Month: October 2020

What Exactly is a Concrete Chinstrap Beard?

The chinstrap beard is characterized by thin sideburns that closely follow the jawline and the chin, and are connected to a short beard and subtle moustache. If you want to go full-on with a thicker beard line, it’s advisable not to grow a moustache since it would end up looking like a full beard in the end. In this situation, you’re probably just going to be growing a beard.

This style rose to popularity once again in the early 2000s, when celebrities such as 50 Cent, Elijah Wood, and Leonardo DiCaprio could be seen sporting this look.

Why they settled on it as the accent mark for their facial fashion choice shouldn’t come as a surprise to you. When pulled off well, the chinstrap beard can be one truly badass look. If it’s good enough for Camarillo concrete contractors, it’s good enough for us. Let’s get down and dirty with the beard style details:

How to Grow a Chinstrap Beard
First things first – in order to nail the chinstrap look, you’re going to need to start with a good amount of hair on your face, running from your cheeks all the way down to your neckline. Yep, basically a full beard. Why? Because trying to trim facial hair into a style whilst growing it can be a bit of a nightmare. Unless you’ve wielded a mighty mustache or a beautiful beard before, it’s hard to predict how your hair will grow.

By letting it do its thing for a period of 2-3 weeks before trimming, you’ll avoid looking like you’ve had a bad grooming accident with a razor. While a moustache is optional for this type of beard, it often complements the look, so that’s something worth bearing in mind if you’re not averse to a little company on your upper lip, too.

It’s also worth remembering that this style works best for people with round faces (no surprise there – most styles do). If you’ve got a different face shape, we’re not saying this style won’t work for you. You’ll still be able to rock it, but it might take a bit more work.

If you are unsure of your trimming abilities, you can always go to your barber who will outline your chinstrap and ensure you will get the best-looking chinstrap beard for your face. It’s always good to practice though, so if you’re not risk-averse, it’s worth giving styling a shot yourself. Growing a beard is free, so why not cut costs on maintaining it, too?

Maintaining Your Chinstrap
If you’ve decided to go head-on into the chinstrap style, congrats. Once it’s in full bloom, you’re going to look pretty awesome. Now for the bad news.

Out of all of the styles you could have picked, the chinstrap style is probably one of the most maintenance-heavy. In order to keep it sharp and on-point, you’re going to have to book-in some grooming time on almost a daily basis. As well as a maintained length, this style needs clean lines that run tightly along the jawline, and the key to pulling this look off is to maintain it constantly.

Shaving and grooming your chinstrap every other day is a must, since sadly, this style of facial hair doesn’t look very good once the hair starts to grow out. You’re also going to have to sculpt your jawline and your neck very carefully, as to maintain that straight line you’re going for.

Beard Trimmers are Your Best Friend
Don’t go it alone. In this situation, as with many others, beard trimmers are on your side. While some longer beard styles can be tackled rough-and-ready with a pair of scissors, the chinstrap isn’t one you want to take this approach with. Unless you’ve got the hand control of a Tibetan monk, in which case you go ahead.

There are a number of great beard trimmers on the market, but the Phillips Norelco has basically got what you need. With adjustable heights to help you work-out a nice gradient on your jawline, as well as waterproofing for the man on the move, it’s a great piece of kit. As a bonus, it’s also not going to break the bank.

If you’re looking for a more confident styling experience, the Phillips Norelco will go a long way to helping you achieve your style.

How to Shave Your Chin Strap Beard
Let’s get started. Although it’s a precise process, attaining the chinstrap style isn’t an overly long one. Here’s what you need to know about how to shave your chinstrap beard:

  1. Clean your face well with warm water. We mean it – you’re going to be cutting close to skin, so you want to remove any dirt and grime (no offence) to reduce the chance of irritation.
  2. Trim in a rough outline around your facial hair to mark the shape of the style, cutting tight lines along your neck and down your cheekbones.
  3. Apply some shaving cream and tackle the remaining stubble with your shaver or razor.
  4. Shave only parts of the face that have cream, leaving a strip of hair.
  5. Try to avoid taking too much hair off the strap itself.
  6. Make sure that your chin strap is straight, then rinse your face with water.

Care and Grooming
In order to keep your beard soft and pleasant to touch, you will need two essential ingredients – quality beard oil and also a quality beard balm. Keeping your chinstrap soft to the touch and beardruff-free doesn’t take long, so us dudes really don’t have any excuse:

After your morning shower, ensure that you’re completely dried-off. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that oil doesn’t get on well with water, so you’re going to want to make sure that your beard is nice and dry. I usually put a low heat on my hairdryer and gently comb through my beard. In addition to removing any excess water, you’ll also be able to get it in the right shape more easily.

The amount of oil to add in depends on the length of your beard. For a chinstrap, however, you’re probably not going to want to use more than a few drops. Take them into your hand and massage them until evenly distributed, then add it into your facial hair. The key to achieving the most benefit from a beard oil is making sure it reaches the underlying skin too and you can achieve this by gently combing it through.

Rookie Mistakes that You’ll Want to Avoid
Unless you read into the topic before tackling facial hair head-on, you’re probably not going to find out about these any other way than through personal experience. I’ve been through it and I don’t want you to have to do the same, so here’s the lowdown:

Don’t use hair products on your facial hair. It might seem logical, but it’s a slippery slope. Many shampoos contain harsh chemicals that are suitable for the tougher scalp, but really aggressive on your face. It’s a slippery slope that usually goes a lot like this:

You start using regular head shampoo on your beard
Your skin gets dry and you start to get the dreaded beardruff
You buy some standard dandruff shampoo
Your skin gets dryer
You give up and go clean-shaven
If your chin strap is getting long enough to warrant its own wash routine, there are loads of great beard shampoos on the market that are both safe for your face and able to clean and soften as they go. Your best bet is to pick one of these up instead of chancing it with regular hair products.

So, there you have it – everything you need to know about growing that badass chinstrap you’ve always wanted. As always, stay tuned for our latest updates on social media, subscribe to our email list to keep in touch, and we’ll see you again soon.

Categories: General

Which is the Best Beard Balm? Here’s Our Review of the Top 3 Choices

Hey there, fellow bearded bro. We know how hard it can be to pick out the right beard products for you, especially since the market has been flooded in the past 6 months by start-ups looking to capitalize on the male grooming boom.

I know I’ve had some disappointing experiences with beard balms from smaller companies that have been sticky, poor-functioning or just all-round funky smelling (in a bad way). That’s part of the reason why I wanted to write this review – to give you dudes a heads-up on some of my personal favorite beard balms.

In case you haven’t used them before, I’m also going to give you the lowdown on beard balms in general, so you’ll know what you need to know to get the maximum benefit from them before you go out on your concrete driveway pouring job.

What is Beard Balm?

Beard balms are the older brother of the beard oil. They’re a thicker substance that are designed to tackle three key problems that arise with beard-growers:

  • Coarse hair
  • Lack of vitality
  • The dreaded beardruff (it’s awful, isn’t it?)

On top of those, a half-decent beard balm will also give you the benefit of added control. This is especially useful if you’ve got a longer beard that goes absolutely wild without any grooming products in it.Beard Balm - Before and After

Before vs. After using Beard Balm

Beard balms are typically made up of the following ingredients, each of which provide a vital function to satisfy the ever-increasing standards of the modern male:

Carrier Oils

Carrier oils are one of the most important ingredients to any good beard balm and all of the best beard balms will have it in abundance. When your beard gets to a certain length, your hair follicles run out of something called sebum oil. Sebum oil is produced by the sebaceous glands in order to keep your hair hydrated. Although everyone has different sebum oil-producing capabilities, the gland’s abilities are finite. That means, sooner or later, beardruff is going to come a’knockin’.

When you reach this point in your beard-growing journey, a product with carrier oils in it are your best bet to retrieving beard health. They’re nature’s equivalent of sebum oil and will do a fantastic job at revitalising your beard and keeping beardruff at bay.Carrier Oils

Some Popular Carrier Oils

Some of the more popular carrier oils that you may have heard of include jojoba (actually pronounced ho-ho-ba, apparently) and argan oils. Both of these are derived from plants, so you don’t have to worry about what you’re putting on your face. If you’re undecided between the two, it’s probably best to stick to jojoba oil, though, as this is the closest to sebum oil and your face will give it a better reception.

Shea/Cocoa Butters

Shea and cocoa butters are included in many of the best beard balms to make them easier to handle. On top of that, they both boast beautiful scents that’ll further add to your beard balm experience.

Since a beard balm is typically closer in consistency to a pomade, shea and cocoa butters will make it easier to spread throughout your beard, so you can reap maximum benefit.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are more confusing than you’d think they’d be, so if you don’t know much about them, you’re going to be best off choosing them based on how they smell. Essential oils are basically the ingredient that adds the smell to your balm – it’ll give you that initial punchy aroma, then gradually subside.

If you’re a beard product veteran, it’s well worth looking into the added benefits that essential oils can provide. For example, a beard balm that includes tea tree oil can be a fantastic way of treating acne. I’m sure most of us know that getting a spot underneath your beard is far from the nicest of sensations.Essential Oils

Essential Oils and their Healing Properties (Source)

BeesWax

Having beeswax in a beard balm is going to help to tame your unruly beard, by adding just enough hold into the mix. By using a beard balm with beeswax in it, you can rest assured that your beard will stay in the same position as it was when you left the house in the morning.

I know that I find myself constantly touching my beard to make sure I don’t have any ridiculously out-of-place hairs. One of my biggest issues is the left side of my mustache, where the hairs point upwards, giving me a strangely curious facial expression. Needless to say, beard balms have seen an end to that.

How Do You Apply Beard Balm?

Applying beard balm is pretty much as you would think – warm it up, get a bit on your hands and run it through your facial hair. Even if you’ve done it before, though, it’s always a good idea to brush up on the process.

Firstly, you’re going to want to get your thumbnail and scrape out roughly that amount of it. If you’ve got a longer beard, you might need to take a bigger scoop, but you’ll get a feel for how much you need. As always, it’s better to take too little and add more, than take too much and end up with a super greasy face.

After doing this, rub the beard balm into the palms of your hands until it’s evenly distributed. You don’t want to be left with any lumps, because these are going to look pretty weird if they find their way into your beard.

Start rubbing the beard balm into your beard, working from a top-to-bottom fashion. Once you’ve done this, switch it around and go from bottom to top. This will make sure that it’s spread out well.

The final step to applying beard balm is grabbing your beard brush and combing it through. After that, you’re done!

The Best Beard Balms

Take a look at the list below to see our favorite 3 beard balms. These have been selected based on online customer reviews, as well as personal testing over an extended period of time.

Honest Amish Beard Balm

Honest Amish have created a solid reputation for themselves over the past few years, and it’s no wonder. All of their products, including their raved-about beard balm, are created from scratch in their small workshop in Pennsylvania.

Honest Amish offers a beard balm at an incredibly affordable price and you get great value for money. As an entry-point into the beard-grooming world, I’d certainly recommend this beard balm.

One of the downfalls of the product is that they’re not overly open in disclosing the ingredients that go into their balm. Sure, they’re ticking a lot of boxes, but when you’re putting something on your face, you want to be sure that you’re not using filler chemicals that could cause more harm than good in the long-run.

Although it’s understandable that they’d want to protect their family recipe, I’m also in the camp of disclosing what people are getting for their money. Don’t get me wrong, though, Honest Amish does a fantastic job of keeping your beard hair soft and healthy and eradicating b eardruff. It’s also excellent value for money.

The scent that Honest Amish produces is hard to pin down, as they’re not overly keen on disclosing the exact essential oils that they use. Some people say it’s citrusy, with undertones of licorice. I personally get wood and cocoa butter from it.


Virtu beard balm by Liberty Premium Grooming Co.

With easy application, the Virtu beard balm by Liberty Grooming Co. makes an excellent addition to any beard-lover’s product shelf. The subtle aroma also means it’s a great choice for beginner balm buyers who don’t quite know what scent they like.

Once again, however, Virtu beard balm doesn’t disclose the essential oil ingredients. If you’re allergic to any facial products, it might be worth giving this one a miss. Despite the fact that it’s really rare, if you get an allergic reaction from this product, you’re going to have a tough time narrowing down which oils to avoid in the future.

This balm has worked wonders for me as far as keeping my skin hydrated is concerned, but if you have a longer beard that’s typically unruly, Virtu beard balm might not be the one for you.


Smooth Viking Beard Balm

Many men pass this beard balm by, put off by the basic looking tin container. I’ve tried this product though and let me say, that’s a mistake. If you look past the tin, you’ll discover an incredibly high quality and affordable beard balm that’ll satisfy all of your grooming needs.

Designed for both shaping and controlling your beard, the extra beeswax content might be too much for some men, but if you’ve got a longer beard, Smooth Viking beard balm is definitely the one for you.

Boasting all-natural ingredients such as argan oil, avocado oil and mango butter, this balm is as good for your beard as it is for the environment. Despite being thick and somewhat harder to apply than the balms above, Smooth Viking beard balm does a fantastic job of both softening and conditioning beard hair, ensuring that it stays in top condition.

Categories: Beard Care, Beard Products