There I was, standing in front of the mirror, leaning over the sink when it happened:
I foolishly was trying to trim up the neckline for my beard the night before the big interview.
It ended up being a colossal mistake.
The place that I applied for was a startup here in New York, and from my cursory research (i.e., stalking) of their Instagram page, they looked by all accounts to be a beard-friendly workplace.
But before any interview, whether it’s medium stubble or a full-on beard it needs to look good.
An unruly mane just looks sloppy; there is no sugar coating this fact.
Therefore, when I was prepping for this interview, beyond just the questions that I had been rehearsing all day, I wanted to make sure that I also presented myself as a somewhat put-together man.
So, I checked out a few tutorials on YouTube and then did my best Google-fu and read some men’s grooming blogs.
But it ended up leaving me with this false sense of confidence that I could easily wield a pair of clippers and go to town.
Well, that simply wasn’t the case. Not only did I completely mess up the DIY beard neckline trim, but I also didn’t get the job.
By all accounts, this was a fail.
But it won’t be for you, here’s why:
Not only is failure a learning opportunity, but it’s a teaching opportunity as well!
We wanted to provide you with some sound guidance on preventing this from happening to you, along with a few quick alternatives that you employ to try and fix a botched neckline trim.
Here’s what you need to know:
To Prevent Too High of A Beard Neckline, You Need To Know Where To Stop
When looking at yourself in the mirror and trying to trim your beard, it can be a bit tricky since you are trying to get a clean cut while also simultaneously looking down to see where the shears or trimmer are going.
Therefore, one bit of advice we like to share with men is to take note their adam’s apple.
Do you know that lump that’s right by your throat?
You only want to shave no more than an inch or two above that.
Any lower, and it looks sloppy and too high, then it just looks awkward.
Still Not Feeling The Right Line? Seek Help; It’s Ok To Reach Out!
Men can be stubborn when seeking help from others – don’t worry, I am just as bad at this.
But unfortunately, when it comes to beard growth, not seeking help when appropriate will not only make you look much less presentable, but it will also take a long time to reverse any mistakes.
Therefore, if it’s your first time trimming your beard, or you simply aren’t feeling too confident with your trusty shears, trimmer, or razor blade, then a visit to the barbershop should be in order.
Whether you do at it the same time as your haircut or as a separate visit for your beard, barbers are pro when it comes to trimming your beard.
Not only will they get your neckline on point, but they can also shape up your cheek and mustache lines as well, making you look and feel like a million bucks after you leave.
But it gets better:
Sure, your beard will look much better, but their work of defining the lines of your beard will give you a template going forward.
Therefore, if you clean your beard up at least once a week, you should be able to follow the lines your barber defined, so you look fresh for several months.
Expert Tips To Fix A Beard That Has Too High of A Neckline
Here are some solutions that you can rely on if the neckline is too high:
Thin Down Your Beard With A Trimmer
One of the best ways to fix a high neckline is scaling back the beard hair on your cheeks.
The stark contrast, especially if you are a man with a thicker or darker beard, will be too great between your neck and cheeks.
A light fade or thinning of the beard along your cheek area will help balance your look.
The best way to do this would be with a beard trimmer over shears.
While shears are great at providing terrific control at trimming a longer beard, beard trimmers conversely offer better control when cutting closer to the skin.
With their ability to dial in on an exact length setting, you can start with a longer cut and go closer and closer until you strike the perfect balance.
Opt For A Different Beard Style
While a higher neckline may not look the most pleasing with a full beard, it can work well if you transform it into a goatee or van dyke beard style.
No one would ever know that you incidentally cut your beard too high and rescued it by reducing your beard in other areas.
Another option at your disposal would be a simple mustache. If you were growing a much longer beard, you might have an adequate length to rock a killer mustache.
Lastly, a simple thick stubble will be another great option. Stubble not only is incredibly easy to maintain, but women also love stubble more than any other beard style.
Got A Beard Brush? Try Using It
The wonderful thing about beard brushes is that they can transform the way your beard looks and grows.
Unlike beard combs that provide some light styling abilities, the dense bristle set found in beard brushes can help your beard grow in a particular direction.
If you don’t brush your beard regularly, this could have some pronounced effects, especially if you are trying to cover up a shallow neckline.
All you would have to do is the following:
- Get a beard balm with a medium hold to it for your beard to maintain its shape throughout the day.
- Apply generously to your beard.
- Brush for several minutes in a downward manner to cover up the neckline.
If your beard has some length to it, this may prove to be a great temporary tactic to provide a bit more symmetry and balance to both your cheeks and neck.
Learn From Your Mistakes, And Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself
Having a high neckline can make you feel self-conscious about your appearance every time they step out the door – and that’s completely normal.
The point here is to not beat yourself up about it too much.
While it takes great patience to grow a long beard and only one bad pass with the trimmer to screw it up, know that it will grow back.
Besides, you may suddenly find out that you (and those around you) may love a beard-free look.
The most important part, though, is not to take your facial hair too seriously!
Shawn Burns is the founder and senior editor of Tools of Men. He started this site with the goal of teaching men proper grooming habits and sensible style. Shawn’s expertise includes in-depth product reviews and how-to articles. Shawn was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal for his expertise.