From mutton chops to ice picks, sideburns are a man's equivalent to a peacock's tail. Thought to have been named after General Ambrose Burnside, who brought a bit of style to the American Civil War, sideburns are also an economical way to update your look. Worn on their own or with a stylish goatee, growing sideburns is a rite of passage undertaken by men and boys in various cultures around the world. When growing sideburns, have a plan, give it time, and choose the right kind for your face. It is also important to take care of your skin and your general health.
The first tip to growing sideburns is to only attempt it if you can grow a respectable amount of facial hair. No sideburns are better than wispy ones. Before you begin growing, come up with a plan. Look at pictures of sideburns on men with similar face shapes and hair texture to yours. Decide what you want to grow and whether it will be achievable with your texture of hair.
One of the easiest ways to begin the process is to grow out an entire beard for approximately four to six weeks then cut your already-mature sideburns into the desired shape. This is best done when you are on vacation or otherwise away from work for awhile, at least during the awkward new-fluff stage. If this is not an option, you can still grow sideburns by merely not shaving the shape you want when you are shaving the rest of your face. The burns will come in gradually, and you can adjust the shape while they are growing.
When growing sideburns, choose a style that suits your face. Men with longer, thin faces look better with larger, bushier sideburns, which soften angular faces. These sideburns take longer to grow because they need to be fuller. If you have a round face, you can grow your sideburns in a shorter period of time because shorter, less full, angled sideburns add definition to rounder faces.
Whether you decide to initially grow a full beard or just the burns, make sure you regularly exfoliate your skin. This helps to keep the hair follicles unhindered and encourages your sideburns to grow. If your face becomes itchy while you are growing the hair out, use a dandruff shampoo to wash your face. This shampoo also helps your face from becoming too oily. Your growing sideburns mature more quickly if you yourself are in good shape, so make sure that you get plenty of sleep and exercise.
Taking supplements that encourage hair growth can also help to make growing sideburns easier. Biotin, for example, is useful for hair growth, but a general multivitamin is also helpful to your overall health. When you finally begin to shape your new sideburns, trim them slightly larger than you want the finished product to be, then slowly whittle them down. Don't worry if you remove too much — after all, you can always grow them again.