BY ADAM HURLY, Men'sHealth
Here are a few variations that work for every type of facial hair
A lot of guys might grow their beards without considering the possibilities. They may look at their facial hair pattern and density, and then accept this as their beard pre-set. They grow the beard and mustache out, trim it periodically and evenly, and that's about it. But why not try a beard style, the same way you try different styles with the hair on top of your head? You can fade the beard down from the sideburns, or grow a fuller mustache and a shorter beard. Does it look patchy? There are styles that embrace what you have. So in the spirit of getting more out of your facial hair, here are four options worth trying.
1. THE FULLER MUSTACHE
2. THE REVERSE FADED BEARD
It takes a lot of precision to correctly trim the fade, so it's helpful to get it professionally done on a regular basis. But of course, you can try fading it at home, too: Change the guard setting from one short length to a longer one (a few notches higher on the guard). You trim a blunt line between the two lengths. Then, you find a mid-length guard between these two, and trim roughly 1/2-1 cm of the top of the longer facial hair so that it steadily progresses from short to long. On top of that, you need the two sides to look balanced.
3. THE LONG FULL BEARD
In general, you won’t want to trim it for the first month or more. But the mustache will need more regular maintenance to keep the hair off the lips, but the rest of the style requires patience and a few grooming products. Shim says that the beard should be conditioned with a beard lotion, like the Scotch Porter Beard Conditioner ($20, Buy It Here), to make it less itchy and easier to sculpt. You can use your mustache wax to tame any strays and maintain the rounded beard shape, too. Otherwise, a softening beard balm, like The Roosevelts Glacier Beard Balm ($18, Buy It Here), works as a great styler. You’ll do the sculpting with your hands, meeting them at the bottom of the beard in the same way you would scoop water in your palms. Use a comb to coach any strays into place.
After the first month or two, you will need to trim the sides regularly while the chin grows longer. You can comb the hair against the grain and trim it at an easier angle—only snipping a few millimeters at a time, once a week—in order to maintain this permanent length. You can also trim strays that refuse to stay in line, which will happen more frequently at longer lengths.