Some men prefer to grow out their beards during the cold winter months to keep their faces warm. However, what used to be a utilitarian trend has now become a fashion trend, with more and more men now rocking their beards all year long.

While the beard is certainly very fashionable, certified hair stylists know that it is crucial for men to maintain their beards to keep them looking healthy and clean. In fact, most people don’t realize how much work having facial hair actually is, since scruffy beards tend to give off a “care-free” vibe.

If you are planning to pursue a hairstyling career, you’ll learn plenty of grooming tips and tricks to keep your clients looking their best. Read on for our guide to maintaining a great beard.

Hairstylists Say Grow out the Beard before Shaping

While some men prefer shorter facial hair, or perhaps a simple 5 o’clock shadow, others go for a fuller beard similar to celebrities like Zach Galifianakis, and recently Leonardo DiCaprio. Whatever the preferred style might be, hairstyling school graduates know that the first step to growing a beard is actually letting it grow! One of the most common mistakes men make when trying to grow a beard is trimming or shaping it too soon. Experts recommend letting it grow at least one to two inches before shaping, in order to have enough hair to trim it to the style you want.

Certified Hairstylists Understand the Importance of Routine

Students enrolled in hairstyling college recognize the importance of having a manageable daily routine. Since facial hair generally requires a lot of upkeep, professionals suggest developing an easy morning beard grooming regimen that only takes a few minutes. Some common morning regimens consist of shampooing and conditioning the beard in the shower, combing it, and sometimes applying a balm or oil to lock in the moisture. Some common oils for taming beards include argan oil, grape seed oil and coconut oil. Each man will likely have a unique routine that best suits his needs, but there’s no doubt that regular grooming is the key to having a great beard.

Professional Stylists Say Mind the Neckline

Professionals who have taken hairstyling courses understands how something as minor as shaving the neckline even a centimeter too high can affect a man’s entire look. In fact, a higher neckline can actually make a man look much heavier than he actually is by creating the illusion of a double chin. Certified hairstylists advise their clients to begin shaving right above the Adam’s apple, creating a natural line just behind the jaw bone. The goal is always to keep the neckline looking natural and tidy.

What other advice would you give your bearded clients once you have earned your hairstyling diploma?