Once upon a time, you could just let your beard grow out and then sit back and admire its epicness.
But times are changing. Beard and male grooming is now a huge, booming market. Men are now more than ever looking for different and better ways in which they can look after their beard.
For some beard maintenance can be daunting. How do you do it? What tools and products do you need?
But there is no need to worry. In this blog post I will cover all of the essential information that you need to know about how to maintain your beard.
Invest in beard oil
If you’re even slightly serious about taking care of your beard, then you’ll need to invest in a number of different products.
When I first grew a beard at university, I had no idea that these were available. With my priorities elsewhere, (on studying hard obviously!) I just let it grow out and left it.
The result of this however was sore skin under my beard. Horrible dandruff would then start to appear which would flake everywhere. Not a good look!
After some research, the answer was obvious – beard oil. Unlike normal moisturiser, beard oil can reach the skin buried deep within your beard and stop it from getting sore. For me, it was like some sort of miracle cure!
Keep it clean
I shouldn’t have to tell you this. But yes, like the rest of your body, your beard does need to be washed now and again.
But how much is enough? In short, it depends. If your job involves you working outdoors, it would make sense to wash your beard more often than if you were based in an office.
It’s not just frequency you need to think about. The type of shampoo that you use is also critical. Many use the same stuff that they put on their head hair, but this is simply not suitable for beards as it strips the natural oils from the skin underneath leaving it sore and red raw.
Instead, use specialist beard shampoo. My recommendation would be to find one that contains castor oil, as this is known to promote growth and condition your hair.
Blow dry with care
I often hear a lot of arguments about blow drying being the best and worst thing to do to your beard.
Let’s look at both sides. The main argument for doing it is based around a Korean study that found blow drying can be better for your hair than air drying.
There are of course downsides. Blow drying has been known to dry out the skin, leaving it very sore and horribly itchy. Your beard hair will also feel brittle and because it is weaker, you will probably notice more hair falling out than usual.
So what should you? It’s simple really. If you want to blow dry your beard, just do it. However, I would advise you to only do it on the cold setting and hold the dryer at least 6 inches from your face. This will ensure that your skin and beard hair is fully protected from being damaged.
Brush your beard properly
As a kid, I used to hate brushing my hair. I just didn’t see the point of it. I guess I was just a fan of the old messy look!
But when it comes to my beard, it’s completely different. I can actually see the benefits of brushing it on a daily basis. Just some of these include:
- Distributes beard oil – Beard oil is unlikely to reach the skin underneath your beard if you don’t brush it.
- Trains hairs – Train your hairs to grow downwards, so your beard is easier to maintain.
- Reduce split ends – Reduces likelihood of damaging your hairs, which causes them to split.
- Keeps it neat and tidy – Who doesn’t want a neat and tidy looking beard?!
- Healthier beard – Your beard will look and feel healthier from daily brushing.
In terms of the type of brush to use, there is only one choice really – the boar-haired beard brush. Its main benefit is that it works through your beard without aggravating the skin or hair follicles, compared to other types of brushes.
Use beard balm
Now, I don’t know what type of beard you’re looking to grow. You could be growing a big bushy one or perhaps just a neatly trimmed one instead.
Whatever the style, you’re going to need beard balm. It is particularly great for styling long beards if you want it to look neater and kept under control.
But what if you have a shorter beard? Don’t worry; beard balm can help you too! In fact, it has a large number of benefits:
- Helps with beard dandruff – When you apply beard balm, you are putting on many layers of protection that can help to fight dandruff.
- Softens your beard – Everyone from your partner to your mother will appreciate this!
- Easier to maintain – As a result of the softening, your beard will be easier to maintain.
- More volume – Beard balm can help add extra volume to a flat looking beard.
Learn how to trim (or pay someone else to do it!)
Beard trimming makes a lot of people nervous. Heck it makes me nervous!
If you’re new to beard game, then it can be daunting. However if you don’t trim, not only will it grow out wild, but you will accumulate a large number of split ends. Not a good look!
Now I’m not asking you to do anything drastic. Even snipping away the individual stray hairs can make a big difference. My advice would be to use a pair of beard scissors rather than a trimmer, as this gives you more control and there is less chance of something major going wrong. Like taking a massive chunk out of your beard for example.
If you’re still unsure, you can always go to your barber for a trim. Not only are they qualified, they can also offer advice on how to keep your chosen beard style looking its best.
Just make sure that they know exactly what you’re looking for. You don’t want to be in a situation where they take too much off do you?