Wearing facial hair is no joke. It's not serious but at the same time it's very serious. Facial hair is literally what you have decided to show the world you look like, it defines your face. It also impacts your skin's health which you don’t often hear.
There is no one size fits all for skin and hair, but these are some super simple things you can do to have a healthy face and quality facial hair.
Ok we all know that we need to moisturize. Right? Ok good.
Ok we all know that we need to apply sun protection. Right? Ok good.
The thing with facial hair is, no matter what style you have, you need to care for the skin underneath your hair. It can get dry, unhealthy, flakey, itchy, gross, I know. This is something I’ve battled with and think I’ve finally mastered the art of managing.
First things first, end off your morning cleaning with some cold water. If you have facial hair or not, this is a great starting point for healthy skin, and a revitalised spirit at the beginning of the day. Cold water is known to decrease inflammation, soothe your eyes and just wakes you up nicely. Reminding you that you are a primal being! That you SHOWERED IN THE WATERFALLS, MAN!
Next, and I know that a lot of people who read this with a more developed sense of skincare are going to freak out now, but when I was a student battling for cash, I used a [clean] towel as a sneaky exfoliator, with just a quick little bit of over-enthusiasm when drying my face and boom, exfoliated.
It is a twice a day habit that I got into that's so natural to me now that I can’t wake up, nor sleep without the feeling of a face that's clean, with a light exfoliation.
My next step is to use diluted tea tree oil, both as a treatment for skin irritations as well as a preventative measure for them. I first put a few drops of water in the palm of my hand, and a single drop of tea tree oil. I rub my hands together rapidly before applying to my entire face (avoiding the eye area completely), giving extra attention to areas of irritation. You shouldn't use a lot, nor should it sting.
Tip: I find tea tree oil to be one of the most rapidly effective solutions to any skin problem I’m having. I even put about 10 drops into my shampoo bottle for dry scalp.
Next, for the facial haired men, have a hair dryer that you can easily access. Use it to, very gently, make sure the skin under your facial hair is dry. If you don't, the skin remains wet for a long time and can result in all sorts of skin irritations. So get it dry before applying your SPF moisturizer. I know, ironic.
For the big ol’ lumberjack there are two ways you can go in general. You can go for the totally-natural look, in which case, carry on sir. Alternatively, and I wish I knew this earlier; using some moustache scissors you can do what I like to call an “airtrim”.
Airtrimming entails looking at your beard shape before “cutting the air” around that shape. It crispens the shape by trimming stray hair leaving it looking a little less like you just exited the woods. I spotted my barber doing this, and just started playing around till I got it right myself.
If you wanted to neaten up this epic lumberjack beard, you’d “airtrim” those flyaway hairs.
For the trimmed lumberjack moustache, follow the shape of your moustache at full length and “airtrim” that shape to keep it wild but clean.
For shorter lengths of beard, use the shape of your face to guide your beard shape. Shaping shorter facial hair rarely works out well if you try to shape your face using facial hair.
The same rules apply as the to lumberjack but instead you’re deciding on the length by brushing your beard upwards to bush it out. Then using the shape of your face to guide you, airtrim the beard closer and closer until you are happy with the shape. Simple as that, you’ll see the shape emerging to your liking.
Moustaches are so unique to each person but there are a couple of basics to follow, if you want to keep your moustache natural, neat and easy to maintain.
To choose the shape of moustache that is natural for your face you need to follow the lip line. By gently brushing your moustache down towards your lip, and using moustache scissors, cut following your lip line. You’ll avoid odd lengths and unnatural shapes.
Stop trimming the length when you reach the corner of your mouth, where the moustache “falls off” your top lip.
Lip line perfection
Someone who shows this really well is Brett McKay from The Art of Manliness in this video link:
For trimming where your beard meets your neck. Don’t cut higher than where your neck and your head meet. Cutting under or onto the jaw creates the illusion of a double chin.
An excellent example of trimming to the correct spot on the neck.
Another good job.
At the end of the day you choose how you want to wear your facial hair, it's your face, you make that decision, not trends or fashion or other people's preferences. Keep it healthy and follow some basic trimming choices and you’ll always look good and feel good.
Words by Brett Rogers
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8 March 2021