by Adam Swanson
Do you have an accurate self-image? Are you able to know what is necessary to make you look your best? Do you really know what you look like, what can make you look better, and how you can utilize certain physical traits to maximize your appearance? For example: you can use certain styles of t-shirts to enhance the look of your upper body or different cuts of jeans to make you look taller or slimmer. There are ways to utilize your best traits to make your not so good ones appear better.
I’m a little chubby and I know that skinny jeans just don’t look good on me. This is something I discovered after noticing others not paying attention to their body shape, and their look came off as unbalanced. Just as you need to learn to “dress to your body type” you can also learn to “beard to your face”. Different styles and shapes of beard can compliment your natural physical features, while others may emphasize your flaws. This may seem like new information and that’s ok, we’re here to help.
If you have a round face, you want to keep the center of your beard a little longer. Keep the chin hairs, and trim the sides to give the illusion that your face is a bit taller or longer. If you grow your beard even longer, you can utilize that and completely shape your face.
Square faced people are lucky, because you can go either way, enhance those lines or soften up a bit. Having a square jaw is not a bad thing, but if you’ve ever wanted to soften your look now is the chance. Use a little more length on the chin to lessen those harsh angles. Or you can take that cheek line down a bit to enhance that jaw line.
Long faced folks can keep their chin hair shorter, while letting the sides grow out a bit. Keeping the neckline right with the jaw can give you nice lines and give you a nice strong chin shape. Keep in mind; if you grow your chin long and already have a long face, you can seem to look a little cartoony. Meaning that your chin may appear exaggerated, and you might want to avoid that.
Some of you may have a similar problem to me. I have a square-ish face, but my chin hair has an early terminal length. This means that as I grow out my long beard, my chin doesn’t grow at the same rate as the sides. This just makes my square into a rectangle. Something like this means that I could keep my sides trimmed and tapered to help that square grow out period, but I usually just endure that weird year and keep it rectangle. Once I’m past that stage, it looks much better.
If you’re unsure if you’re using the right shape, ask a loved one. I don’t mean your mother, because she will always lie to not hurt your feelings. Ask a sister, because she’ll do what she can to crush your spirits, or better yet, your pastor because they cannot lie. I kid, but taking some honest feedback can give you a fresh perspective on your look.
In the end, we need to be aware of ourselves, and handle shaping our beards accordingly. Be honest with yourself, and shape accordingly.
This post is part of an ongoing Can You Handlebar series designed to help our customers. Please visit our full library of articles at TheBeardMentor.com