There’s nothing worse than an ungroomed face. You might think that you’ve got a rugged, mountain-man kind of thing going on, but the reality is that you just look lazy, a little bit dirty and completely devoid of self-respect. It’s not a good look on anyone.
But, then again, neither is growing a beard that simply doesn’t suit you. So, to ensure your facial fuzz is doing you a favour rather than holding you back, we asked the capital’s finest barbers what type of beard you should grow, depending on your face shape…
If you’ve got a round face, square things up
If you’ve got a soft jaw line, you want to square it out — and some facial topiary is the perfect way to achieve this. Ruffian’s resident grooming expert, Adam Brady, tells you how…
“Make sure that it is shortest on your cheeks,” says Brady, “but left longer around your jawline, so you can create a squarer shape when looking head on. This will create the illusion of you having a square jawline, rather than a rounded chin.
“You can also afford to grow a longer beard,” he adds, “as this will further elongate the face, making it seem less circular. For a bit more interest, once the beard is longer below your chin, you can always taper it to a point — which will direct attention downward, slimming your face somewhat.”
If you’ve got a square face, go soft
If you’ve got an angular shape at the corners of both your jaw and brow, don’t cut corners into your beard. Instead, listen to Murdock’s Master Barber, Alex Glover…
“Look to style out a more softly pointed beard,” advises the barber. “By working with diagonals and roundness with your facial hair, you break up your natural features and will distract the eye from all the right angles.
“The front profile should not be overly rounded,” he continues. “Instead opt for a soft, curved baseline or just round in the front-base corners. Another alternative is to go for diagonal lines – this works best with shorter styles.”
If you’ve got an oval-shaped face, don’t go bushy
The grooming maestros at Pankhurst will dissuade you from doing anything too drastic when it comes to facial hair. And that applies two-fold if you’ve got an oval-shaped face…
“Keep it groomed, don’t go for anything too long in length, and avoid the fisherman style. To maintain this, brush the beard out in the opposite direction and then freehand cut any hairs sticking out too far. And use a conditioner to tame any strays and maintain a healthy feel.
“Regarding trimming, the lines of the beard on your face can change your features. Working much like the contour trend sweeping the ladies market at the moment, the shape of the lines can frame your features greatly. So strong sharp lines allowing the face to feel more square if you’ve got an oval-shaped face.”
If you’ve got a heart-shaped face, keep it scruffy and short
If your face is thinner at the bottom than the jaw, you might think you should be growing it out to strike a balance. Not so. Daniel Davies, General Manager at Pall Mall Barbers, says the key is in not looking too groomed…
“Try to keep it as scruffy as possible, hard lines will only add structure to the cheekbones and widen them in appearance,” he advises. “Natural and high hairlines on the cheek will draw the eyes towards the moustache area.
“And keep the neck line low as a background to the chin,” Davies adds. “This will lessen the pointed appearance of the chin. Also, keep those sideburns close to the face — a structured square beard tends to even out the lower half of the face and will give the appearance of a stronger jawline.”