I'm 29 and I'm still not sure I have the hang of this facial hair thing...
November 3, 2006 9:50 AM   Subscribe

I'm 29 and I'm still not sure I have the hang of this facial hair thing...

It's not that I'm new to it, it started coming in when I was about 15. Since I was 20, I've been mostly sporting the unshaven look, I shave every couple of days usually, and I think I look better with about a day of stubble.

Last year I grew a beard for the first time, and it came in pretty thick and full. I wanted it to look trimmed, but "naturally" trimmed, if you will, darker and thicker towards the jawline, with the cheek area a little lighter and thinner. I can't achieve this look naturally, my beard comes in dark and full all the way up my cheeks. I tried to trim it, but got a fake looking, George Michael-esque beard. I went with it for a while, then shaved it and just let it grow. I am lucky to have a sort of natural trim line where my jaw meets my neck, no hair grows on my neck, but the thick dark hair on my cheeks was a little too mountain man for me.

Is this all dependent on your particular beard type, or is there a way to trim it this way? Does Johnny Depp have a weak beard, and that's how he can grow that light pirate moustache/soulpatch thing? Does it require very careful trimming with some shaver-tool I have never seen and probably can't afford? Any tips?
posted by bradn to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have found that Facial hair, perhaps more so than the hair on ones head, has a mind of its own. My beard, while inexplicably bright red, will only take to one or two fashions without Serious cutting/trimming/shaving etc. I find that I have to go with what works and try to make it look handsome.

As for Johnny Depp I believe that guys like him, Orlando Bloom, and Guy Pierce; Have no hair follicles at all, and it’s all carefully applied makeup.
posted by French Fry at 10:03 AM on November 3, 2006

Be glad that you have a full beard! I have a full goatee area, but when I grow my beard out my lower cheeks look like they have mange.

Sounds you have a Vlade Divac beard--not a lot you can do until they invent Reverse Rogaine.

And yeah, Johnny Depp has a weak beard.
posted by Darth Fedor at 10:04 AM on November 3, 2006

In the book A Box of Matches, Nicholson Baker describes trimming his full-but-well-manicured beard by running a typical man's shaver across the tops of the hairs, gently skimming them as if the beard itself were a face. I do something similar with...another area, and it works wonderfully. This may produce a nice thin-to-thick grade for your cheeks, without giving you the angular popstar beard.
posted by juniper at 10:06 AM on November 3, 2006

If I understand correctly, I think you might need/want electric hair clippers. Let the goatee area grow a bit long, keep the cheeks trimmed a bit shorter.
posted by gnutron at 10:27 AM on November 3, 2006

You need to buy a beard trimmer. I've had this Norelco one for 6 months and can't complain.
posted by smackfu at 11:49 AM on November 3, 2006

You don't trim your own hair do you? Find a barber/hair salon with someone who can trim it neatly at the same time you get your hair cut.
posted by X4ster at 12:19 PM on November 3, 2006

Wahl "Home Pro" hair clippers come with various plastic clip-on spacers for different hair lengths, including one that is tapered and would probably let you pretty easily do the face-fade thing you're describing.
posted by nicwolff at 2:59 PM on November 3, 2006

Beard trimmer. That's what they're for.
posted by klangklangston at 5:22 PM on November 3, 2006

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