With beards making a raging comeback, we thought it would be a good idea to give you some tips on how to maintain a well-groomed beard. Many men don’t realize that beards need as much, if not more, grooming than the hair, and as a result, they look untidy and off-putting. It is also not as easy as one might think to keep a beard well groomed. If you cannot seem to figure out how to tame your beard, then we recommend you keep reading to learn a few tips and tricks to get started.
The first and probably the most important piece of advice we can give you is to be patient. Beards take time to grow out and they will test you during this period. You will have to leave it alone for the first four to six weeks, depending on how fast your beard grows, to allow the facial hair to grow in evenly. You will also experience itching very frequently. This is because when you shave, you cut the hair shafts at an angle, creating a sharp tip, which begins to curl inwards at some point poking at the skin. You will have to man up and power through this phase. Another issue you will have to deal with is doubt. During this initial growth phase, you are likely to dislike your appearance in the mirror. You will probably feel like changing your mind and shaving it off many, many times during this stage. The only thing you can do is to be patient.
After about a month of growing your beard, you will be able to decide what shape you would like your beard to be. There is actually a kind of formula for the shape of your beard depending on the shape of your face. The basic principle behind this is creating an oval shaped jaw line with your beard. So if the shape of your face is square, you should grow it longer underneath the chin and shorter at the sides. If the shape of your face is oblong or rectangle, you will want to keep the side of your beard fuller, and shorter under the chin. And if you have an oval shaped face, consider yourself lucky, because all styles or looks will work for you, considering that the aim of the beard is to create an oval shape. However, this is merely a set of guidelines. Besides having a different face, each person also has his own distinct style, and you will have to decide for yourself what shape your beard should be.
Whether you plan to grow a long beard or keep it short, you will have to trim it from time to time to maintain the shape. For those of you who are trying to grow a long beard, you will want to use clippers with different length settings. After combing your entire beard (including your mustache and bottom lip) in one general direction, you will have to use the trimmer on the longest possible setting to get an even trim. As your beard grows, you will be able to gradually increase the setting. You will also want to graduate to shorter trim settings as you move outwards on your neck and cheeks, especially if you are going for the long pointed beard. After finishing up all the finer details, don’t forget to apply beard oil or beard moisturizer to keep your beard fresh and healthy, and prevent it from drying up and itching. If you plan to keep it short, then you can use the same procedure as above, with shorter length settings on your clipper.
It is very important to wash your beard on a regular basis. This is especially true for those who are in the early stages of growing out their beards since trapped food particles and dead skin cells tend to exacerbate the irritation. You will have to wash it several times a week, using a specialized beard cleanser of your choice, and then pat it dry, since vigorous toweling can lead to split ends. You will also want to apply beard oil on a regular basis. This is the only way to tame your beard. Beard oil works by conditioning your facial hair and making them softer and shinier.
Another good habit to pick up is to always condition your beard to stay in the style of your choice. Even if you follow all of the above steps, you will always find a few stubborn strays here and there. It is very good practice to rub it down several times a day using a comb or a beard brush to wrangle these stray hairs and coerce it to grow downwards. A soft hold hair styler can help if your strays are unusually stubborn. After some time, these stray hairs will get in line and grow in the same direction as your beard. If you have decided to grow a full beard or one that includes a mustache, you will have to maintain your mustache as well. Use a pair of grooming scissors to trim the hair beneath your nose, and apply a medium hold wax to keep it naturally sculpted.
You could also consider checking in with a professional every once in a while. Even if you are well practiced in the art of maintaining your beard, it couldn’t do you any harm to visit a barber for some well-needed perspective. The chances are high that you will face a problem that you will not be able to tackle on your own, and so you will have to go to a barber to get the best solution for your unique beard. You could also learn from what he has to tell you so that if you encounter the same problem in the future, you can take care of it yourself instead of spending more money and time on another visit to the barber.
You should also consider some things to not do if you are planning to grow out your beard. First and foremost, do not shave your neck all the way up your chin if you have even the slightest weight issue. Even a little bit of flab can make you look like you have a huge double chin. Don’t be in a hurry during your grooming sessions, especially while trimming your beard. If you are rushing yourself while trimming your beard, you may trim too much, and you’ll have to wait quite a while for your facial hair to grow back to its former glory. And finally, don’t take yourself too seriously. A beard is just a beard. If you were born with genes that forgot to give you a beard, it’s no big deal and, not to mention, it’s entirely pointless to beat yourself up about it.