As the beard's popularity once again retreats to its pre-Shoreditch approved state of rest, the pressure for remaining bearded men to maintain their mane has never been more apparent. Need a crash course in beard management? We've got you covered.
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What is a Faded Beard Shape Up?
It's a style that you've probably seen before, but haven't put a name to. The faded beard is basically what it sounds like - a beard that gradually fades out from a thick bristle to a thin shave. The intensity of your beard shaping is up to personal preference, but the principle remains.
If you're wondering when to trim your beard, or when is the best time to attempt a faded beard shape up; it's really down to personal preference. Whenever you're ready to part with your mane, follow the instructions below for a whole new world of beard trimming styles.
How to Style a Beard: Faded Shape Up
It's a bit of a tricky process to explain with words, so we've given you both step-by-step directions alongside a video to explain below.
- Start by trimming your beard to the desired length, with the lever pulled all the way down on your clippers.
- Shape it around your upper lip down to the edge of your lips using a detailing clipper.
- Follow a line from above your adam's apple to the edge of your neck in “sad face” semi-circle (around the neck).
- Continue with the detailing clipper, place a line just under the ear at the point where your sideburns meet your cheeks at a slightly offset angle for the fading point.
- Go back to your clippers, push the lever up to a 0 length and start by flicking the clipper off the line you created near your ears at the bottom of the sideburn area, then slightly lower down, move the lever to between the 0 and 0.5 and flick off at that point.
- This will start the fading process. Go back to your detailers and from the line work with the beard growth into the beard roughly half a cm from the line downwards. This will create the desired fade effect.
Finish by applying some shaving oil to the area you want to define then using a cut throat razor, traditional safety or more modern razor to define the lines.
How to Pull off a Faded Beard Shape Up
The faded beard can be styled in a few looks, ranging from something quite striking and stand out, to a style that's a little more subtle. Whatever you go for is up to you, but for a more precise style, (where there's a clearer distinction between the beard and your skin) there's going to be more upkeep in order for it to stay sleek and smart.
For something a little more subtle where the transition from hair to skin is a little less noticeable, you'll have less maintenance in keeping things looking right. While it's still important to keep the beard around your jaw tightly groomed to give more definition to your face and keep the faded appearance, the rest of your beard can be a little less angled.
The beauty of a faded beard shape up is the fact that it is suited to pretty much every face type. The fact that it can be tailored to create your desired shape means those with rounder faces can appear more angular, while those with a sharper face structure can soften out their features if desired.
Products and Care
Like with most skincare routines, there's no one rule or product that will suit everyone, and depending on your skin type and sensitivity, you might require different products to your mate. Even something as simple as trimming your beard neckline can create irritation if you're not using the right tools for the job. Here are just a few tips on what to grab or avoid on your next supermarket run.
- If you've got sensitive or dry skin, choose a shaving gel or cream over a foam, as foams tend to dry out the skin and can cause irritation.
- When you're applying your products, make sure your skin is thoroughly wet and if you can apply it with a shaving brush. This will help raise the hairs up for a closer shave, and will lightly exfoliate the skin.
- If you have the tendency to break out after a shave, use a face wash with tea tree or witch hazel in to help cleanse and treat the skin.
- Always finish off with a moisturiser, picking a richer option if you've got dry skin, or a gel based moisturiser if your skin tends to be more oily.
- Quality shaving products like the options below will prove to be irreplaceable in maintaining the sharp edges of the shape up - so invest a few quid to keep yourself looking smart and primed!
How to Achieve the Perfect Faded Beard Shape Up
The art of creating the perfect faded beard shape up is all about precision. You can opt to do this yourself from home, but we'd only advise this if you're comfortable with a trimmer - otherwise, it's best left to the pros. While maintenance can vary, it's typically doable from home with a good razor and some quality products.
On that Note
The faded beard is a trend that's been around since men started shaping their beards and doesn't show any signs of disappearing soon. With it's suitability to most face shapes as well as it's ability to alter a man's facial appearance - it's a clever little illusion that more than earns its place among the grooming tricks of the trade.
Whether you decide to go for a more angled, noticeable look, or a subtle shape, the tools you use and the way you achieve the look needs to be suited to your skill and your skin type. Keep things simple if you want to shave your beard yourself, or splash out for a professional to groom your beard to perfection - happy shaving!