6 Important Questions for a Beard Guru

October 29, 2018 | 6:00 AM
Advanced beard design enhances a guy’s features.
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Regular cleansing and combing are essential for a well-groomed beard.
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A leave-in beard cleanser like American Crew™ Beard Foam Cleanser, used twice a day, will eliminate itching, product buildup and odors.
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Beards stay soft, shiny and smooth with a formula like American Crew™ Beard Serum.
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Recommend a grooming aid like American Crew™ Beard Balm for beards that need conditioning, control and shine.
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Adriana Fournier knows a lot about beards. “I live in Portland,” laughs the American Crew educator. “Everyone here has a beard!” She also shares beard know-how with colleagues in classes across the country and has encountered many beard-related situations along the way. Here she addresses six of stylists’ most frequently asked questions about beard design and grooming.

Q: What beard trends are you seeing right now?
Adriana: There’s definitely a late ‘90s influence in the sense of face hair being more chiseled and tighter. But as I travel, I’m also noticing many clients are just starting to get into beards in some areas. It’s new. In these cases, it’s really up to stylists to educate these clients on the importance of sculpted shapes and good grooming to avoid itching and discomfort.

Q: Understanding that every client is different, please describe a basic technique for beard grooming.
Adriana: Always start by cleansing the beard to freshen and deodorize the beard and remove product buildup. I use American Crew™ Beard Foam Cleanser. Then comb it out so you can see the natural shape clearly. Many guys fail to cleanse and comb their beards and they should do so twice a day. Next, I’ll use my clippers and clipper comb to create the shape. Or, if it’s an in-between service and I’m not removing length, I’ll use my shears to remove those little hairs that stick out. Afterward, I apply a serum like American Crew™ Beard Serum to soften and moisturize the hair. If the beard is thick or coarse, I might use a product like American Crew™ Beard Balm to control the shape.

Beard grooming in action!
Watch Adriana perform a complete beard service with her client.

Q: Where should a beard start and stop?
Adriana: Every guy is different, and a beard design can make all the difference in enhancing a man’s face shape. So you’re really customizing each beard. As a general rule, though, look at where the man’s chin casts a shadow on his neck. End the beard where that shadow ends. On the cheek, it really depends on the face shape. If the face is full, create more of an angle on the cheek line. If a guy’s features are angular, you can create a rounder shape.

Q: How can you adjust a beard for a full face, a long face or a weak chin?
Adriana: For a round face, stick with narrow shapes in the cheek area and leave length below the chin. A guy with a narrow face should have more length in the cheeks and a shorter overall length to avoid exaggerating his long face. For a guy with a soft jawline, create a half-octagon shape (think the bottom half of a stop sign.) This creates length from the sideburn to the jaw, then squares off the chin. Let there be fullness from below the lip to the end of the beard.

Q: What is the biggest mistake stylists make when it comes to beard design and beard grooming
Adriana:  Sticking to one side of the client while working. I always move from side to side so I can see the beard from all angles. If you’re in a tight space in the salon or barber shop, you may need to move the client. That’s ok as long as you see it from the left and the right.

The other mistake is following the natural growth of the beard and just removing length. Remember, a beard is like a haircut—in fact it’s an extension of the haircut—in the sense that you must consider the face shape and symmetry. Ask yourself if the client needs to look taller, leaner, more masculine, and how you can create the angles, volume and proportion to achieve your goals.

Q: What are some of the biggest mistakes guys make when it comes to their own beards?
Adriana: They don’t understand the best beard shape for their face and they don’t use the right products. Regarding the former, a lot of guys use beard rulers to create the shape, but it shouldn’t be one-size-fits-all. They should let their barber or stylist line them out, and then they can maintain the shape at home. Regarding products, it’s important to wash underneath the beard and scrub the beard. Use the Beard Foam Cleanser after showering because shampoo can actually collect in the beard. The cleanser will remove all buildup from shampoo and products.


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