What is a chin strap?
A chin strap is a classic beard style initially popularised in the Victorian era but which is back in vogue today. A chin strap beard wraps around your jawline, with no hair in the moustache area. It helps to emphasise the jawline and best suits those with an oval-shape face looking to carve out some angles, or a face with a strong chin when you want to highlight the jaw.
How to grow a chin strap beard
Before you can style a chin strap beard, you’ll need to grow it to a consistent length of (ideally) around 2cm. Plus ensure it covers your entire jawline and chin, and joins with your sideburns. It might take a few days (or weeks) to grow out, depending on how quickly your hair grows, so you may have to walk around with unkempt facial hair for a while until it’s ready. The chin strip isn’t a great style if you really struggle to grow facial hair!
How to style your chin strap beard
There isn’t just one way to style a chin strap. Depending on how far down your neck you choose to shave, how far up your chin under your lip, and how high on your cheeks you allow your facial hair to grow, you can achieve a number of different looks.
A crucial element of styling a chin strap is deciding how neat you want to make the edges of your beard. For a scruffy look, you can let the hair grow untamed down your neck, or leave a less precise line on the cheek. On the other hand, if you want a more clean and chiseled style, you can opt for straighter, sharper edges.
Another important styling choice to make while shaving your chin strap is how thick you want the ‘strap’ to be. Depending on the shape of your face, you probably don’t want to allow the strip of hair to reach more than 2.5cm above your jawline in order to maintain the classic look of the chin strap. So, you can choose to keep the hair trimmed to only 1cm in width for a very thin chin strap, or allow the beard to be about 2cm wide to create the most classic and recognisable style for this kind of beard.
What do you need to shave your chin strap?
To get a perfectly shaped chin strap, you need the right tools for the job. Usually, this means getting your hands on a brilliant beard trimmer. And since your chin strap beard will sit low on your cheeks jawline, you may also need some shaving tools to keep the areas above and below your beard clear. This should include a shaving cream or soap, to help give you a smooth shave, perhaps alongside a shaving brush, and of course your favourite razor.
When it comes to picking out a beard trimmer, you’ll want to look for one which has adjustable settings, so that you can pick the perfect length for your chin strap style. The Wilkinson Sword Shave & Style Trimmer is a great example of an adaptable razor with a range of different settings, giving you the ability to achieve any look you want. If you have particularly sensitive or dry skin, you’ll want to consider that when picking out a trimmer. You could opt for the Hydro 5 Groomer, which includes water activated gel reservoirs. These serve to rehydrate the skin and smooth the way as you shave in order to reduce irritation and dryness.