Your beard takes time, patience, and care to grow. You should take time and take care of it. With all the information available, it may be overwhelming knowing where to start and what to do. We have compiled a list of ten essential tips. This list of tips will help you along your journey and will give you a good foundation to build your beard care routine around. Each person and every beard will be different. You can adapt it to fit your individual needs.
- Know your line
Having the right line is a key factor to an epic beard. Your jawline should not follow your jaw but should be at an angle to your Adam’s apple. Your cheek line will very on the way your beard grows. To achieve maximum volume and growth, leave your cheek line as high as possible. Most men will experience some thinning in this area. Give it time to fill in. If you are looking for a more defined line, there are may styles to choose from. You can go for a straight line, curved line, or faded, the choice is up to your personal style and preference. Rugged Fellow has some interesting reading on a good beard line.
- Use a comb
A wooden comb will pay dividends on a healthy beard. A good wooden comb will distribute oil evenly over your beard while gently de-tangling knots. Avoid plastic or metal combs, plastic bushes and metal picks when possible. The microscopic edges on plastic and metal will cause breakage and damage your hair. See article on why you should use a wooden comb here. A good practice is to keep a small pocket comb on your person or in the car. This will come in handy when eating your favorite messy food, styling on the go, or even after blowing your nose (you'll quickly find how brittle Kleenex is).
- Eat better
Often overlook, this is a main component in growing a healthy beard. Your body needs food to operate properly. Your muscles, eyes, organs, and hair follicles all function better when your body has the right fuel. A healthy diet of rich in Omega-3's, vitamins A, B and E, and fatty acids will strengthen hair follicles and improve blood circulation which will promote health, thick, and even new hair growth. Supplements and vitamins such as biotin can be taken. You shouldn't underestimate a healthy diet and exercise. You can literally eat your way to a better beard.
- Keep it clean
Do not use hair shampoo or regular face soap on your beard! Shampoo’s and soap contain harsh detergents, dyes, sulfates, and alcohol. All these ingredients will dry and damage your beard. Not only does it damage the hair, but it will also damage the skin underneath causing skin irritation, beard dandruff, brittleness, breakage, hair loss, and bumps. Use soaps and beard wash that are designed for your beard. These type of products will clean your beard all while locking in moisture. Depending on how much you are exposed to the elements (outside, sweat, dirt, etc...), you should wash your beard every other day. Try to avoid over washing your beard. More on this in Tip# 6 Creating a Routine. See article on How To Wash My Beard here.
- Use oils, butters, and balms
Oils, Butters, and Balms should have their place in your routine. We have several articles describing the function of each in detail (Beard Oil, Oils, Butters, and Balms) Here is a quick recap: function of Beard Oil is to moisturize, Beard Butter is a conditioning agent, Beard Balm will provide style while offering some conditioning properties. A healthy beard (and the skin underneath) must be moisturized, conditioned, and fed nutrients found in natural oils and butters.
- Create a good routine
An epic beard takes time to grow and time to keep groomed. Quality time should be spend grooming your beard and developing a routine that works for you and your beard. Everyone is different, and every beard is different and will have different needs. You should commit some time each day to your beard. Every routine will be different, but every routine should include some aspect the following;
- Wash your beard every so often. Depending on how much you sweat, exposed to dirt and the elements. You should wash your beard 1-2 times a week using products designed for beards. If you need to wash more often, use milder, natural soaps and keep your beard conditioned. Try not to over wash your beard as this may cause your beard to dry out and cause skin irritation. Remember to rinse well! See article How To Wash My Beard here.
- Use Oils, Butters, and Balms. Oils and Butters should be applied to a slightly damp beard. Recommended use is only once a day. Both can be use together. Oil first than lock in moisture and conditioning using butter. Balm’s should be used sparingly to give your beard hold and style. Key to remember using oil’s, butter’s, and balms, a little goes along way! Too much of a good thing can lead to some issues, read article here.
- Do not trim every day. Give your beard time to grow. A rule of thumb is to trim your beard once or twice a month to keep it tame.
- Comb and bush using wooden combs and boar bristled bushes to keep your beard tame. This is more important depending on your workplace and lifestyle. This should be done every day.
- Exfoliate your beard using an exfoliating sponge or luffa is key to keep your beard and skin clean and will also combat bumps and skin irritation. Removing dead skin will help strengthen hair follicles and will also improve blood flow. Can be done once a week.
- If you use a hair dryer, use sparingly as heat will damage and dry out your beard. Condition well after heating. Can be used once or twice a month.
- Use right tools
Knowing what tools to use is half the battle. A wooden comb and boar bristle brush should be used everyday. Use electric trimmers or clippers in between visits to your barber. These will come in handy in keeping your neck and cheek line clean. Sheers are a good way to clean up the stay beard hairs. These are all the tools that you need. No need to buy expensive clipper’s, sheers, or any other tools. Some electric clippers and pair of sheers will keep you sharp between visits to the barber. A comb and brush will keep you styled. It is also important to keep your tools clean! Using cleaner and oil on your sheers and clippers is essential to keeping them sharp and long lasting. Wash your comb and brush often with your beard wash or beard soap. This will stop build up of oil and dirt. Use disinfectant spray on your clippers to prevent bacteria build up.
- Its OK to color your beard
Its OK to use coloring on your beard. It is totally a personal choice. Some barbers and stylist offer this as part of the service. If you chose to color your beard, there are a few things to keep in mind. There is a fear to using beard coloring, but these tips will help you overcome that fear and keep your beard healthy.
- Chose a color that is close to your natural hair. If you have a ginger beard, you probably don’t want to go jet black. This may take some time to find out which color works best for you. It may be good practice to error on a shade that is lighter rather than on a shade that is darker.
- Follow the instructions. Don’t let it sit too long in your beard. Be sure to rinse out well! Do not use regular shampoo or soap to wash. Use beard specific washes and soaps. Only use as directed.
- When dying your beard, do not over due it. A good rule of thumb is to only color your beard once a month. The chemicals in the dye will cause the beard to become dry and brittle.
- This brings us the most important component, moisturize and condition! You should use beard wash or bead soap to wash out the coloring. These specialized soaps will retain moisture in your beard. You should also use Beard Oil and Beard Butter to keep your beard moisturized and conditioned. The use of oil and butter will be more important when using coloring. While the coloring agents will strip your beard of moisture, and can possible damage the skin underneath, you can keep your beard and skin healthy by using butters and oils. Butters and Oils will lock in moisture, heal the skin underneath, combat brittleness, and keep your beard soft and healthy. These should already be a part of your routine but will have more importance and should hold a higher priority when using beard coloring.
Find your style. There are tons of pictures and videos on different beard types and styles. The key is to find a beard style that is similar to the way your beard grows and then chose a style that you like. When you find a style you like, take that picture to a barber you trust. Take your time and let your beard grow and take your time finding a style you like. Here are a few links that may help you find your unique look.
- Don’t skip the barber
Finding the right barber can be a challenge. You can find a good barber on social media and by word of mouth. Ask around and get recommendations. Once you find a barber you trust, develop a relationship and a dialog with your barber. Talk about your beard goals and style. Bring a picture of a style you like. This will help him paint a picture of your desired look and how he or she can help you on your journey. Remember, growing a beard is a process. As your beard grows and gets thicker, the way your barber cuts your beard will change depending on what you want to achieve. There will be growth phases and trim phases. Your barber will help you map out a plan that fits your goals. He or she should offer you sound advice and tips along the way.