Beard Maintenance Tips
For the past couple of years, beards have been “in” in terms of men’s grooming trends. Beards can help a person look more masculine and can even accentuate their face shape. Because of these reasons, a lot of men are looking to grow one of their own. The only problem is, not everyone knows how to grow a thick beard, let alone how to maintain it. This article provides ten helpful tips that will radically improve how you grow your beard. Not only will you look more handsome, but you will also have less trouble doing so.
The most common mistake men make when growing and maintaining a proper beard is not being patient enough. Maybe the ability to grow facial hair doesn’t run in your blood. Maybe your facial hair grows in an odd number of patches. Either way, many of the problems men encounter when trying to grow beards can be solved by simply giving them time. Like most great things in life, there’s no need to rush into growing a bit of facial hair.
You should resist the urge to trim your beard or to style it within the first month or month and a half of letting it grow. Who knows? Maybe a thicker beard style suits you better compared to a closer shave. Once your beard hairs begin to grow out evenly, this is the time you can bring out the clippers. However, you should make sure to not remove too much, as you may find yourself back to square one.
As you let your beard grow out, you should also consider your neckline. Loads of other guys don’t pay attention to this seemingly small detail, but you’re not one of those guys. You’re here to be as well-groomed as you can possibly get. You should never, under any circumstance, grow a “neckbeard.” To resolve this problem, most barbers recommend taking the index and middle finger and placing them just a little bit above Adam’s apple. This is where the curve of your neckline should start, as it should form something that looks like a “U.” This “U” shape should start at the back of each ear.
Match Your Beard Style With Your Face Shape
Once you’ve allowed your facial hair to grow, the next step is choosing which beard style is the best match for your face shape. There are so many styles available these days, it’s hard to keep track. You can go for something more simple like a shadow, or you can go for something thicker and more eccentric. However, putting personal tastes aside, the foremost thing you should consider when choosing a beard style is the shape of your face. It could be square, round, rectangular or oval in shape.
People with square faces should keep their beards fuller around the chin area, but also shorter on the sides. Styling the beard this way could help highlight the bone structure of a person with a square-shaped face. On the other hand, a person with a face that is rounder in shape should keep their beard long with the sides short as well. Keeping the beard this way gives a rounded face more of an angle.
As opposed to the previous two beard styles we have discussed, people with oblong or rectangular faces should keep the sides of their facial hair fuller, but at the same time keeping the bottom short. This lessens the roundedness of their face shape. The lucky few who have an oval face can basically pull off any beard style. This means that these people can get away with a bit more experimenting compared to the other face shapes mentioned here.
Remember that this only serves as a guide for what tends to work well with certain face shapes. Don’t be afraid to whip a catalog out and try something you think would look good on you. Worst case scenario is that you’ll have to wait a week or two for the hairs to grow back so you can choose a new style all over again.
Use Some Styling Product
The next tip is to use a styling product on your facial hair. You could either use a styling beard balm or a wax for this purpose. Not everybody has a beard like that of a Greek God. Most, if not all, men wake up with facial hair that is tangled and unruly. They need something to keep those pesky beard and mustache hairs tamed, and these styling products offer the perfect solution.
Much like how you put clay or pomade on the hair on your head, putting balm or wax on your beard helps keep in an attractive style for pretty much the entire day. You don’t have to apply a lot of this product either. It’s true that a little bit goes a long way with this stuff. It also doesn’t take that much time to do once you get the hang of it. If you so desire, you could also spray your beard with a sea salt solution to give it a more natural finish.
Learn How And When To Trim
Once you found the beard style that’s right for you, the next thing you have to consider is how to maintain it. Trimming or pruning is the way to go for most, but there are lots of men out there who don’t know how to do it properly. They end up with spotty, patchy beards that look no good at all. Knowing how and when to trim your beard could save you a lot of trouble. The timing and technique vary quite a lot for people who are looking to lengthen their beards compared to those who are looking to keep it short and tight.
First of all, you should keep your face relaxed during this entire procedure. Tensing up during any part of it could lead to an uneven trim. Start by drying out your facial hair and combing all of it out. This lets you see your beard in its entirety and lets you gauge how much of it you really need to cut off. For those who want a bit of length, their best bet is to use a pair of clippers instead of scissors. This allows for better control of how much hair is removed. It is better to start with a higher setting first – #4 or 5 on the clippers – than to remove more hair than what is necessary. Start with a lower clipper setting if you want a shave closer to the skin.
Up next you should fade your beard into your neck and cheeks. For this step, you should use a clipper setting that is two sizes lower than the one you last used for trimming your beard. If you are grooming a lower area of your beard, try to stretch the skin of that area out a little bit. If you have a mustache, you should trim this as well. Comb it to the side first, then remove the bulk of it. Afterward, to ensure that you have a neatly kept mustache, comb it over your upper lip and use a clipper with no guard to remove any hairs that are hanging over.
If you want to do a bit of detailing, this is where the scissors come in. You can also remove stray hairs using a nice, sharp pair. Be careful not to cut yourself, though. Finish everything off with a good beard oil or beard moisturizer. Some products even come with the benefit of both. If you want to, you can also use an aftershave to reduce the occurrence of ingrown hairs, or those pesky red bumps around the cheek and neck area.
Use The Right Products
Some people think that using a good quality beard oil or beard moisturizer is already enough to keep their facial hair looking healthy. However, these may just be the same people who neglect to wash their beards regularly, which could cause unwanted itchiness. Washing the beard and its surrounding areas is extremely important, especially in the earlier stages of growth. This is because food and dead skin cells could get trapped in the first few weeks of trying to grow a beard or a mustache. These, in turn, could worsen the itchiness we mentioned earlier.
Experts recommend washing your beard at least twice every week. However, if you’re more of an outdoorsman that likes his physical activity, then you may want to wash your beard every day. Just make sure that you’re washing your beard as frequently as is necessary to remove sweat and trapped particles from it. It’s not only your beard that will benefit from this. Your skin will also thank you because of the lowered chances of acne outbreaks happening. Regularly washing your facial hair will also leave it looking and feeling softer than ever.
There are times when regular facial washes just won’t do, especially when it comes to thicker beards. After all, these facial washes weren’t necessarily manufactured with bearded men in mind. For those with fuller facial hair, we recommend using shampoos and cleansers specially formulated for this case. There are loads of these available on the market nowadays; they come in different scents as well. All you need to do is to find the one that suits you the best. If you resort to using regular soaps or body washes, your beard and the skin around it may get dried out. This will leave your facial hair without the natural oils it needs for proper growth. If you use a beard shampoo, make sure you also use a face wash, since shampoos aren’t made for skincare. Make sure you also brush it after you wash it whits a beard brush specially made for your beard.
Get High-Quality Tools
Number six on this list of beard maintenance tips is getting high-quality tools for the job at hand. Sure, you can skimp on buying a pricier pair of clippers, but what good will that cheaper option be if it leaves your beard uneven and patchy. You might spend more money up front for some good clippers or for a sharper pair of scissors, but you’ll end up saving more money in the long run if you don’t have to replace these over and over again. Cheaply made tools could also hurt you if you don’t handle them properly.
Purchasing good quality tools is also a good investment because it helps save time when you’re getting ready in the morning. Getting out the door quicker could mean that you could get more work done, or it could mean that you could hit that beloved snooze button of yours just one more time for some much-needed beauty sleep. No need to worry though, because of the massive rise in the popularity of beards and their grooming, many companies are now offering their products and tools at much more affordable prices. This means that you can now get amazing tools without having to burn a hole in your pocket.
Get Enough Essential Nutrients
Now that you’ve got some great tools and effective products, the next thing that you should consider is the amount of nutrients that your beard gets. You could get these necessary vitamins and minerals either through your diet or from taking supplements. Facial hair is primarily made out of proteins and fats. This means that you should take in a diet rich in lean meats as well as protein-packed vegetables like tofu and legumes.
The vitamins B3, B5, and B9 are also essential parts of beard growth and maintenance. You can get these nutrients from eating egg yolks, milk, and leafy green vegetables. There are also a lot of beard growth products. These more or less have all the nutrients you need to maintain a healthy beard in them.
Take Care Of Your Skin
We’ve mentioned this quite a few times already, but this tip really deserves a special mention. If you’re willing to take care of and grow a beard, you should also be more than willing to maintain the skin around it. Just like growing the beard itself, taking care of it takes time. The proper steps should be taken in terms of what to do before and after shaving. If you don’t do these properly, you may end up experiencing irritation, bumps, and itchiness. This is true even if you’re just shaving small parts of your beard. You should always make sure that any part you’re grooming is as clean as it could possibly be.
Your shave actually starts in the shower. Make sure it is hot, or at least warm, to help open up the pores on your face. This will help ensure a cleaner shave or trim. While you’re at it, you could also wash your face and beard in the shower. Letting the running water from the shower rinse the product off means the skin around that area has less contact with possible irritants. After shaving, you should make sure that you wash your face with cold water. Why? Because doing so will help the pores close up again, which means they are less likely to collect dust, dirt, and other forms of debris from the environment.
Match It With Your Hairstyle
Tip number nine is matching your hairstyle with how your beard is styled. Sure you’ve already chosen a beard style that matches your face shape, but having hair that isn’t a match? That’s a definite no-no. Having mismatched head and facial hair could look sloppy – like you haven’t put much thought into your grooming. You should also keep the transition between the hair on your head and the hair on your face neat. If the transition between these two points is too sudden or abrupt, it may end up looking unattractive.
This is when having a trusted barber is a must. If you’ve been going to the same barber for quite some time, try to keep it up. Going to a hairstylist who is not that familiar with your hair could end up in disaster in some cases. Also, if you’re planning to grow out a beard, try to go to a hairdresser that caters mostly to men. Beauty salons may not have the most experience when it comes to handling facial hair or how to match it with the hair up top. If possible, you should also ask your barber for advice on how to maintain a good-looking beard.
Keep A Manageable Routine
Lastly, you should build a sensible routine when it comes to grooming your beard. What good is having a dozen steps in your regimen if you don’t follow each and every one of them? Try to keep it to the least amount of steps you can. Some even recommend being as minimal as washing your face and beard, shaving or trimming, then applying aftershave and beard oil. If you feel like you need to add more steps to this, then by all means, go for it. Just make sure you can keep your routine up.
Growing a beard won’t be so tough if you follow these tips. If you have enough patience to apply them then in just a couple of weeks you could have a face full of masculine, yet lush hair.