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How to Grow & Care for Sideburns

From Ralph Waldo Emerson to Luke ("Dylan") Perry, sideburns have gone in and out of style for centuries. Join the march of time by growing your own.


  • Step 1: Stop shaving Stop shaving. Let your facial hair flourish untouched for a few days or weeks, depending on how hairy you are and how fast your hair grows.
  • TIP: Consider going on vacation to avoid going through the scruffy, transitional phase in full view of your coworkers.
  • Step 2: Pick a shape Pick a shape for your sideburns. Do you want the "classic tab," which very discreetly extends only to about the midpoint of your ear? Or are you after the "full grizzly," which can reach as far down as your jaw line and stand off your face as high as you want?
  • TIP: If you have a long, thin face, create bushier sideburns to soften the angles and beef up your look. If you have a roundish face, go for close, sharply angled sideburns to lend your face some squareness and definition.
  • Step 3: Shave into shape Carefully delineate your sideburns by shaving them into the shape you've decided on.
  • Step 4: Trim hair Use a comb and scissors, or adjustable electric clippers, to trim the hair forming your sideburns to the desired length.
  • TIP: To maintain your new look, keep the length of the hairs in check, by trimming them often, and redefine their shape every time you shave.
  • Step 5: Check mirror Check the mirror to make sure you're stylin'. Next stop, muttonchops!
  • FACT: The term "sideburn" was coined to describe the facial hair of Ambrose Burnside, a famed Civil War general.

You Will Need

  • A razor
  • A comb
  • Electric clippers or scissors

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