It’s your first foray into facial hair. Start simple. Work on your short game. Put down the razor for a day or two and rock the permanent five o’clock shadow. It’s the easiest way to dip your toe into the waters of an ocean of beard options. From here you may never look back. Maybe you’ll sculpt that bad boy into some artistically styled sideburns a la Ludacris. Or maybe you’ll exchange your shaving razor for an ax, let your beard grow unchecked, build an impressive collection of flannel shirts and become the first person to list “Freelance Lumberjack” as their occupation on their LinkedIn profile. Ok, so that’s a bit of a stretch, but our point is, beard opportunities abound once you take the first step and step up your stubble game. Speaking of “opportunities,” many ladies find stubble sexy (witness the appeal of the Trim Shady style icons listed here) so you may also up your chances of scoring with this look.
1. Don’t shave for a day or two (depending on how quickly your hair grows).
2. Trim using the lowest setting of your trimmer (see Tools of the Trade to the left).
Perhaps you’ve been rocking the five o’clock shadow look since Don Johnson made it cool on Miami Vice and it’s getting old. You need a change, but you can’t face going all clean shaven. Still, the idea of a full beard has you conjuring up visions of Z.Z. Top and Duck Dynasty. Enter the close beard. It’s more than stubble but still short and stately. If you’re able to grow substantial stubble, mastering this look couldn’t be easier.
1. Let it grow. Resist the urge to tidy up your beard until it’s a little longer than your desired length.
2. Using a medium sized guard on your trimmer, give your whole face a pass to even out your beard.
3. Sharpen up the edges. No need to go all “chinstrap” and shave under your jaw, but do get rid of excess hair on your cheekbones to avoid the wolf-man look.
What if you’re a guy who thinks he can’t grow jackshit on his face? Every time you go a few days without shaving you are reminded of how patchy and downright weak your beard is. Your beard, or lack thereof, is a blessing in disguise. Just work with what you’ve got. Consider the facts. You can create the thinnest of lines on your face. Many bushy-beard men would kill for the kind of precision you can get out of your patchy beard. If they want to, say, connect a soul patch to a chin beard, they get a racing stripe down their chin like J.C. Chasez. When you pull off the same idea, you can shape a strip of wispy hair down to the millimeter, like the style icon on the far right, Kevin Wang.
1. Start by letting all of your facial hair grow for a weekend or longer (a small area of very short hair can look weird so start with all-around stubble before shaping).
2. Shave all but the area around your desired hair area as you would normally (with shaving cream) leaving yourself plenty of clearance for more precise shaving.
3. To shape your facial hair you need to see it. Use pre-shave oil and the least amount of shaving cream possible and carefully shape with your normal razor. Think of the hair like a rock from which you’re chiseling a sculpture, once you cut it, it’s gone, so use short strokes and work your way slowly to a more precise shave.
These are just three of many ways to make your facial hair work for you. Got an even better way to step up your facial hair game? Drop some knowledge on us. Leave a comment below.
Got a fantastic face forest that you want to share with the world? Put up an Instagram pic of your beard and hashtag it #BLBeards. We’ll choose some of our favorites and feature them here. Get that facial hair ready for its fifteen minutes of fame!
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