All good things must come to an end. And since beards are indisputably good things, they are no exception.
Put your razor down, I’m not suggesting we end beards altogether. (That’d be ridiculous—and career suicide.) I’m just saying we have to draw the line somewhere. Left to its own devices the beard will slovenly and carelessly spread up the cheeks and down the neck like wildfire—or disease, rumors, hysteria—any number of bad things that spread uncontrollably.
The difference with the beard is that you can control it. Here’s how.
The upper edge of the beard—that is, the line from sideburn to mustache—is the line where you have the most freedom. Use this line to complement the shape of your face. “Handsome” is little more than the result of illusions created by facial structure, so capitalize on this opportunity to create your own tricks.
Say your cheeks are more round than you would like. Trim your beard’s upper edge to a straight line with a deep slope. The angular severity of the line can offset the roundness of the cheek creating the illusion of a more neutral shape.
Notice how both these men have round faces.
The guy on top has chosen to accentuate the roundness of his face by contouring the upper edge of his beard.
The guy on bottom has a more straight line at his beard's upper edge. The result is a round face that appears less round.
You get the idea. Conversely, if your face is long and narrow, add a curve to the beard’s upper line to soften the cheek thereby contouring the face.
Say you're happy with the shape of your face and the idea of creating illusions with your beard seems a little out there. Fair enough. Still, might I recommend never adding 90-degree angles to the bottom of your sideburns. Some guys like to grow a long sideburn all the way down the face and create a corner at the mandibular hinge. Some, like the one pictured below, keep their 90-degree angle a little higher. Either way, there are two reasons I recommend avoiding this type of shaping to your beard:
1) 90-degree angles are not really in keeping with the natural human form. Curves and lines appear more natural than squares and corners. Severe corners could read "douchebag" or "high-maintenance" or recall Joan Crawford's shoulder pads.
2) When the large swath of hair you've removed in order to fashion your angles starts to grow in, it looks bad, and you have to do an awful lot of shaving just to keep it up. I say one of the perks of being bewhiskered is not having to shave very much.
As for my beard's upper edge, I only lose the stragglers. Where the hair grows in fully and consistently is where my beard starts and stops.
Now when it comes to the bottom line of your beard, there's less room for playing around. Allen Peterkin, author of 1000 Beards: A Cultural History of Facial Hair, seems to have a specific take on where the beard's lower edge should be placed. According to this article from Men's Health, Peterkin says the line should be drawn midway between the chin and Adam's apple. The article also says that in order to keep the beard neat, one should fade its edges--though whether that suggestion is also Peterkin's is kind-of ambiguous.
I happen to disagree with both sentiments on beard-edging. In my opinion(and that's the beauty of men's grooming: its subjectivity), the lower edge of the beard should be placed perfectly along the natural bend of the throat, which is usually right at or just above the Adam's Apple. The way I see it, this is where the face stops and the neck begins. As in the image below, the one beard not quite reaching the bend of the throat appears mask-like, phony.
I have a theory about why bearded men are perceived as more trustworthy, attractive and better fathers: it's because you know where they stand. One of the beard's jobs is to say, "Hey! Look! This is my face! See it? Yeah! My face! ... Down there? Yeah, that's my neck. But right here: this is my face."
You gaze upon the bearded man with no ambiguity. Just doubtless, hairy, furry certainty.
Your beard can speak volumes about you before you've even said a word. So make sure it's saying what you want it to.
Good news everyone! I have been working on the perfect aftershave recipe. I'm really excited to launch it! Check out the sexy new bottles we are using!
Our formula is wonderfully cooling, emmollient and absorbs quickly. I decided to use a combination of sacred woods, balsam resins and blood orange oils, the scent is unique, sensual and transforms as its worn, much like a cologne. Please check out our mention in this months Wall street Journal!
Its a wonderful article about men's grooming.
Straight Razor Tips:
Hey New Yorkers have you ever wanted to learn how to use a straight razor?
The New York Shaving Co. offers straight razor classes please check out the link HERE.
Since spring is comming and many of you are going to start shaving off your facial hair I wanted to offer you fellas some simple tips:
To begin you will need the following:
Badger brush + Mug
Leather Stop + oil.
Sponge for cleaning excess lather
Beard trimmers ( for longer hair)
Scissors ( for longer hair)
1) Start with opening your pores, best way to achieve this is steam from either hot water or a hot towel. I would recommend a hot towel since its much easier and takes less time.
For this step you will need a towel and warm water. Submerge the towel in warm water, ring untill almost dry and wrap around your face, let the towel sit for a few minutes. Your pores may need a bit to open up, think of them as a shy date, it might take two tries:)
2) Find a good shave soap. This can be tough since there is a ton of stuff out there and you want something that has a nice lather and scent. We find that a soap and shave oil in combo is amazing! Our friends at HUDSON MADE make a wonderful cedar wood shaving soap that lathers quite nicely. you can buy it HERE. Use the soap in combo with one of our Shaving oils.
To use a shaving soap you will need a Shaving brush + Mug and hot water.
You can also purchase them at Hudson Made HERE. I mention hudson Made because I trust that their selection of products will be of the highest quality and made with integrity.
Next use hot water to work up a good lather, you can swish your brush around in the bowl and or lather your face directly with soap.It really a matter of preference and up to you.
*Wet your face with hot water prior to applying the soap.
3) Apply the lather like your using a paintbrush untill its nicely ditributed along your face. let it sit for 5 minutes, you want the hair folicles to soften. This is why a shaving oil is also recommended as it softens the hair folicle making it easier to shave and also protects your skin with a thin layer of oil, the soap will wash away any excess oil, giving you a clean shave.
warning: Straight razors can be dangerous and you can seriously hurt yourself, these tips are not intended for any other purpose than advice.
In other words don't hurt yourself and for the love of god don't sue me if you do.
Here is the anatomy of a Straight razor.
Here is a pic of how to hold it properly:
Some other helpful tips:
Make sure you buy a good straight razor, don't go cheap. Think of it as a tool you will have forever, you want to make sure your shaving with something nice, its an investment.
You'll need a leather strop to keep your baby sharp.
You can buy some incredible straight razors and tools from Royal Shave HERE
If you live in NY FSC barber and supply also offers a nice selection of Straight razors you can find their shop HERE.
*Get your razor sharpened, don't start off with a dull razor.
* Trim your hair before shaving as it much easier to shave.
*Stretch the skin before shaving, you want it taut otherwise you run the risk of injury.
*Don't hold the razor flat as you can rip your stubble off (ouch!)
*Shave with the grain for the first few passes. 3 passes give you an incredibly great shave.
* clean excess lather and hair with a sponge and keep your tools clean and dry once your finished shaving.
* Be careful and use common sense
“Common sense is the most widely shared commodity in the world, for every man is convinced that he is well supplied with it.”
" To shave or not to shave....that is the question"
Springtime is just around the corner....Finally! Warm weather and sun is long overdue. With spring and Summer comming the question arises, should I keep my beard? It's up to you fellas. I totally get the desire to shave it all off and start fresh, after all you can always grow it back.
just remember the ladies and gents like beards all year round. It's true, beards are super sexy and with the emerging trend of beard growers scientist are wondering why.
We were recently featured in the NY TIMES for our beard oil. The entire article was about the rising trend of beard growers. There is some great info in the article.
you can read it HERE.
If your having trouble deciding wether or not to shave your beard, maybe leave a bit of stubble. According to a recent study done by MENS HEALTH many women prefer stubble. The in-between is rugged and sexy and gives you a sharp appearance. I know I'm always checking out men who have a little stubble versus a full on beard. then again I like both looks for different reasons. Please check out the MEN'S HEALTH article HERE.
A lot of men ask me what our beard oil is. I want to give you guys a quick answer.
Our beard oil is a blend of highly nutrient rich oils that tame hair follicles. Most importantly the oils penetrate to the first layer of skin beneath the beard, which tends to get dry and itchy. If your looking for a product that can moisturize your skin and tame your beard you've come to the right place.
Our beard oils are made with a few key ingredients like Argan oil which a prized Moroccan oil that is nutrient dense, lightweight and repairs and restores the skin and hair.
Another key ingredient is hempseed oil which helps tame hair follicles and is the most nutrtitional oil available, it adds shine and manageability to hair and skin.
To use our oils dab a few small drops into your palm and warm into hands, massage into your beard, you'll notice a difference within a few minutes. The amount to use will vary from beard to beard, some men will need more than others.
Please feel free to email us with any comments or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org