The History of Beards and Mustaches
Growing a beard or mustache has been a fashion statement for centuries, and trends vary from era to era. Ancient Egyptian sculptures depict pharaohs and other members of the elite class sporting impressive, stylized beards that have even come to inform our modern notions of facial fashion. As time progressed, the French and Victorians developed unique regimental and military styles of facial hair that still remain in vogue today. Although beards and mustaches go in and out of fashion, they’re nevertheless always present in their own unique form.
Today, growing a beard or mustache is almost a right of passage for men. While full facial hair is accepted and admired, there are a lot of things that go into maintaining it. One of the most important is shaving the neck. Not only does this make the beard look more clean and professional, it also helps maintain the shape of the beard.
Why It’s Important To Shave Your Neck When Growing a Beard
Shaving one’s neck is essential to pull off a good look when growing a beard. Unkempt neck hair or ‘scruff’ can give the impression of sloppiness and can ruin the entire look. When growing a full beard, it’s important to shave the neck area every other day, at the very least. When trimming, its best to use a razor for a lightly closer shave, and make sure the beard is kept above the adam’s apple. It’s also advised to use a neckline trimmer to ensure the edges of the beard are kept clean. Otherwise, there is the risk of an unsightly line of hair being created at the cusp where the beard meets the neck.
Shaving the neck also helps to prevent itching and irritation. When the neck is full of hair, moisture is unable to evaporate easily, which can lead to bacteria buildup, resulting in itchiness. It also keeps the texture of the beard consistent, as the texture of neck hair is often drastically different. In addition, shaving the neck helps to further accentuate the sharpness of the beard.
The Best Products and Tips To Maintain A Full Beard
The most important product to help maintain an even beard is a high-quality trimmer. Facial hair is coarser and thicker than head hair, and to achieve a balanced, even look, it’s important to use the right tool. When looking to buy a trimmer, make sure to research the different features and specs carefully. Look for ones that are adjustable so that one can pick a specific length, as well as a trimmer that has straight and curved edges for shaping the beard.
In addition to the trimmer, beard oils, waxes, and balms are invaluable for maintaining a full beard. Oils and balms add much-needed moisture and nutrients to the facial hair to condition it, as well as providing a smooth, glossy look. Waxes are particularly useful for styling the beard into desired shapes. With a quality trimmer, oils, and waxes, you’ll be able to achieve just about any look you’re going for.
The Pros and Cons of Different Lengths of Beards
When it comes to facial hair length, there is quite a bit of variety to choose from. The length of beard one decides to grow will ultimately depend on one’s individual taste. Sometimes it’s best to experiment with different lengths in order to find what works best. Here are a few of the pros and cons of different lengths:
Short Beard: The short beard is ideal for those who don’t want to commit to growing a full beard, but still want more than just a stubble look. It requires less maintenance and is the perfect length for those who prefer a neat and tidy appearance. However, it’s more prone to looking messy and unkempt if not shaved every other day.
Medium Length Beard: A medium length beard provides more freedom than a short beard, as it provides an opportunity to show off one’s beard styling skills. The downside is that it requires a bit more grooming than other lengths, as it’s essential to comb it regularly and tidy up the edges.
Full Beard: The full beard is the classic facial hair style that is often associated with masculinity. It offers a lot of volume and length, so it’s important to maintain it with regular trimming to ensure it looks neat. It also requires somewhat more effort when it comes to trimming, but it will look great when done properly.
Are Beards A Desirable Look On Men?
Beards can range from barely-there stubble to full-on ZZ Top-style facial hair, and the look that suits you depends on personal taste. While beards are viewed as more manly and authoritative, they’re not necessarily desired by everyone. Some people view them as too scruffy or untidy, while others think they appear too intimidating. However, more recently facial hair has become much more popular, and it’s viewed as a fashion statement rather than something to cover up blemishes or flaws. Ultimately, it’s up to the individual whether to wear a beard or not.
Different Shaving Techniques For Facial Hair
When it comes to shaving the neck and other areas of the face, proper technique is key. To ensure the best results, it’s important to use razor blades that are sharp and free from rust. Additionally, one should always use a shaving cream to ensure a smooth shave. Moving the razor in a downward motion is always best to avoid irritation and ingrown hairs. And for the neck, one should use a firm grip and stroke to ensure a good shave without any nicks or cuts. Ran Aftab, a shave-expert at the Ted’s Grooming Room in London suggests using a specific shaving gel specifically designed for facial hair rather than head hair to get a good shave.
Myths and Misconceptions Surrounding Facial Hair
There are many misconceptions surrounding facial hair. For instance, there is a belief that men with beards are unhygienic, dirty, or even intimidating. But in reality, the opposite is true. Beards often look better when kept clean and groomed, and brandishing one does not necessarily make someone look scary. In addition, studies have shown that facial hair can actually offer some physical protection from the sun’s rays, which can help prevent skin cancer.
Another myth is that facial hair will age someone faster than being clean-shaven. This isn’t true either. In actuality, facial hair can often make someone look younger. Studies have found that men with short beards tend to look up to 8 years younger than those who are clean shaven.
Conclusion of Facial Hair Maintenance
Ultimately, beards and mustaches can offer a bit of character to one’s overall look, as long as they are groomed and maintained properly. The proper tools and products are essential, as is a bit of dedication. With the right techniques, products, and a bit of patience, men can achieve the look they desire and feel great about it.