Get Cold-Weather Ready With A Good Beard

And we’re not talking stubble, but a real mane. Here’s how to rock one without scaring children.

Hey, you don’t need a beard. The man-preservation police won’t come knocking if you elude the itch of growth. But, know that if you’ve ever pondered it, don’t—just let it go. A beard is every man’s birthright. It’s not a trend to be aped, nor is it the only mark of real masculinity. It’s evolution saying, “It’s winter? That sucks, here you go,” and it shouldn’t go beyond that.

That said, if you’re going to do this, do it right. People still have to look at you.

And even though beard maintenance is our specialty, you’ll need to keep yours in check between visits (unless you live off the grid, which, if you are, how’d you find Wi-fi?).

Here’s our simple guide to wearing a beard well.

1. Set A Goal: Seriously, act as if this is a new enterprise you’re starting, one that needs nurturing and growth (how good was that?). If you want to go low profile like, say, George Clooney, stick to that. If you want to look like the Houston Rocket’s James Harden, great. But it’ll take a bit more work. The point is, commit to a style and own it. And mind your face shape when picking (more on that in a sec).

2.  Face Shape Matters: 

Square: “A square face can suit any kind of beard, but either way, you’ll want to soften some stark lines—like cheekbones—for a more natural look,” says Melissa L’Etoile, one of our barbers at our Liberty Village spot. “Going shorter on the sides is a good idea for that reason, though it’s best to leave a little more in the chin area to keep things looking balanced.”

Round: Keep the sides quite short and grow it out a little more around the chin. Elongating your face is the idea here, not widening it.

Oval: Do whatever you want, you genetic work of art, you. “Oval faces are the most versatile of shapes so any look will work well,” confirms L’Etoile. That said, no chin-straps. You’re not a leprechaun. 

Diamond: These don’t suit goatees or generally anything that draws too much attention to the chin. Keep everything well-trimmed and if you can pull it off, leave a little more girth in the moustache to balance things out.

3. How to Trim: If you’re in a pinch, trust in a good pair of scissors and a beard comb. Here’s the trick: “Comb all the hair on your cheeks and chin outward,” says L’Etoile. Basically, picture your face after having stood behind a jet turbine engine. “Then, once it’s all out, just snip the stragglers and you’re good.” Don’t go nuts or you’ll make a crater. “For moustaches, just comb downward and snip what spills over your top lip,” says L’Etoile.

4. Invest in the Right Product: Back when prospectors dug for gold and men fought in wars, beards were nests of filth and dead skin, and they never complained. So, feel lucky yours won’t suffer the same fate and make it look as good as you do. We stock some of the best beard brands around, so ask us about them next time you’re in.

– Always Bearded Beard Cream, $25. For the man who’s averse to shine, this solves the straggler problem while leaving a matte finish to last the day. Comes in either Eucalyptus + Lime or Bergamot + Ylang.

– Always Bearded Beard Oil, $25: Use no more than a nickel’s worth, or you’ll go from good to greasy like that. 

5. Speaking of, Buy a Proper Beard Brush: From our experience, the ones made with boar hair are best. For one, they’ll keep the skin underneath nice and exfoliated. They’ll also do a fine job of distributing beard product though all that hair. We stock one from a local brand called 6ixman Co. for $17.50. and we swear by it.