Following a "successful" No Shave November during which I only trimmed 2-3 times (in the interest of neatness), and cleaned up my neck once or twice, I have yet to fully shave. I've also recently begun watching Whisker Wars on IFC and been jesting with my friends and family about training to be a competitive "beardsman." I'm fairly untrained in beard grooming, so unless there is a "hobo beard" category, which according to the "Categories" page on the US Beard Team's website, there is not, I've either got learn to groom, or just go full beard natural or full beard natural with styled moustache.
|My dog, my beard, and I.|
As a professional, and with a wife who definitely is not that supportive of this possibility, neither is really as neat and cared for in appearance as either of the other possible options: the Garibaldi (a wide, full beard with a rounded bottom and integrated mustache) or Verdi (a short, full beard with rounded bottom accompanied by a prominent mustache). Both the Garibaldi and the Verdi have length limitations (one's Garibaldi may not exceed V 10cm in length, while a Verdi is not to be longer than 10 cm) and, at least in the case of the Verdi, one may use "aids" such as moustache wax, for grooming. The moustache of a Garibaldi is not be integrated into the rest of the beard, so one can reasonably assume that some grooming might be necessary.
Seeking information about proper care and grooming, a quick online search on grooming led me to two resources, GC's The Modern Man's Guide to Beards and Jack Passion's book, The Facial Hair Handbook. Having previously read and reviewed (sort of) Passion's treatise, a quick review of GC's offerings only reinforced how incredibly well thought out Passion's book is, especially (for my purposes) the "Technique" chapter with a little part entitled "Shaping and Sculpting."
I would reckon that for now the goal would be to maintain my health, and the health of my beard, and let it continue to grow out a much more. In the meantime, I can continue to read up on the subject, enjoy following Passion's exploits on Whisker Wars, and resist my wife's occasional request to "shave it off."