Whether you’re a seasoned resident of the facial oasis, or you’re thinking about cultivating a lower-head hair garden for the first time, there are principles that can’t be overlooked. When you accept a beard into your life, a lot of things change, and the line between homeless and Herculean is not to be challenged. Following some basics will make a world of difference in your pursuit of hairiness.
Know your face
Start with the man (or woman) in the mirror. Don’t make the mistake of growing a goatee because Brad Pitt looks good in one. Slim suits aren’t for husky dudes, and Birkenstocks aren’t good for anyone – so know your shape, and let that be the launch pad. If you’re not sure, Birchbox has a great article about it here.
That’s right. Skin. The very thing you’re going to hide. Remember that hair comes through your skin, so if you want a healthy beard, you can’t get there without good soil. Know your skin type – whether that be sensitive, dry or oily, and respond accordingly. Drink lots of water, and clean your face regularly if you want the coat of a purebred spaniel.
Buy a (good) beard trimmer
You think the $12 trimmer you got at CVS will do the job? Guess again. You’re not a 16 year old trimming your pubic hair, so invest in a reliable, and powerful trimmer. It will save you time in your daily ritual, and when time is scant, your beard will be the first casualty – don’t let that happen. An easy test of quality: your beard trimmer should be pretty heavy. That weight means great motor, great blades, and more control. A good beard is all about maintenance, and this is 50% of the work.
Whether you care how pretty your beard is or not, be warned: the itch is real, and it will outlast you. Moisturizing your beard defends against you getting dead skin under your nails from scratching at your manky beard like a lunatic having withdrawals. It will frustrate you, and you will get crazy eyes. You think that Hank the stinky guy who catches your bus and talks to himself got there because of his partiality to gambling? Nuh-uh. Hank got the itch, and he didn’t take it seriously. So buy a good beard moisturizer, and use it diligently.
Create a ritual
Be realistic with yourself and create a ritual around what you know you can achieve. Regular beard care doesn’t take up a lot of time, but if you half-ass it, it will become a burden. Follow the guide above, and in all likelihood, it will come together naturally. Be patient, be clean, and beware the itch.