Aug 31, 2023

The Most Common Facial Hair Mistakes

Facial hair can drastically change your appearance — just ask any man with a beard for pictures of himself before the beard.

There are so many facial hairstyles out there too, from growing a full mustache to rocking intentionally grown stubble. Not to mention that different men grow facial hair differently. All of this means that it can be easy to make a faux-pas with your facial hair.

While facial hair is a matter of individual taste, there are common mistakes that can make or break your look. Here are seven mishaps to avoid.

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Patchy or uneven growth is tricky to deal with. Jorge Buccio, a celebrity hair stylist who has worked with Matthew McConaughey and a senior colorist for Cleverman, says that you should be adjusting your style if you have sparse areas.

For example, you may love the idea of a thick beard in theory, but it may not look that great on you in practice. If you don't have trouble growing facial hair but it grows unevenly and in all directions, regular grooming is crucial to avoid a messy look, adds Buccio.

On that note, neglecting regular maintenance is another common mistake. Less is not always more when it comes to facial hair. "Define and maintain clean lines to achieve a polished appearance," recommends Buccio. "Regularly wash, condition, and moisturize your beard to keep it looking its best."

Celebrity groomer Amy Komorowski, who has groomed the likes of Adam Driver, also says that you can't ignore skincare when focusing on your facial hair: "The best way to grow out your facial hair is to keep the skin underneath clean, nourished and moisturized. Use a face or beard oil like CIRCA 1970 Luxury Face Oil to keep the skin hydrated." In other words, the better your skincare routine, the better your facial hair will be.

According to Komorowski, trimming too soon or too high are other common grooming mistakes to avoid. You want to give your hair time to grow out. Trimming is important for sure, but keep in mind that you’re only a hand motion away from ruining all your efforts — it's best to start slowly.

"When it's time to clean up, don't trim up too high on the neckline or jaw. Use a trimmer with an adjustable guard or dial and fade up," says Komorowski. "While facial hair is growing out to its desired length, it's best to keep it tidy and groomed. Clean up around the edges and along the neckline using a trimmer."

If you’re wondering just how long to let your facial hair grow before shaping it, Bucci says that you should be patient and wait at least four to six weeks before giving your facial hair some shape or trimming it.

Not considering your face shape is another no-no, says Komorowski: "Trim your beard or facial hair to compliment your face shape. You may have to see a barber for this and then try to maintain it at home."

Great facial hair will enhance your best features. "This is definitely a personal preference but facial hair can also enhance certain facial characteristics. The right facial hair can also act as a contour to add dimension to the face," notes Komorowski. "It's best to keep your jawline, cheekbones, lips and forehead in mind. For example, if you want to make your face look thinner, keep the bulk down on the sides and a longer beard will help.

The grooming tools that you use can also make a huge difference. If you want to look sharp, avoid using cheap scissors, trimmers or combs. "Acquire a quality trimmer, scissors, comb, and brush as essential tools for proper maintenance," recommends Buccio.

Finally, don't make the mistake of focusing on your facial hair at the expense of the hair on your head. Regardless of what you’re working with, it's important to consider the big picture. "When figuring out your facial hair shape, you must keep in mind how you will be cutting or styling your hair as well," says Komorowski.

If you avoid the mistakes above, you’ll inevitably look sharp whatever you choose to do with your facial hair. As Buccio puts it, "invest in high-quality grooming tools, be patient with beard growth, maintain cleanliness and neckline boundaries, and regularly trim and shape your beard." Be consistent with your grooming habits and don't hesitate to consult professionals for guidance if necessary.

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