Are you putting your best foot forward? My young brothers, truth be told, most teenage guys just don’t understand manscaping. Teenage grooming is an art, one that most be endured to truly learn and master. Now, I am no teenage grooming mastermind, but I’ve had my fair share of shaving mishaps along the way, which have turned into a lesson learned.
Beards are all the rage, or even the mythical ten day stubble that studies have proven are the most attractive to women. Unfortunately, growing a beard isn’t easy, especially as a teenager. Outside of the one guy who can actually grow a full beard in high school, most of us are dealing with peach fuzz and our patchy spots.
Facial hair comes in all colors and styles, but your first step to teenage grooming is the age old test of time.
1. Grow it out.
Anyone who knows facial hair knows you have to grow whatever you have for at least four weeks. Growing out your hair is your first step towards finding out whatever genetic potential your facial crop yields, if anything at all. If you don’t have a need to shave much as is, then chances are, four weeks won’t be necessary. But if you want to play your hand, set the razor down and go crazy. But not too crazy — which leads us to our next point.
2. Keep it clean.
I don’t necessarily mean clean shaven, but if your four week test didn’t turn out too hot, then perhaps a fresh shave is the way to go. But whatever you have, and if you choose to embrace it, then you have to keep it tidy and clean. Trim it here and there, shave what doesn’t grow, and take care of fly aways. Keeping what facial hair you have under control is the only way to get away with good teenage grooming habits.
3. Shave your neck.
Time and time and time again, I see teenage guys who don’t know what they’re doing with their neck hair. There’s a reason the acclaimed neck beard is hailed as unattractive. It’s messy, makes your chin look droopy, and it’s down right unhygienic. You have to make sure you’re shaving your neck…even if it’s just long fuzz! But perhaps you’re like me — your neck hair grows every which way and is prone to razor burn. The solution is simple. Grow out the hair and map which way it grows, and shave with the grain. It won’t be as close of a cut, but your neck will thank you for sparing the burns, and so will the ladies.
Bonus point: another thing so many people mess up, myself included up until mid January, is where to stop shaving on their neck. Naturally, you want to take your facial hair up to your face, so you shave to just below your jawline. Well, this simply is not true. The rule of thumb is two fingers space above your Adam’s apple is a no-shave zone. Line up your two fingers, make a mark, and shave accordingly. This will take awhile to master. But it’ll add more definition to your face and thickness to whatever’s on top.
4. Don’t grow peach fuzz.
If you’re only rocking the lengthy baby blonde hairs known as the infamous peach fuzz, then just shave it off. It doesn’t add to your face. It just makes your look all straggly. Now, if you’re prone to razor burn and acne, then peach fuzz will be harder to manage. But if you can’t actually see your facial hair clearly, shave it, especially if it’s above your upper lip. No one wants to see a weak mustache all by itself.
5. Match to your hairstyle.
This is the tricky part. Whatever look you’re rocking on top up top, you should try and match with your facial hair style. If you have a skin fade, you’ll want an equal fade with your sideburns. If up top is a little messy, keep the patchy beard alive, yet clean. It’s hard to say exactly what hairstyles go with which facial hair styles, so experiment and find out which looks go the best together. This is crucial to executing phenomenal teenage grooming.
6. Find your style.
This requires time and experimentation. I’ve gone through a few different styles — a patchy chin strap kinda deal with a gotee like scruff, just a gotee with my mustache to match (which isn’t much of a mustache, but I keep it to complete the look), or a gotee-mustsche combo with short sideburns. For you, you have to shape your facial hair into whatever works. If that’s a soul patch, then dig it. If you can tackle a mad-crazy stubble, then go for it! If it’s a fresh shave, then go you. This is your face. You pick what works. But hey, ask for input from men and women that you’re close to. They will help you pick the right style for you.
7. Maintaining the look.
The hardest part of them all is actually grooming to maintain the look. Because you have to keep it afloat otherwise your facial hair will become an unkempt sinking mess. We don’t want that. The goal is to maintain the look you dig, and repeat the structuring and shaping every week or so, depending on hair growth rate. For me, my style right now is still hardcore growing with cleaning up here and there. Don’t forget to wash your face and beard, and use moisturizer (I use coconut oil) afterwards to keep the hairs healthy and the skin underneath healthy, too. Make sure you’re careful with trimmer settings and you remember the appropriate length. Don’t want to ruin your work of art.
Teenage grooming is a journey, and one we all embark on. It can be awkward, or put you ahead of the game. I know, for me, I made mistakes with my facial hair, and in the beginning, I didn’t believe I could grow anything until I stuck with it longer than a week without a shave. Even then, my beard was thin and patchy.
Even now, it still has patches. But hey, I just turned 18 back in January. My beard is nowhere near its full potential, and if you’re also a teenager, neither is yours. If you can’t grow a lot now, the test of time might take a few years to really kick in.
Some beard growers are luckier than others from the start. And that’s okay. The trick is being comfortable and acceptant with what you have, and having confidence in your well-groomed appearance.
Teenage grooming is a big challenge. It doesn’t come with a lot of guidance or input. That’s why I made this list. I hope this message helps on your journey of self discovery and (most likely) patchy beard growing. It isn’t all that bad. It’s just comes down to grooming, and like I said, it’s an art, and like all arts, it takes time to master.