Live the Full Beard Dream

The Full Beard—for some men, growing a thick, full beard has become something like a holy grail, with guys stooping to all levels and trying all sorts of tricks to help them achieve their dream of bearded manliness. Although beards sometimes get a bad name, there is no doubt that they are fully in fashion at the moment, and look set to stay that way for the foreseeable future. Check out our articles on the best beard styles, best beard styles for black men, as well as best beards for round faces.

Still, that doesn’t stop some people from thinking that only lazy men who simply don’t want to shave, have beards, or worse yet, that beards are only for hipsters. Or perhaps worst of all, from so-called scientists joining the campaign against beards by publishing studies claiming that they are full of poop particles (for the record, so is almost everything else; the hair on your head included).

Despite all this flack, those of us fortunate enough to be able to sport a luscious, full beard already know just how amazingly awesome it can be. I mean, I don’t want to exaggerate too much here, but really, growing a beard can change your life. Still, if you’re smart enough to be reading this site, then you are probably already aware of the many benefits of beards, so today’s post will focus on how to grow a full beard and how to trim it to keep it looking its best. First though, we’ll look into exactly what a full beard is and isn’t in order to clear up a bit of confusion.

The Full Beard

What is a Full Beard?

Although it seems quite common sense, many people are actually quite confused about what a full beard is. The problem here is that when some men hear the words full beard, they immediately think this is the type of beard that you just let run wild. So let’s get this straight once and for all, an epic Duck Dynasty style beard is just one of many types of full beards, as the term full beard really just refers to any beard that fully covers the cheeks, jaw, lip and chin.

You may notice that we didn’t mention the neck. Well, that’s because there is also a difference between a full beard and a neckbeard. Even if you’re planning on growing a long beard, it will still require at least a bit of maintenance to keep it from looking shabby. No matter what type of beard you plan on growing, you’ll always want to keep the neckline trimmed up, as otherwise you’ll look like a slob. A good rule of thumb is to always trim everything below the Adam’s apple. You may also want to consider trimming up your cheeks a bit, depending on how sculpted you want the beard to look and how high up your cheeks your hair grows. Check out our how to articles on how to shave your neck line and how to shave your cheek line.

How to Grow a Full Beard

As the old saying goes, good things come to those who wait, and nowhere could this saying be truer than when it comes to growing a beard. Simply put, the only way how to grow a full beard is to stop shaving. Even if you’re planning on keeping your beard trimmed up fairly short, we’d still recommend going for at least 2-3 weeks without shaving. This will let the hair fill in and give you a much better idea of what you’re working with before you start trimming, sculpting and shaping. Still, in all likelihood, it will probably take at least a month to six weeks before your beard fills in fully.

While you want to let the beard grow in fully before you start to do too much trimming, you’ll also want to do whatever you can to keep yourself from looking like a slob during this time. This means that you shouldn’t forget the rule about trimming your neckline, as giving it a little touch up will help make your stubble look a bit more stylish. Just be sure not to go overboard with the trimming, as you also don’t want to look overly groomed or manicured at this stage.

If you’re not satisfied with the way your beard grows in, you may want to check out our post on growing a better beard. You’ll probably be surprised to know that things like diet, exercise and how much sleep you get can actually have an effect on how your facial hair grows. Otherwise, you could always join the growing list of men who have stooped to beard implants in an effort to improve their facial follicles.

Trimming Up a Full Beard

We won’t get too much into the basics of trimming here, as we’ve already written a full post on how to trim a beard, which includes an excellent video that shows you some useful tips, as well as an article on the best beard trimmers. Suffice to say, once your beard has fully grown in and you’re ready to start trimming and styling it up, the first thing to do is determine what style you’re going for. As we said, a full beard is really quite a general term, as they can be trimmed up short (close crop full beard), left long, faded or pretty much anything else. The choice of how to wear your beard is really a matter of personal preference and should reflect your personal style.

Ben Rose Founder and Senior Editor of PrimandPrep.com

Ben Rose is the founder and senior editor at Prim&Prep, the definitive guide to male grooming. He is a wet shaving expert and body grooming aficionado. His work has been featured on many other prominent publications including Good Men Project, Addicted to Success, Steven Aitchison, and Sharpologist.