In Ancient Greece, beards were seen as a sign of masculinity. They were only ever shaved off in a time of mourning or to punish the Spartans. They were sported by the Vikings when they raided villages. Virile men throughout history have covered their faces with hair to show their dominance and peacock to potential mates. Of course, society may have changed its philosophical opinions on the beard, but they still love the look of a great mane.
Of course, growing a beard may seem pretty straightforward; I mean, just don't shave, right? But many-a-man has embarked on the journey to growing a beard only to get frustrated and impatient. But we have set up a few easy tips to help you get over the hill and on the road to a fantastic beard. Typically, a month's worth of beard growth will provide enough of a base for alterations. Think of your facial hair as a block of marble. To properly execute your vision of a beard, there must be enough material to work with. Once you've procured the appropriate supply, get yourself some tools and get to work.
Growing and Grooming a Beard
We've already established that growing a beard requires patience and a certain amount of masochism. However, along with patience, a little love and care can go a long way. Here are some grooming tips and optional product suggestions that you might consider when maximizing the potential of your mug -- you can even straighten that beard if you wish.
While it may seem like your only step at this point is to sit back, kick your feet up, and toss all your shaving stuff in the garbage. But in all actuality, there are some steps you can take to make your journey much easier for you.
Step 1: Use Beard Oil.
Some will swear by beard oil, and others will refuse even to discuss it. Everyone's diet, natural oil production, and acceptable hygiene levels differ — and so do their opinions. For your consideration, beard oil provides more than one benefit for your beard.
The oil moisturizes both your hair and the skin underneath it to reduce irritation and dandruff. Additionally, it helps to soften your beard, which gives you some styling control. The best time to apply a good beard oil is directly after showering or washing your face when your pores are open and can absorb the oil.
Step 2: Wash Occasionally.
Washing your beard two to three times per week will help stave off itchiness and keep your beard as smooth as sanded wood. Traditional body soaps can cause your beard to dry out, leading to itchiness and irritation. Some shampoos and conditioners work well, but choosing a proper beard wash is best.
Step 3: Take Care of Your Body.
Other than manipulating your genetic code, there’s nothing you can do to improve the fierceness of your incoming beard. With that said, you can encourage healthy hair growth (to a certain degree) by getting plenty of sleep, eating healthy, and exercising regularly. Frankly, you should be doing these things anyway — next thing you know, growing a beard may be the best lifestyle change you have ever made.
You've given yourself a month, your beard looks fierce, and you may have even pissed on the Dude's rug — give us the money, Lebowski! Perhaps you've decided that nihilism is not, in fact, enjoyable or profitable. It's time to shape your beard.
Step 1: Get a Quality Beard Trimmer.
Having a good set of tools at the bookend of your initial beard growth is essential. The most important tool is a good beard trimmer, preferably with a few different attachments, including guards, cutting heads, etc. Beard trimmers provide different levels of adjustments for blade height and length, so choose one that matches well with your particularity for precision. Aside from that, you'll need a good beard comb, a pair of sharp trimming scissors, and a mirror.
Step 2: Find Your Beard Shape.
No one beard style is superior to another. Your face, attitude, and style should define your beard’s shape. One thing we do recommend, however, is cleaning up around the edges, so it looks like you are intentional about your beard. The best way to remain semi-presentable while cultivating your beard is to avoid the dreaded “neckbeard.” Trim up to one inch above your Adam’s apple but not more, or you’ll risk losing the depth of your beard growth.
Trimming the cheeks is essential to shape your beard properly. Again, you don’t want to overdo it — use a razor to wrangle a few stragglers that wander too far north. You’ll need to take more drastic measures if you have something akin to a Chewbacca beard. Shave your cheek hair, so it’s even with the bottom of your nose.
It's your beard — rock it. Or remember your days as a Russian poet when you discarded the thought prison built around you by the aristocracy and chose not to acknowledge those who nay-say. You'll likely find that others appreciate the beard as much as you do.
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