Help me tame my mane!
January 4, 2006 4:25 PM   Subscribe

BeardFilter: I've recently grown a beard. It's getting scruffy fast....

...anyone have any grooming tricks/tips/products? How do I not look like Marty Stauffer or someone who's growing it for religious reasons?
posted by nevercalm to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (20 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Meet your new best friend.
posted by The Bellman at 4:29 PM on January 4, 2006

The Bellman has it: Set it to a number 1 or a number 2, depending on how long you want your beard to be, then run it all over your face once a week or so.

Also - I usually shave the lower part of my neck (like right above where a collared shirt would be) clean. Shape it in a nice little semi-circle, keep the rest even with the clippers, and you'll be looking great.
posted by crapples at 4:36 PM on January 4, 2006

I'm in the process of growing a beard and pretty much all I do for maintenance is shaving the arrant hairs on my cheeks and neck as to create an even hair line.
posted by puke & cry at 4:40 PM on January 4, 2006

This thread might have some helpful advice. I use the T765, which is simple, lovely, and cheap.
posted by rafter at 4:44 PM on January 4, 2006

The trimmer, indeed, is a key accessory. But even with that, I find it hard to get a really narrow, clean line like Principal Wood has; any suggestions from bearded MeFites?
posted by escabeche at 4:45 PM on January 4, 2006

I am going for the mountain man look by not trimming the neck line at all. I don't have a job and live in Vermont, so I figure why not. Plus my wife is actually encouraging it. Weird.

My old trimmer wasn't rechargable and bit the dust. Bellman is correct in his recommendation. Especially the vacuum action, which is nice.
posted by terrapin at 4:47 PM on January 4, 2006

(Though looking at The Bellman's link, it may be time to upgrade. That vacuum action would sure beat sweeping up afterward every time [the sink, especially, is impossible to get those little hairs out of].)
posted by rafter at 4:49 PM on January 4, 2006

Chili bowl!
posted by ernie at 5:15 PM on January 4, 2006

The Bellman has it: Set it to a number 1 or a number 2, depending on how long you want your beard to be, then run it all over your face once a week or so.

1 or 2 would have me looking like Greg Evigan on My Two Dads. *deadly silence* Anyway, I'd start with it on 5 or 6 and then ratchet it down if that's still too long. I use 6 for most of my beard, but then I'm probably a little scruffy.

Minor quibble. The rest is right on.
posted by MarkAnd at 5:21 PM on January 4, 2006

Holy crow, I didn't notice the vacuum attachment. The Bellman and crapples, does it really work?
posted by escabeche at 5:24 PM on January 4, 2006

Holy crow, I didn't notice the vacuum attachment. The Bellman and crapples, does it really work?

I have the same one, basically, and the answer is "Kind of." I'd say it gets about 80-90% of the clippings, which, if you've ever cleaned up your sink after going a little too long between trimmings, is totally fantastic. A+++++ WOULD DO BUSINESS WITH AGAIN.
posted by MarkAnd at 5:32 PM on January 4, 2006

I take a #2 clipper at it lightly, taking care to not really dig in around the mouth and chin, because I prefer the beard to be thinner on the cheeks and sideboards, and fuller on the chin/moustache/soul patch region. Then I follow up with scissors to edge along the bottom of the beard, and put an edge on the moustache.
posted by jimfl at 6:51 PM on January 4, 2006

Ive worn a beard for about 5 years now.
And only recently bought clippers.
I used to just use sharp scisors and a comb with fine teeth. I used to get a good look with that.
The clippers are fine. But they never leave it all the same length.
posted by gergtreble at 7:06 PM on January 4, 2006

Either the Norelco or a comb/scissors will work to trim (but if you go this route, obviously use a razor to shave the neck and clean up the cheeks).

It should also be noted that you do indeed need to shampoo (and maybe even condition) your beard! I shampoo/condition my beard once a week, and I do it with the same stuff I use on my hair.
posted by Ekim Neems at 7:13 PM on January 4, 2006

The mister uses a four on his beard which keeps it full but tidy.
posted by deborah at 7:38 PM on January 4, 2006

The Bellman: "Meet your new best friend."

I have one of these, and keep it set at a 4. Red-orange beard, looks fine at that length. With a darker color you might be able to go shorter and still look like you grew it on purpose.

Keeping the neckline trimmed evenly (or at least symmetrically) helps reduce the shaggy look as well. I just hit it with a razor every few days (I'm blessed with slow facial hair growth; if you can grow a beard overnight you'll need to trim this more often). You'll also want to keep the moustache trimmed evenly (if you have one; if you're going for the Amish look here just ignore this part). Yank the cover off of the trimmer and use the plain blades to even out the moustache line above the lips.

The vacuum is nice but works better when you do a dry shave; if you forget to trim until after your morning shower it will clog up pretty fast. It greatly reduces the amount of hair in the sink but won't totally eliminate it. Also, remember to oil the thing and clear out the hair-catcher regularly. (Don't forget to clear out under the black plastic thing that covers the blade mechanism!)
posted by caution live frogs at 8:56 PM on January 4, 2006

I'll second the suggestion to shampoo and condition regularly. Makes it much less scratchy, your wife will thank you for it.
posted by kc8nod at 7:55 AM on January 5, 2006

I agree with CLF: shave dry if you want the vacuum to work at all. If you do that, it'll suck up about 80% of the clippings and you won't have to clean the sink trap as often. Yuck.
posted by The Bellman at 7:59 AM on January 5, 2006

I had a beard in university, and have since regrown one after about ten years. Looking at pictures of myself in uni makes me wince: I had a semi-mountain-man thing going on (which works for some people, but not for me).

The difference this time around: the realization that having a beard does not entirely excuse you from shaving. Crapples mentioned it first: some shaving, both on the neck and the checks, will shape the beard and keep it "neater" looking.

Another data point: I trim my beard (and at the same time, what's left of the hair on my head) in the bathtub. Uh, there's no water in it at the time. Less hair gets scattered around the bathroom, and it's fairly easy to clean up. I also find it handy to thoroughly wash my face and head after trimming to get rid of loose hairs (I usually just hop in the shower).
posted by flipper at 9:32 AM on January 5, 2006

I use a hair clipper with a #1 attachment for my goatee/mustache. My hair is fairly dark and this routine gives a sharpe, clean look.
posted by kc0dxh at 9:44 AM on January 5, 2006

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