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Your Beard, But Better

Three master barbers weigh in on the secrets to maintaining a flawless facial hair regimen

You’ve finally given your five o’clock shadow a chance to make a statement, but you’ve still got to keep it check. Below, we consult three master barbers from the top names in mens grooming for the only pointers you need to know.

Chris Hemsworth

Chris Hemsworth

Your Routine (What to Do)

The expert: Thomas Cheung, The Art of Shaving (Tysons Corner in McLean, VA)
The inspiration: Chris Hemsworth, Ben Affleck, George Clooney. “They all have beard styles that are classic and well-groomed.

Daily: “I suggest all gentlemen with beards comb or brush them. You don’t just wake up and go if you want to look your best. You wouldn’t leave the house without brushing your teeth or styling your hair. Hold your beard to the same standard.”

Weekly: “Depending on how quickly your beard grows and how you style it, you might want to take a pair of trimmers or a razor to line it up.”

Monthly:  “Just like a haircut, your beard needs a cleanup session. Go see a professional barber that knows about beards. Trim the stragglers, realign the borders, and shape up the beard to fit your face correctly. Most guys look better with a bit more weight on the beard towards the chin, and taper the beard the closer you get to ears to slim the face.”

 Your Look (What Not to Do)

The expert: Matt Wire, Harry’s Corner Shop (64 MacDougal Street)
The inspiration: Jeff Bridges on the red carpet, not Keanu Reeves on a park bench

The most common mistake: “Trimming your neck beard too high. There’s nothing weirder than a guy who cuts the bottom of his beard high enough that it looks funny when they open their mouth. Trim no higher than the crease where your jaw meets your neck. It’s always better to have too much than too little.”

When in doubt: “Just knock it down to stubble with your electric clippers. More often than not, you’ll look better with a heavy five o’clock shadow than a beard that’s gotten out of line.”

Wire’s personal rule of thumb: “Use product only when absolutely necessary. Your facial hair is naturally healthier on its own. Maintain the shape not the hair itself.”

Adam Levine

Adam Levine

Your Tools & Products

The expert: José Sosa, Kiehl’s Since 1851 (678 Ninth Ave.)
The inspiration: Adam Levine. “He always has a nice, manicured beard.”

“The ideal beard is a perfect balance between clean-cut and wild.  It has sharp and defined lines around the edges, with everything else just slightly manicured to showcase the natural look and feel of the hair.”

The tools: “Trimmers, clippers, a straight razor and a master barber’s touch.”

The products: “Apply Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate to soften the beard daily, so when someone comes in close for a hug, they don’t receive a prick from hard hair.  A few drops in the morning every day, just enough to coat the beard, goes a long way to soften it. Also, the longer the beard, the dryer the skin underneath, so use a rich moisturizer like Kiehl’s Facial Fuel, to keep the skin underneath healthy.”

 NEXT: The Only Do’s and Don’t’s You’ll Ever Need to Know

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