If you want your beard to look good on you, you have to care for it. Here’s a comprehensive guide to beard care and grooming.
Are you all set to brace the winter with a smart and stylish beard? No Shave November may have finished and so it is time to take care of that beard you’ve been growing since. Or, as we like to call it, the Decembeard.
Beard care isn’t an easy task. It’s one more thing to spend money on and deal with in the morning. However, looking presentable and proper makes it all worth the effort.
The New York Times posted an article covering several studies on the attractiveness of men with beards. One study found that women preferred fully-bearded men as long-term partners. The theory is that beardedness shows a man’s ability to compete for resources.
Let’s not forget that it’ll keep your face warm this season. If you want to learn how to care for a beard, read on below. This guide will help you achieve your dream beard.
1. Patience Is a Beardman’s Virtue
Before we talk about how to care for a beard, let’s talk about growing it first. Your journey to getting the perfect beard must start somewhere, often with a clean shave. We understand that it can feel like it’s taking too long to get the beard you want.
Beard grooming takes time so be patient.
The ideal time to practice self-restraint is the first 4-6 weeks. Keep any styling or trimming tools away from your beard as much as you can in that period. This lets the beard grow in even lengths and consistent thickness.
It’s easy to look at other men and compare your slow-growing facial hair with theirs. Remember that some people have hair that grows faster than others. While you wait, take the time to look for the right products that will fit you.
2. Wash Your Beard with the Right Products
Your head of hair might do well for a few days without taking a full shower. However, facial hair is different. Remember that the skin underneath your beard isn’t as hardy as your scalp.
In a sense, beard washing is more about taking care of the skin underneath. Make it a habit to wash your beard at regular intervals. Scrub your beard twice or thrice a week to keep it free from unwanted food particles and sweat.
Don’t use generic face soap for your beard. You wouldn’t use that on your hair, would you? No, you’d use shampoo.
In the same sense, use beard shampoos for your facial hair. Even if you don’t plan on growing a full beard, it’s still proper beard care. Beard-specific shampoos exist for a reason.
That is to optimize beard-cleaning while also taking care of the skin. Beard shampoos also help keep your beard from drying out. Since you’ll apply it right on your face, get a shampoo that agrees with your nose.
3. Condition Your Beard
You might know of a woman who likes a man with a beard. Being with a bearded man might feel more stimulating for her. If you have too coarse a beard, however, she might find it more annoying than exciting.
Also, beard itch is the kind of problem that makes many men think twice about getting a beard. The key to keeping it soft and hydrated is to use a beard conditioner. Like hair conditioners, beard conditioners keep your facial hair healthy and dandruff-free.
Conditioners also help keep your beard from frizzing and flying everywhere. Make it a habit to apply conditioner on your beard. Another cool thing about conditioning creams is they work like gel, making it easy to style a beard.
4. Good Beard Care Involves Beard Oil
When most people talk about how to maintain a beard, they often forget about oiling it. Beard oil is a good alternative to a beard conditioner. It’s the thing you want to apply on your beard, often after you shower.
Well, if you want to keep your beard hydrated in the most natural way, apply oil. Regular washing keeps not only the beard clean, but it also rinses out the natural oils in your beard. This dries up the beard hair and may make it coarse.
If you’re worried that beard oils might make your skin oily, don’t be. Beard oils act to balance the natural oils in the beard and on the skin. Put on the right amount of oil and it shouldn’t be a problem.
The ideal amount to put will depend on the size of your beard. Use 3-4 drops on small beards and 7-8 drops on full or long beards. Even if you buy 1-ounce beard oil, it can last you a whole month.
5. Know the Right Time to Trim Your Beard and Neckline
There is a time to prune, and it’s not every day, even when you want to keep it short. Get the right tools for the job and get to know your beard. If your beard hairs grow fast, trim it more often.
Your beard hair might not have even growths. To keep the whole beard consistent, learn how to trim it without cutting off too much. For this, quality electric shavers are available on the market.
Most have attachments that keep you from trimming too much or creating a bald spot. You can also use scissors. They’re easier to use when you’ve got one or two hairs that need trimming off.
It’s also important to learn how to trim your neckline, especially if you want a more pronounced beard. Take the trimmer down your neck every two weeks. Unless you want a “neckbeard”, forget about it.
If you want a fade, define the neckline first. To find your neckline, place two fingers above your Adam’s apple. The top of your forefinger is the end of the neckline.
Shave off everything below this line. Follow the line with an imaginary U-shape that connects to the back of each ear. From here, you can start an awesome fade.
When you’re trimming your neckline, do not follow your natural jawline. This creates an awkward beard and a weak neckline. Instead, follow the imaginary U-shape we talked about earlier.
6. Sculpt with a Comb
The beard comb and beard brush are essential tools in grooming. They train and guide your beard to go the way you want it to. It’s important to use beard-specific brushes and combs for your beard.
For example, a brush made with boar’s hair has the perfect texture for beard care. It has enough pull to take out any unwanted particles at the same time sculpt your beard. In comparison, regular brushes with plastic bristles can pull out your hair and snag.
When fixing a “bed beard”, the beard comb should have its teeth pointed upward. Hold it with a relaxed grip and enough control, much like you’d hold a toothbrush. Move the comb upwards to get rid of the bed beard and fluff it away from your face.
Be gentle if you catch a snag. Work in layers to make it easier and don’t rush the process. When you’re done, comb it back down to the shape you want it to be.
Also, there’s little need to comb your beard more than once a day. The best time to do it is after you’ve applied your oils or conditioners.
7. Exercise, Sleep and Eat Your Proteins and Leafy Greens
Maintaining a beard isn’t all about focusing on the beard only. You need to get the necessary nutrients so your body can function well. This includes growing a healthy beard.
Which food you eat doesn’t have a specific effect on beard growth. The recommended diet is a well-rounded one. Include lean meats, nuts, milk, egg yolks, and a lot of green leafy foods.
While we’re discussing health, get the right amount of sleep. Set aside time to exercise. Remember, your general health affects your beard growth too.
8. Keep Your Beard Sanitized
Speaking of food, beards get pretty gross too. Groom it but don’t feed it. It also becomes a home for bacteria and dandruff when you let it be after a workout.
Whenever you finish up at the gym, give your beard a thorough washing. Afterward, apply antibacterial beard balm onto it. This way, you’re sure all the unwanted life forms in it go away.
9. Bearded and Active
If you’re a gym rat, you want to keep your beard hair clean and moisturized. It’s recommended to wash your face and beard a few times with beard shampoo after you a tough workout. Rejuvenate your beard and the skin underneath with beard oil.
If you’re a swimmer, beware of chlorine. The chemical may kill bacteria in the pool but it also kills your beard hair. Since there isn’t a beard cap for bearded swimmers, you need to take extra steps to protect your facial hair.
Before you dive into the pool, wet your beard hair with a quick shower first to slow down the chlorine absorption process. When you finish swimming, apply beard oil to re-moisturize your beard. You may need to apply more than a few drops to keep it better protected.
Take Good Care of Your Facial Hair
Spending on men’s grooming products recently spiked up to $6.9 billion, revealing how men’s grooming products are making a surprising boom. The top culprits include skincare, bath and shower essentials, and hair care.
Yes, this means proper beard care can cost you. Fortunately, most beard-specific products are often designed to last awhile. If you’re worried about the costs of beard maintenance, look for affordable alternatives and use this guide as a starting point.
But why stop with beard maintenance? If you enjoyed our guide on beard care tips, check out our other guides for more informative content.