Van Dykes is a classic and vintage look that belongs to ancient Europe and thus it is of utmost importance to style this look with efficiency, elegance and precision. This look is very attractive and also these steps will help you master the style entirely.
Growing the Van Dyke
Van Dykes is a look for thicker beard although men with patchy growth can also carry off this look. But there must be a good basic moustache and a goatee to work with. For this you need to nourish your beard with the help of natural oils and also keep your face clean at all times. Oiliness prevents beard growth. Also, it is advisable to regularly trim the beard to maintain shape and keep the rest of your face clean shaven.
For this look, it is not advisable to grow the beard in a Van Dyke. Rather grow out a normal beard up to perhaps 3mm length. Then trim it in to a Van Dyke by trimming around the edges of your preferred shape. The rest of your face should be clean shaven.
However, in most cases you might not be able to grow out such a thick beard as you may have a job or any other kind of restriction. In that case what you can do is grow out up to say 1mm and then shape it into a circle beard. Then you let the circle beard grow in and keep the rest of your face clean shaven. Once you achieve the length of 2.5-3mm, you can then start shaping your circle beard into a Van Dyke.
This style is suitable for men with a patchy or scanty growth as well because there is not set size, length or thickness of the goatee. Also, the moustache can be narrow to some extent. So it is ideal for men with a patchy or scanty growth too. Thus, growing out a beard does not mean an even and thick layer of 2-3mm but just a general patch cover around the chin area and a decent moustache.
Trimming the Van Dyke
Trimming the Van Dyke can be done in stages. You can either start from a full beard or a circle beard. Anchor beards, Hollywoodian and several such beard styles can also be transformed into a Van Dyke. This is because there is not set length or thickness that should be followed. It just comprises of a narrow goatee along the chin, vertically and a moustache.
The basic things to keep in mind are that the rest of your face should be clean shaven for the full force attack of the Van Dyke. Also, the area on your neck and lower chin should specifically be shaven off as this may eventually spoil the shape of the goatee. The moustache should be narrow towards both ends and may or may not be long. It can be curled up or set down based on the length and the look that you opt for.
Here are the basic steps:
1) Start off with a nice clean face. Make sure your wash your face and beard clean with shampoo and dry it off before you begin
2) Brush your hair upwards first to get rid of any knots. Then use a comb to comb the beard down properly and understand the growth of your beard.
3) Identify the desired shape of your Van dyke and trace along an imaginary line that will mark the borders. It is always a better option to first form a circle beard and then trim it further. Even a roughly circular beard will do.
4) Consider both ends of your lower lip and trim out a small triangular part. Using that as the base, detach your moustache and your goatee. Some men prefer to keep it attached and just get rid of the triangular patch. That works fine too. It is a variation in the Van Dyke and looks equally cool.
5) Use scissors to snip off any lose or rogue hair popping out of your moustache or beard.
6) Shape the moustache as per your growth. You can keep it thick if your goatee is also a bit thick and if your goatee is scanty, it is best to keep the moustache also narrow.
Maintenance of Van Dyke
This look is less demanding than a circle beard because there is no set shape, size or length. It can be molded as per your convenience. Thus, when we talk about the maintenance aspect it comprises of the following:
1) Trimming the goatee and moustache regularly to ensure that the length remains consistent. It is very important that the moustache and goatee match. If either is thicker than the other, it goes off balance.
2) Apart from the goatee and the moustache, the face should be clean shaven. This is very important considering that clean shave will ensure your Van Dyke is in the spot light.
3) The neck should by clean shaven. The goatee can be long and cross the jawline but the neck should be clean shaven.
4) It is important to ensure that the goatee and moustache are combed at regular intervals during the day or you might end up with rogue hair poking out and spoiling the style of the Van Dyke.
5) Beard oil and beard wax can be used to shape up the moustache to make sure both ends are narrow and even the goatee is tapered downwards. Some men prefer a more rectangular goatee but Van Dyke is essentially a tapering goatee. If you like the vintage look, it should be narrow at the bottom.
Van Dyke is stylish and also easy to master. It brings out the mature but mischievous sex appeal which women love and carries a classic and royal air around it.
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