Deciding what you want to grow and working with your natural genetics
It's no surprise to most and we do notice how every beard is different. Genetics play the deciding factor in how long, thick, coarse and full our beards are. We get our hair traits from our mother's side. So, look to your uncles and grandfather to see what you may be getting. There is a limit to how long this hair does grow. Terminal length is defined as the longest possible length your hair can reach if you just allowed it to grow without it ever breaking or being cut. Working inside that genetic framework we have an almost infinite possible styles generally broken down into categories and further subdivided. The World Beard and Moustache Championships define the as follows:
|Partial Beard||Full Beard||Moustache|
|Full Beard Natural|
Full Beard Styled Moustache
There's various regulations to the competitive side of this but these are the basic categories that almost all styles can fall into.
One of the deciding factors other than length will be face shape. Someone with a square face can really work any style they'd like whereas someone with a heart shape would have a much harder time growing out the sides to a full garibaldi. Much like picking out a pair of eye glasses, using the natural contours of your face to help guide your decisions here. There aren't any hard and fast rules about this but there are some advantages to matching face to beard.
That's all I Got
So you've noticed your beard is now more like two beards growing side by side. Will they ever be friends again? You're not even French but here it is, The French Fork. The French Fork is an old, historic style of beard. Although named The French Fork, the style likely originated in the Middle East and predates the common usage of cutlery in French Dining Halls. Three pronged forks were more common later on, but anyway.. The Persians were particularly fond of elegant beards that curled and split at the chin. Throughout time and thanks to terminal growth, Men of Central then Western Europe would grow and wear these popular beards.
The hair at the center chin is the first to reach it's terminal length. For some this may be at less than an inch, for others it could be feet. Whichever it is, this is usually a good point to stop length and see where you can trim and shape into something of style. Some may prefer the long beard, others might want to keep the fork. Some may even use a beard bead to rejoin the two sections making a long beard of it. Whatever your choice, it does leave an organically placed marker for styling.
Whatever it is you decide to do, grow out or trim down, shape or style - the important factor is that it's something you're happy with. Sure we all have a spot that's thinner, a side that grows faster, longer, thicker, something. We all have something that makes our beards ours and that's the (in my opinion) great part about this bearded adventure. Defining something that is truly yours though your own genetics.