Grooming men’s facial hair is a big job. After all, one little misstep and you could go from Jon Hamm to Keanu Reeves (well, let’s be honest, that would probably involve a series of missteps). Here are a few great tips for keeping your facial hair ship shape.
1. Let it grow. If you’re trying to grow a beard, you should actually let it get a little wild first. Don’t start shaping until you have a good inch of growth. This way, you’ll have more to work with and won’t make a costly mistake.
2. Don’t be afraid to go straight. A straight razor, that is. Some of them come with one blade on the back for sculpting, too, which is a good idea for shaping sideburns. Always go with the grain, not against.
3. Pat down with a hot towel. Patting down your face with a hot towel can open your pores prior to shaving and prevent irritation and ingrown hairs.
4. Don’t shave up the neck. If you have any extra weight, don’t shave your beard up to your chin. It doesn’t outline your jaw; it actually just makes you look like you have a double chin. Trim the neck neatly but don’t shave it completely.
5. Know your limit. You should give your beard two or three months to fill in, but if it’s still patchy after that, it’s probably best to shave it and move on. Some guys, due to genetics, can’t grow a full beard. That’s okay; it’s Nature’s way of telling you the smooth look is your best.