Male grooming has finally gained a spot in the men’s world that it deserved, and today it is getting the attention it needed for ages. But, that brings us to an important question. How do we style our facial hair to the best of our capacity? What’s better: Shaving, Trimming or a mix of both? Well, the answer depends on a couple of factors, including your personal preference, your face shape, and the type of facial hair you have, and most importantly what do you want to achieve as the final result. Let’s break it down and understand what may work for you and what may not.
When it comes to removing facial hair, shaving is one of the most traditional and preferred methods. The reason is quite obvious – it is a low-maintenance option, it is less expensive, and after some practice, doesn’t take much time. It ensures a neater and tidier look by removing all the hair from the desired area. However, you need to follow the right method, as afterall you’re dealing with a razor with blades.
If you choose to shave, be sure to use a sharp razor and a good shaving cream or foam. For your ease, we’ve added some tips for safe shaves.
The GOOD Part about Shaving
It makes your skin look smooth, clean and sharp
It also mildly exfoliates your skin in the process
Doesn’t take much upfront cost
What’s NOT SO GOOD about Shaving
If done incorrectly, it can cause irritation and razor burns
Shaving requires a pre- and post-shave schedule, otherwise it can lead to dry skin
Requires regular upkeep to maintain the look
TIPS FOR SAFE SHAVING
Wash your face before you shave as this softens your hair follicles and makes them easier to cut, preferably with warm water or simply a hot towel
Go for a high-quality shaving foam, gel or cream, with natural ingredients for better lubrication.
Use a razor that’s sharp and with a good lubricating strip to ensure smoother glides.
Rinse your razor after every glide to avoid clogging between your blades.
For a soothing and refreshing feel post your shave, use an aftershave gel or post shave cream to minimise post-shave irritation.
Avoid using dull and old blades as they can increase the chances of tugs and pulls.
Trimming works best for guys who don’t want to completely remove hair from their face and want to either keep a beard or stubble look. This helps you give a structure and shape to your beard to add more definition to your overall appearance. To get started with trimming, get a beard trimmer with multiple style settings, set it to your desired length and trim against the direction of your grain (when using it with trimmer combs).
The GOOD Part about Trimming
Doesn’t irritate the skin as the blades are not in direct contact with your skin.
Allows you versatility in terms of the looks you can create by styling
Does not require daily upkeep
What’s NOT SO GOOD about Trimming
Can take more time than shaving
It may take some trial and error to find the right trimmer, technique and style
You may need more frequent trimming sessions to maintain the desired length of beard
TIPS FOR SAFE TRIMMING
Make sure you choose a trimmer with self-sharpening blades so that the blades never go dull. Dull blades lead to tugs and pulls, which can be painful and lead to ingrown hair.
Avoid sharing or borrowing the tools from your friends. This increases your risk of infections.
Trim in the direction of hair growth when trimming without a trimmer comb, and against the grain when using with a trimmer comb in order to achieve a desired length.
MIX OF BOTH
Now comes the most interesting part. You may like to keep a beard but your style calls for removing hair from some part of your face, like your neck and cheeks. Doing this gives you a sharper and cleaner beard look that goes perfectly for both personal and professional spaces. Here is how this works. The part where you shave is cheeks and neck, and the parts you trim is your moustache and beard. This look gives you an appearance that looks clean, intentional yet not messy.
TIPS TO CHOOSE YOUR BEARD STYLE
Analyse Your Face Shape
If you have a square face with a sharp jawline you can go for a beard that is fuller and a rounder neckline. If you have a round face, you should avoid a beard that's too long, although DJ Khaled is an exception, but hey that’s because it's an exception. Since you have a rounder face, you can go for beard shapes that make you look more sharp and add more definition to your face.
Get an Idea of Your Hair Type
If you have patchy or uneven beard, then you need to find a length where you can create an illusion of a fuller beard. Start by finding sections with the most hair density and least hair density. When you’re aware of that, trim everything to a length that matches the least dense section of your beard, and you’ll easily create the illusion of a fuller beard. If you have a coarse beard you may find it difficult to keep your beard neat and tidy. So for the folks with thicker and coarse beards, you should try to trim your beard down to a shorter length.
Which option is right for you?
If you’re more inclined towards a clean-shaven look, then shaving is the best option for you. However, if you have sensitive skin, you have to be very careful while selecting your Razor. Go for a razor with a lubricating strip that gently heals your skin as you glide your razor across. If you like to keep a beard or like to sport a stubble, go for trimming. You can use any beard trimmer with multiple comb attachments to get any length or style of beard you like. This way you can achieve a variety of looks, by mixing both shaving and trimming.
THAT’S A WRAP
Shaving and trimming are equally effective methods of hair removal. Shaving gives you a closer hair removal experience, with an absolutely neat look. Trimming is a process that cuts your hair from above the surface of your skin, leaving some part of the hair still visible above the skin. This works best for people who like to keep a beard. Most of the time it’s the combination of the two that steals the show. So, you can still keep a beard and at the same time maintain a mess free look by shaving the rest of your face. Happy hair removal!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Does shaving make hair grow thicker and coarser?
A. No, it may look like your beard has got thicker or coarser after shaving. But this is only because the blunt ends of your hair closer to the base of your skin are thicker and once the top is removed the new growth appears thick. As it grows back to the original length, they will taper and start appearing less coarse.
Q What are the set of tools I need in my beard trimmer kit?
A. A trimmer is a must for anyone with a beard. Add to that a good quality razor and you’re absolutely good to go. But there are some allies that support the upkeep of your beard. These include a pair of scissors, and skin friendly beard oil or balm. Other than that, depending on the kind of beard you have, you can add a beard comb or a beard brush as well.