Editor’s Note: If you’re new to having a beard or thinking of growing one then this article is one of the best that I have seen in just giving you everything you need to keep a pristine beard without becoming too obsessed with it!
Beards are a modern male trend, visible on many celebrities and fashion icons today. When growing a beard there’s often the temptation to allow it to be wild, like when growing ones hair out. In order to make beards continue to be fashionable, but still workplace viable, more attention must be spent on maintenance.
Proper beard care requires effort, time, and product. Products range from beard oil, beard lotion, beard tools, and beard wash. A well groomed beard is a great reflection of personality. Such beards often reflect positively about one’s self image and are socially interesting.
Here are tips on how to keep a beard well groomed:
Keep Your Beard Moisturized and Clean
Keeping ones beard clean and moisturized will prevent itchiness and promote a soft texture. If you don’t condition your beard after washing, it will most likely become wiry and dry. This causes the itchiness that often leads to shaving during the growing out process. Many experts suggest the use of a beard wash and a conditioner. However, if this fails to work, one can try a good beard balm, which keeps adding moisture to your beard throughout the day.
Beard balms often contain combinations of shea and/or coconut butter, and oils from plants and nuts. To apply balm take a dime sized amount and spread evenly across the tops of your fingers, rub until warm. Distribute the balm evenly, through the hair in an upwards motion. Use a comb or brush to work the hair back down with a styled finish.
Maintain a Workable Routine
Proper beard grooming requires time. This means one must commit to spending a certain amount of dedication and money on beard maintenance. Product use, shaping, edging, and trimming should take place on a daily basis, which often leads to a similar time investment when compared to shaving. If the idea of growing a beard is enticing from a notion of less stress, one should reconsider. If a routine works for you, then grow it out! Some tips for beard maintenance and time saving are as follows. Visiting a barber often, like every month, to help shape and edge your beard for you.
This allows for less at home time investment as shaving near sharp edges is quick, as opposed to making even edges oneself. Practicing the cutting of hair whether it is on your head, body, or beard helps develop a steady hand. It is easy to make mistakes when trying to keep a beard clean cut, the more practice you have the less it takes to maintain it. This also helps lessen the amount of “re-do’s” that will come from making mistakes that inevitably happen when first starting beard care.
Invest in the Right Beard Maintaining Tools
It’s an important investment to purchase the correct tools for keeping a beard that looks sharp all the time. Such tools include a beard trimmer, a beard comb, and a pair of professional scissors (optional). It’s also important to keep in mind that the tools you need depend on the length of the beard that you want to grow. Plastic combs may handle shorter beards well, but wooden beard combs are essential for longer beards, especially when coupled with product like balm.
Multipurpose tools come in handy also. For instance, a wide-toothed comb is ideal for a beard, while a fine-toothed comb is more suitable for a mustache so it’s best to purchase a comb with both edges. Scissors are an advanced tool, used for very long beards (hair length greater than one inch). Using a comb you lift hair near the sideburns and remove the desired amount, cutting less as you work towards the chin. It is best to leave this to a barber unless you are trained.
A good beard trimmer plays a very crucial role when it comes to sculpting, however, it must be handled properly. Some helpful tips are, before trimming a beard, comb it in a downward motion. While trimming, move upward and outward, especially around the sideburn area.
Traditionally it is more stylish and clean to have the cheek sections run shorter near the sideburns and longer as you approach the goatee (chin and mustache). This prevents beard puff and improves facial structure. It’s also important to note that a beard should not be trimmed when wet, since this often leads to cutting off more than intended when using a guard. When using a beard trimmer experiment with different lengths; this is where guards come in.
When you find a length that is suitable to the style of beard you want to maintain, daily usage will keep your beard perfect.
Invest in the Right Beard Care Products
Many men complain about itchy beard when trying to let it grow. Without proper product, beards absorb their nutrients from the face leaving it flaky and dry, which may even lead to dandruff. Products like mustache wax, beard oil, and beard balm hydrate while providing important nutrients. Proper beard product also keeps the growing beard styled slick and tidy. Mustache wax uses wax derived from organic sources like bees, and adds oils and butters. Wax for a mustache is used to help it increase in length as the pulling and holding motion from application will promote growth. This is how the “handle bar mustache” look is achieved. Wax is applied like balm, using a dime sized amount warmed in the finger tips. During the application, pull parts of the mustache down in sections, then comb downwards once again.