There’s no doubt that neck beards come with certain stigmas. Many people have associated the style with socially-inept individuals, which then causes people to avoid or dismiss them as an illegitimate beard style.
However, despite those preconceived notions, the facial hair can be quite stylish and attractive if grown in the right way.
It is easy to dismiss the neck beard, but that undersells the look. Yes, there are many ways it can go wrong, but there are also many ways it can shine.
In this article we will take an in-depth look at the facial hair to show how proper care and style can make it a great style for the modern world.
What is a Neckbeard?
Before digging into the neck beard debate, we first must break down the style as a whole.
As you may imagine, a neck beard is when a man allows his facial hair to grow out from his neck or below-chin area. Even so, while all neck beards come in the same way, there are many styles and iterations to pick from.
Though not everyone can pull them off (more on that later) the beards are a distinctly different approach to lower facial hair than something like a chinstrap or goatee.
There is no doubt that beards from under the chin can look off if maintained in the wrong way, but they can be quite appealing if taken care of properly.
As with any style, it is simply about how you wear the beard that counts.
The Two Main Styles
There are a few different ways to turn the neck beard into a legitimate style, and they largely differ based on your own personal tastes and preferences.
You can either wear the beard on its own with a clean-shaven face, or you can use it complement a full, bushy beard. Those two looks are quite different, but they are both legitimate in their own way. What matters most is that you always follow the shape or natural look of your head.
The clean-shaven route typically provides a rugged, outdoorsy appearance, while a face-neck combo accentuates your facial hair for a much more casual look.
Choosing between those two styles can be tough, especially if you’ve never grown a neck beard before, but it is easy to mess around with different looks once your beard grows in. All you need is a razor.
However, be sure to have a general idea of what type of beard you want before you start growing one. That gives you a sense of direction, which then makes later maintenance much easier.
Dealing with the Neck Beard Stigma
As mentioned, to discuss neck beards as a legitimate style you first need to understand the common perceptions surrounding them.
Many people disregard neck beards because of the common stigma that they are “uncool” or “lame.” In fact, a “neck beard” is a term that refers to someone who is not sociable or physically attractive.
Though that can worry some people, it should not bother you. As with any style, as long as you wear a neck beard with confidence and use it to further your look, you’ll rise above any potential criticism.
How people perceive a neck beard often comes down to how it looks. Ones that are patchy or not taken care of tend to be criticized, but that won’t happen if your beard complements your style or features.
Whether or not something is a style comes down to the person wearing it. Simply growing a neck beard with little care is not the way go here. You need to take the time to ensure your beard is well taken care of and comes in the way you want it to.
Growing a Neck Beard
Continuing off the above section, everything about a neck beard comes down to how it grows in. If it complements your face, you’ll do away with any negative comments. However, if it comes in haphazardly the style won’t work.
As a result, it is vital to go over the different steps that will ensure your desired look.
The process may sound simple, just don’t shave your neck for a few weeks until the area fully grows out, but it’s a bit more involved than that.
It is not that growing a neck beard is particularly difficult. Rather, it is that ignoring proper care can lead to the less-than-stellar results you want to avoid.
Patience, Patience, and more Patience
When growing a neck beard, you need to be extremely patient. This is perhaps one of the trickiest aspects of the entire process, but it is very important.
You do not want a patchy beard, as that takes away from the neck beard style, but not all beards come in full. In fact, almost every single neck beard starts out patchy and then comes in strong.
It may not always look appealing at first, but that’s ok. Wait a few weeks when first growing and let your beard come in naturally.
This is tough because. while you may want to mess around with your beard, you need to leave it alone. Not only that, but the beard may also be itchy or uncomfortable as it comes in. Your patience will be tested again and again, but you can’t give up.
Once you make it through this step everything else will be a piece of cake.
However, do note that after three or four weeks you’ll have an idea what your beard will look like. If it is still not coming in strong or if it doesn’t look the way you want it to, it is possible that this style is not for you.
Proper Grooming and Upkeep
Neck beards are extremely unique compared to other styles. Even so, they are still beards, which means they need to be regularly upkept.
Grooming is a vital aspect for all facial hair, but you need to be especially diligent when going for this style because of how quickly things can get out of hand.
Turning a neck beard into a legitimate style takes constant work. While something like fashion simply requires wearing the right clothes, facial hair is about maintenance.
As your beard grows in you need to both wash and comb it. Daily washing is important because it lowers general itchiness and keeps the area clean, while combing helps the beard grow in the way you want it to.
Always comb your beard in the direction you want it to grow. This shapes the beard and will provide you with a great end result.
You may not see the results of the combing right away, but that’s fine. It is this step that helps you add flair to your beard and make it your own look.
Beard Balm and Wax
The above processes are vital parts of growing a stylish neck beard, but to get the most out of them you want to complement them with beard balm or wax. These products add onto the daily maintenance to ensure your hair grows in full and strong.
Balm works to treat the skin beneath the beard (which can become dry and itchy over time) and creates a healthy growing environment. Not only does that promote great growth right away, but it pays off down the line.
Just be sure to always work the balm down into the skin. It is easy to only hit the top layer when your beard starts to come through. To avoid that, be diligent and rub down below the bushy part.
Remember, a neck beard is only stylish if it fits your individual look. Taking the time for proper care helps towards that end by avoiding patchy or dirty hair.
Outline for Your Style
The final step towards growing a proper neck beard is outlining. This, a lot like combing, helps the beard grow in naturally and ensures your style comes across in the right way.
Facial hair, regardless of how sleek or full, only works if it complements your face and head shape. Though some people can let their beard grow in any direction, most need to outline it so that it is even on both sides.
This may be tough to do at first, but proper outlining makes it much easier to trim down the line. Wait until the beard comes into the desired length, and then outline however you want.
Making the Neck Beard Work for You
There are many people who do not see the neck beard as a real facial hair style, but that notion could not be further from the truth. While, as with any style, there are poor examples out there, there are also many great styles that work on their own or with other facial hair.
If you follow the above growing steps and wear the beard with confidence, you’ll be able to turn it into something that looks great. Do not get discouraged early on, and make sure to keep up the care as much as possible.