A Guide to Great Facial Hair

OUR FACIAL HAIR PRIMER: One beard we love, the most flattering fuzz for your face, and the answer to the question, “Can a beard get you laid?”

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Fact: There’s a period of American history known as the Bearded Age. It started when Abraham Lincoln, having been elected, said to his barber: “Billy, let’s give them a chance to grow.” The trend stuck. Over the next 50 years, every man (but one) in the Oval Office had some form of facial hair. Public officials aside, we now acknowledge a second Bearded Age. Here’s a tip sheet for getting it right.

1. Let’s start with a beard we love

Whistler mixologist Paul McGee
Nice beard: Whistler mixologist Paul McGee
Paul McGee, 41, master mixologist and co-owner of The Whistler, has one of the most envied beards in the city. And yet he and his barber, Jesselee Barrera at Belmont Barbershop, follow only a few simple steps to keep his unruly hairs at bay.

TRIMMING: “He wanted to keep his goatee area a little longer,” says Barrera, remembering McGee’s most recent cut. Using a restored set of Andis Master Clippers from the 1940s (new for $129.99 at andis.com), Barrera combs through McGee’s beard with a Speed-O Flattop comb ($0.95, at appletonbarbersupply.com) before cutting along the edges to give it shape. At home, McGee touches up every couple days with a Wahl T-Styler Pro trimmer ($29.99, at target.com). “Keeping it clean on the neck is really crucial,” McGee says.

STYLING: Barrera recommends rubbing in a little Suave Naturals conditioner ($2 at any pharmacy). “Comb it through and your beard will look good all day,” he says. McGee prefers Coconut Oil Hair Shine ($10, at thebodyshop-usa.com). “I just use it for the sides of my beard,” he says. “It basically helps flatten it down and makes it a little shiny.”

  NEXT: CAN A BEARD GET YOU LAID? »

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Photograph: Taylor Castle

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