Even as a beard blogger, I am still learning. It wasn’t too long ago that I was shampooing my beard using Head and Shoulders. I hope you don’t need me to tell you that doing this is a very big mistake!
My aim all along has been to help you guys grow the best beard you possibly can. With that in mind, I’m writing this blog post. This should hopefully be the most extensive list of beard grooming tips that you will ever read – or need to read!
If you regularly read my blog you’re probably a bit sick of hearing this. Sorry about that!
But for new readers, you will learn quickly that I think that patience is crucial to growing a great beard.
A week isn’t long enough. A month isn’t either really. My recommendation is to let your facial hair grow for at least a couple of months. Only then will you have a good idea of whether a beard suits you or not.
Use beard oil
Why? Put simply, it keeps the skin underneath your beard moisturised and your hair looking nice and healthy. Who doesn’t want that?!
Now I wouldn’t like to mention any specific supplier, as there are plenty of fantastic companies out there. But if you need a starting point, check out some of my reviews here.
Experiment with different beard styles
When mentioning anything to do with facial fuzz, the picture that forms in most people’s heads is one of a guy with the most epic beard imaginable. Think Brian Blessed….
This is fine of course. However, problems occur when people feel bad when they’re unable to grow a beard of a similar length.
I can definitely understand their disappointment. But just because you can’t grow a full beard, it doesn’t mean that you can’t try a different style instead.
There are so many more that you can choose from. Here are just a few examples in this infographic created by Real Men, Real Style:
So if you can’t grow much hair on your cheeks, why not try a goatee? Or if you have particularly strong moustache growth, why not go for the Freddie Mercury look? Just experiment a bit. You might be pleasantly surprised by the results!
Shape the perfect beard neckline
No matter how good your beard looks, if you neglect your neckline you’re going to look a little bit silly.
The main thing you should focus on is not trimming it too high, as this can make it look like you have a double chin. Not good at all!
You should instead aim to achieve a natural curve, rather than one that is overly groomed.
In my beard trimming guide, I explain the best way to do this.
Trim your moustache
This could be a controversial topic for some. Many guys out there like having an epic moustache which grows over their upper lip.
But personally, I like to have my moustache neatly trimmed. All that happens when it’s longer is that you start to chew it when eating food. Not a pleasurable experience at all!
Moustache wax can help with this, (more on that later,) but using a trimmer or scissors once a week is a simple and effective way to keep your moustache in check.
Avoid quick fixes
I get it. When you’re desperate to grow a great beard, you’re willing to almost do anything to achieve it.
When there are so many products on the market that promise the world, it can be tempting to go for the quick fix.
But is it worth going through lots of different products and even transplants (!) when the results are indifferent at best? The shorter answer is no.
Instead, work with what you’ve got and more importantly be proud of what you’ve got. As I’ve said earlier in this post, there are plenty of other styles out there for you to try.
Master the art of trimming your beard
This for a lot of people is one of the scariest things about growing a beard.
Imagine the frustration and upset caused when you accidentally trim too much off and have to start all over again.
I’ve been there – and it’s not nice. But instead of a negative, I would urge you to try and look at it as a learning experience instead.
I would personally recommend that you use scissors to trim if you have a longer beard. This will give you more control, which means that you’re less likely to make a drastic mistake.
To learn more, read my extensive beard trimming guide.
Or leave it to the experts
If trimming isn’t your forte, or you just don’t trust yourself with the responsibility, then don’t worry there is an alternative.
Your local barbers of course! They are the experts after all.
But before you get going, ensure you choose the right one by looking at online reviews and asking for recommendations from friends. If they also have a great beard, even better!
Once you’re there, be clear about what you want and ask for tips on how to maintain your beard going forwards.
Don’t dye your beard
There comes a time in every bearded man’s life when they spot their first grey hair.
For some of you, this will be quite upsetting. I remember when I spotted mine. I couldn’t believe that I got one in my mid-twenties!
With social media and the pressure to look younger bigger than ever, your first reaction might be to dye your beard.
My advice? Don’t do it! In my opinion, having flecks of grey or even ginger hairs in your beard adds character and ultimately looks more natural.
You can spot a dyed beard a mile off. It just doesn’t look right and just draws attention to the fact that you’re trying to look younger. Just remember, beards don’t have to be ageing.
Keep your beard for interviews
This is not a grooming tip as such – but nevertheless, it’s still important.
This is a load of rubbish. For my last two job interviews I have kept my beard and have got the job both times.
All it comes down to is confidence. If you feel better with a beard than without, don’t shave. If the employer has a problem with beards, then they aren’t worth working for in my opinion.
If you’re still worried about what to do, follow the tips in this article.
Ignore the haters
It goes without saying that I love having a beard. That’s why I love blogging about them so much!
But not everyone agrees. You may be surprised to know that other people don’t love beards as much as we do. I know, shocking right?!
Everyone is entitled to their opinion of course. But when they start throwing insults around like ‘terrorist’ and ‘tramp,’ it can be very annoying and sometimes quite upsetting.
Hearing this on a daily basis could make you consider shaving just to get these people off your back!
But why should they win? If you’re happy with your look, keep it. Eventually the haters will get bored and move onto their next target.
Use moustache wax
I have already mentioned that I’m not a fan of a moustache that’s grown out too much.
But if you happen to like it, fair play! To keep it looking its best, you will need to purchase some moustache wax.
If you’ve not used it before, you will notice that it has a thick consistency that is great for styling. Because of this, you will need to use a hairdryer to melt it a little before applying it.
Using it on a daily basis, over time you will train your hairs to grow to the side rather than downwards. So no more interference with your morning coffee or pint of beer down the pub!
Deal with beard dandruff early on
You’re growing out your beard and everything is going great.
That’s until you start noticing flakes of skin on your t-shirt. You presume that it is coming from your head, but in fact, the dandruff only appears after you have been brushing your beard in the morning.
But don’t worry, beard dandruff is a common concern. There’s a good reason for that! It looks unsightly which can hit your confidence, especially in the early awkward stage of growing a beard.
The biggest mistake you can make is to just leave it and hope the problem goes away.
Instead, you need to deal with it early on. Using beard oil and daily brushing you can get rid of the issue quickly when your beard is at its shortest.
However, as your beard gets longer, it will become harder to get rid of the dandruff as the hair gets thicker on your chin.
So my advice is simple. As soon as you notice the dandruff, take immediate action to get rid of it.
Don’t believe beard myths
You’ve probably heard a number of beard myths over the years.
Some of the classics are:
- Your beard makes you hotter in the summer.
- Every bearded man is a hipster, (a personal favourite of mine.)
- Your beard will grow back quicker if you shave it off, (interesting theory that one!)
- You can never grow a full beard if it looks patchy
- Beard growth products will give you a big bushy beard
- Beards are always itchy
I can guarantee that most, if not all these myths were created by people who have never grown a beard in their life.
None of them are based on fact. The hipster myth is the most annoying in my opinion. Just because I happen to have facial hair, doesn’t mean that I am one of them.
This is nothing to do with their perceived unpopularity. It’s just that being a hipster is a lot more than having a beard. To be labelled that just because of my choice to grow facial hair is just silly in my opinion.
Don’t feel bad about making mistakes
Mistakes happen, it’s a fact of life.
When you first grow a beard, you’re going to make some. It’s unavoidable to be honest!
The most common mistake in my opinion is trimming too much hair off, too soon. All this means is that you have no choice but to shave it all off and start again.
You may feel that this is a disaster. But I can assure you, it’s not! Facial hair will always grow back. All you can do is put in down to experience and learn from it.
Avoid hot showers
Picture this. You wake up on a freezing cold morning, jump in the shower and feel the wonder of boiling hot water hitting your body.
You’re probably thinking, what’s wrong with this? Unfortunately, as great as a hot shower feels, it is really bad for your beard.
The extreme heat can damage your hair, making it weaker and more prone to falling out.
That’s not all. You’ll also start to experience issues with the skin underneath your beard. The heat will cause soreness and redness which if you’ve ever experienced it, you will know how painful and annoying this can be.
But don’t worry, there’s no need to have freezing cold showers instead. My advice would be to splash your face and beard with cold water before getting in and then turning down the heat to a lukewarm temperature.
If possible, only towel dry
This will probably divide opinion.
A lot of people use hairdryers on their beards each morning. I can understand this in a way, as it is obviously a quick way to dry your beard when you’re in a rush to get out of the door.
But my advice would be to avoid doing this. Like boiling hot showers, the heat from a hairdryer can also damage your beard hair and the skin underneath.
Instead, pat your beard carefully with a towel which will take away the excess water. A little bit of moisture left over will make it easier for you to apply beard oil and then brush or comb it through.
If you must use a hairdryer, ensure that you put it on a cold setting and keep it about 5 or so inches away from your beard to avoid damage.
Cut out those bad beard habits
According to research, it can take up to 21 days for a simple habit such as drinking more water to form. Anything more complicated than this will take much longer.
Unfortunately, beard growers (especially new ones,) are more inclined to form bad habits in the early stages of their journey.
They start to use head hair shampoo or decide that beard oil isn’t necessary. This is usually due to a lack of experience. Perfectly understandable really!
All you can do is read as many beard blogs as you can and try to take the information on board. In time, you’ll reverse those bad habits and hopefully become an expert yourself.
Deal with itchiness early on
I’m sure that you’ve heard some of the horror stories about beard itchiness.
It usually starts quite early on. Just a few days into growing a beard, you will start to notice discomfort and the thoughts of shaving it off will begin to creep in.
But don’t do that! It’s a problem that can be fixed. A combination of applying oil and brushing your beard daily will help to improve the situation quickly.
Just don’t leave it too long. What starts off as a little bit of itchiness can turn into raw, dry skin underneath your beard. Although also fixable, it’s definitely not pleasant!
Learn the settings on a beard trimmer
I’ve already mentioned how important it is to trim your beard.
If you’ve decided to give it a go yourself, you do have a big decision to make. You must choose whether you want to use scissors or an electric beard trimmer.
The latter is a great choice for shorter beards, as you can set it to your desired length.
But what do the different length grades actually mean? This guide taken from the usual manual of the Remington beard trimmer that I use, should give you a good idea of the different lengths that you can achieve:
Start brushing your beard
When I was younger, I used to hate being told to brush my hair. So much so, I would just head to the local barber and have a number 3 buzz cut all over. Pretty extreme right?!
But with my beard, I needed very little convincing to brush it regularly.
The positives were obvious from the start. Not only did it help me to neaten it up, but also the beard oil I was applying was now coating all of my hair rather than just some of it.
But most importantly, the skin underneath was now moisturised, rather than red raw, sore and itchy as the oil could now reach it.
Invest in a boar-haired beard brush – you won’t regret it!
Consider using coconut oil
There are so many great beard products on the market it can be hard sometimes to choose the right one.
But sometimes, the least obvious choice is the right one. In this case, it’s coconut oil.
So what makes coconut oil so special? Well for me personally, it sorted out my dry and itchy skin quicker than any beard oil ever has.
But that’s not all. It’s also incredibly versatile! I have used it as a hair product, as a skin moisturiser and even for cooking!
Even if you prefer beard oil, I would highly recommend trying out coconut oil from time to time. If only for the great feeling of smelling like a bounty!
Learn how to eat/drink properly with a beard
This might seem like a strange tip. I mean, everyone knows how to eat and drink right?!
But with a beard it’s different. No really it is! Eating food such as pastry or drinking a pint of beer can be an absolute nightmare with facial hair.
The problem is it gets everywhere. What makes it worse is that sometimes you don’t even realise that you have something in your beard. The ultimate faux pas!
Fortunately, there are two solutions to this – straws and napkins.
It is always wise to have access to a napkin if possible. It simply means that you can wipe your beard at any point, so you don’t feel self-conscious about having something in it.
Using a straw is also recommended, although there are limits. Drinking a pint of beer or sipping a frothy cappuccino with one is just wrong!
Remember to wash it (but not too much)
There is no doubt that washing your beard should be a key part of your grooming regime.
But how often should you do it? Everyday? Twice a day? Three times a week?
In some ways it is hard to say. Everyone’s hair is different after all and requires different levels of care.
From my personal experience, you should only be doing it once or twice a week at most. Any more than that and you will risk stripping the natural oils from the skin underneath, leaving it sore and extremely dry. Exactly what you don’t want!
Look after your skin
You may think that this last tip is not related to your beard – but believe me it is incredibly important.
The skin underneath your beard needs to be looked after properly. If you don’t, you’re only going to regret it.
From dry and flaky skin, to extreme itchiness, without proper care you’re going to have a hellish time growing a beard. You may even think about shaving it off….
So, what can you do about it? The key to this is simply applying beard oil daily and brushing it in with a boar haired brush. Very simple really – but extremely effective.
Hopefully that’s all the beard grooming tips you could ever ask for! If I have missed any, let me know in the comments below.