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Trim like a barber: beard care

Beards are Britain’s most popular face decoration so if you’re gonna do it, do it right

All you have to do to grow a beard is neglect to shave. Stands to reason they should be effortless, but in fact it takes a lot of effort to grow, shape and maintain a proper beard. That is why i paid Pall Mall Barbers in London a visit: to get my beard trimmed and to learn how I should be looking after it.

If you’ve never had a beard trim before, book one immediately. Not only is it a treat having attention lavished on you, but there’s a lot you can learn from a beard barber.

The first thing they’ll do is ask you what you want. If you’re not sure, they’ll discuss options with you and make a recommendation based on how your hair grows, the shape of your face or what might suit you. This is a great experience for first-timers, or for those who grow beards without any real thought.

After a chat, my beard was prepped using a moisturiser and then a scissor-over-comb method was used to shape it. I have a round face and my beard gets unruly fast, so my chin was squared up slightly, taking weight off the neck and jowls. It was then tapered from the chin downwards to lengthen my face, giving me a much stronger jawline.

A hot towel was placed over my face to soften the hair and skin and was then moisturised again with cream. To finish, my cheeks and jaw were lined up with smaller scissors before finishing with a wet shave around the throat and cheeks. 

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If you can’t get to a barber, here are some expert tips from Pall Mall’s Michael Beardsley (yes, that is his real name) that you can use at home:

DO use beard-specific product when you wash it. Regular shampoos and conditioners don’t have the same moisturising oils and will dry out the skin quicker.

DON’T overwash it with products. Once or twice a week will do, otherwise you run the risk of having an overly greased boat. A splash of water will suffice.

DO use a good beard oil. Only a few drops rubbed through your mane twice a week will suffice. It nourishes the skin, softens the hair and protects it from drying out.

DON’T lose patience. The time it takes to grow a beard varies from person to person, but if you can grow even just a bit, it will come.

For more information, visit 

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