In an all-exclusive interview, we’ve been chatting with (fictional) topiary expert Hans Trimmerman to give you the lowdown on a subject many men shy away from - how to trim your beard into the shape you want once you’ve grown it.

What did this reclusive genius have to say for himself huh? Let’s find out.

Here’s what we learned about how to shape a beard...

Mission Beard (MB): Dr Trimmerman. Thanks for having us here.

Hans Trimmerman (HT): You left me no choice…

MB: Let’s get down to it. Shaping a beard - it’s a delicate art, is it not?

HT: Indeed. Many have tried and few have succeeded. For a lot of men, the first step is the hardest. Before one even picks up the beard trimmer, they must try to imagine what shape of beard will suit them best.

How to shape your facial hair depends on one key consideration: the shape of your face.

Let’s face it…

HT: All mens faces are unique - but few are considered highly beautiful without the presence of a beard. In fact, a beard can seem to alter the shape of a face dramatically - plus it’s a lot cheaper than plastic surgery.

The jawline is a good place to start - for men with a pointed chin for example, a shapely beard can serve to square the face up. Similarly, those with a rounded face can create the illusion of a more jagged, Herculean jawline.

With careful trimming, beards can also alter the width and length of a face. Growing a bushy beard which covers the cheeks (or adjusting the width of your beard) can counteract the plight of having quite a narrow face, for example. Longer beards grow out and alter your jawline dramatically, creating the illusion of a longer face.

MB: Fascinating stuff that. Altering the neckline and cheeks is one thing we’ve found to dramatically enhance how attractive we are, of course. But give us the specifics - let’s get down and dirty in the details.

The art of the trim

HT: Letting your facial hairs grow to a suitable length is crucial - you can’t shape something that’s not there yet. You might experience a little dry spell whilst you allow your beard to grow chaotically. Don’t let this consume you (we can’t all get laid all of the time).

Once it’s long enough though, you’re ready to shape your beard.

The first step in your grooming routine is of course to apply beard oil evenly across the whole set of whiskers…

MB: Yes, yes, come on, we weren’t born yesterday.

HT: Now, delve into your collection of beard combs, perhaps reaching for the boar hair beard-brush you so treasure. Use this to brush your your facial hair in it’s direction of growth - this will allow you to make sure you trim evenly.

Now, consider the shape you’ve decided on - perhaps you’ve identified a celebrity or a Facebook friend who you can’t remember adding and decided to mimic the shape of their beard. An excellent idea! As we’ve discussed though, picture in your minds eye how you want your beard to frame your face.

Use a handheld mirror as well as the one in your bathroom to preview how the lines you’ll cut in will affect the face of your shape as it’s viewed from different angles. Use scissors to craft lines, then brush your beard out and prune at any stragglers from above the cheek lines and such..

Unless you have a long beard, pay close attention to the beard neckline. This is crucial to shaping a beard which brings out the jaw, so consider where your beard style should end. We usually recommend 1 and a ½ cm above the Adam’s apple or so.

MB: You mean the Joey’s apple?

HT: A reference to Friends! So nineties.

The touch up

HT: When it comes to shaping, the devil’s in the details - and that’s as true of a full beard as it is of a short, stubbly number.

A genuinely shapely beard is a thing of utter magnificence. You’ll often notice that the moustache is trimmed just above the top lip, which can make an awful lot more difference than you might think. Even the soul patch isn’t exempt from a little trimmage.

Sideburns are another factor often neglected by the amateur beardsman. Be sure to brush or comb your beard hair towards your ears before taking the beard trimmer and carving a straight line - this not only makes you look delightfully well-groomed, but also brings out your jawline.

MB: So you’re saying that once you’ve achieved a beard shape you’re happy with, there is probably still more to do (what with all the detailed neckline, cheek line and moustache trimming)?

HT: That is exactly what I’m saying. And it’s also the last thing I’m saying - this interview is over.

*Trimmerman rips off microphone and bolts for the exit*

MB: A genius of male grooming - but also an elusive figure. I guess that’s all we’ve got time for during today’s interview, but make no mistake - this session has been a rollercoaster of education for us at Mission Beard.

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