Beards may one day be remembered as the definitive male grooming trend of the current era. Neat stubble has proliferated as a socially acceptable substitute for the clean-shaven look formerly mandated by most workplaces. And many are going a few steps further, taking full advantage of the transformative effects a fulsome beard can have. Beard care is, therefore, having its moment in the spotlight.
Here at Mankind, we think a properly groomed beard has its place in any environment for those who can pull one off, but only if it’s well maintained and properly groomed. Beards had until recently more or less died out precisely because scruffy beards were too common, and long facial hair had become synonymous with neglecting to take care of your appearance.
A great beard requires you put in the effort to keep it looking its best, so for this reason, we’ve put together a complete guide to beard care as part of our Groom 101 series this January.
We’re going to cover how to grow a beard in an upcoming blog, but we’ll run you through the very basics here.
Step 1. Clear your diary
Growing a beard is a lengthy process, and it can take a good few weeks to get the kind of growth necessary for a true impression of what you’ll look like with one. Many beard enthusiasts suggest growing a beard over Christmas, or over your summer holiday, as during the awkward stages of initial growth your facial hair can look a little straggly and patchy.
Step 2. Start as you mean to continue
As early as you can, get into the habit of shaving a U-Shaped neckline, and tidying up stray hairs (anything north of your stubble line on your cheeks, and the hairs around the corners of your mouth). Performing these jobs once your beard is already fully grown is much more difficult, and this has been the cause of many abandoned attempts.
Step 3. Be persistent
Especially if your beard growth is a little underwhelming, the best thing you can do is persist. Your beard may look a little patchy at week 3, but by week 6 most people will be none the wiser. Provided you have a fairly good covering on the jawline, sideburns, and moustache, even beards that don’t fully connect will usually look fine after a month or two of consistent growth.
Step 4. Adopt and perfect a consistent grooming routine
Beards are often swiftly abandoned, and if it’s not due to a shaving and detailing mishap, it’s more than likely due to finding facial hair uncomfortable, unclean, or scruffy-looking. This is extremely easily avoided if you develop an effective grooming routine, which we’ll cover in more detail below.
Beard care should begin to play a role after somewhere around 1-2 weeks of growth, slotting easily into your existing skincare routine with a few simple tweaks. A basic beard care routine will contain most of the following elements.
1. Exfoliation – the skin under the beard is especially prone to dryness, as well as the dandruff and itchiness that can accompany this. As well as this, bearded skin is not immune to blemishes, and excess sebum clinging to the facial hair can actually increase your likelihood of developing spots and blackheads. Exfoliating regularly helps keep on top of both of these problems.
2. Cleansing – cleansing the skin strips away the dirt, bacteria, and other impurities that are responsible for blemishes and skin ageing, and is a crucial part of anyone’s skincare routine.
3. Shampooing – after cleansing your whole face, apply beard shampoo to strip away dirt and sebum from your facial hair.
4. Conditioning – not all men with beards will need to condition it every day, however if your skin is dry, or your beard is coarse and itchy, conditioning will go a long way to softening it and making it much easier to tame and comb.
5. Applying a beard oil – this helps to keep your beard soft, and crucially, helps to keep the skin underneath it protected and moisturised. They also smell fantastic, delivering long lasting results that will keep your beard feeling fresh throughout the day.
6. Combing/brushing – especially when it’s a little longer, tangles and knots can easily creep up on you, however getting into the habit of combing or brushing early in the beard growth process is sensible. Helping keep it clean, creating shape, and helping to spread any beard oil you’ve applied throughout the beard, it’s a vital step to beard care.
If you like this content, read more of our beard related blogs:
Skin | Hair | Shave | Beard | Body
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