A beard can make a man look cool, grown-up and intelligent, However, left unmaintained or badly maintained, it can make him look unprofessional and like his luck has run out!
Conversely, a beard which is overly perfect and neat can look a bit shady and overdone. Very sharp lines, I think, generally look better where the man has dark skin and contrast between beard and skin is needed.
Tools for beard grooming
In order to maintain a short beard, invest in an electric beard trimmer/groomer with a wide range of adjustable settings, and a trimmer attachment or separate trimmer for doing the outline and the moustache. There are a wide range on the market, personally I would spend at least £30.
As a barber, I use the Wahl 5-star Cordless Senior clipper (£125), and the Andis Slimline Pro Lithium Ion trimmer (£74)
If you are maintaining a longer beard, some professional hairdressing scissors and a large comb will help. Spend at least £35 on scissors from a professional supplier such as Cool Blades (www.coolblades.co.uk/hairdressing-scissors). You really get what you pay for with scissors, and anything too cheap will go blunt quickly. My own professional scissors are by the Japanese company Joewell, but you are looking at £150+ for these.
Combs – you will need one with fine-spaced teeth for moustache trimming – the moustache hairs will move too much if your comb teeth are too widely spaced. For trimming the sideburns and beard, I use the Japanese carbon comb now supplied on the Candice Zen Hair online shop. It has flat teeth and is ideal for running a clipper or trimmer over. It’s also wide so you are less likely to accidentally cut part of the beard you didn’t mean to. Otherwise, a jumbo comb is OK.
Next article coming soon: 7 steps to trimming your beard