How to Cleanly Shave a Thick Beard

That thick and luxurious beard you’ve been growing has finally reached its peak, and you’re now thinking about surprising everyone with an unexpected clean shave.

This is a scenario many bearded men toil with from time to time. While it’s great to have a thick face of hair, it’s always nice to keep things fresh. After all, they do say that a change is as good as a rest.

If you want to make the big switch from thick beard to clean-shaven, there are a few steps you will need to take in order to ensure the closest possible shave with minimal discomfort.

1. Trim first

 

Don’t make the mistake of diving straight into the process with the sharpest razor you can find. Not only will this take a long time, it will be painful and uncomfortable. Pulling at long hairs will ruin your razor blade and leave you screaming in pain, and there is a chance you’ll be left with a nasty rash afterwards. Instead, trim your beard down to stubble with a trimmer, and then reach for the razor.

2. Get your face ready

 

Jump in the shower or steam your face to soften the stubble as much as possible. Give your face a thorough clean, and look for any ingrown hairs that could cause you pain during your shave. Use exfoliating products to get your skin as smooth as possible, and finish off by rinsing with cold water.

3. Select a shaving gel

Choose a shaving gel that contains a moisturising agent. Use an unperfumed product in order to reduce the risk of breakouts afterwards. If you have sensitive or particularly dry skin, look for shaving gels instead of foams. Gels are glycerine-based, so they actually attract moisture to the skin.

Whatever you use, it’s important to ensure that all areas of your beard are covered. Pay particular attention to the area of your neck around your Adam’s apple — an area where a lot of shaving cuts occur.

4. Choose a quality razor

 

Most razor cuts are caused by blunt blades, so always choose a quality razor with a lubrication strip. Choosing a multiple-blade razor should reduce the number of strokes needed to remove hair — a good way of minimising irritation afterwards.

5. Shave with the grain

 

Although you’ll have trimmed your thick beard first, the stubble you’re shaving will probably still be relatively thick. It’s therefore important that you take your time. There will be a lot of hair in your razor after every stroke, so rinse the blades thoroughly with cold water each time. Always shave with the grain, and hold the skin taut with your hand to minimise the chances of irritation and cuts.

6. Moisturise

 

Even the best of blades and shaving foams can’t stop moisture being stripped from the face during a shave. So once you’re happy that your shave is complete, rinse your face and neck with cold water. Dab your skin dry with a towel, and apply a balm, moisturiser or aftershave (whichever you prefer) to rehydrate your face and minimise the chances of razor burn.

Following these simple steps should make the transition from bushy beard to clean-cut and chiselled smooth and pain-free.

How to Deal with Patchy Facial Hair

According to an article from the Oxford University Press, beards were once a sign of dominance and power amongst the earliest male humans. Darwin theorised that beards evolved amongst our human ancestors as a way of impressing women; a sign of masculinity and virility. Additionally, there is evidence that people judge bearded men to be older and of a higher social status.

The longer and bushier the beard, the more virile and impressive the male — or at least that’s how it used to be. Now, however, beards are largely cosmetic features, and they come in many different shapes and sizes.

. Unfortunately, not every man can achieve thick, consistent beard growth.  There’s no need to worry if your patchy beard is hampering your efforts at grooming, as here we provide some tackle the problem.

1. Create a flattering jawline with careful grooming

 

You can take the emphasis away from the patchiness in your beard by giving real definition to your jawline. Taper your beard from short at the top of your neck to long at the chin. However, it’s important to make sure the edge of your beard sits just below your actual jawbone. Also, shave a curve around your Adam’s apple, which should help to narrow your face.

2. Create a contrast with your head hair

 

If you suffer from patchiness in your beard, the worst thing you can do is try to blend it with your hair. If you have a full head of hair, this will simply draw more attention to the gaps in your beard. Instead, create a hairstyle that is in complete contrast to your beard. A thick and voluminous head of hair along with a short, well maintained beard should provide balance — and detract from patchiness of your facial hair.

3. Create highly defined lines

 

Invest in a pair of clippers, and trim your beard at the sideburns and around the neck first, as these areas usually have the longest growth. Once you’re happy that your beard is as consistent as it can be, use a quality razor to create a defined shape with clean lines. Keeping your beard perfectly groomed with stark lines will distract the eye from any patchiness you have.

4. Keep everything short

 

Going for an unkempt look means you don’t have to worry too much about patchiness — so long as you keep all of your beard short. Something just a little longer than stubble should be perfect. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out some recent photos of Keanu Reeves.

5. Keep it long and well groomed

 

The longer your beard is, the more scope there is to cover up gaps in growth. However, in order to pull this off, you will need to keep your beard well groomed. Why not fluff your beard up…  this could be several times a day, depending on how bushy you want it to look!

6. Look after the health of your beard

 

Brittle and wiry hair will only exacerbate any patchiness you have, so keeping your beard hair in great condition is essential. To improve and maintain the health of your facial hair, apply an alcohol-free beard oil to keep it moisturised. There are some excellent beard balms on the market that can make longer beards more manageable.

We’d also suggest regularly washing your beard to keep it as clean and fresh as possible!

7. Just go with it

 

You might need to face the fact that you will never be able to grow the beard you want. And that’s fine! After all, there’s nothing wrong with being clean shaven. But before you shave the lot off, have some fun with goatees, stubble and various shorter styles of beard — you might be surprised at what you can achieve with a quality razor.

Find the look that works for you, and maintain it every day with a good razor, clippers and the hair products that work for you.