It’s a question that’s puzzled the greatest minds in shaving for generations. It’s prompted hours of fierce debate at Wilkinson Sword HQ. And even now, no one’s entirely sure of the answer…
Where does a beard end and a barnet start? If you’ve never been too sure of how high to go with the razor or how low to go with the scissors, the good news is that a carefully cultivated pair of sideburns means you never really have to decide.
Now, we’re not suggesting you grow a whopping great pair of mutton chops halfway across your cheeks (although naturally you’re welcome to go the whole hog if that’s your style). But a well-groomed sideburn can be a sharp new addition to your style that you might not have thought about before. You’ll soon wonder how you ever just had hair on your head or your face without taking the time to style that no man’s land in between.
Whether you’re clean-shaven or stubbly-faced, you’ll find everything you need below to guide you through styling and trimming sideburns…
What exactly are sideburns?
The bottom of the earlobes is considered the general rule of thumb when it comes to sideburns – extend your hairstyle down that far and you’re on the right track. But there are plenty of individual routes you can take depending on the type of hair you’ve got, both on your head and under your chin.
It’s a style that’s long been popular but not everyone can pull it off – recent notable sideburners have included the cyclist Bradley Wiggins and Hugh Jackman’s clawed hero Wolverine – but we’ve no doubt you’ll join those lofty ranks too once you’ve got started.
How to style sideburns effectively
It’s worth thinking about your face shape when you’re deciding on your sideburn style. What about pairing it with some facial hair? If you’ve got a slim face shape, a goatee and a set of sideburns might go together like vintage cheese and fine wine. If your face is a little more square, you might get away with a bushy ‘tache and sideburns if that’s what you’re into.
A good beard trimmer is your best friend when it comes to sideburns, so it’s well worth grabbing a Wilkinson Sword Shave and Style electric trimmer. It’s got three precision combs so you can find exactly the right length for your sideburns, depending on what length the rest of your hair is.
- Proceed with caution. It’s better to start by not taking enough hair, and gradually work towards the style you’re aiming for (we don’t need to tell you that you can’t put trimmed hair back on)
- Trim every few days to keep your sideburns in check. You’ll be surprised by how fast they grow – they are facial hair, after all – and you don’t want them getting out of hand compared with the rest of what’s on your face.
- Shave closely around the edges of your sideburns. This is especially important if they seem to be creeping further down your face – remember the earlobe rule to avoid finding yourself with an unflattering chinstrap beard.
You’ll need a robust razor to keep the edges of your sideburns well-defined, so pick wisely. The Quattro Titanium Sensitive razor has got four titanium-coated styling blades to shape precise edges around sideburns, as well as a lubricating strip with aloe vera and jojoba for a comfortable and all-round smooth shave.
A great razor deserves to be paired with an equally great shaving cream, and our Hydro 5 Sense gel is formulated with vitamin E to help protect your skin from irritation every time you’re shaping your sideburns.