When some people see a beard, they see a man that’s ‘stopped’ doing something: grooming. But the fact is that men’s facial hair requires some serious care and consideration in order to look its best and be healthy. Here’s a look at some of the thing you can do to keep your facial follicles looking and feeling their best.
Fight The Dreaded “Itch”:
Any guy that’s grown out their facial hair knows about the so-called ‘itch’. This is that temporary period during beard growth when your face feels like it’s covered with mosquito bites. Most guys suffer through this period – some treat it as a right of beard-growing passage – but there are a few things you can do to minimize, or even eliminate, this annoyance.
Your face sheds thousands upon thousands of skin cells a day, and up to 50 beard hairs. Typically, these things can slough away without too much irritation, but your beard acts as a trap for them, keeping them close to the skin and causing you discomfort.
Even before your beard is fully grown out, you need to wash it. The key here is to avoid your standard hair shampoo (they contain waxes to promote hair shine that will clog your pores and cause ingrown hairs) and opt for a product specifically designed to clean your beard, like Beardsley’s Beard Shampoo. It’s also important to use a facial scrub to help refresh the skin and promote healthy hair growth.
Keep It Conditioned:
Just like the hair on top of your head, your beard needs to be conditioned in order to look its best and feel good too. A dry beard will not only feel uncomfortable at the skin level, but it will also feel dry and brittle to anyone else that may get close enough to experience it. Unconditioned beard hair is prone to twisting and bending, which causes irritation at the root and makes it look unkempt.
To combat dryness, use a beard-specific oil every day after showering: the oil will give it shine, moisturize it and prevent tangling. As a bonus, you can find an oil that’s unique to you, with a signature scent much like a cologne. A product like Burrough’s Beard Oil has the masculine scent of freshly cut evergreen, while containing premium ingredients like Moroccan Argan oil.
Grow It Out, Not In:
During the early stages of beard grown, you’ll find your face is more prone to ingrown hairs. These are hairs that have curled back into the skin, and can cause serious discomfort and even infection if untreated. Though it may be unpleasant, the only real ‘cure’ for them it to pull them out with a pair of tweezers. Ideally, following the above tips and following an exfoliation regimen with conditioning will prevent them, but it’s best to get at the occasion ingrown hair quickly before it requires a trip to the doctor. Once your beard reaches a certain length, the frequency of ingrown hairs will be greatly reduced.
Taming The Wild Takes Time:
Trimming a beard too soon is a common rookie mistake. Patience pays when it comes to getting a fine looking, sculpted beard. Wait at least a month or two (or longer, depending on your genetics) before starting to trim and shape the beard. Think of it as carving a sculpture, you need material to work with before you can realize your vision.
When shaping your beard, start with an electric razor with a length attachment; it will give you a nice even length. To really keep it looking good, do a pass with the razor and then massage your beard with your hand to bring errant hairs out to the surface before going over it with the trimmer again. Finish off shaping with a pair of scissors (barber scissors, not a pair from your kitchen drawer!).