We here at êShave are all about the clean shaved look. We know the ladies go crazy for a little scruff, but we also know that if you really want to get close to someone, you need that mythical “baby-butt smooth” look that, despite having an objectively creepy sounding name, greatly facilitates face-to-face contact. The best kind of contact.
But for those of us who are a little more rugged, adventurous, or hirsute, or for those who simply can’t be bothered to keep our faces clean all the time, we may want a beard. That’s perfectly alright—some of history’s greatest heroes, from Paul Bunyan to Karl Marx—sported the old Rough Rider. It is a symbol of manliness and power the world over. Even in America, where facial hair has more or less fallen out of fashion, the beard still conjures up images of glory and adventure. If you walk down the street with a true carpetface, people will think you are one of three things: lumberjack, professional hockey player making a deep playoff run, or Rick Ross. Those are all good things to be.
This is all moot, however, if your hair creeps below the proper neckline, that event horizon of facial fur beyond which your hirsute pursuits transform from a perfectly acceptable look to that bane of freaks and shut-ins everywhere: the neckbeard. Extensive scientific surveys have shown that the vast majority of women admit to either “liking” or “straight-up totally digging” scruff, and a sizeable portion report being “totes turned on” by a full beard, but in a study published in 2005 in the New England Journal of Medicine, a whopping 98% of women answered either “no,” “dear God, no,” or “get away from me with that clipboard” when asked if they would date a man with a neckbeard.
Unfortunately, I am more familiar with this plight than most. Whenever I try to grow out some facial hair, I manage a few wisps on my chin and upper lip like a middle schooler, but the region from my underchin to my Adam’s apple becomes a vicious forest of curly hair and girl repellant. As Hobbes said, the life of the neckbeard can only be described as solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.
Of course, this is to say nothing about the so-called “neckbeard culture.” Over the past couple years, neckbeard has come to mean both the hairstyle itself and the group commonly associated with it. As urbandictionary.com defines it, “neckbeard” is a “derogatory term for slovenly nerdy people who have no sense of hygiene or grooming. Often related to hobbies such as card gaming, video gaming, anime, et. al.” Now, the purpose of this post is not to denigrate these pastimes or nerd culture in general. People have their own interests, and that’s fine. What this is meant to do is eliminate the scourge of the neckbeard, mostly so we don’t have to look at it anymore.
If you suffer from chronic neckbeard, there are two solutions: shave everything, or master the neckline. The latter choice seems simple enough, but many people still make the classic mistake of shaving too close to the chin. They think this will outline the chin, but really it just makes them look like they’ve got two.
To avoid such a fashion faux pas, follow these simple steps:
- To find the outer most boundary of your beard, extend the line of your sideburns down and shave everything between it and your ears.
- The neckline should be about halfway between the edge of your chin and your jawline. Imagine a gently curving line extending from the back of your right ear, down to the top of the neck below the jaw, and back up to your left ear.
- Connect the two lines and round off the corner. You got yourself a neckline going!
A good beard requires regular upkeep: trim it at least every three days to keep it looking sharp and eliminate straggling hair. Like a herd of buffalo, by eliminating the fringes, you make the pack stronger as a whole.
In the spirit of the upcoming Olympics, I encourage all of you to use this knowledge to make yourselves stronger, faster, and more effective in the hunt for ladies.
And for all you ladyfolk out there, be warned: a new swarm of artfully bearded men is on the prowl. Gird your loins.