“A lot less men nowadays are shaving cleanly, if they’re shaving at all. A majority have at least some scruff. I recommend that guys give it at least ten days of growth—anything below ten days tends to look really patchy.
“For upkeep, go to CVS and get a traditional pair of clippers that come with plastic guards. Electric trimmers tend to cut too short. Direction makes a big difference in how you trim it. I always recommend that you trim with the grain, rather than against the grain, because you’ll cut less off.
“I personally am not a fan of the neck beard, which I feel men have because they can’t grow out the hair on their cheeks. If you have the option of growing out everything above the chin, I recommend that—it balances out facial features more. When you have a neck beard, it really isn’t following any specific line, so it just looks like you have a blob hanging off your neck.”
“I always recommend a balm for anyone who has a beard [longer] than one inch off the face. Anything shorten than that, I recommend a beard conditioner or a beard oil. Generally, when a beard is one inch off your face or more, you’re going to notice it wants to stick out, and when you have a heavy balm–usually made out of bee’s wax or shea butter–it tends to weigh it down better and keep it from sticking out too much.”
—Adam Calderone, barber at Barber of Hell’s Bottom in DC
This article appears in our April 2016 issue of Washingtonian.