just like the hair on your head, beards need regular washing. Use shampoo and follow up with a small amount of moisturizing conditioner. Using shampoo alone may dry out your face, causing facial oil glands to overcompensate.

Sideburns

Sideburns should be grown and shaped to match face shapes. Rectangular-shaped faces look best when sideburns are kept at mid-ear to earlobe length. Round faces and faces with less distinctive chins should keep sideburns at mid-ear or shorter in length. For a manageable and clean appearance, keep sideburns 1 inch in width. Trim your sideburn hair short, especially if your hair is particularly bushy and thick. Puffy sideburns widen the shape of your face by pushing long sideburn hair away from your face.

Tools

One of the most commonly used facial hair grooming tools is the beard trimmer, which can evenly cut hair at a variety of hair lengths. They come either battery-operated, cordless and rechargeable or able to be plugged into a power source. Combs are also essential to facial hair management. A small narrow-toothed comb works well for a mustache; larger combs can be used to smooth out a beard. A pair of scissors works well for quick hair snips; tweezers are useful for single hairs that are difficult to remove. To completely shave hair off the face, use a manual or electric razor.

About the Author

Diane Bautista has more than seven years of professional experience writing for a variety of industries including fashion retail, communications technology and nonprofit. She currently works as an advertising copywriter and holds a B.A. in English from Washington State University.

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