The chin curtain beard is not for everyone. This unique beard is perfect for the unconventional guy who likes looking distinctive and, dare I say, presidential. I’ve had several chin curtains over the years, as well as a couple of chin strap beards. Many guys don’t know there’s a subtle difference between the two, which I’ll discuss in a bit as we take a look at how to rock a chin curtain beard.
After I decided I wanted a chin curtain I had a hard time getting it to look just right. It was either too long, too short, too crooked or too screwed up. It took me a lot of trial and error before I finally learned how to get it to look the way I wanted it: Hot.
Although the chin curtain beard is a great look and has been popular in the past, you don’t see a lot of them these days. Why? I have no idea. But I do know that recently some very cool guys have started wearing them. So I decided to post what I’ve learned about how to rock a hot chin curtain.
Grow it to show it – the right style of chin curtain for you.
There are different kinds of chin curtain beards you can attempt. First, there’s the small, narrow chin curtain that’s about an inch wide, with the hair about an inch long. Then there’s the mid-length and width, which grows out about two inches. Finally, there’s a wider, full-length chin curtain with hair about three to four inches in length.
Beards that are shorter than the small chin curtain are Chin Straps. They get their name for the obvious reason that they resemble the chin strap of a hat or helmet. Beards longer than the four-inch chin curtain are Shenandoahs.
The Shenandoah is a full beard without a mustache. It can be anywhere from four inches to a foot or more long. It’s considered a somewhat odd and old-fashioned beard style that hasn’t been popular in the US since the late 1800’s. But, hey, if that’s the look you’re after, don’t let me stop you.
Find your sweet spot – the best length for your curtain.
To get your chin curtain beard to be all it can be, you should start with uniform length beard hair. If you currently have a bigger beard and want to trim it down to a chin curtain, you may have trouble getting the look you want. It will be difficult to trim it down and get all the hair the same length. You could try it, and if it doesn’t work you’ll have to do the following:
You’re not going to want to hear this, but if you’re already wearing a beard, you should shave it off and start from scratch. I know, I know. You hate that idea. Tough luck, dude, this is the way to get the best chin curtain. After you’ve shaved it off, grow a full beard until it’s the length you want, then shave off the mustache. You will also need to shave your neck and trim your cheeks. More on that coming up next.
I’ve tried cutting a larger beard down to the curtain, and it rarely looks right. But, when I grow it from scratch, it looks exactly how I want it. And we’re only talking 4 to 6 weeks.
Lose the fuzz – shave your mustache, neck, and cheeks.
The chin curtain beard calls for a clean-shaven upper lip and neck, as well as trimmed cheeks. To do that, you will need to shave off your mustache, if you have one. The chin curtain curves under your lower lip. So, you should shave the hair around your top and lower lips down to below the corners of your mouth.
I’m assuming you’ve grown out a beard from scratch and you now have it at the length you want for your curtain. I’m not going to try and explain how to trim down a larger beard to the length you want since I’m recommending you don’t do that.
So, the beard is the length you want, and you’ve just shaved off your mustache. The next step is to shave your neck. Be sure the entire neck is totally free of hair. I like my chin curtain to grow to just below my jaw line.
You might prefer that it stops right at your jaw line. In any case, you should trim your neck up to the point you want your beard to stop.
For both your mustache and neck I suggest you trim the hair down using a beard trimmer. From there, use a safety razor to shave the mustache and neck areas completely free of any hair. (More info on trimmers and razors later.)
For trimming your cheeks, draw an imagined line from your sideburns, starting at the cheekbones, down to the area below your mouth. Shave off any hair growth above this line using the safety razor.
Here’s a YouTube video that does a good job of showing you how to shave a chin curtain beard.
Wear your chin curtain with pride.
It seems to me the perfect length for a chin curtain is the same length as that worn by the granddaddy of chin curtains, Abe Lincoln. His is about two inches long, and mine is about the same, which a comfortable length to maintain.
As I said at the beginning of this post, this is becoming a popular look. I see a lot of young, hipster guys proudly strutting around with their tats and chin strap beards. If you decide to go for this beard, you’ll be in good company.
As for what size chin curtain will look best on you, here are some guidelines. Generally speaking, the leaner your face, the thinner and narrower you can make the curtain. And the rounder your face, the thicker your curtain should be. It’s not rocket science. It’s just about you, my friend, and what size looks best on your mug.
Groom your chin curtain.
The chin curtain requires a bit more maintenance and grooming than some other styles. You will not only need to keep the hair length trimmed, but you will also need to keep your upper lip, neck and cheeks totally clean-shaven. In other words, you’ll need to shave every day.
Larger beard styles, like the Yeard or Majestic, can grow free for weeks or even longer. But you will have to keep after your chin curtain. Here are my suggestions for what you’ll need to keep your curtain looking hot:
A beard trimmer is necessary for trimming just about any beard, including your chin curtain. It’s a fairly significant investment, but money well spent. Trying to trim a beard using just scissors can get tricky. I like this trimmer because it does the job and has a handy vacuum feature, which will keep your sink and drain free of clippings.
One of the best ways to keep your chin curtain looking good and feeling soft is to brush it daily. This will make your beard supple and glossy. And brushing helps spread beard oil through your beard. I like this beard brush because it does what it’s supposed to do and is sturdy enough to work on any size beard.
Finding the right beard brush for your particular chin curtain beard is not as easy as you might think. A lot depends on the size of your beard. Remember that you’ll get the best results with boar’s hair or horsehair brushes, although they’re a bit more expensive than synthetic brushes.
It’s a good idea to have a solid safety razor to keep your top lip, neck and cheeks totally clean-shaven. I like this one because it does a good job and doesn’t cost a fortune.
Remember, safety razors are the cheapest way to shave your face. They’re far cheaper than cartridge or disposable razors. Why? Because the blades are way cheaper than cartridge refills or disposables. You’ll make your money back on a safety razor in three or four months because of the affordable blades.
Hair Trimming Scissors
I always use scissors for clipping stray hairs and doing other odd jobs and quick snips. I like these scissors because they’re cheap, well-made, and do a good job.
Here’s a shampoo made just for beards. It supplies your beard and facial skin with the oils and moisture they need. Don’t kid yourself into believing you can use your head shampoo on your beard. It can contain harsh detergents that will mess up your beard and the skin beneath.
Don’t forget to apply beard oil every day to keep your curtain looking good. This will ensure your beard and the skin underneath get essential moisture and oils. Remember, application of daily beard oil is necessary for proper beard health. And it will go a long way in making sure you don’t come down with dreaded beard dandruff.
Rocking a chin curtain beard is not for everybody. It takes plenty of cojones and self-confidence to pull off this unique look. If that’s what you’re packing, the world is your oyster, and you can wear any damn beard you want.
I like the chin curtain because it’s different. You don’t see many guys wearing them, which I consider an advantage. If you follow the steps I’ve outlined above, you’ll get the best chin curtain the laws of beardom will allow.
Tell me about your chin curtain experience or your thoughts on this post in the comments section. And if you think this post was worthwhile, don’t forget to share it with your friends.