Growing a beard is no easy task, so if you manage to grow one, CONGRATS! You are looking pretty badass and fellow men are jealous of your newly grown facial hair, life’s good! But it doesn’t end there, my friend. Once you’ve successfully grown a full beard the next step in the process is to keep it well-groomed.
Proper grooming can help maintain your badass look. Imagine you own a really powerful sports car, and you did not wash it for months or haven’t taken it for servicing since the day you got it? Would the car still have the same power when you first bought it? Of course, not. The lesson here is taking care of something you own is a crucial step in making sure it stays with you for long-term. Beards are like cars, with proper care they are going to be the best to you!
There are a lot of reasons why you need to put in the extra care in grooming your beard. The number one reason, in my opinion, is hygiene! Treat your facial hair like your normal hair. It needs to be washed and moisturized because the last thing you want is an ungroomed, unkempt, itchy and smelly beard. A badass beard is adored by many women but not a stinky and ungroomed one. Beard grooming may sound tedious, but it is definitely worth the time and effort.
Without further ado, Beauty Insider Malaysia presents you with the 7 simple steps on how to groom your beard and stand out among the rest. This is a complete guide to how to maintain a beard, the washing routine, the essentials products to style your beard and more. Let’ start!
1. Let it Grow First.
The hardest part about growing a beard is most probably letting it grow. We understand the urge to trim or style your bread when it is growing is real but you have to leave it untouched for the first four weeks. This will allow the hairs to grow in evenly and throughout. There is a myth that goes around when you trim a little will boost the growth and that is not true, at all! Each person’s hair grows at its own pace and there is no scientific evidence to prove the statement.
With that said, a healthy lifestyle, a good diet, and exercising can help speed up the process a bit. After the first month of growth, then you can fine-tune your beard to the style of your choice. If you do not know what style suits you then we suggest you seek expert advice. The hairdresser can pick out the best style that complements your face shape. Again, not everyone’s face shape is the same so make sure to go for one that suits you the best.
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2. Wash Your Beard Regularly.
Keeping the beard clean can prevents itchiness, which is the most common problem men faces when they are growing out a beard. Your beard gets itchy because the hairs grow around and underneath the mouth area. There are high chances for food and dirt to be trapped there which causes the skin cells to exacerbate the itchiness. Remember, a beard is not just about taking care of the hairs but also the skin underneath. You do not want to damage your skin.
Wash your beard about 2-3 times a week. Some would suggest using normal hair shampoo but hair shampoos are usually dense which are not suitable to use around face area where the skin is more sensitive compared to the scalp. Facial hair has a coarser and unique structure when compared to the rest of your hair, so using a specially designed shampoo wash is highly recommended to keep it healthy and clean.
If you use regular shampoo it will dry out your beard and skin causing it to become brittle and break while your skin flakes. Avoid that, by spending an extra little amount on a proper beard wash. It cleans the facial hair and the skin underneath without using the harsher chemicals in normal hair shampoo.
Some of the best beard shampoos are Murdock London Beard Shampoo, L’oreal Men Expert Barber Club Beard, Face & Hair Wash and Anthony Conditioning Beard Wash.
3. Keep Your Beard Moisturized.
After washing your beard, the next step is moisturizing it. Just like our normal hair, facial hair too needs to be moisturized. That because all hair in general needs water to maintain its elasticity, softness, natural shine, and strength. That is why you must moisturize your hair after shampooing, which can dry out the hair so following up with a moisturizing conditioner will help your hair retain the water it needs. Most, beards shampoo are packaged with conditioner. But, if you still think your beard is a little dry then try using a beard softener.
Beard softener is used just like hair conditioner. You let it sit in the beard while you shower, then rinse out before drying. It will give your beard the essential moisture it needs. So, how to pick a good conditioner? Look at the ingredients. Water-based products are the way to go. So, if the product contains aloe vera, cucumber, glycerin and any other substance that can attract moisture, that would be your ideal conditioner.
4. Let Your Beard Dry Naturally.
After washing and moisturizing your beard next step is drying it using a clean towel. If possible do not use the same towel that you use to dry your normal hair or your body. Have a separate towel for your beard. This is to avoid any leftover germs or products from getting into your beard.
So, remember clean new towel because old towel can be a breeding ground for bacteria. Also, avoid blow-drying your beard because unlike normal hair, facial hair isn’t that strong so the heat from a dryer can dry out facial hair making it frizzy and wiry. So, let it dry out on it own, which shouldn’t take that long to dry.
5. Comb Your Beard.
Once your beard is dry, the next step is combing. Again, avoid using the same brush you use to comb your hair because we don’t want germ to spread. So, have a separate comb for your beard. It is better to use a wide-tooth comb, like the one in the picture above. It can remove any tangles and set things in order.
Here are some Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to brushing your beard:
- Don’t comb a short beard, wait until it is fully grown. If your beard is not long enough, avoid brushing it because the tooth of the brush may irritate or even hurt the skin.
- Do brush your beard daily, once a day- especially after a wash. Daily brushing can help the hair grow tangle free and also add more volume to the hair.
- Don’t comb your hair too harshly. Be gentle when combing your beard because putting too much force in combing can create split ends, and damages the hair.
- Do comb your beard straight down. Combing the hair in one direction will train the hairs to grow in the direction you want them to which is downwards and long.
6. Apply Some Beard Oil.
The next step is to add some oil. Washing your beard regularly will keep the dirt away but it also strips away some of your hair’s natural oil. That is is why you must apply oil to balance the natural oils in your beard and on your skin. Typically, you want to apply beard oil once a day right after you’ve dried your hair.
It is important to oil your hair right after washing it, because washing, would’ve opened up your pores and hair cells, which allows the oil to be absorbed more effectively than it would have otherwise. Just make sure to dry your beard down with a towel before applying oil. Beard oil works best with damp hair not soaked. Usually, one or two drops of oil are enough depending on the size of your beard. You also don’t want too much oil, that will make the hair greasy. We don’t want that!
Here are some good beard oils: Growell Hair Beard and Moustache Tonic Oil, Mokeru Organic Beard Growth Oil and Sephora Smoothing Beard Fluid.
If beard oil is too greasy for you, you can also opt for beard balm which the same function- provide enough nutrients to your bread for it to grow. The only difference is the texture and consistency. A balm is thicker and has heavy texture so it won’t be a runny as an oil.
7. Style Your Bread.
Once you’ve done the all these pre-care essentials to your hair the next step is styling. Like we mentioned earlier, not all styles suit everyone so go for the one that best suits your face shape. According to Men’s Journal magazine, men with a rounded face or with double chins should try growing a beard with “strong lines and borders” this does a good job in hiding the curves.
Men with angular faces should go for well with long beards because it adds texture to their face. For men with long faces, they suggest to grow a full beard with thicker sides and trim up the areas around the mouth and chin to “bring your mug in proportion”. Your beard oil and balm can help in shaping your beard but you can also add some wax to your beard to hold its shape. Beard wax can keep the hair in shape for a longer time compared to balm and oil. So, if you’re on a night out or date, we suggest using a beard wax!
Here are some good beard wax: L’Oreal Men Expert Barber Club Beard & Hair Styling Cream and Schwarzkopf Osis+ TEXTURE Flexwax Ultra Strong Cream Wax.
Not everyone is genetically blessed to grow bread, so value yours and make sure to take care of it well. A lot of celebrities who have once sported the clean look now have full face beards now. Leonardo Dicaprio, Pierce Brosnan, and Keannu Reeves are just a few of them. Growing a full beard can be challenging but grooming it also brings in another set of challenges but the results are all worth an extra 10 to 15 minutes of your time.