I’ve been preparing this post for quite a while but there was always something coming up and I couldn’t manage to complete it.

It’s been a while since I wrote something about beards and beard grooming and I hope you’ll enjoy reading it.

Let’s not lose any more time then because this is not going to be a short article.

Today, I’ll be talking about beard grooming and how to groom your beard based on your style and length. More specifically:

  • Things that determine the way you groom your beard
  • Letting it grow
  • How to groom your beard:
    • While growing a stubble beard
    • While growing a full beard
    • While growing a long beard
  • How to comb your beard

Your beard defines you as a man

Grooming your beard properly is a great way to define yourself as a man who cares about your appearance

Image Courtesy: Tverdokhlib/BigStock.com

Beard grooming seems to be a hot topic the past two to three years.

It’s no longer something that just happened to grow on your face. A beard is a man’s accessory and you want to make it appear as attractive as possible.

Knowing how to groom your beard, can literally change your life.

Instantly, you wonder what the heck I’m talking about again.

But remember something.

Your appearance, is the alpha and omega of your confidence and the way you feel.

Think about it.

No matter your style, you always have a great feeling when you wear new, clean and nicely ironed clothes. You get an even better feeling when you consider these clothes as luxurious depending on your style.

The way you dress also dictates the way you feel and boosts your confidence. And this confidence is reflected to other people as well. It’s no coincidence that within a group of people, the alpha male is usually the most confident man.

If the way you dress can make you a better looking and more confident man, why would your beard be any different?

Besides, beard is a big part of your appearance. There are guys that make modelling careers because of their great looking beards.

I knew you would understand.

So, do you know how to groom a beard?


That’s what I was afraid of. Now I’ll have to do all the writing.

Beard grooming is bigger than ever before

As you understood from the intro, the days when growing a beard was all about giving up shaving are long gone.

Beard care and maintenance takes a bit of effort on the beardsmen part now.

What a bummer. I know…

Talking about beard maintenance, seems that it takes more effort than in previous years.

More and more products for beard care are popping up on a daily basis. Beard oils and balms, techniques, styles and tips for the urban beardsmen. And where are you going to put all these?

Each one of them making a strong statement every single day. Beards are here and they’ll stay with us for a long time.

Unless something very weird happens to men that I don’t even want to think about.

This is justified by the fact that beardsmen started taking care of their beards and not letting all the work entirely to nature.

In previous decades, guys who were growing beards were just letting it grow. Some guys are/were so hairy that the facial hair is a continuation of the chest hair.

You can’t do much about your beard growth, it’s nature. But there are a lot of things that you can do to prevent looking something different than a human.

That’s not a very attractive style my ape friend.

Now you see a turn however, which is highly admirable and welcome. Berdsmen started getting equipped with grooming tools and products to make themselves -and their beards, look presentable.

And this is the way forward if you value your overall appearance. Besides, women won’t get attracted to you at first sight, just because of your warm heart. First they’ll have to see your face. Then, your never ending facial hair, starting from your face and ending at your toenails.

Few things to keep in mind before learning how to groom a beard

You’ll soon find out that grooming your beard is not that easy. At least not as simple as you thought.

There are a few things that you weren’t aware that it would be so  important in grooming your beard. After all, it’s just hair.

I’m afraid, your dreams will soon be crashed. Your beard needs more maintenance and grooming than your hair. Unless, you just don’t care about grooming your beard at all. But again, if you didn’t care, you wouldn’t be reading all the mumblings I’m writing here.

More specifically, you should expect to groom your beard based on the following factors.

1. What compliments your face the best

Shape of your head

Beards and moustaches styles - Learn how to shape your facial hair

Image Courtesy: flickr.com/mrrrie

The shape of your head plays a very important role not only on your looks but also on the way your beard is presented.

For example, if you have an oval or square face, you wouldn’t want to have a bushy beard on the sides. For such type of faces, longer style beards look better, straight down the sides of the face. Besides that, the particular beard style looks well groomed and sharp.

Even though the shape of your head is an important factor on the way you groom your beard, it’s not the only one.

Face features

Your face features also dictate the way you would want to groom and shape your beard. That being said, if you have big face features, like big nose, eyes or lips, you might be better off with a bushy and long beard.

What you want to achieve, is to make your face features look disproportionate compared to your bushy beard. This way, your beard will complement your face better.

On the other hand, if you have small face features, a slick short beard might look much better. With this beard style you can make your face characteristics more distinguished.

2. Personal style

Trim your beard based on your personal style as a man

Image Courtesy: Tverdokhlib/BigStock.com

In my opinion, your own personal style should be the most important factor when it comes to style your beard. No matter how your head shape is, if a beard style doesn’t make you feel comfortable, don’t do it.

Feeling confident with your beard style shouldn’t be a compromise. However, it’s good to be able to adapt to what also complements your face.

There are a lot of men who adapt their personal style depending on the type of jobs they have. Even if a bushy beard is your preferred beard style, there might be a chance that your workplace wouldn’t allow that.

In certain workplaces, they require either a clean shaved or a well groomed and slick corporate beard style.

So, try not to get your boss grind his/her gears.

3. What mother nature gave you

In most cases, the way you want to groom your beard and style it, isn’t entirely up to you.

Your genes that your parents passed on you and whether mother nature was kind enough, may determine the beard style.

Beard growth and thickness isn’t the same for all men due to either testosterone level or “beard” genes. Unfortunately, there are some that are not gifted with any of these.

For this reason, even if you wanted to wear a specific beard style, might not be possible in your case.

On a positive note, you see a lot of very successful examples with guys that don’t have thick facial hair, yet they are complimented for their beards.

One quick and great example is Johnny Depp. Even though you can really tell that his facial hair lucks thickness, he’s got it figured out. His beard compliments perfectly his personal style and his face characteristics.

What I’m trying to say is that you shouldn’t get discouraged or frustrated, just because you can’t support a full beard. There are many other beard styles that you can easily sport. You just have to find the one that looks best on you.

Summarizing the above, the best thing you can do is to find the right balance among the three (and a half) factors. Groom your beard based on your personal style and workplace while keeping in mind the type that complements your face the best.

The beginning of the Journey. Letting it grow

Grooming your beard, doesn’t have to start once you have a long beard. But in any case, before you start grooming your beard, you need to have one, right?

Beard grooming may begin way faster than you think.

You can start grooming your beard even a few weeks after your last clean shave. If you do that, it’s only going to make things easier once your beard grows longer. It’s easier to maintain a shape and at the same time, you can keep it soft and healthy.

As you stay away from the razor, your face is going to start feeling a bit itchy. Heck, is going to be a lot of itching actually.

But this is something that you were already aware of, right? Best thing you can do is accept and keep on growing it.

A lot of men stop growing beards a few days after the “first itch”. If you’ve made it past the stage of relentless itchiness, congratulations. You’re on your way to growing a nice and full looking mane.

The first week after you let your beard grow, there’s no need for any maintenance.

Depending on the thickness and growth of your beard, you might want to shape the cheek line a little bit, just below the eyes. Many men don’t have to do this though. If you’re like me, that your beard is almost part of your eyes, you might want to make your beard stubble look presentable.

Speaking of beard stubble…

Grooming your beard while growing a stubble

It’s been three weeks since you inhabited the new planet with no signs of extraterrestrial life.

Oops sorry, that’s a different blog. Back  to the beards.

It should have been at least three weeks already since you took the decision to lock the razor in a chest. By now, you have a nice and thick beard stubble. This is the time that the itchiness is at the maximum level and you feeling the urge to shave it all off.

The good thing is that the itch will stop soon.

The bad thing is… not yet…

A little more patience and this itch will fade over the next 2 to 3 weeks. You won’t even notice it.

Seven Potions Beard Oil Woodland Harmony to grow a beard thicker and healthierSo what’s next?

This should be the first time that you start applying some products to keep your beard soft and healthy.

And yes, reduce the itchiness. You’re unbelievable…

How? You can start by including in your daily beard care routine a little beardacle (this stands for beard and miracle) called beard oil.

Don’t know what beard oil is? You can educate yourself by reading this post that I wrote some time ago. There’s another post that guides you on how to use beard oil step by step. Make sure you check them out.

There’s a good reason why your beard is so itchy.

In the first few weeks of growing a beard, your hair has many split ends from shaving. It takes some time until your facial hair becomes less edgy and softer.

Yet, there are few things that will help you make your beard softer.

Time for your first beard care products

Beard oil contains carrier and essential oils and soften your facial hair. Besides making your beard soft, it prevents your face from getting dry. By making the beard softer while keeping your skin moisturized, you achieve two things.

Are you looking for beard oil suggestions? The below are some great beard oils and you won’t go wrong with any of them.

Trimming your stubble.

How to groom a beard with a beard trimmer

Image Courtesy: flickr.com/hectore

During the time that you’re growing a beard stubble, it might be the least presentable phase of your beard growing process.

Best thing you can do is accept the looks of your stubble and wait a few more weeks until you’re able to trim it properly. This is also what I would advise a beginner beardsmen.

Why so?

From my experience, it’s not easy to groom a short beard and mistakes could happen.

Speaking of mistakes, I did exactly what I tell you to be careful of.

I couldn’t stand the look of my beard and this is why I made my first attempt to trim it while it was a stubble. When the beard is short, the lines are not well defined, especially at the neck area.

Now, if you pay enough attention, it should be just fine. But what if you don’t?

There’s a great chance that you will trim your beard so high that you’ll look ridiculous, the least.

I did exactly what I was afraid of. And since it looked terrible, I decided to shave it and start all over again. This set me back almost a month or so.

Even if something similar happens to you, who cares? It’s just hair and you can start all over again.

Nevertheless, if you decided that you want to groom your beard stubble while it’s short, don’t forget to be extra careful at neck and cheek line. That’s where all mistakes happen.

How to groom your beard cheek line

Now, there are two areas of the face you need to pay attention to when trimming your beard – the neck and cheeks.

For the cheeks, pay attention to the direction of hair growth. Symmetry and length is important here.

If you’re not sure where the cheek line should be, I’ve got a technique that I usually do:

  1. Take a straight ruler or even a comb. Any length will do, unless is super short.
  2. Place one side of the ruler on your ear. The other side of the ruler should be under your nose, touching your upper lip.
  3. Look at the mirror and see how the ruler separates where the beard should finish and where to shave. You get the idea where the cheek line of your beard should be.
  4. Proceed with shaving the facial hair above the ruler.

How to groom your beard neckline

Learning how to groom the neckline, is a bit trickier than the cheek line. You’re still in the beginning of growing a beard and it’s kinda challenging.

Check the line where your head meets your neck. This is your neckline and you need to shave the part below. Not very easy but there’s a way to do this.

Face straight in the mirror without bending your head to any direction.

Now, you are able to see only the hair at the neck area that’s below the neckline. Without moving your head (you can still breathe), shave the beard part that you see on the mirror below the line. Anything above that is PROHIBITED.

Start at the centre of the chin and follow a natural path that curves gently towards the ear. Do exactly the same on the flip side and pay attention to the path to maintain symmetry on both sides. Whether you are using a trimmer or a fresh blade for this process, remember to dig in at the boundary you’ve set and shave gently in the direction of hair growth.

There’s a great chance that you’ll be unsuccessful but don’t let it scare you. Be a bit patient and you’ll manage just fine.

While it is necessary to stay away from the razor while growing a full beard, a good idea is to invest in a good quality scissors or trimmer.

At this stage of growing your manly beard, you don’t have to use any of them but you’ll soon need them.

Wondering why?

Beard trimmers aren’t very precise and if you put the lowest setting that trims very close to your skin (almost shaves), there’s a high probability that you’ll mess up all the good work you’ve been doing so far.

As for the scissors, it’s not necessary since the beard stubble is so short that it makes it useless. You’ll be soon needing it but not just yet.

Speaking of shaving, the best way to groom your beard stubble is by using a safety or a straight razor. These two types of razor give you a more precise –and deep, shave. Apart from the precision, these two razors are best for your skin especially for guys with sensitive face.

If you’re not very experienced with shaving, you might need to reconsider using any of the two razors. More details to follow next.

Keeping your beard stubble clean and soft

Is trimming and shaving enough at this stage? I don’t think so my friend.

Guess again!

As with the rest of your face and body, your beard needs to remain clean and soft.

At this stage is not necessary to wash your facial hair with specialized beard washing products. It wouldn’t hurt either but still.

Washing your beard just like you do with your morning face wash would be more than enough to keep your beard and face clean.

If you have an overly dry skin under beard however, make sure you apply the right facial creams to keep your face –and beard, soft and well moisturized. Face care never hurt anyone.

As mentioned, it would be also good to include beard oil in your beard care routine.

How to groom your beard while growing a full beard

How to groomg a beard while growing a full beard

Image Courtesy: flickr.com/santheo

Now things are getting interesting.

It’s been already 2 or 3 months since you decided to grow a beard. Time flies…

If you’ve been taking care of it up till now, things will be much easier. What do I mean?

Your beard now should have the excellent length to at least sport a corporate style. Not too long, but not just a stubble anymore. This is the time that more care and beard love needed.

Washing up and conditioning a full beard

Up till now, washing with just regular face wash was all your beard needed.

But not anymore.

Since your beard is growing longer now, it’s better to treat it with more respect. This is the time that you start washing it properly with the right tools.

You can start by shampooing it every once in a while with regular, or better, with a beard shampoo. Beard shampoo has the cleaning property of a shampoo, while being friendly to your face without drying it out. I guess, that’s why it’s called beard shampoo and not just shampoo. Still not convinced? Beard shampoo has a more manly scent.

Washing your full beard 1-2 times per week should be more than enough to keep it at decent state. Rinsing is welcome on daily basis since food and dirt start won’t just leave your face.

Doesn’t sound very pleasant but that’s the way it is from now on. I can assure you, it won’t get any better…

Apart from beard shampoo, you can also consider applying conditioner as well. This helps a lot to keep your beard healthy, soft and shiny.

There are several products available on the market which are both shampoos and conditioners. I think that the combination is great if you don’t want to be bothered buying different products.

There’s an alternative though. If you think that buying conditioner for your beard is just too much of a hassle, use the conditioner for your hair. Not ideal, but better than not applying anything at all.

Applying conditioner once or twice per week when you wash your beard is highly recommended and your beard will love it!

What’s next, besides cleaning? Ah yes!

Your full beard needs more attention. More like Beardention

At this point, it comes the time to realize that your beard is not short anymore.

What does this practically mean? I’m afraid that you need to get even more involved with beard care. Just rinsing water or washing it with face wash is not enough.

There’s a certain beard care routine you need to follow from now on.

  1. First, you start washing it with shampoo (or beard shampoo). Once you wash, you apply conditioner to keep it soft.
  2. Done with washing?

After you’re finished, leaving your beard wet isn’t the right way to beardiness. You’ll have to start blow drying your beard very well. If you leave your beard wet, I can assure you that it’s going to be an itchy day for you.

  1. Once you blow dry your beard, next on the list is beard oil. Repeat once or twice a day and your beard will be thankful.

Just to give you an idea why beard oil becomes more important at this stage.

Beard oil prevents your skin and facial hair from drying out and keeping your face moisturized.

By applying beard oil regularly, you’ll keep your beard soft throughout the day. On top of that, it’s going to smell great! Beard oils come in different ingredients and scents, so make sure you select something manly.

From now on, beard oil will be one of your worries. After all, you want the best for your beard, don’t you?

How to groom your full beard with a comb or brush

Comb is another tool that will help you maintain a great looking beard.

Your beard is not so short anymore to stay in place no matter what. So, get a comb for your beard or a natural hair bristle brush and use it when needed. In the mornings is definitely one time that you’ll need to use it mainly due to “bed beard”.

Another way to use a beard comb is while you’re blow drying your beard right after you wash it. Once you finish with the blow drying, use a good beard brush to apply beard oil with it.

We’ll get into more details later on, on how to use the comb to groom your beard.

Now, if you want to get a good beard comb, before you buy any make sure you have a look at the below. You won’t regret it.

As for beard hair brush, check out the following:

Grooming time. How do you shape a full beard?

You’ll need all the tools we mentioned before.

Depending on the beard length you want to keep, a beard trimmer might be the best tool to do so. Very simple to use and it keeps the desired beard length with just a few passes.

Apart from beard trimmer, you can start using a pair of scissors.

One way to use it, is in combination with a good quality beard comb -or just any comb, to maintain the desired length of your beard. Takes more time than with trimmer but there’s more to this.

The scissors can be used to cut areas where it requires more precision such as the facial hair around the lips, or side burns.

Hopefully, you won’t have to choose between the two since they’re going to make your beard life much easier. The beard trimmer to maintain the beard length and the scissors for precision.

Neck and cheekline beard grooming gets easier

As you grow a full beard, the lines are neck and cheek line are now more well defined. In theory, the two areas are going to be easier to groom than the time you had a beard stubble.

For the neck and cheek line, follow the same instructions that I discussed previously on grooming a stubble. That said, a good safety razor or a straight razor would be your best bet for shaving precision.

Here’s what you need to do to get the beard lines right.

  • Start trimming an inch or so below the actual jawline. Imagine a line running from behind your earlobe and curving naturally along the jawline. The curve is important to avoid the beard looking like a box. This takes care of the neck beard we discussed earlier.
  • At this point you need to imagine two lines running along the outer edge of your sideburns. This line needs to be vertical and perpendicular to the other line at the jaw. Round off all corners to get that natural look.
  • Then for the cheeks, start at the edge of your lips (where they taper off). Then follow along the “smile line”, which is from that point of your lips, all the way up to the sideburns in a sloping line (hence like a smile).

Once you’ve figured out the boundaries of the lines, stick to them with discipline. If the beard is unbalanced or asymmetrical you might as well shave the whole thing off.

Getting this right is tricky but if you invest in the right products it may make things a bit easier.

A good professional beard trimmer will come in handy to maintain your beard for the long run so it’s money well spent.

Below, you’ll find a few beard trimmers that I believe they should serve their purpose. The first two, I tried them myself and I was very satisfied with both quality and performance.

If in any case you believe that you won’t get the lines right, my advise is to visit a barber once. This way, your barber will do this once for you and all you have to do is stick to the defined lines. If you trim/shave these parts often, it should be fine. If you leave it grow for too long, there’s a high chance that you’ll miss the lines again since they will blend in the rest of the beard.

Grooming your beard while growing a long beard

Here you are! The conqueror of facial hair! Lord of the beards! King of the Beardsmen!

You get the point.

It’s been more than 6 months now and you keep on growing your beard. From now on, things won’t change that much with your beard.

Your beard grooming routine will be the same. That doesn’t mean that it gets less complicated though. More like, that you shouldn’t expect any surprises.

It’s up to your style and preference -and genes, now how long you want your beard to be.

So let’s get started with the grooming of your glorious beard.

How to groom a long beard

As your beard grows longer and longer, more attention and love requires from you.

Your beard needs you more than ever!

So let’s take it step by step and learn how to groom your stunning long beard.

Beard Wash

Best beard shampoo - Seven Potions Beard Shampoo 100 ml Woodland HarmonyWashing your beard should happen as often as you do your hair. Just like your hair gets greasy and oily during the week, same thing happens to your beard. To make things worse, you don’t eat and sneeze with your head, but you do with your mouth.

So, yeah…

Even though beard washing should happen quite often from now on, don’t overdo it. 3 times per week should be more than enough.

Now that you have a long(er) beard, washing it with gentle products for beards is highly recommended. Use beard shampoo to wash and beard conditioner to maintain it soft.

The more you care about your beard, the better beard you’ll get.


Keep your beard soft and healthy

As you understood already, your beard starts getting drier. Even though your skin has natural oils to keep your hair and facial hair moisturized, this starts being inadequate. On top of that, by washing your beard with shampoo, you take away the natural oils that your face/body produce. You need to replenish the natural oil somehow, don’t you think.


Beard oil is your best buddy in this case. Just like with a full beard, beard oil will keep your beard soft and well moisturized.

And it’s not only about the health. Softer beard means also easier to manage and style.

Try to apply beard oil just before you go to sleep and when you get up in the morning. Both, right after you take a shower and blow dried your beard.

Speaking of blow drier.

Blow dryer time

Blow dry your beard every time you take a shower. We said that before, your beard is going to be itchy and you don’t like that. Now that you’ve got a long beard, blow drying is necessary before applying beard oil or your favorite beard balm.

While your beard is wet, applying any of these products makes no sense. You’ll dilute them and you’ll get your beard greasy.

Beard Balm. You got more products to worry about.

I mentioned beard balm. This great beard care product has some of the properties of the oil, meaning that it helps you keep your beard soft and healthy. Besides that, it has higher viscosity and it can be used to style your beard a little bit due to the beeswax it contains. It doesn’t style your beard in the same way as a high quality beard wax but it gives you a more natural look.

By using beard balm, it doesn’t mean that you have to replace beard oil. Just include it in your beard care routine and apply when you want to give your beard some shape.

If you feel creative you can have a look at my post on how to make a beard balm recipe at home.

Beard trimmer is no longer a solution

How to groom your beard with a beard comb and scissors

Image Courtesy: flickr.com/elonardo

Grooming a long beard gets a bit complicated. Beard trimmer isn’t ideal since you want to maintain (or grow) your beard at a certain length.

I would suggest a beard trimmer only for your sideburns and moustache. And that again, if you don’t grow your stache long.

But why wouldn’t you want a long moustache?

Scissors never seemed so perfect before

The best grooming tool you can use for long beards is scissors. How do you do that?

First you need to comb your beard for a few times. If you’re wondering why, think about your hair before the barber cuts it. You want to make sure that you cut your beard when it’s in its full length for better results.

With the use of the comb, cut out the part of beard you think is too long. The scissors give you excellent control and you can groom your beard with precision.

Tip: Don’t trim your beard while it’s wet. You facial hair is longer while it’s wet and you might cut more or less than you actually want.

Be careful and don’t get carried away and start cutting more hair than you want.

When you start cutting, you might get the impression that both sides are not even. So, don’t get overly attached to the scissors.

If you think that you can’t get a good balance between the two sides, stop cutting. There’s another day to continue what (you think) you didn’t finish.

A couple of noteworthy scissors for your beard are the following:

Just like with previous beard lengths, use a safety or straight razor to clear up the neck and cheek line to a presentable state. When you have a long beard, it’s much easier to shave the unwanted facial hair since the beard lines are well defined and mistakes are rare.

What I’ve found that’s very useful, is grooming your beard with a straight razor. But what do I mean by that?

Instead of using the scissors to make precise cuts, you can use the straight razor. All you have to do is pull your facial hair with one hand and cutting it with the other. The straight razor is much sharper than normal scissors and it gives you a quick and precise cut.

How to comb a beard

If you want to know how to comb a beard, the first thing you want to do is get what else? A comb!

Beard combing is probably the easiest and most relaxing part of beard grooming.

A good comb should have a good, strong shaft and durable teeth. Speaking of the teeth, you ideally want them to be wide enough to allow the beard to slide nicely and get combed but not too wide. You also don’t want them very close and this way your facial hair won’t feel like getting pulled out every time you want to comb your beard.

There’s an alternative though. You can try a natural hair bristle brush. From my personal experience, brushing your beard with such brush, is a more pleasant experience and your face feels better.

Apart from the brushing part, a natural hair bristle brush can be used for other purposes. For example, you can use it while you dry out your beard, to apply beard oil or for shaping right after you apply beard wax. This again, depends on the length of your beard and the style you’d like to have.

Even if you don’t want to apply any beard care products on your beard, you can do so much more with such natural hair brush.

Your body and face produces natural oils to keep your skin healthy and soft. By brushing your beard with a natural hair brush, you help the natural oils to spread evenly across your facial hair.

Another thing while combing your beard, is that you get rid of all the accumulated dirt. Especially the brush, will give you excellent results when you use it and all (well most of it) the dust and dirt will be brushed away.

The procedure is fairly simple.

You take the comb or brush and start combing your beard with the grain. This way you don’t mess up with the natural growth of your hair and you get a nice, slick look.

Even though you comb with the grain, you need to start from the tips of your beard and slowly go higher towards your face. Again, you continue combing with the grain.

You start from the tips of your hair because there’s a chance that your beard’s hair doesn’t have any knots across its length.

This is about the beard.

If you have a long moustache, allow yourself to be more creative. You comb it by starting from the middle of your upper lip, continuing all the way to the tip of your moustache. While at the tips, you can give your moustache a twist.

Signing Off

Beard grooming has taken a lot of steps forward the past few years. There are so many products and services that can make your life much easier compared to beardsmen in previous decades.

The products are not enough though if you’re not dedicated to make your beard look healthy and presentable.

As discussed above, there are different ways to groom your beard depending on the state, length and style you want to have. Whatever you do, the most important things to remember when growing a beard are two.

The more you take care of it, the more you’ll enjoy having a beard.


Style your beard according to what complements your appearance the most, while feeling comfortable with your choice.

Let me know how you groom your beards. As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments.