A beard can take a man from boyish to distinguished, while disguising a double chin, weak jaw or other less-than-perfect features. The classic box beard extends from the sideburns over the lower jaw to the chin with a connected mustache. This beard has a professional look due to its clean lines and tight edge around the jaw. Edging a beard is all about following the shape of your jawline and the natural growth of your beard. Once you've established your edges, keep them neat by shaving stray hairs a few times a week.
Wash and dry your beard with beard shampoo. Wet hair stretches, and trying to edge your beard while it's wet can result in a scruffy, uneven line.
Comb your beard to remove tangles and smooth the hairs so that they fall in the same direction. Use your clippers to trim all of the hair in your beard to your desired length -- 1/4 to 1 inch of growth creates a clean, professional beard, while a natural, more casual beard can have about 3 inches of growth.
Find the shape of your jawline with your fingertips, from just below your earlobes around your jaw and down to the underside of your chin. This is the guide you will use to edge your beard. If your beard ends too far before or after your jawline, it will ruin the aesthetics of your beard.
Use a trimmer to carefully cut the edge of your beard so that it stops one inch to two inches underneath your jawbone and chin. Trim the hair below this line or use a razor to shave your neck completely clean.
Check the angle of your beard at your jawbone, right below your ear. If you have a round face, use your trimmers to create a squared-off shape, which will give you the appearance of a more angular face. If you have very angular features, use your trimmer to soften this line into a rounded shape.
Shave the sparser stubble on your cheeks with your razor. Beards generally grow in a pattern, with the densest growth extending from the sideburns around the jaw to the chin and mustache growth around the mouth and over the upper lip. Some men have thick, even beard growth up to their cheekbones, while other men have thinner beards that don't extend above the hollows of their cheeks. Follow the natural growth of your beard, which will make the shape easier to maintain.
Splash your face with aftershave and moisturize if you have dry skin to avoid ingrown hairs and razor rash.
Trim the edges you've created two to three times a week depending on how fast your hair grows. Use a razor to remove any stray hairs outside the edge. Over-shaving can cause ingrown hairs and razor rash.
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- All About Beards: Designing a Neckline for Your Full Beard
- The Bearded Gentleman: The Style Guide to Shaving Face; Allan Peterkin
- Well Groomed Fellow: Trimming a Beard
Lindsey Robinson Sanchez, from Bessemer, Ala., has written for the "Troy Messenger," "The Alabama Baptist" and "The Gainesville Times," where her work was featured on the AP wire. She has a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Florida. She writes style, beauty, fitness, travel and culture.