We take a look at the key areas you need to focus on when growing a beard, whether you are a new grower or a veteran, you need to follow these simple rules.
Ok, so you’ve decided to grow a beard. Good for you! Very wise choice, sir. Before you embark upon this bushy adventure, it is worth considering a few of the ‘How-to’ points below to get yourself prepared. And fair warning: if you’ve ever asked a hirsute man how they’ve got such a good beard, and they’ve replied with “Because I’m a MAN!” with Bluto-from-Popeye smugness – I hope you punched them in the beard. The following advice is given by someone who is not one of those people.
It might sound pretty obvious, but this is the first step to having a beard. The temptation will always be to “just trim it a little bit” and try to shape your facial hair as it is growing in. Try to resist this! The only way to see how your beard will turn out is to just let it grow in its own sweet time, and then you can really see what you’ve got to work with.
Encourage your beard.
Be your beard’s own personal cheerleading service, and give it some gentle encouragement! Unsurprisingly, beard growth can be highly influenced by testosterone levels. Even if you don’t consider yourself the most macho of guys, making sure you boost up your vitamin D intake – seafoods, egg yolks, spinach, beans, red meat – will raise those gents’ hormones and aid hair grown from the inside.
Fight that itch!
It’s inevitable: sooner or later, that bitch will itch. This is a sign that new hair is coming through the skin, and yes, it is an annoyance. Perseverance and a few sneaky distractions will pay off. For instance, investing in a good brush and comb combo will help at any stage in this process, but particularly here. A coarse brush, like the sort you would normally shine shoes with, is excellent for relieving that itch but also a multitude of other things; exfoliating away the dead skin cells underneath the hair, promoting better circulation (which in turn helps growth), and keeping the hair going in one direction. A comb helps keep the hair tamed, and flattens the cuticles of each hair to make it appear shinier.
Quench the thirst.
On the subject of skin, taking care of your beard also extends to the skin underneath the fuzz. Finding a decent cleanser and moisturiser combo that suits both skin and beard can be a little tricky. Ideally you should aim for something enzymic enough to keep the skin fresh and the beard hair oil-free, but not something that is going to dehydrate and destroy both of them. It is worth noting that jojoba oil – a key component of many beard oils, pomades, butters and washes available on the market – is the closest known equivalent to the oils our skin produces naturally. This makes it excellent at balancing our skin and hair without overloading it. Take a browse around the rest of TheBeardMag to see some of the options available.
Definition is key.
Hopefully, by doing all of the above, you will be well on your way to being a handsome bearded chap. From here on out, it is up to you what you do with your beard. Style it, keep it short, grow it out, however you wear it – defining the type of beard you keep is entirely your call. The best shout would be to find a good local barber to help with the first few trims, and you can see how the professionals maintain it. You’ll be in good hands with them, and they will definitely save you the humiliation of accidentally obliterating one of your sideburns because you think you can manage by yourself (this event still haunts me, as you can see). But regardless of what beard you grow, making sure it is moisturised and groomed well will keep it happy as long as you want.