Designing a neck line for your full beard
More full beards are ruined by bad neck lines than just about any other beard-growing error. Don't let your full beard be the victim of a bad neck line. Learn how to define a neck line that makes your beard look its best. Be sure to choose the right cheek line for your full beard, too.
Designing a great neck line for your new full beard is something of an art. There is no single correct method for defining the neck line, but these guidelines should help you achieve a good result. They should also help you avoid bad results. Your objective should be to create a neck line that defines the beard in a smooth shape that is pleasing to the eye.
Why bother with defining a neck line?
While you certainly may avoid defining a neck line and letting it all grow out naturally, most men find the resulting look appears too unkempt or scruffy. Defining a proper neck line will tidy up the look of the beard immensely. But be sure to design your beard's neck line properly.
Avoid making the most common mistake when defining a neck line
Do not make the mistake of defining the neck line too high! One reader commented that neck lines defined too high, as suggested by the red line in this illustration, give a clown-like appearance. In the worst cases, it's true. In most cases, however, it just gives the beard an unflattering appearance. Unfortunately, the error seems to propagate when new beard growers see someone with a too-high neck line and they emulate it, thinking that this must be the way it should be done. Don't! Do it right! Scroll down and read on.
Steps for designing a proper neck line for your full beard
Individuals vary and these guidelines may have to be adapted to your individual situation. For example, if the boundary between your neck and chin is rather undefined, choose an appropriate point between the two. Just be sure not to set the point too high.
In the example illustrated below, the existing neck line is perfectly good. The steps, however, will illustrate the concepts for designing a proper neckline and will show a different suggested neck line.
Step 1: Visualize a line from ear to ear.
Visualize a line that gently curves from the back of one ear, down to the top of the neck below the jaw, and back up to the back of the opposite ear.
Step 2: Visualize a line extending down from the back of the sideburns.
Extend the line formed by the back edge of the sideburns down to where it intersects with the ear-to-ear line from step 1.
Step 3: Round off the intersection.
Round off the intersection of the lines from steps 1 and 2. In rounding off the intersection, you may choose to extend the rounding back below the ear a bit. Round the intersection off to achieve a smooth shape that pleases you.
The resulting suggested neck line:
The steps above result in creating the suggested neck line illustrated here in green. Trim your beard to match the shape of the newly-defined neck line. You may adjust these steps to suit your own preferences, perhaps creating a more angular line or a lower neck line. The main point is to create a smooth, pleasing shape and avoid the mistake of defining the neck line too high.
If you've messed up your beard's neck line, with time and patience it is easily repaired. See:
Repairing a neck line or cheek line for your full beard.
Also see: Choosing a cheek line for your full beard.