Have A Better Stubble Beard By Paying Attention To Detail And Following These Tips

Stubble is in these days, so take advantage of the trend and put away your razor. While maintaining consistent, great-looking stubble is harder than many men think, it’s definitely easier than shaving.

If you’re like most guys, anything beats shaving.

And whether you’re looking for the girl of your dreams or the guy of your dreams, people who are attracted to guys are often attracted to stubble. While it can be prickly and uncomfortable in some intimate situations, if the person who’s interested in you thinks it’s sexy, he or she will adapt.

Ready for tips on maintaining good, consistent stubble that fits your face? Here’s my advice, culled from the best sources and my own years of being stubbly, bearded and generally hairy in one way or another:

Start your stubble when no one’s looking. Try stubble for the first time when you aren’t expecting to see anyone for a day or two. Then, there’s no one to judge you. That means starting on a weekend if you work in an office or during the week if you work outside and party on the weekends. Or consider starting during a vacation or a couple days of sick leave.

Keep a close eye as your stubble changes from day to day. Notice when it looks best. If you have dense growth, one day’s growth may look great. If it’s a bit patchy, let it grow two, three or four days and see how it looks.

Be very careful with your first trim. Choose the best stubble trimmer you can find, and make sure it has lots of adjustment options. Then when your stubble is looking great, try to adjust the trimmer so that it runs across your face and just barely avoids cutting each hair. Take note of that setting, because that’s what you’ll want to use each day.

If necessary, trim to different lengths on different parts of the face. Pay special attention to the mustache area. If it’s lighter and less dense than the rest of your beard, let it grow slightly longer. If it’s denser and looks too heavy when trimmed at the same length as the rest of your beard, trim it a little shorter. You have to work with what you have, but adjust the trim length to get the best possible look you can manage.

Use moisturizers, oils and lotions to overcome initially itchiness. Don’t worry. The itching will go away. Scrub skin to remove bacteria and dry skin, then apply a moisturizer. If necessary, use a hydrocortisone cream on the itchiest spots for a few days.

Keep the stubble clean. Bumps are caused by dead skin cells, bacteria, dirt and sweat. Clean your stubble at least daily, and rinse your face after sweating, using sunscreen or being in dirty air like at a barbecue. Shaving scrapes off dirt and debris, but if you don’t shave, you have to remove the muck somehow.

Decide whether you need to trim the neckline. A lot of guys do, but it isn’t necessary for most guys. If you stubble connects with your chest hair or grows funny toward the bottom, shaping it up might make you feel better about yourself. Remember, however, you can do things however you want.

Use conditioner. When you’re washing your hair, wash your beard stubble too — and apply conditioner lightly. It will feel smoother and itch less. You can also use a special beard conditioner. It will make even a very short beard feel smoother to both you and whoever touches it.

Be consistent. There’s more to having stubble than only shaving occasionally. Once you decide on your perfect look, use you trimmer to keep it the same. Consistency shows strength of character and a commitment to good grooming.

A Final Thought

Since stubble is in these days, enjoy it. Someday, it may go out of fashion — and you’ll either have to shave or decide not to bother with societal conventions anymore. (I’d ditch the rules and go for a full beard if I were you!)

Stubble, beards and experimenting with other facial hair options are part of being a man, so enjoy what you have by making the most of it. If one style doesn’t work for you, try something else.

Just remember that with stubble and with all other forms of facial hairs, there are things you can do to make it look its best. So do everything right with whatever you have — and have the great, fun life you deserve.

Nose And Ear Hair Trimming Isn’t Just For Old Guys

You’ve seen those old guys with a huge mass of white hair growing out of their ears and nose, but ear and nose hair isn’t just something old guys have to worry about. For many men, nose and ear hair trimming becomes necessary in their 20s. For most, it’s necessary by the time they reach their mid-30s.

To keep up with this task effectively, you’ll need to know how much of a problem you have. That requires a good light, a handheld mirror (perhaps a magnifying mirror) and a willingness to look deep down into your ears and up into your nose.

You may see stray nose hairs that need to be clipped away every time you look at your face in the mirror. Ear hair, however, is harder to spot because it sometimes develops first where you can’t easily see it but other can. So look carefully.

If you need to do some trimming, here are some pieces of advice that will make the process easier, safer and more effective at eliminating the hair you wish you didn’t have in the first place:

Don’t assume you don’t have any yet. Most people — guys and gals — develop more body hair as they get older. But don’t assume you don’t have nose and ear hair if you’re young. Many young guys need to do some grooming around these openings to keep a few or perhaps a lot of hairs from showing. So, take a look carefully to determine whether you need to trim or not.

Ear and nose hair serves a purpose, so don’t trim too deep. Hair keeps your bodily openings from getting clogged with dirt, so don’t trim nose hair beyond what’s visible. Ear hair should not be disturbed in the ear canal itself. Remember, you want to retain the hair that isn’t visible, but good grooming dictates that you eliminate all of it that is. A good ear and nose hair clipper will have a guard that keeps you from going too deep.

Don’t use scissors or a razor to do the job. If you use a tool to control ear and nose hair that wasn’t made for the task, you can do some permanent damage. You can create small scars that will worsen over time and make trimming even harder in the future. In addition to having guards to keep you from going too deep, ear and nose hair clippers usually have heads specially designed for doing the job without pain, injury or hassles.

Having a beard is no excuse for bad grooming. In fact, you’ll have to be extra careful with grooming if you have a beard. You want to remove excess hair without damaging your beard. It won’t just blend in or be less noticeable as some people clearly seem to think. Having a beard adds to your grooming hassles in many ways (although its worth it), but you don’t want to let down other beards growers by failing to groom away unwanted hair.

Don’t be afraid to ask your special girl or guy for help. Some couples are comfortable enough to ask each other for help with grooming tasks — especially if they’ve been together for a while. After all, animal mates groom each other all the time. You can judge for yourself whether you think your significant other will judge that checking and trimming your excess hair is nasty or okay.

Plucking is fine — and very effective. Guys need a good pair of tweezers. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with plucking stray hairs, but remember that you may not be able to see every one of them, so trimming might be a better idea. Again, it’s up to you to decide.

It doesn’t grow back thicker. There’s a myth that hair grows back thicker once it’s been trimmed, but that isn’t true. The very short hairs that grow back may feel thick and prickly because they’re so short, but they aren’t really thicker. Also, body hair sometimes increases as you get older, so it may increase no matter what you do to get rid of it.

Surely that’s enough on the topic of nose and ear hair trimming. I’ve dispelled some myths and offered some advice, so what more can I do? Would you really like to read a couple more pages on little hairs that grow out of your bodily openings?

I know I certainly don’t want to write anything more on this topic for quite a while. Just do what’s right and clean yourself up. You’ll feel better about yourself — and everyone will feel better about you.

How To Wash Your Beard

It’s one of the things that no one ever teaches guys to do: how to wash your beard. But today, many of us are letting our beards grower longer than ever before, and washing your beard correctly can make a real difference in softness, control, fullness and even length since damaged hairs are more likely to break off.

I’ve found that washing a short beard is very different from washing a long one, so I’m providing two different sets of advice.

Washing A Short Beard

To wash a short beard, all you need to do is use shampoo and conditioner in the shower as you do on your head hair. Since you hairs are frequently trimmed, any damage gets cut away before the hair get long enough for it to be obvious, leaving only fresh, new hair. That means a more complicated cleaning regimen isn’t necessary.

If you experience any itching, try using a comb to go through your beard before you take a shower. This will loosen any dead skin cells and make them easier to wash away. If the itching persists, consider using a dandruff shampoo on your beard. Each brand has different active ingredients, so you may need to try more than one. Selsun Blue and its store-brand equivalents have an ingredient designed to treat skin conditions.

Once you’ve washed and towel-dried your short beard, you may want to apply a small amount of beard conditioner to deal with flyaway hairs that stick out from your beard. You can even rub body lotion right through your beard and into you face, reducing the number of hairs that stick out and conditioning the skin beneath.

Washing a Long Beard

Once a beard gets a bit of length, shampoo and conditioner — especially if used every day — are too drying. I’ve found that conditioner often does more harm than good on a long beard. Instead, I’ve had to learn a new way of thinking about cleanliness and a new method of treating my beard that doesn’t strip it of its natural oils.

Here’s my current routine: Before getting into the shower, I comb though my beard to release tangles and loosen dead skin cells underneath it. When I get in the shower, I wash the hair on my head with shampoo and conditioner, but I don’t wash my beard. Then, I wash the rest of my body as usual, trying not to get any soap, shampoo or other products in my beard. Of course, some gets in there as I wash my face, neck and chest.

When I’ve completely washed the rest of my body and washed away the conditioner in my head hair, then I quickly rinse my beard under the running water, rinsing away those dead skin cells and any soaps that got in it during my shower. But I don’t actually wash or condition my beard with any products.

This may feel weird to you at first, but after a day or two, you’ll notice that your beard is more easily controlled and feels softer. As it turns out, your natural oils are better for your beard that harsh soaps and conditioners.

And don’t worry that you won’t feel clean. The comb-through before you get in the shower eliminates any itching and causes your beard areas to feel clean. It actually feels better than it does when you wash with soap and over-dry this area.

If the humidity is low or you’ve been out in the wind, you may need to apply a small amount of a beard oil or beard conditioner to your facial hair to restore what the weather has removed. You can also try jojoba oil, sweet almond oil or even simply olive oil to condition your beard — but only use a little.

It’s A New Approach

For those with shorter beards, shampoo and conditioner work great because short hairs don’t need anything more. You simply cut away the hairs before they age and dry out.

For longer beards, however, you have to rethink how you clean yourself. I like to take a shower every day, but washing a beard with shampoo and conditioner daily is much too harsh. Instead, I use the routine above and feel fresh and clean at all times.

If you don’t shower every day, you’re a step ahead of the game. You skin and hair will thank you for allowing their natural oils to build up. But I just don’t feel right if I don’t shower.

Natural oils are better than any soaps, conditioners, essential oils or other products, so do what you can to allow them to do their job, then simply rinse away dirt when necessary. Finally, add some additional beard conditioner or other oils when what you have naturally just isn’t enough.

Following this method, and you can have your perfect beard — and the better quality of life that comes with having a great beard you can be proud of.

Beard Coloring Takes Commitment, So Should You Bother?

If you’re planning to start coloring your beard, there are two things you need to understand. First, it takes a real long-term commitment. And second, you really need to find a natural beard dye with which you’re comfortable so you don’t spend the rest of your life smearing chemicals on your face.

Let’s talk about all of this in a bit more detail.

There’s Nothing Wrong With Gray

The problem with beard coloring is that there’s never a good time to stop. If you start when the first few gray hairs appear, it’s possible that no one will notice. But as you get older and there’s more and more gray, it takes longer to cover your gray than it did when there were just a few hairs.

When you’re 45, 55 or 75, you may want to let your beard go gray. After a certain age, it’s okay to have a gray beard, right? But how do you do that? If you shave it off, you’re betraying all those years of beardedness. And if you just let the gray grow out, you’ll look really bad while that’s happening and everyone will notice the awkward transition.

You may say that you’ll just cross that bridge when you come to it, but if appearances matter enough to you to use a beard coloring now, you won’t be comfortable looking bad while the color grows out later.

Plus, you have to remember that your head hair will go gray at some point too — unless it all falls out, of course. Even your chest hair and arm hair will go gray. Will you color those? Or will you have a dark beard and gray hair?

Starting down the pathway of dying your beard mean a time-consuming long-term commitment, and it isn’t something you should undertake if you don’t understand that.

All Those Chemicals

The beard coloring products that work the best are loaded with chemicals. While millions of men have used them and few have any side effects, it’s right to worry about the long term effects of putting all those chemicals on your body.

That’s why many men turn to natural beard coloring products. These take longer work and results are inconsistent, but there are no worries. In fact, with most natural beard dyes you can repeat the application immediately if you don’t get good results. You can’t do that with chemical dyes.

Whether you use a chemical beard coloring or a natural product, you’ll need to put some effort into choosing the right shade. The best idea is to go just lighter than your natural coloring. Hair that’s dyed darker than your natural color usually looks unnatural and fake, but lighter hair can look summery and casual. Just don’t go too light. We’ve all seen old men with dyed red beards who never had red hair when they were younger.

Other Considerations

No matter what kind of beard dye you choose, understand that these products stain everything they come in contact with. That includes your skin, your fingernails, the sink, the furniture and even your bed linens if your product isn’t completely dry when you go to bed.

There’s also the issue of the smell. Some beard colorings smell terrible. Others aren’t so bad. But they all have some kind of odor, and a portion of the aroma remains with you as long as the products does.

And there’s one more thing to consider: there’s nothing wrong with having a gray beard. Lots of people do. Many of them look great. Even if you’re prematurely gray, you don’t have to color your beard unless you want to. You can simply be secure with who you are and enjoy being natural.

If you choose to start coloring your beard, you’ll have to do it once a week for the rest of your life — or until you shave off your beard. That’s a real commitment, but so is having a beard. If you want to commit to coloring your beard and can find a product you’re comfortable using, go for it.

You deserve to look your very best no matter your age, and if beard dye helps you do that, that’s just fine with me.

How To Trim A Long Beard With Scissors

If you’re in the process of growing a massive beard — or even a fairly big one — you’ll soon reach a length that’s beyond anything any beard groomer or clippers can handle. And then you have three choices: let your beard grow untrimmed, go to a professional barber for beard trimming or trim your long beard with scissors.

For many people, growing untrimmed isn’t an option because of uneven growth or problem areas that just don’t look good without some grooming. Or perhaps you’ve been growing your beard untrimmed and now things have gotten out of hand. Barbers are expensive and don’t always do a good job, so it makes sense to learn how to trim your beard with scissors.

These beard scissors can trim all kinds of hair quickly and easily -- and they're available from Amazon.
These beard scissors can trim all kinds of hair quickly and easily — and they’re available from Amazon.

If you want to clean up the unevenness or want a more put-together, well-groomed look from your long beard, here are some tips that will help you get the very best results:

Make sure your beard is dry when trimming. Trimming a wet beard can cause uneven results, and hair will appear shorter when dry. Your hair sits differently when wet that it normally does, and that can especially mess up your trimming if you have curly or wavy hair. Besides, trimming before a shower makes the most sense anyway because you’ll want to wash away the loose hairs afterward.

Prep the sink to avoid plumbing problems. Don’t make your face look great at the expense of your home’s plumbing. Put an old plastic grocery bag or a bowl in the sink to catch the hair you clip off. Trimming a beard is messy and you may get hair everywhere, but most of it can be easily wiped up or vacuumed away. Long hair that goes down the sink will cause you big plumbing problems.

Get some very sharp but safe beard scissors. When learning and experimenting with how to trim a long beard with scissors, you don’t want the hairs moving out of the way as you try to cut them, but that’s what happens with many kinds of scissors. Instead, buy the best beard scissors you can find. Then when you cut, you can be sure the hair is cut accurately the first time, so no do-overs are necessary and you can get through the job more quickly.

Comb up and out to see where you stand. When your beard hair is fluffed out as much as possible, you can determine where there is unevenness. If you’re just trying to make things more even and lay better, trim only what is out of line with the other side. Don’t over-trim at first or you’ll regret it. Comb back down to check your work regularly, and stop when you get the evenness and length you desire.

Decide what to do about the length under the chin. Are you going to continue growing down in length until you reach terminal length — the maximum length your beard hair will grow before it starts breaking off? Or do you want to carefully cut some off the bottom for a more finished looked? This can increase the look of thickness. Just remember that cutting straight across the bottom is usually a bad idea. Round off the corners at the bottom a bit for a well-groomed look.

Make every cut small and deliberate. You don’t need to be in a hurry if you only trim your beard with scissors occasionally, so make small cuts, check your work and then decide how much more to cut. Remember that minor mistakes won’t show in many areas of a big beard, so don’t freak out if you mess up. Just learn from your mistakes and do better next time. You have the rest of your life to get this right.

Take action at the neckline if you must. If you have a naturally clean neckline and all hair grows down as it should, leave the neckline natural for a full effect that everyone will love. If you have some hairs that grow upward or in strange directions at the neckline, you’ll need to use a beard trimmer or razor to create a clean neckline. If your chest hair joins your beard hair, you can also benefit from defining a neckline for your beard.

Leave the cheeks natural if you can. Even if your growth is fairly high up on your cheeks, you’ll get the best and easiest-to-maintain look if you allow the cheek line to grow naturally. If there are many stray hairs or the cheek line is irregular, trim it down only as much as necessary with a beard trimmer. Over-trimmed cheek lines look bad, so keep that in mind. You can groom your cheek line or neckline effectively with beard scissors.

Decide what to do about the mustache. It’s up to you whether you want to sweep the stache to the sides or keep it trimmed neatly over your upper lip. Either way, occasional trims are necessary. The best idea is to comb the hairs straight down and clean up any that are longer than the others. If that isn’t enough, trim the whole things back until you get the look you want. Ideally, the skin of your upper lip should not show below the mustache, and many guys don’t like the pink part of their lips to show very much either. Use your stache to sculpt and enhance the look of your mouth, and don’t trim just to make eating easier.

When you keep this advice about how to trim a long beard with scissors in mind, you can do a better job and not have to depend on a barber — who may or may not know what he or she is doing. It’s your beard, so you need to learn how to trim it the way you want it.

Click here to see some beard scissors at Amazon that will help you get the job done right.

The Real Advantages of Straight Razor Shaving — And There Are Plenty!

Some guys prefer to shave with a straight razor. They say it works better for them or makes them feel more like a man. But are there really advantages to straight razor shaving?

Actually, there are several, and bearded men may get the most benefit. If that doesn’t make sense to you or if you want to know what the advantages are for guys of all kinds, keep reading. This is a topic that some guys feel really strongly about — and others don’t seem to understand at all.

At first, shaving with a straight razor can seem dangerous. And it can be if done incorrectly. After all, that unprotected razor blade is sharp enough to cut your throat or your wrists — or someone else’s. It’s not the right choice for the clumsy, the suicidal or the homicidal.

But there are serious advantage to straight razor shaving as compared to shaving with one of those electric things or a so-called safety razor. Here are a few:

You get a better shave. You may not have to shave every day if you shave with a straight razor because the cut is closer and more accurate for the most experienced guys. When you shave with a straight razor, you’re getting the closest possible shave. If that’s important to you, it’s the only way to go.

You can eliminate bumps and rashes. If you get razor burn, rashes or bumps, it’s often from clogged pores caused by dead skin cells that collect around improperly cut hairs. Straight razors help in two ways: they cut hairs smoothly and completely — and they exfoliate the dead skin from your face more effectively. Cleaner cuts and less dead skin left on your face means fewer bumps, less irritation and a better looking and feeling face.

You save money in the long run. Although the best straight razor shaving kit is an investment in the beginning, you won’t be buying and throwing away razors anymore. Modern multi-blade razors are considered by many guys to be inferior to single blades anyway, and they certainly don’t come cheaply. An open razor can be honed and maintained for years of use.

You get some “real guy” satisfaction. It’s true. There’s real satisfaction that comes from using a straight razor. There’s a connection to the past, a sense of primal energy and some genuine excitement. It’s the same thing that some men get from smoking a pipe, carving a chunk of wood into something great or fishing off the shore of their hometown lake. It’s just a guy thing. You either feel it or you don’t.

Straight Razors For Bearded Men

Perhaps one of the groups that can benefit most from straight razors are bearded men. If you have a wild beard that you don’t trim or shape, you don’t need one of these or any other kind of tool. But if you like clean lines, there are only a couple of ways to get them: dry shaving or a straight razor.

Dry shaving is using some kind of trimmer to carefully shave around the outside lines of your beard to get the cleanest possible cut. With the right trimmer, this works well. But if you want to do this kind of beard outlining with a razor, you really need a straight razor. That’s because you can’t get a clean line with a multi-blade cutter.

Have to every tried to get straight sideburns with a safety razor that bows in the middle or one of those modern ones that lays down at an angle? It’s impossible. But with an open razor, clean lines are simple once you get the hang of it. And so is cutting an individual hair to make things absolutely perfect. You just can’t do that with anything else.

So are there real advantages you straight razor shaving? Absolutely. If you’re happy with the way you shave and the way you trim your facial hair now, that’s fine. Maybe you don’t need a straight razor. But if you want to shave the way the men who came before you did, you need to give this way a try. It’s the old way of shaving that’s new again.

Looking For Stubble Trimmer Reviews? Keep These Things In Mind

Looking for stubble trimmer reviews online? There’s less good information out there than you might imagine. Everyone seems to have an agenda.

But if you keep the right things in mind, you can make a smart decision about your stubble shaver and avoid the costly mistake of buying something that you can’t use — or buying something that messes up your beard.

Unlike with a full beard, at least you can easily and quickly regrow your stubble if you mess it up, but having the best stubble trimmer for you means never messing up your face again. If you don’t want to be clean shaven, there’s no reason you should be.

There are a few good sources of stubble trimmer reviews online, but there are also some general tips you should keep in mind when choosing a stubble trimmer or stubble shaver:

1. It needs adjustable settings. You won’t know for sure the exact length you want until you experiment, so you can’t buy something that has only one or two settings and expect it work right for you. Plus, your tastes and styles may change in the future and you might prefer to go longer or shorter. And you could have a special person come into your life who requests that you do things a bit differently.

2. Dedicated stubble trimmers work best. While many shavers and beard trimmers have stubble settings, clippers made especially for stubble work best. You need something with tightly spaced comb tines. The big problem with beard trimmers for stubble is that the tines are often too far apart, so you can’t get an even cut.

3. Choose a brand name. There are probably some great choices out there from brands you’ve never heard of, but going with a brand name makes more sense. There’s little if any price different to get a name-brand stubble shaver and you have the reliability and a guarantee to back up your purchase. No-name models could have come from anywhere and don’t usually come with much of a warranty.

4. Stubble trimmer reviews should come from a reputable source. It doesn’t matter if the person is famous or not — or whether you know his name — but it needs to be someone who does a through review, writes well, seems honest and makes sense. And you shouldn’t read any stubble trimmer reviews written by women. That definitely doesn’t make sense, but there are some out there.

When you keep these things in mind, you’re well on your way to making the smart choice for maintaining the unshaven look you desire. Whether you want one-day growth, three-day growth or something a bit longer, there’s a good choice for you.

Some Final Thoughts

You deserve to have your stubble your way, so look for stubble trimmer reviews about adjustable choices made just for stubble from a reputable brand and a reviewer that seems sensible and intelligent. You don’t need advice from celebrities who are being paid for their endorsements or from companies that want you to choose your product.

In reality, there are probably several good choices on the market that will work well for you, so you don’t have to worry too much. But it makes sense to choose a stubble shaver that comes well-recommended.

Stubble trimmers are as much a part of good grooming today as straight razors were a hundred years ago, so you’re smart to choose a good one that will last for years. While trends may change, stubble always looks great.

13 Incredibly Useful Beard Grooming Tips

I wonder how many of the people who write beard grooming tips online actually have beards? So many of them seem to come from beauty magazines and sites where you really can’t tell who the writer is. Many of them are probably just putting out beard grooming tips to try to attract readers.

But I’m a real guy with a real beard, and I know a few things about making a beard look great. Consider these 13 beard grooming tips and see if they don’t help you make your beard look better too. Keep in mind that this advice is provided to you as suggestions and guidelines, not hard-and-fast rules, but still, I think you will benefit.

Here’s are the 13 beard grooming tips I have for you:

1. Decide whether to groom it yourself or let a professional do the job. Many guys only work with pros for beard trimming, but some would never let anyone else work on their beard. Decide for yourself which approach is best.

2. Get the right tools for the job. This includes barber’s scissors and a beard trimmer. For example, the best Wahl beard trimmer is a heavy-duty stainless steel model that feels like a real tool instead of a toy.

3. Choose a good comb. A nice wide-toothed comb is best for most beards, and you might want a fine-toothed comb for a carefully groomed mustache. Look for something labeled specifically as a beard or mustache comb.

4. Have two good mirrors. You need a big wall-mounted mirror to see how you look overall, but you also need a handheld mirror or a three-way mirror setup so you can see the sides. If you’ve trimmed your beard and haven’t looked at the sides in a handheld mirror, you may not look as good as you think you do.

5. Avoid trimming wet hair. Beard and mustache hair appears longer when wet, so trimming when wet can mean it’s too short and uneven when dry. A dry, clean beard will trim up the best.

6. Learn to use a comb when cutting. Just like barbers do, you’ll get the best results when you comb through your beard and learn to cut on the outside of the comb. This takes some effort to master, but it will give you even results and keep you from cutting off too much. Look up more beard grooming tips related to comb cutting if you don’t completely understand this.

7. Trim from the top down. When trimming a long beard, most guys find it easiest and most effective to trim near the ear on one side, then down to the bottom on that side before doing anything on the other side. Switching back and forth from side to side or working your way up from the bottom doesn’t work as well.

8. Don’t overdo it. When using a beard trimmer or scissors, start long. You can always cut off more, but you can destroy a great beard by over-trimming. A big mistake is easy to make if you set a trimmer too short.

9. Groom your mustache by first trimming straight down. Using a beard trimmer or scissors, start in the middle and work your way to the sides, evening things up and reducing length as much as you want. Don’t trim at the top edge or come too close to the lip for the best look.

10. Maintain sharp lines. Keep the cheek line natural if it’s not too high and not too irregular — or trim it to a clean line. The neckline always needs to be trimmed for a well-groomed look. In many cases, you can trim the neckline with a good beard trimmer and don’t need to shave with cream and a razor.

11. There’s nothing wrong with a little shaving. Even if you want a relatively natural look, there’s nothing wrong with shaving a few stray hairs on your cheeks or neck. Even a huge natural beard needs some maintenance around the edges. This is perhaps one of the most-often-overlooked beard grooming tips.

12. Beards need to be washed. There are guys who advocate not washing your beard to maintain natural oils, but this leads to skin problems and too much oil over time. Comb your beard to detangle it, then wash with a very mild shampoo and apply a beard conditioner. The right conditioning and finishing product will make you look and feel better.

13. Don’t blow-dry your beard. Some guys recommend this, but it’s not necessary and is harsh on your beard hair. Even worse, it tends to damage the skin of your face, and there are enough environmental factors as well as the natural signs of aging impacting your face without adding to them.

While these beard grooming tips don’t serve as step-by-step beard grooming guide, there’s enough good information here to dramatically improve the look and feel of your beard, whether you like it long or short. Pay attention to your beard and you can have great facial hair that will be the envy of your friends.

Remember, if someone insults your beard or makes a rude comment about your beard, it usually means they’re jealous.