There’s no way around it, beards are here to stay. It seems that everywhere we look another one has sprouted as if from nowhere.
But growing one of these beacons of manliness is not as simple as throwing away your razor and waiting for nature to take its course. Whilst it might not look like it at first, a beard is a big commitment. Neglect it and you’ll look like you’ve just returned from a lengthy sojourn to a deserted island where your only company was a volleyball with a face painted on it, which is of course not a very desirable look for anyone. Make no mistake, an unhealthy beard is friend to no man.
In the following guide we address some of the key issues and problems associated with growing a beard, and the products you really need to be using in order to maintain the perfect facial frame.
A wise person once said, ‘It’s better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret’. The same is true of growing a beard. You need to plan ahead. This means taking care of your skin before you start growing your beard as any dead skin or excess oil build up will only become worse once those whiskers start to come through.
It’s important to invest in a good quality facial cleanser to remove any excess dirt or grime and prevent any blemishes from developing. The addition of a high quality moisturiser will also help to ensure your pores are primed and ready for beard growth.
Equally vital in your beard preparation is to ensure that you begin your journey to true gentlemanliness from a clean canvas. You need to give your face a fresh start before you begin growing your beard so that you can nurture the growth of your facial hair from the very beginning and prevent any painful ingrown hairs from hampering the progress of your developing beard.
In order to do this you’ll need to either get your razor out or treat yourself to a visit to your local grooming professional and get any existing stubble thoroughly excised. Whilst this might seem initially counter-intuitive, you will benefit from clearer, healthier skin and a much hardier beard in the long run.
RG recommends: Be sure to choose a facial cleanser which doesn’t leave your face overly dry, as this will cause more problems than it solves. Jack Black’s Pure Clean Daily Facial Cleanser is an excellent starting point as it gently removes any dirt and oil leaving your face feeling clean and hydrated. Apply a small amount to wet hands daily, work into a lather and massage into your face with your fingertips in small circular motions to help prepare your skin for that foliage of follicles known as the beard.
Much like Rome, that lustrous mane you so desire will not spring up overnight.Typically, it will take between 4 and 6 weeks for you to grow anything of note.
You need to allow for this and start growing your beard when looking your best is not essential as for the first few weeks you’re going to have a stubbly mess that would put any cowboy to shame. Not a good look for that extremely important meeting you have next week.
During this time your patience and resolve will be pushed to the limit. Indeed, when you first decide to take the plunge and grow out your facial furniture you will almost immediately want to get rid of it. Either you will decide that it looks like you have some sort of grievously ill rodent on your face, or your face and neck will be itching so badly that you’ll be sticking your head into the nearest freezer at every available opportunity.
The most important aspect of growing a healthy beard is knowing that these are all completely normal problems that will disappear over time. The patches which had previously been devoid of hair will gradually fill in as the hairs that are growing become longer. The chronic itchiness which is commonplace in the early throes of beard growth will also subside eventually, leaving you with a beard the envy of any Greek god or arctic explorer.
Have faith in your follicles, let them grow and they will reward you handsomely.
RG recommends: Exfoliating your face weekly will help to keep your skin healthy and relatively itch free. D.R.Harris Exfoliating Cream is a good and inexpensive option to both exfoliate and soothe your irritated skin. Apply once or twice a week to help shift any dead skin cells which may be irritating you. A good quality beard oil such as Mr. Natty Frank’s Beard Elixir can also help to alleviate any beard growing adversities. Simply massage a few drops into your beard and face as part of your daily grooming routine to help soothe your skin and keep your nubile facial follicles healthy and moving in the right direction.
Split ends, dandruff and dryness are all problems more commonly associated with the finer hair on your head, but they will all affect the look and feel of your beard as well if you don’t give it any attention.
It is essential that you treat the hair on your face in the same way as you treat the hair on your head. This means keeping it clean and soft by investing in some beard shampoo and conditioning it with either a high quality beard oil for shorter beards, or a beard balm for those longer chin-warmers. Packed with essential oils, beard oil works as a conditioner for your beard by replenishing the natural oils which are lost every time you wash your facial forest, leaving your chin tresses soft, manageable and healthy.
Although similar in terms of its conditioning properties, beard balm differs from beard oil in the sense that it also helps to style and shape your beard. Typically, a good beard balm should moisturise your facial hair whilst also providing a light hold for your manly mane, helping it to look thicker in the process.
To keep your beard looking its best, simply lather some beard shampoo with warm water and apply to your beard, making sure to rinse thoroughly, before working in a small amount of beard balm or beard oil (depending on your follicular needs) to ensure that your new facial friend doesn’t make you look anything less than a perfect gentleman.
RG recommends: A high quality beard shampoo such as Mr. Natty’s Face Forest Soap Beard Shampoo should form the basis of any comprehensive beard care routine. Its use of olive oil, peppermint and shea butter will not only keep your beard clean and tidy, but also help hydrate any dry skin you may have beneath that forest of fuzz which now adorns your face, eliminating dandruff. Apply once a day, or once every other day depending on your type of facial hair, for the fantastic follicular results. Finish your beard cleansing routine by applying some of The Brighton Beard Company’s Beard Balmto help condition those newly grown bristles. Simply apply a small amount of your chosen product to your beard and comb through with one of our excellent beard combs and voila! You will have yourself one finely styled beard!
p>Easily the most enjoyable aspect of growing a beard (other than the constant comments and general acclaim) is the selection of a style. Even a cursory image search will reveal a multitude of different ways to present your newly grown face fuzz to the world. But which style should you choose? Do you go for something eccentric and detailed like the Hollywoodian? Something vintage like a pair of Mutton Chops? Or something a bit less groomed like a Ducktail or Small Boxed beard? The choices are seemingly endless, so be sure to do your research. While you’re growing out your beard make a note of any beards you admire. It’s also worth asking a grooming professional who will be able to better advise you on beard styles that will suit your face.
Whilst a beard trimmer is an excellent long-term investment, the prospect of styling your own beard is a site of great anxiety for those new to the world of follicular endowment. After all those late nights of worrying, those weeks of ridicule from your friends and family you don’t want to make one unfortunate slip and undo all of your progress.
A good idea for that very first beard styling is a visit to your local barber who will be able to give you some expert advice on keeping your newly styled pride and joy fresh and in pristine condition.
RG recommends: Regal Gentleman offer a diverse range of products which can add some finesse to your facial tresses. An excellent utility product to add the final touches to both beard and ‘tache is The Brighton Beard Company’s Beard and Moustache Wax. Infused with mandarin and cedarwood, this handmade pomade provides a firm hold to help tame even the most unruly of facial furnishings. Simply use the back of your thumb nail to scrape away the desired amount. Then warm up the wax by rubbing the palm of your hands together and apply to your beard and moustache after each wash, making sure to comb through with one of our beard combs for an excellent finish, befitting of any true gentleman.
A further option for the more cultured bearded gentleman would be the addition of either a fragranced beard oil or cologne (or for the truly adventurous, both). Much like hair gel, beard oil serves to give a more refined and polished style to your rebellious bristles, whilst also helping to keep your face smelling fresh.
RG recommends: The addition of some stupendous beard oil to your beard grooming regimen will only help to keep your beard looking fantastic by moisturizing your facial follicles promoting healthy beard growth. Whilst we at Regal Gentleman offer a number of different beard oil options, for a more extravagant facial grooming experience, invest in some ofCaptain Fawcett’s Private Stock Beard Oil. With its blend of almond, jojoba and vitamin E base oils, your beard is sure to be well nourished and freshly fragranced. To use, simply apply a few drops to your beard and work through your facial tresses using a high quality beard comb.
So, if you are to grow and keep your beard looking gentlemanly, you need to bear in mind these five steps:
And there you have it fellow beard lovers! A beginners guide on how to grow, nurture and generally make the most of your beard. Follow these steps and you’ll soon find yourself the envy of just about everyone you know. So get growing, chaps!