GETTING PROPERLY BURN’T
A HOW-TO-GUIDE FOR MAINTAINING SIDEBURNS
Over the years, sideburns have wavered from crucial to wild to nearly non-existent and back again. So, how’s a gent to know what “side board” style is right for him and how to achieve such a look? Read on…
HOW LONG AND WIDE SHOULD SIDEBURNS BE?
Sideburns usually look best when resting mid-ear. That said, successful sideburn length really depends on the style of the hair. No matter the length, sideburns should always look more rectangular than square.
MATCHING SIDEBURNS TO THE HAIRCUT – ANY RULES?
Shaggyesque cuts should have sideburns with less structure, while shorter, tighter haircuts should have a more clean-cut sideburn. If a man wants to get creative with mutton chops or the like – he’s a wild card and should show his personality as needed.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD SIDEBURNS BE TRIMMED?
Sideburns should be trimmed when they start to look puffy, whether that’s every haircut or between cuts. Ask a barber or stylist to taper them so that you get more time between cuts and don't have to do it at home and potentially mess them up... and they are easy to mess up.
SO, HOW CAN A GUY TRIM AT HOME WITHOUT INCIDENT?
- Use a quality trimmer that has “guards” of different lengths
- Standing in front of a mirror, use the trimmer to “line out” the bottom of the shorter sideburn (so if it gets screwed up/too short, the longer one can always be trimmed to at least match it).
- “Line out” the shorter sideburn straight across so that it lies parallel to the floor. Do the same with the other sideburn.
- Place a guard on the trimmer and gently taper the bottom portion of each sideburn. Don’t press too hard, just take it easy enough to clean up the stragglers that stick out.
- Once complete, do the famous “Frankenstein Test”. Take both index fingers to the bottom of the respective burns and see if they are at the same level. If close enough, seize the day.
WHAT’S THE BEST GUIDELINE TO USE WHEN TRIMMING SIDEBURNS?
Sideburns should end where they are fullest. Anywhere between the mid-ear or a little bit higher. The key is to do the "Frankenstein Test" to make certain the side burns are level with one other. Looking at a mirror using two pointing fingers from each hand and matching them up to make sure they are the same level. If all matches up, giddy up.
SHOULD BALD MEN WEAR SIDEBURNS?
Bald guys should not have sideburns. If you are bald and want to grow a beard, the beard should come all the way to the ear. If bald guys get hair growth still around the side/back, the sideburns should match the "baldness level" of the hair. Take a one-setting trimmer and use all the way around the dome and burns.
WHAT ARE THE BEST CELEBRITY SIDEBURNS?
“Johhny Depp and Hugh Jackman make sideburns a crucial part of their character. And for a 90’s throw back, Luke Perry from the 90210 days.”
BEST ERA FOR SIDEBURNS?
70's, nothing beats it for shear character and volume.
Recommended tools for maintaining sideburns:
Merkur 907 Detailing Beard & Mustache Razor $30
Precision detailing razor makes maintenance of sideburns, mustaches, beards and hard-to-reach areas easy.
Grooming Lounge Beard Master Shave Oil $21
Award-winning shave oil saves skin by providing best-yet razor glide and irritation-free shaves. Ideal for sideburns as it’s translucent, allowing a gent to see what and where he’s shaving the sideburn/beard.