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We trim our beards to boost our appearance. No question about that. But an amateur-hour shave isn’t helping the cause. And there’s no quicker way to display your shave skills than with a beard line that’s a piping hot, ragged mess.
That just defeats the whole purpose.
Getting your beard line just right isn’t rocket science. There’s some no-argument-about-it stuff you need to avoid: No odd heights, no uneven line like you went at it with an especially dull butter knife.
First off, we’ll draw a definitive line on where that beard line should go. And then, we’ll tell you how to pull off a clean look without leaving behind a wasteland of razor bumps. Of course, if those razor bumps do pop up, we’ve got you covered with our razor bump cream.
So let’s do it the right way and keep you from looking like a fool.
Where to draw the line
If you’re going for that truly off-the-grid look, you might be rocking the full neck beard. We hope that’s not the case. We’re firmly in the no-neck-beards camp.
But every other bearded man out there needs to know where that beard line should go. To find it, place two fingers above your Adam’s apple. That’s the low point of your beard line. From there, trace your fingers up to your ears. That’s your beard line.
Now there is some flexibility about how strict you need to be about maintaining a perfectly clean beard line. It depends on your overall look. The cleaner your presentation — tight haircut, short beard — the more important it is to have an equally clean beard line. For the especially hirsute men out there — those with longer hair and fuller beards — you can get away with allowing your beard line to drift a little lower toward your Adam’s apple. But just don’t push it. You don’t want to end up flirting with a neck beard.
The right way to trim
When you’re going for that clean look, you want to shave everything from the beard line down. It takes a skilled hand (and perhaps a bit of practice) to get this just right. Also, neck skin is a bit thinner, which makes it more susceptible to razor bumps. So the clean look comes with added challenges, but you can beat those challenges back.
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Every guy who battles the bump has pondered whether it’s best to shave before or after you shower. There’s no debate on this: Shave after you shower. It softens your skin and hair, making razor bumps less likely.
Guys with fuller beards don’t need to worry so much about precision. Let’s go over a couple of options.
For a more basic approach, adjust the setting on your clippers so it’s about two clicks shorter than your overall beard length. Then, you’ll want to trim everything between your Adam’s apple and that established beard line. Shave all remaining neck hair from the Adam’s apple down — again, no neck beards.
But you can also go with a bit of a fade. Again, you’ll start with your clippers set two clicks shorter than usual. Trim between the Adam’s apple and the beard line. After you’ve done that, go one click shorter and trim from your Adam’s apple to about halfway to the beard line. This isn’t a lot of real estate, but it gives a nice faded look.
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Those are the beard line basics. Of course, there are no hard and fast rules, apart from this: Go with the look that suits you best and maintain it. Beard-line neglect is a no-no.