Over the past decade, men’s beards have grown into much more than a hairstyle. A beard is more like the ultimate fashion accessory. Everyone has tried sporting one, from George Clooney to Jason Momoa to Paul Rudd.
Some beards have even become legendary, taking on a personality and identity of their own. Think Jake Gyllenhaal’s beard in Southpaw.
Whether you’ve been proudly wearing your beard for as long as you can remember, or you’ve found yourself growing one to combat the winter winds, it’s important you know how to take care of your beard.
Beard grooming is an art. An ungroomed beard tells the world you either don’t care (this can work out in your favor in the short run, but no one wants to hang out with the dirty beard guy forever), or you’re just a bit clueless.
If you need a bit of education in the beard care arena, this is the beard grooming guide for you. Check out these seven beard grooming tips for how to maintain a beard.
1. Invest in a Solid Beard Brush and Comb
Brushing your beard daily is an absolute must when it comes to beard maintenance. Expert beard groomers recommend a boar’s hair brush over one with plastic bristles. You’ll also want to get a nice comb to combat those tangles.
Brushing your beard every day does the work of removing any grime, dirt, dead skin, or leftover remnants from your breakfast. Begin by combing through your beard to remove any tangled hairs, then work on brushing it out.
If your beard is shorter than an inch, all you need to do is brush it down so all the hairs go in the same direction. You will want to be careful not to overbrush your short beard as it will irritate your skin.
Brushing your beard is important because it distributes the oils from your skin throughout your beard, adds volume, and softens the hair. On the other hand, brushing too much can lead to split ends. Don’t overdo it!
2. Use Beard Oil
Every beard needs beard oil. It doesn’t matter if you have a short beard, a long beard, a new beard, or an old beard. Get friendly with some beard oil right away.
Beard oil doesn’t just nurture your beard. It also moisturizes the skin underneath your beard. This is really important because the skin under your beard is more prone to breakouts, dryness, and irritation.
Beard oil also softens your beard hair. If you use beard oil, you’ll have a healthy beard, healthy skin, and a healthy relationship because your partner won’t cringe at the thought of kissing a scratchy beard!
3. Use Beard Balm
Beard balm is also a necessity when it comes to beard grooming and overall beard health. Beard balm is slightly heavier a product than beard oil, which allows it to condition your beard throughout the day.
The best time to apply beard balm is right after you shower and apply your beard oil. That’s when your hair and skin are most receptive to skincare products.
You’ll want to take a small dab of beard balm, about the size of a nickel, in your palm and rub it between your hands to let it emulsify. Then work it into your beard and onto the skin beneath your beard.
Whatever gets leftover on your hands you can rub into dry skin or work into the rest of your hair.
4. Grow It Out First, Then Style It
The biggest mistake you can make when it comes to caring for your beard is styling it too soon. Of course, it’s understandable you want to avoid the scraggly awkward phase and cut straight to your ideal beard style.
Stylists recommend waiting until your beard is at least one inch and ideally one and a half inches long before you begin styling it.
For shaping and styling a long beard, you’ll also want to invest in a good quality pair of trimming scissors in addition to a good beard trimmer.
5. Trim Your Neckline
Whether you’re in the early stages of growing a beard or intend to keep your beard short, it is important to maintain a trimmed neckline. Here’s how to do it.
First, you need to find your neckline. Take two fingers and place them just above your Adam’s apple. Trace your fingers in a slightly curved line up to your ear on either side. This is the line where you’ll want to trim.
Pro tip: if you do have a long beard, you actually want to avoid trimming your neckline. The undergrowth will help create a more full-looking beard and the long hair on top will cover up any unsightly neck fluff.
6. Keep It Clean
While you don’t want to wash your beard every single day, you should aim to wash it at least three times a week if not every other day. It really depends on your hair and skin type.
If you have dry skin and hair, wash less often because your beard and skin need those skin oils to keep moisturized and healthy. If you have more oily skin, wash more often to avoid build-up and break-outs.
When you wash your beard, use a beard wash that’s designed for the unique, coarse structure of beard hair. Regular shampoo is going to cause your beard and skin to get too dry.
7. Use Beard Softener
Lastly, apply a beard softener to your beard hair to keep it nice, soft, and conditioned. Hydration is essential for every type of skin and hair, but it is especially important for coarse beard hair.
The best beard softeners to use are paraben, silicone, and sulfate-free.
How to Take Care of Your Beard Takeaways
How to take care of your beard is simple. Keep it clean, brush it regularly (but not too much), and use those essential beard products like oils, balms, and softeners.
You should also make sure to style your beard, trim it as needed, and keep up with those pesky neck hairs! If you liked this article, check out “5 Natural Hair Growth Tips You Need To Know” next in our Health Section.