There once was a time when the clean-cut man ruled the runways and the streets - my haven't times changed!
The beard is, without a doubt, back with a vengeance, and is one of the most on-trend accessories you can grow this season and beyond.
The key to a great beard is not to overanalyze it. You don't want it too manicured, but then you don't want it too wild and overgrown.
Feeling confused? Here are some top tips to help you on your bearded quest.........
- Fight through the itch. Too much itching is often where a lot of men give up on their beard. Stick with it though, as it gets much more bearable as time goes on.
- Let it grow. Wait a few months before you attempt to shape your beard. Shaping too early is a common rookie mistake! Letting your beard get a little wild will help you shape it further down the line.
- Know when to give up. Not all guys can grow beards, so if it has been two or three months and it's still looking patchy, then you know it's time to shave it off and move on with the clean-cut look.
- Shampoo. Lots of men don't wash their beards, or if they do they tend to use soap, this is a bad idea! Soap will dry out your beard and your skin beneath. Instead of soap use shampoo a few times a week. A good moisturising shampoo will prevent the hair from getting brittle.
- Condition. Using a thick, heavy duty conditioner will help keep your beard from getting too wiry.
- Products. Beard oils are great way to keep your beard soft and in good condition. These oils will also benefit your skin hiding underneath.
- Trim it. When growing and maintaining your beard, you should aim for a trim at least every two months. If you are looking at keeping your beard short, than a good trim every few weeks is ample.
- Use the right tools. An electric beard trimmer is great for the edge of your beard, but for shaping the bulk, opt for scissors and a comb.
The Basics of Shaving:
For super-sculpting the perfect tool is a straight razor. A number of regular razors come with a single blade on the back for sculpting. Before sculpting, use a hot towel to open pores and a cold towel to close them after. This is a great way to stop ingrown hairs and redness.
Take your time
Take your time when shaving and add water to your shaving cream for an extra smooth shave. This is a no brainer, but always remember to go with the grain!
If you should come across the odd ingrown hair, place a hot towel on the area and try and pull the hair out using tweezers. Grab the hair as close to the base as possible and pull out the bulb.
Hair: Jim Shaw @ essensuals MEN, Billericay. Photography: Danny Baldwin
Hair: Jamie Stevens at Jamie Stevens Hair. Make-up: Dragon. Photography: Barry Jeffery
Hair: Michael Francos @ D&J Ambrose. Styling: Hannah Teare. Make–up: Mary Jane Frost. Photography: Jenny Hands