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Welcome to Part 2 of our fall beard guide! With fall (or autumn if you’re fancy) officially kicking off this Wednesday, we have arrived at peak beard growing season. If you read Part 1, you know that becoming a well-kept beardsman means knowing how to handle your beard growth at each stage and investing in a good barber who can guide you on your hirsute journey.

Today, we arrive at one of the most integral parts of beard growing: Deciding on length and shape.

Genetics determine how much facial hair you grow as well as your hair’s texture, so the key is to work what you’ve got. Choose a beard style that emphasizes your personal beard growth pattern. If your beard growing genes are strong, then by all means aim for that nice, full beard. But if you can’t grow a full beard, try a chin strap instead. As the Art of Manliness puts it, "the beard is a gift and gifts differ among men."

While getting your facial fur in line, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Don’t trim your beard prematurely. By that, we mean give it a month or so to do its own thing. You’ll be able to see the natural shape of your hair growth better, even if you’ll look a little scruffy.

  2. Don’t trim your neckline too high. This is a mistake many new beardsmen make. We recommend trimming where the neck meets the head and no higher. For a more detailed approach, read our article on how to trim your beard line.

  3. Don’t play around with your cheek line too much. When trimming, follow your natural cheek line and only snip away stray hairs.

Tips for a Short Beard

Easier to maintain than the full beard and more widely accepted in the corporate world, the short beard is a popular beard style.

To achieve, grow your beard for 1-2 months, and trim carefully to preserve the length. Use scissors instead of clippers so only a few hairs come off at a time. Keep the shape rounded from ear to ear.

Remember to be consistent with beard shampoo 3 X a week, and follow any rinsing with beard oil and beard balm if your beard is particularly dry.

Tips for a Long Beard

The full, long beard is an accomplishment. It’s the iconic image of a beard, and the preferred beard length of Zeus.

To achieve this length, avoid trimming your beard altogether. This will keep your shape natural.  Of course, a quick ridding of stray hairs, though, is good when needed. If you want a more polished finish, blow dry your beard comb it down with a natural horn comb, which evenly distributes natural oils for shiny hair and less static.

Use a beard shampoo only about once a week, since you don't want to dry out your hair and contribute to uncomely beard frizz.

Check back for Part 3 soon, where we’ll show you how to pick the best beard style for your face shape.