How to Maintain a BeardWritten by Advice Team on March 27, 2017
Before embarking on growing a beard, most men consider it to be the maintenance-free option. After all, it just means not shaving right? In reality, growing and maintaining a beard is going to take some work. In the same way that the hair on your head looks best when it is freshly trimmed and washed, your beard will benefit greatly from a bit of regular TLC. By incorporating the following simple steps into your daily grooming routine you'll achieve a damn fine face of hair.
Keep it clean Just as you would wash the hair on your head, your beard needs regular cleaning as well. The main thing to remember is that (as we’re sure you will have noticed) the hair on your face is very different from your head hair. It is much thicker, less dense and actually needs the natural oils that your skin produces, so it requires it’s own routine. Washing schedules vary in the beard community but most people find once every two or three days optimum. A gentle face wash or, ideally, a specifically formulated beard cleanser will work best. Specialist beard washes don’t contain the harsh chemicals found in regular shampoo (which will leave your beard stiff and crunchy) so we recommend investing in one of these to keep your beard feeling fresh, clean and hydrated. On non-cleanse days a rinsing with clean, warm water will rinse out any debris and keep it from smelling.
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Take care of the skin underneath Just as a dry scalp results in dandruff, forgetting to look after the skin under your beard can result in something equally unwanted; beard-ruff. The flaking pieces of dandruff are not only unsightly but uncomfortable and itchy too. Beard dandruff is caused by a variety of factors but cold weather and central heating are major contributors; which explains why most men experience the problem during the winter months. Whatever you do don’t reach for the anti-dandruff shampoo - this is designed to be used on the scalp, not the sensitive skin on your face. A weekly exfoliation using a gentle facial wash and using a facial cleansing gadget will help remove dead skin from your face and so this should be a regular part of your grooming routine.
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Use some product Have you ever wondered why some people’s beards look like a shiny healthy coat and yours looks like the end of an old broom? It’s probably because you’ve neglected to use an appropriate beard conditioning agent. A quality beard oil is formulated to replace your beard's natural oil that has been removed during washing and should be applied after every shower, especially if you cleansed your beard that day.
Beard balm is another option. Beard balm is very similar to oil in terms of ingredients but with the addition of wax. This creates a thicker product with an amount of ‘hold’, keeping your facial hair manageable and looking well groomed as well as moisturised and supple. Apply it while your beard is still a bit damp, before you take the hairdryer to it on a low setting.
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Comb and style it Some men can simply wash and go but the majority face at least a few unruly hairs which need a bit of extra attention. After applying beard oil, beard balm, or even a light coat of hair pomade, you're ready to tame.
Combing your beard through will help distribute products it evenly, reducing friction and minimising breakage which will eventually lead to you looking like a shaggy dog.
You can also use a little heat from a hair dryer to style. Hold the hair with your comb where you want it to stay, apply a little heat with the blow dryer, and slowly pull the comb through the hair. Repeat this process all around your beard until you reach the desired shape.
Keep it trimmed An essential aspect of maintaining a great looking beard is keep it trimmed and in shape. Some hairs and will naturally grow longer than others and some areas will grow thicker, eventually leading to you looking like a shaggy dog. If you are confident doing it yourself then make sure you have the right tools and technique.
If you don’t feel comfortable with trimming your beard with an electric shaver, then make sure you visit your local barber every 4-6 weeks for a tidy-up to keep your beard in the best shape it can be.