How to Keep Your Sideburns Looking Top-Notch and Trim

"You know when you see those guys and their sideburns are just a little too high? You don't need to have sideburns, but don't have to have them right above the ear. I knew a guy that did that in high school and I was like, 'What are you doing? Just let them down a little." - Patrick Wilson

Guys, like Patrick Wilson said: while you might want colossal chops on your face, if you’re not sporting a beard, you should have sideburns of someform - and when we mean sideburns, we mean at least a neat line of hair that falls just below the top of your ear. Unless your hair is non-existant or buzzed incredibly short, the non-burn look is nothing short of square - so avoid it all costs.

Now we’ve got that part out of the way, let’s start thinking about sideburns.

The exact origins of the sideburn isn’t 100% clear, but one of the first notable sightings of this iconic branch of the facial hair family was of of Alexander The Great, as depicted with sideburns in a mosaic from Pompeii.

But that was a long, long time ago. The memo here is that many great men over the centuries have worn sideburns of all shapes and sizes, from kings to politicians, musicians, movie stars, writers, and beyond. And if you’re looking to rock a tasty pair of sideburns, here is our guide to different sideburn styles, how to trim your sideburns, and how to care for them.

Here we go.

Sideburn styles

To help guide you on your quest to facial hair perfection, here is a selection of legendary sideburn styles to choose from:

Long sideburns

One of the most popular sideburn styles among Hollywood A-listers and rock stars, this style of burner sits in-line or even slightly below the earlobe and is trimmed neat, often in a slightly triangular shape that tapers out somewhat at the bottom. Think of Elvis Presley in his prime.

Tapered sideburns

A contemporary take on the sideburn, this more urban style is usually buzzed short and is essentially an upside down triangle, tapering in at the bottom. Typically, this style of sideburn is narrow, neat and arrives at the perfect point, in-line or ever so slightly above the earlobe. Think rapper J Cole when he had short hair.

Mutton chops

Conjuring up images of Elizabethan London, mutton chops, while an acquired taste, have stood the test of time and if you’re daring enough to pull them off, you’re sure to turn heads in busy crowds. Usually thicker and fuller, the mutton chop is essentially a beard without the tash and goatee section.Think Hugh Jackman as Wolverine.

Sideburn beard

The sideburn beard is a relatively new concept which to date, has little celebrity endorsement - giving you the chance to be a real trendsetter. The sideburn style of your choice couple with a little engineered beard stubble, this look can be achieved by cutting in your sideburns gently with trimmers or clippers, and using a different grade on the rest of the face, thus creating a burn and beard hybrid.

How to trim your sideburns

Now that you've decided on the type for you from our library of sideburn styles, here's a universal step-by-step guide on how to trim your creations, keeping them neat and looking top-notch:

1. Wash your sideburns with shampoo and conditioner or a natural face rub to ensure they are clean and product-free.

2. Adjust your clippers to a number two, three or four (depending on your preference), or equivalent, and begin shaving slowly from the bottom up.

3. Once you’ve achieved your desired cut, remove the grade and use the trimmer to carefully trim along the sidelines of your sideburn, on both sides, creating your desired shape and width. Next, using the same method, use your trimmers at the very bottom to set the length of your sideburns.

4. Attach your desired grading once more and clip your sideburns again, working from bottom to top to ensure you trim any hair you might have missed in the first instance.

5. Trim or shave the rest of your face, as per your usual facial maintenance regime. Admire the finished product in the mirror.

Please note, if you’re going for mutton chops, you should grow a beard to your desired length, then clip or shave out the centre section, shaping with your trimmers and neatening your newly acquired chops with scissors and a comb to finish.

Sideburn care

Much like a beard, regardless of shape, thickness, length and style, caring for your sideburns is essential to their ongoing success.

That said, here are a few tricks, tips and products for supreme sideburn maintenance:

●  A good natural post-shave balm (you can source some incredible products with a little internet research) applied to your sideburns daily will keep them soft and nourished.

●  Always ensure you pay as much attention to your sideburns as your head hair when you’re shampooing and conditioning - this will ensure they remain healthy, nourished and shimmering 24/7.

●  Contrary to popular belief, a light dousing of paste pomade will keep your sideburns smelling sweet while empowering you to give them that all-important element of style .

●  Beard elixirs are excellent for daily sideburn maintenance. Check out our CON MOTO beard oil recipe and make this magic potion from the comfort of your own home.

There you have it: everything you need for complete sideburn success - enjoy. And if you have any additional suggestions of your own, please share them with the rest of the CON MOTO family by leaving a comment.

Jason Speziale