The pandemic has had many effects on the way we go about our daily lives. Beard maintenance is no exception. People have been changing the way that they groom for a number of reasons. To learn more about maintaining a beard during a pandemic, you can read our blog post on COVID-19 and facial hair (hint: your beard is no dirtier than any other part of your body, as long as you keep up on washing it).
What’s more, because of the quarantine restrictions (not to mention tighter budgets), a lot of men have decided that a trip to the barber every couple of weeks just isn’t worth it. For this reason, a growing number of those with beards are looking for ways to keep their beard looking fresh and neatly trimmed without leaving the comfort of their own homes.
Luckily for them, trimming your own beard can be a breeze, provided that you have the right tools and know-how to trim it on your own. Let’s get down to the details of what this means.
A CLEANER CUT
One particular issue that many people are facing is the challenge that comes from wearing a mask with a beard. The biggest problem is that many masks are hard to get on/off or uncomfortable when worn over a beard.
The plus side is, there are some easy ways to combat the discomfort that comes from wearing a mask over a beard. First and foremost, keeping your beard shorter by trimming it regularly and precisely can help the mask fit better, making putting it on and taking it off less of a hassle. Additionally, using beard softening products like conditioner and beard oil can make the individual hairs softer and more malleable, which reduces the threat of the dreaded beard itch, or an outbreak of acne.
Another problem is that certain masks require a seal in order to function properly, particularly the high-tech masks utilized in hospitals and other high-risk environments. To seal, these masks require skin contact. Certain styles of beard, such as a goatee, moustache, or sideburns can allow you to keep your facial hair without sacrificing safety.
DIY BEARD MAINTENANCE
We will get to the ins and outs of actually trimming your beard in a moment, but first, let’s go over some of the essential tools that you will need to do the job of a barber in your own bathroom:
Beard scissors and comb: These two items are the most essential things you will need in order to keep your beard in order. The scissors speak for themselves, of course, but why the comb? A small beard comb is an important tool because it allows you to pull up sections of your beard and trim in straight lines, avoiding potential mistakes. If you have ever seen a barber work on someone’s hair (facial or otherwise), you probably noticed him using the comb to do just this.
Beard trimmer: If you are looking to go with a shorter beard and want a faster option for trimming, an electric trimmer can be the perfect tool. A variety of guards will allow you to choose the exact length that you want without any danger of making a mistake.
Beard brush: A high quality boar bristle beard brush is your friend for a lot of reasons. You will want one in order to keep your beard neat of course, but a boar bristle brush has the added benefit of picking up and redistributing your beard’s natural oils for a natural coat of conditioning every time you use it.
TIPS AND TRICKS
Now you know what kind of tools you need to get the job done right. Let’s finish with a few important tips.
1. Don’t trim your neckline too high
One of the most common mistakes that men make when shaving the neckline is going too high up. This can be an awkward look, particularly if your neckline runs higher than the natural contours of your jaw. As a general rule of thumb, your neckline should extend down to about the top of your Adam's apple.
2. Decide what to do about your cheeks
Cheeks can be tricky, particularly if you have a high hairline on your cheeks. Some men prefer to let their cheek hair grow wild, but there are special beard shaping tools available that will help you shave precise cheek lines every time.
3. Keep an eye on evenness
Leaving some parts of your beard longer than others can work, if done right. For example, a beard stache or a goatee beard involve letting your moustache/goatee grow out quite a bit longer than the rest of your facial hair. Just make sure that you are trimming consciously so that your beard’s overall shape is even
4. Watch out for flyaways
Flyaways can be a pain in the butt, but a delicate trimming can cut down on this problem significantly. Alternatively, a boar bristle brush can also help tame your hair and teach it to lie flat.
THE TOOLS OF THE TRADE
Tips and tricks for managing your beard are great but, like most other things you can only do as good a job as the tools you use. Check out the Wild Willies store for an armory of great tools to keep your beard looking great and healthy!