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With the fall weather in full effect, not to mention the soon-to-be winter season quickly approaching, many men are growing out beards to make sure their faces are kept warm. Of course, growing facial whiskers is a fun process, but it’s important to maintain upkeep, too, understanding that trimming and shaping your beard is critical to do each day.

For those guys who don’t know how to shape a beard properly, we’ve got some tips that will help you look your best, avoiding the messiness that some dudes just can’t seem to shake. Much like your hair, you want to keep things trimmed and shaped up, so take our advice so that your handsome self is still on full display.

Match your beard with your face shape

Do you have a round face, or are you one of the lucky men with a square jaw? Much like your the hairline on top of your head, you’ll want to make sure you match your beard with the natural features of your face, too, avoiding too many patches in certain areas like the cheeks, neck and sides. After growing out your whiskers for a couple weeks, shape your beard based off of how it will best complement your face shape.

Know when to trim it up

So many guys think that growing a beard means doing it all Grizzly Adams style. For those dudes who think this way, shame on you, because it’s totally the opposite. Sure, while pro athletes like football and hockey players may go all untamed for luck and such, you’re not someone who gets paid millions of dollars to play a sport, so, instead, need to look like you didn’t just come to the city from the mountains. It’s OK to grow a beard long, but when doing that, make sure you trim it up on the sides for a natural, styling look, while also cutting off any split ends or dead hairs.

Define the proper neckline

One of the most important parts of shaping a beard is defining the neckline. Guys, neck beards are not cool, and they look gross AF, so make sure you remember to tighten things up in and around your neckline and jaw so that things grow evenly and stay under control. To find the ideal neckline, trim your beard with an electric razor from the bottom of the ears down, and then take a straight blade to shave from just beneath your jawline down. As for you guys with chest hair visible from the top of shirts, do yourself a favor and trim that, too, because your beard should not extend all the way down your belly.

Don’t forget about your lips

Point blank, you don’t want any part of your beard overgrowing your lips. This means that you need to trim up around your upper and lower lip regularly, making sure things are nice and clean there. In order to do this, use small scissors and cut evenly. When it comes to your soul patch, use a beard trimmer and set it at your preferred length, making it blend in with the rest of your beard.

Wash it regularly, exfoliate and moisturize

Whether growing a beard or just trying to maintain it, the key to keeping it healthy is actually washing it regularly. That means that, especially in the first couple of weeks, you exfoliate the skin beneath those whiskers to avoid ingrown hairs or other potential blackheads. You don’t want to be itching the thing nonstop or run into any infections, so it’s important to care for your beard like you would every part of your body.

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