How to Grow and Groom a Formidable Winter Beard
Dipping temperatures and whipping winds can take their toll on bare faces. Instead of enduring winter’s sting, you might use the cold weather as an excuse to grow a beard. Lots of mammals grow additional hair in the winter, so why not men? Why deny the hairy beast inside you? If you’re not sure how to grow a beard, well, casting your razor into the sea is a good place to start. From there, let this humble guide be your . . . guide.
Brace for Snarky Comments
For some men, the greatest impediment to beard-growing is the anticipation of smart-assery from friends and loved ones. You must prepare for comments like, “Is that dirt on your face?” or “Did you miss a spot while shaving?” Using No-Shave November or Movember as an excuse is usually enough to deflect such comments. You might also try something like, “Just thought I’d beard up for winter” or “It’ll be a cold one this year.” Even if you live in Florida, your folksy charm will likely end the line of questioning so you can sprout your beard in peace. Regardless of what people say, just remember that it’s your face, your choice—everyone else can just deal.
Get Good Grooming Tools
Most seasoned beardsmen will tell you to allow at least two weeks of unimpeded beard growth before attempting to bring it under control. When the time comes, you should have a good set of tools at the ready. The most essential tool is a good beard trimmer—preferably one that comes with a few different attachments (trimmer guards, different cutting heads, etc). You’ll also need a good comb, a pair of sharp trimming scissors, and a good beard oil to keep your beard hair soft (more on that later).
Growing a beard is chiefly a waiting game. You must be patient with your budding beard; you won’t look like Gandalf within a couple weeks. To give your beard-growing experiment a fair shake, wait at least a month before deciding to shave it. It’s only a month out of your life, and you’ll learn a valuable lesson about your body in the meantime.
Use Beard Oil
This is imperative. Believe us. If you don’t use some sort of beard hair treatment, your beard will become dry, pube-like, and incredibly itchy. To avoid this, The best plan is to wash your face fur regularly and apply a good beard oil directly afterward, while your pores are still open. The Beard Baron makes excellent beard oil that will sufficiently soften your follicles. The worst itchy period will be during the first couple weeks of your beard-growing journey, so hang in there.
Take Care of Your Body
Other than manipulating your genetic code, there’s not much you can do to improve the fierceness of your incoming beard. That said, taking care of your body will encourage healthy hair growth (to a certain degree). Be sure to get plenty of sleep, eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, and exercise regularly. Frankly, you should be doing these things anyway—maximizing your beard growth could be a great excuse to finally embrace a healthy lifestyle.
Embrace Your Mane
Many men are bummed by the poor growth or strange patterns of their facial hair. You will probably have a vision of what you want your beard to look like, then be inevitably disappointed as your mane comes in. Still, you should learn to embrace your beard—it’s a part of you, and you are a magnificent beast descended from eons of warriors and woodsmen. There are a million ways to style your beard; no matter how your facial hair grows, you’ll find a way to make it look good.
Trim the Neck
The best way to remain semi-presentable while cultivating your beard is to avoid the dreaded “neckbeard.” Still, you shouldn’t overdo your neck-trimming or you’ll risk undoing your lush growth. Trim up to the area between your neck and your head, about one inch above your Adam’s apple. This is a great way to make your beard stand out early on; the contrast between beardliness and non-beardliness will let people know you’re serious.
Trim the Cheeks
Trimming the cheeks is essential for properly shaping your beard. Again, you don’t want to overdo it—just use a razor to wrangle a few stragglers that wander too far north. If you have something akin to a Chewbacca beard, you’ll need to take more drastic measures. Shave your cheek hair so it’s even with the bottom of your nose.
Washing your beard every other day will help stave off itchiness and keep your beard kissably soft—or smooth like the sea after a squall, if you prefer more masculine terms. Traditional body soap will likely cause the beard to dry out, causing itchiness and irritation. Some shampoos and conditioners work tolerably well, but you’re best off choosing a cleanser that is specifically meant for a bearded face. Apply beard oil after each wash.
With patience and gentle grooming, you’ll grow a beard that makes Old Man Winter tremble. Once spring bounces in, you and your beard will have gone through a lot together. You might decide to keep your hairy friend for the foreseeable future. That’s the thing about beards—they really grow on you.