Some people say beards are makeup for men. In many instances, they actually do the same job as makeup does for women. Aside from being able to cover up unsightly blemishes, you can actually shape your facial hair to give your face a certain type of appearance. For example, growing your entire beard the same length will actually make your face appear more round or oval shape as the sideburns blend into the hair on your head. A goatee, on the other hand, will do the exact opposite by visually elongating the appearance of your face.
If you can master the art of beard trimming, or you have a trusted barber, shaping your beard can have an incredibly beneficial effect on your overall appearance. Mark L. Held, PhD in clinical Psychology claims, "you'll feel differently about yourself when you change your facial hair — and if you feel slimmer and more attractive, you'll be more likely to keep up the healthy behaviors that are helping you lose weight." quoted from an article on WeightWatchers.com. This isn't always the desired look though. Many men have naturally narrow faces and actually like to add a little bulk to their cheeks and sideburns. For those of you who do prefer your facial hair to give your face a thinner appearance, I have done a little research on how you can achieve this with different beard lengths.
Let's get started with the most simple of tactics. Grow a goatee. If you are not into the "full beard" look, not a problem at all. Simply start with a little scruff above the upper lip and the chin area. This will naturally give your jaw a more sculpted look. On top of the appearance, a goatee is super simple to keep groomed. Grow the goatee to your preferred length, and keep the cheeks and sideburns shaved or trimmed down to scruff. If you decide to keep a short, sharp edged scruff, you might look into rocking a hybrid beard style known as the "Scruffy Goat". You can find more information on this style here. If you're not liking the idea of growing a goatee, no worries! There are ways you can trim and shape your full beard to sculpt your face to perfection. It's not necessarily an easy thing to accomplish. It take good equipment and patience to allow your beard to compliment the shape of your face. If you are still in the early stages of beard growth, don't rush rush to trim it down. Simply put, you're probably going to get one side of your face a bit uneven, or a tad shorter. The more hair you have on your face, the more room you have for trial and error.
Get yourself a sharp, well-balanced pair of grooming scissors. Next, you'll need a quality set of electric trimmers with adjustable attachment settings. I would recommend softening your hairs and your skin with Beard Oil or Utility Balm before hand, to minimize breakage and skin irritation. After your face is properly moisturized, select the length of your trimmer guard. The higher the number, the longer the hair. Always start long and work your way down so you don't trim off too much beard. Draw a mental line perpendicular with the base of your earlobe straight across your cheek. From this line up, you want to trim your sideburn down bit by bit. Even with longer beards, your sideburns will need to be cut fairly close to the skin. With your trimmers, move the blades upward against the grain of your beard. Go as far up with your sideburn as you'd like. If you have a longer hairstyle be cautious not to go too far and cut into your head hair. REMEMBER, less is more when it comes to using trimmers. Onto the next step. Once you have found a good length for the trimmer attachments, you won't change it. From your invisible line running horizontal across your face, you will now take the cheek hairs below the line down little by little. Using the same length, simply flip the trimmers over and run clippers downward going with the grain of your beard. Make certain not to touch your chin or mustache area, as these are the areas that really add that elongated look. Once you have finished trimming with the grain, go ahead and trim your cheek line. You can learn how to best do this here.
Last but certainly not least, shaping your chin and mustache. This is where your scissors come into play. You will not want to use your trimmers on this part of your face. The goal is to maintain maximum density throughout your chin growth to really tie everything together. Another excerpt out of the same Weight Watchers article says, "Square off the chin. Let the hair on your chin grow a half inch and trim it square. Not only will this add length, it can add sex appeal. In Western cultures, a square chin is seen as an attractive masculine trait, and a beard helps mimic that." All three of these grooming tips alongside a clean cut neck line will give the shape of your face a complete makeover. Keep in mind, if you are attempting to grow a long beard, it is a much safer approach to simply use your scissors to take down the sideburns and lower cheek area. Always be careful when shaping and trimming your hard earned facial hair. Patience is a virtue, and nothing shows that a man has unquantifiable amounts of it like a well-groomed beard.