The shape of your face should dictate several image choices you make, including the size and shape of your sideburns.
Of course, you obviously want your facial hair to reflect your personality and style preferences. But by choosing specific styles of sideburn, you can enhance the facial features that make you stand out from the crowd. All you need to get started are sideburns, a razor and a little know-how.
The sideburn tends to come and go as fashions change. During the 1950s, the sideburn was an integral part of mainstream culture. By the early 1960s, however, it had been replaced by a clean-cut, mop-haired image made popular by The Beatles. After making a major comeback in the 1970s, this iconic facial hairstyle once again disappeared from popular culture.
But the sideburn is back, and it looks like it’s now here to stay. And as long as it is consistent with your hairstyle, you can pretty much get away with any style of burn right now.
There are issues other than hairstyle to consider when choosing the size and shape of your sideburns, however. Your natural facial features and the thickness of your hair should be taken into consideration too. And the density of your facial hair should also play a part in your decisions, as gaps in growth can make some designs practically impossible.
But the single most important factor to consider is the shape of your face. The creation of the perfect sideburns can enhance the facial features you love, and turn attention away from those you hate.
Work out which of the following face shapes you have, and shape your sideburns accordingly:
By creating longer sideburns that reach the bottom of your ear, you can offset a square jaw line and create something that complements your natural face shape. By doing this, you will also narrow your face, giving it a new dimension.
If you have an oval-shaped face, opt for sideburns that end halfway down the ear. Avoid the temptation to grow longer sideburns, as they could create the impression of a pointed chin — making your face appear longer than it actually is.
You can give balance to a relatively wide lower face by growing burns of short to medium length. But if you have this shape of face, you’re in luck. You can also grow long sideburns to help narrow the width of your jaw. Either style will create an eye-catching, balanced look.'
To give your relatively long face a little more balance, create short sideburns. And by cultivating relatively thick burns, you should be able to add a little extra width to your face — thus giving it balance.
If you have a round face, you can slim it down by growing long sideburns to the bottom of your ears. But avoid short sideburns at all costs, as they can make a round face appear even rounder. It’s also important to keep your sideburns trimmed, as they might add even more volume to your face if they become bushy.
Try to avoid bushy sides if you have a diamond-shaped face, as it will emphasise your cheekbones. Go as far as the bottom of your ear if you want to add width to your narrow chin and create balance.
A few final tips...
A good rule of thumb to use is to create short sideburns for a long face and long sideburns for a short, rounded face. Of course, every face is different, so try a few styles out before you decide which is best for you.
A common mistake many men make when sculpting sideburns is the use of earlobes as a point of reference. This is a mistake because they are often uneven. To ensure each of your sideburns is exactly the same length, place an index finger along the bottom of each burn. Then, visualise an imaginary line running right across your face to ensure your sideburns are evenly cut.
Asking a barber to trim and maintain your sideburns is the easiest way to keep them looking their best. But if you’d prefer to do the job yourself, always use a trimmer with a guard.
The importance of your sideburns in relation to your overall look cannot be underestimated. While following these tips will get you started, you need to choose a style that you’re going to feel comfortable with. And if that means not having any sideburns at all, that’s the way to go.
But if you’re not sure what style is best for you, don’t be afraid to experiment. If things go wrong, so what? That’s the great thing about facial hair, you can shave it off if you’re not happy with it… and simply wait for it to grow back before you start again.