The first month of growing a beard requires an expression — or lack thereof — of nihilism. That’s because you will look strange, those around you will notice and judge, but, more importantly, you won’t choose to care and you won’t touch your beard. You will have to embrace this philosophy:
There is no meaning or purpose in life and societal values are artificial and unrealistic. Consider that your “reality” and the value you hold in yourself is defined by others. I challenge you: Toss away those shackles, embrace the nothingness, and start growing a beard.
Typically, a month’s worth of beard growth will provide enough of a base for alterations. Think of your facial hair like a block of marble. To properly execute your vision of a beard, there needs to be enough material to work with. Once you’ve procured the appropriate supply, get yourself some tools and get to work.
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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 as well. 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.
Use Beard Oil
Some will swear by beard oil and others will staunchly refuse to even discuss it. Everyone’s diet, natural oil production, and levels of acceptable hygiene 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.
Washing your beard two to 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 tolerably well, but you’re best off choosing a proper beard wash. Follow it up with a beard oil after each wash.
Take Care of Your Body
Other than manipulating your genetic code, there’s really 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 ever made.
You’ve given yourself a month, your beard is looking 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.
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 one that comes with a few different attachments, including guards, different 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.
Find Your Beard Shape
When it comes to defining your beard, there is no one beard style that is best. The shape of your beard should be defined by your face, your attitude, and your style. 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 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.
It’s your beard — wear it like you own it. Or just remember your days as a Russian poet when you discarded the thought-prison built around you by the aristocracy and choose not to acknowledge those who nay-say. Anyways, you’ll likely find that others appreciate the beard as much as you do.
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