Full beards have evolved in style and symbolism through the centuries. But there are some things that have remained unchanged! Full beards have been considered as the symbol of masculinity, virility and power and it’s largely still true in the 21st century.
But the full beard demands commitment, patience and perseverance because of the time involved in growing and maintaining it. Take note that the longer and fuller the beard, the greater the time and effort required. Unless, of course, you just want it to grow every which way and you eventually look like a, well, vagrant.
And before getting on the full beard bandwagon, here are a few things you need to know first.
What’s a Full Beard Exactly?
The definition varies depending on who you ask. On one hand, there are men who say that a full beard should be hair growth at least one month old – no shaving, just trimming to keep the growth looking neat. On the other hand, there are those who say that it should be at least three months old.
We say that it all depends on the rate of hair growth. You may have a full beard after only a month because your facial hair grows fairly fast or you may only have it after two months.
With a natural full beard, only subtle styling is necessary. You only need to slightly trim your sideburns so there’s a natural blending between your hair and beard. Your beard’s natural line should be clean but not overly contoured, a natural yet clean look, if you will.
The keyword with a full beard is restrained length in that some parts are allowed to grow long while other parts should be kept clean. In the cheeks, chin and jaw areas, the facial hair should be allowed to grow by as much as 2 inches below the chin.
The beard itself should have a clean, rounded finish through brushing, trimming and sculpting. We did say that a natural full beard requires more maintenance.
A word of caution about the natural full beard in terms of societal acceptance. While beards are accepted in modern Western society, your workplace may not be in favor of it. The good thing about a full beard is that you can shave some or all of it, if you want, and then grow it back again.
Who Can Rock It?
Every man can grow a natural full beard but not everybody can rock it! The full beard is a personal style statement that demands confidence in one’s masculinity, perhaps virility. If that sounds like something a misguided macho would say, you should try growing one and seeing its effect on your confidence!
As for face shapes, the natural full bear is best for men with oval faces. The former enhances oval-shaped faces by making them rounder yet still with a masculine edge.
For men with other face shapes, the full beard is also suitable but creative trimming is a must. The professional beard trimmers at the affordable Great Clips are experts in this matter so you may want to ask them for tips.
A few tips for men with non-oval face shapes.
- Keep the sides of the beards slightly longer than the front if you have a slim face, or a narrow face, or angular jaws. This will round out and soften the contours of your face.
- Keep the sides slightly shorter while the hair at the front, particularly the chin area, longer if you have a round face. This will give the appearance of an elongated face.
Just as hair on your head can make your face seem rounder or slimmer, so can your full beard. Call it whisker magic but it’s something that you can discuss with your professional beard trimmer.
What Are the Tips in Maintaining It?
Men with well-kept full beards should admire for their commitment to keeping it so! It’s such a labor-intensive, time-consuming thing to have, as evidenced by these maintenance tips.
- Set your beard trimmer to its long setting when maintaining your full beard’s length.
- Always check that your beard is completely dry before trimming it. Be sure to remove tangles with a beard brush first before trimming it, too.
- Apply beard oil regularly to keep your full beard looking glossy. Be sure to get the oil into the skin beneath your facial hair, too. Use a beard brush or comb to distribute the oil and remove the tangles.
- Use a blow dryer on cool setting to increase the bushy look of your beard. Use a beard brush or a small comb in gently teasing out your facial hair and use downward motions while blow drying it.
And don’t forget to have your full beard professional shaped by a barber on a regular basis! There are some things that only a professional can see and do.