Before I grew my first beard, I had no idea what went into beard care. I figured that you just stopped shaving one day and let nature take its course.
I was totally wrong!
Now I know that taking care of a beard isn’t as easy as I once thought. It’s not difficult, either, but you do have to spend some time on it.
I’ve dealt with a scraggly beard, a beard that stopped growing at a certain point and a beard that wouldn’t fill out the way that I wanted it to. Over time, I’ve developed a routine that has optimized my beard growth and helped me feel confident sporting facial hair. I’m sharing my top five beard care tips with you today so that you can hold your hairy head high.
5 Beard Care Tips
The hair on our beards tends to be coarser, drier and ‘wirier’ than the hair on our heads. Facial hair needs a little TLC to stay in place and look presentable. If we don’t take care of our beards, the skin beneath them can also suffer.
Brush Your Beard
Combs and brushes will keep your beard free of tangles. Brushing keeps your beard tidy and clean because it removes dead skin cells, dirt, food particles and more stuff that your beard has accumulated throughout the day.
Brushing your beard also helps distribute the natural oils, preventing a greasy look and nourishing your hair. It can also prevent ingrown hairs.
When you brush your beard on a regular basis you’re basically training it to grow the way you want it to – so if you want your beard to grow in a certain direction just brush it in that direction.
Brushes with natural bristles are gentle on the skin but tough enough to get through my beard hair. I don’t recommend using plastic drugstore combs, these will do more harm than good. Combs that are designed for beard care have smoother teeth and won’t snag your facial hair.
You don’t have to overdo the brushing. Working a comb through your beard too often can damage the hair and create split ends.
To brush your beard, start at the bottom, working your way up toward the chin and cheeks. This will separate the hair and will make your beard look more voluminous. After the initial combing and separating, you can style your beard by combing it in the direction in which you want it to fall. Comb your mustache to the sides so that it doesn’t get in your mouth.
Tip: Use a beard brush to distribute beard oil after applying it to your beard.
Use Beard Oil
Whenever you start to grow a beard, it’s almost guaranteed you’ll go through the dreaded itching phase. Using beard oil helps prevent or reduce irritation, it moisturizes, nourishes and conditions both your skin and facial hair. It has many benefits.
A healthy beard grows best from healthy skin. Moisturizing and nourishing your skin with natural oil allows your skin and facial hair to stay healthy.
The oils can nourish the hair deep within the follicle. This is a bonus for those of us who want our beards to grow quickly and to their full potential.
When it comes down to it, beard oil makes your facial hair look better. A beard looks cleaner when it’s glossy and shiny. It’s less frizzy when it’s well moisturized. It also smells better when you use beard oil.
Plus, oil makes your beard softer. There’s nothing worse than wearing what feels like steel wool on your face. To top things off, the ladies love a soft beard!
Note: If you want to style your beard, consider getting a beard balm, some balms will condition and moisturize your beard, you will also be able to style it (depends on the balm).
Wash Your Beard
You don’t need to care for your beard in the same way that you take care of your hair. Of course, you want your beard to smell good and stay clean, but you don’t need wash it every day. Washing it too frequently can strip it of its natural oils, and dry your skin.
Everyone is different, however. Some people can use a daily washing, but I recommend washing it 1-2 times a week
Long beards require more maintenance, but they don’t need to be washed every day. The natural oils help moisturize and protect them.
Make sure you pick a product that is designed for beards, which means it’s natural and doesn’t contain chemicals. It doesn’t matter if you’re using beard shampoo or beard soap it’s all about what you like.
Trim & Style Your Beard
If you’re just starting out, you need some patience. I suggest to leave your beard alone and just let it grow for at least 8 weeks.
After 8 weeks, if you feel like your beard needs a trim then you can trim it a bit to make it look presentable. Your beard doesn’t grow uniformly and at the same rate, so by trimming it you can make it look good while keeping growing it out.
Make sure you have beard scissors, they allow to cut just a millimeter at a time and be precise. You can use the scissors to trim your mustache as well.
Some people prefer to use beard trimmer to keep their beards short. Make sure you start with a higher guard and not lower guard, you can always trim more if you think it’s too long.
You should also trim your cheeks and necklines. These lines define your face so you should be careful when doing it. You can use electric clippers or a razor to style them. There’s no right way for the cheek lines, it depends on how your beard is and what’s the style you’re looking for. As for the neck line try to imagine a ‘U’ shape from your ears down and above your Adam’s apple, you should cut everything below it.
Men’s Journal provides these tips:
- Trim the top, the tips of the whiskers, rather than cutting into the beard.
- Work from the sideburns down.
- If a beard is short, use clippers; if it’s long, use scissors and a comb.
- Comb a small amount of moustache wax through a beard to shape, style, and hold.
Bio: Jason Hall blogs at Wisebeards.com about everything manly – With a strong passion for men’s grooming and self-improvement of all kinds.