Okay, you want to go for the totally bearded look. The first thing you have to work out is whether you can actually grow a Full Beard. Not everyone has enough facial coverage to trim and manage the whole thing. Do you?
Step One: the Trial Beard
So go for the Trial Beard first: all-over stubble (apart from on your upper cheeks and neck, of course). A week of Trial Beard should be enough to tell you which areas of your face are populated by fast-growing hairs, which ones contain the slower growers, and which bits are determined to remain naked. No need to worry about the two little patches of nearly hairless skin that most men have under the sides of their mouth. That’s just there to add definition to whatever beard style you grow around them. Not sure when to grow a Trial Beard? Plan your Full Beard in advance and make the trial version a Holiday Beard.
Wear your Full Beard in style
Don’t just walk away from the mirror for the next 6 months. The period while your Full Beard is taking on its adult identity gives you the perfect opportunity to examine how different amounts of facial hair affect the contours of your face. As master criminals know, a Full Beard is a marvelous tool to accentuate or hide your natural face shape. For example, you could grow your beard longer to slim down a round face, or trim your facial hair into a square shape at the bottom to disguise a thin chin. Work out which beard style would suit you best, and groom your growing beard accordingly.
Anything else I should know?
The first week or two of growth can be uncomfortable. Your skin needs to get used to the feeling. A good moisturizing cream (one without too much perfume) should soothe the irritation. Beard (or hair) conditioner can also help you avoid that itchy feeling. Taking it to the next level, try applying beard oil to make your beard look more healthy and colorful. It will also feel more comfortable – and look better – to give your beard a regular trim to discourage rogue hairs that are racing ahead of the pack. Once you’ve reached your chosen length (or lengths, if you’re feeling artistic), keep up the maintenance. Eternal vigilance is a small price to pay for looking like a true man.