Where should your beard stop?
Words Matthieu Morge-Zucconi
Photos Louis Canadas
The off-beard rule.
How long should a beard be grown? With as many beards as there are men, the question is worth asking — whether you’re permanently close-shaven (thereby bypassing the question entirely), or a long beard enthusiast. While we can all agree that a beard has to be maintained to avoid looking scruffy, the only remaining detail is to know how long or short you should keep it.
The long beard exception
As a starting point we should mention that the length of your beard is very much related to your style. Some famous fictional figures, such as Gandalf or Professor Dumbledore, managed to make their long beards an integral part of their characters. Should you feel brave enough to attempt to look like a well-loved mage, then we can only recommend letting your beard grow until it reaches your waist.
Not too short, not too long
Unfortunately, on top of being extremely complicated to pull off, last time we checked, looking like a wizard wasn’t part of standard office attire. For men who are constantly caught between a three-day and a three-week beard, regular maintenance and the proper length are crucial. This can prove to be tricky, though. Cut too short and you’ll look like you’ve suddenly grown a double chin. Leave it too long and you’ll quickly enter ‘wizard beard’ territory, and your neck will look like a battleground where hairs run free.
Finding the reference point
Use your Adam’s apple as a guide. Place two fingers above it and draw an imaginary line from this point to your ears (emphasis on the ‘imaginary’). This U-shaped line is your reference; you can now shave off any neckbeard found below this line.
To get rid of these unruly hairs, grab a razor and some shave cream. To this day, it’s still the most effective way of doing it.
On the other hand, if you shave your beard above this reference line, you might end up with a chinstrap. The only possible and recommended course of action is to trim your beard with clippers, down to the length you’ve chosen.
Once your beard is impeccably trimmed, a few more steps will finish off the job. Pluck off any stray hairs on your cheeks, apply some moisturiser on your freshly-shaved skin and some oil on your beard, and smile. Good to go.
You now know how long a beard should be, no more excuses.