There’s no doubt, the care and maintenance of a beard are nothing short of a gentleman’s work. Things can get a little hairy if you’re new to the business, but there’s no need to fret. Generations of men have prepped you for this, passing down the sacred practice of beard care through generations of your bearded ancestors. As with any of the finer things in life, growing the perfect beard takes time and patience. Here are a few tips to help you along the way.
Beauty comes from within. Yes, this applies to your beard as well. Your skin, and therefore your beard, is a direct reflection of the state of your internal functions. Health conditions such as anemia, or a low blood cell count, can significantly reduce the potential of your beard and make it appear “lack-luster”. Drinking plenty of water and taking a good multivitamin can do wonders for your skin and in turn your beard.
Cleanliness is key. Over the course of a day, you shed almost a million skin cells. Just think how many come from your face! Your beard has the nasty habit of trapping those skin cells like a fish net, thus leading to angry hair follicles and irritated skin along with a whole host of other problems. The first key to avoiding these problems is exfoliating. Exfoliating loosens up all the dead skin cells as well as helping placate hair follicles. If you are a gentleman of finer taste, you can use a beard brush made up of the coarse hairs of a wild boar. Use either with your typical mild facial wash for the best results. Make sure to wash thoroughly to avoid flaking.
These are not the times for stealing your wife’s fancy salon conditioner, gentlemen. Contrary to popular belief she really does notice. Besides, it is scientifically proven that the hair on your head and the hair on your chin are completely different. Using a conditioning beard oil after cleaning your beard softens your facial hair and reduces the irritation caused by that hair rubbing against your skin. Beard oils are well, essential, for protecting your beard from the elements such as wind and sunlight. While you may find it easy to get lost in all the thousands of different types of beard oils, a general rule of thumb is to stick with the ones with the ingredients you can pronounce. Beard oils vary greatly, from scented to unscented and those with specific functions such as reducing beard itch.
Don’t be afraid to trim it back a bit if need be. An unkempt beard can be found unattractive by most women. Just like the hair on your head, periodic trimmings lead to fuller, healthier hair by ridding you of damaged ends. If you don’t quite trust yourself with a pair of trimmer there are plenty of men, which we call barbers, who have dedicated their entire lives to the craft of beard trimming. If you can’t bring yourself to entrust your beard in the hands of another, stay posted for some beard trimming basics covered in a later article.
With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to achieving the beard of your dreams! Remember to remain patient and enjoy all of your bearded glory.