If you're going to put a sweater on your body, there's no reason your face shouldn't be treated with the same respect. Whether it's a full beard or scruff, whatever you do, grow something.
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Stubble (see: Pattinson, R.):
Used every day or two, the new Philips Norelco stubble trimmer ($40) will leave you with the perfect five o'clock shadow. Since you're getting so close to the skin, take a shower first; the heat will open your pores and soften the hair. Dry your face with a towel before you start. And remember to use a moisturizer after. Just because you're covering your face with hair doesn't mean you can ignore it.
Scruff (see: Clooney, G.):
For a slightly longer look — something that shows you can grow a full beard, you just choose not to — trim with the Oster Vorteq ($60) every three or four days. The most important element is your neckline. You want your beard to end
in a way that looks natural. Tapered. A definite line will make you look like a classics professor.
Full Beard (see: Galifianakis, Z.):
For longer, thicker beards, you want to use a trimmer with a heavy-duty motor like the Wahl Designer ($65) once or twice a week. Before you shave, comb your beard down to get rid of tangles, then comb against the growth to fluff it and make it easier to cut. And you might want to start washing your beard with something that leaves less residue than face wash, like Bluebeards Original Beard Wash ($14).
Once you let your beard grow longer than a few inches, pretty much anything goes. You might want to think about conditioning every once in a while, but other than that, your main goal should be to keep your beard free of tangles, food, and anything with an exoskeleton. For maintenance, try whatever you can find in your shed.
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