The beard has become more than just a choice in facial hair these days, and more of a lifestyle instead.
With the massive resurgence of bearded men in the last decade, it seems that facial hair is here to stay, and there have never been more ways to style and care for your beard than there are today.
What’s involved in a beard care routine then and what do you need to keep yours in check?
Beard care is a daily matter and can include anything from washing the hair, applying hydrating balms and oils, trimming and shaving, brushing, or styling.
There are countless ways to wear your facial hair and each of them requires some TLC on your part, but the results are always worth it.
Whether you’re brand new to beards or have been a facial hair lover for years, there’s a lot that you can learn here.
We’ve covered the basics of developing your own beard care routine, the products you need to know about, and how to solve some of the most common problems facial hair has, giving you the lowdown on facial hair that will turn yours into something to be admired.
The Key Beard Care Products: How Do They Help?
Men’s grooming and beard care products have exploded in recent times, and it seems that there’s a product out there for just about every facial hair problem you can have.
Before you can develop your daily routine of beard care you need to know the main products on the scene and exactly what they do, so you can see what worth they’ll add to your grooming schedule.
Beard oil is the single most important product that a man with facial hair can own.
These oils are made with a mixture of carrier oils like jojoba and coconut, blended with essential oils like lavender or tea tree, known for their various rejuvenating and healing properties.
Beard oil provides a double-edged solution for the modern man. First and foremost, it hydrates the beard and stops it from getting brittle, also making it easier to style.
Secondly, and often overlooked, is the way it cleanses and hydrates the skin underneath the beard. When they combine, the results are magical, and you’ll have a soft, shiny, and luscious beard that you’re proud to show off to the world.
A healthy beard is one that’s glossy and soft, and if you’ve ever had a beard you know how hard it can be to achieve this look.
This is where beard balm steps in, as the ultimate conditioner for your beard. This product is for those who want to go the extra mile in addition to their beard oil, or as a once in a while treatment for when it’s needed.
Used just like hair conditioner, beard balm is applied liberally to the beard and left it to give deep hydrating and conditioning.
It seals in the moisture with ingredients like beeswax and soothes and conditions with ingredients like shea butter, so the end result is a super soft and shiny beard that’s easy to manage.
If you want a beard product that does more than just hydrate, beard butter is the way to go. This is ideal for men who still need hydration but with more styling benefits than other products, so you can easily manage and shape it as you see fit.
Beard butter is like a mixture of beard oil and beard balm, not as liquid-like as the oil and not as waxy as a balm. It’s smooth and doesn’t need to be warmed up before you put it on, so it scores on the convenience factor.
You’ll commonly find things like shea or cocoa butter, as well as other carrier and essential oils thrown into the mix.
Beard wash or beard shampoo are the only products you should use to clean your facial hair.
Many men make the mistake of relying on their regular hair shampoo to clean their beard, and all that does is strip away the natural oils and make it dry and brittle.
A beard shampoo doesn’t need to be used every day, rather a couple of times a week. It will remove built-up products like oil and butter, and any grime or debris that’s been caught up in it.
Opt for one without harsh chemicals so it doesn’t dry your beard out, but not so natural that it doesn’t get any cleaning done.
The Essential Beard Care Routine
Let’s face it, it’s never fun to have to start a new routine, whether it’s getting up at five a.m. for a workout or drinking green smoothies for breakfast.
Developing a beard care routine can feel a little like this, and until you start to see results it’ll probably take some motivation to get into.
A good beard care routine doesn’t have to be complicated though, and it’ll differ entirely depending on the type of facial hair you sport and where your problem areas are.
As a guide though, this is a simple beard care routine that you can follow or adapt to your needs. Within just a few weeks it’ll be second nature to you, and you’ll have a fresh and luscious beard that makes it all worthwhile.
- After your morning shower, apply your beard oil. Put a few drops into your hands, rub them together to warm the oil up, and then apply in a circular motion making sure you get to the skin underneath as well as the hair.
- Use a dedicated beard comb to get rid of tangles, make it look neat, and help the beard oil to spread evenly.
- Apply a small amount of beard balm or butter for styling and warm it up in your hands before you rub it into the hair. Shape your beard into the desired look using your fingers and comb.
- If needed, carry your beard oil and brush with you through the day. If your beard starts to dry out, apply a few more drops to keep it hydrated. Give it a brush when it gets messy.
- Once the day is done, wash your beard out in the shower using hot water and massage. Every second day, use your dedicated beard shampoo or wash to get rid of oils and debris. Massage it into the beard and skin underneath, being sure to lather it up before rinsing it out entirely.
- Pat your beard dry with a towel and try to avoid going to bed with wet facial hair if you can.
Trimming Your Beard: How Often Is Enough?
If you’re one of those men who avoids growing a beard because of the ongoing maintenance, you might want to change your view.
Although it does take some upkeep to get your beard looking glossy and healthy, it’s far easier than committing to a regular schedule of shaving.
It can be hard to know, as a bearded man, how often is often enough when it comes to giving it a trim. There’s no need to do anything daily or even weekly when you have a beard, so it does save a lot of time compared to shaving.
The only thing you have to do regularly is wash it in the shower and apply some daily oil to keep it hydrated.
When it comes to trimming, there are two different recommendations. If your goal is to maintain the current length of beard you have, you should only be trimming it every 6-8 weeks.
For men trying to grow their beard longer, you should be giving it a trim every 3-4 weeks to keep things neat and to facilitate healthier growth.
How to Help Your Beard Grow
One of the biggest questions men have when it comes to facial hair is how they can speed up hair growth.
Sadly, there’s no magic cure for growing your beard and it’s all tied to hormones, genetics, and their growth cycle, all of which we have little control over.
To grow a beard you’ll have to develop a whole lot of patience and give it at least six months to do its work, but some things can help push it along.
Eating the right foods
For the body to create more testosterone, you’ll want to increase your body’s energy, and you can do this with the right foods.
Getting adequate proteins, good fats, and carbohydrates can push testosterone production along, so a change in diet can be good for your beard and not just your waist.
Anything your body does to increase energy is going to be helpful for testosterone, think about starting a workout routine.
Lifting weights can especially help in boosting this hormone without needing to reach for supplements, so it may be time to call your personal trainer.
Sure, it’s easier said than done to minimize stress in your life, but if you want to grow a good beard you’ll try your hardest. Stress can inhibit testosterone which slows down beard hair growth, so take some deep breaths and zen out.
Taking care of your skin
Who would’ve thought that developing a skincare routine could go hand in hand with growing a manly beard?
Keeping skin hydrated and exfoliated from dead skin cells allows facial hair to grow without impediment and with the bonus of making you look better, too.
As much as we’d like to, we can’t just leave our beards to grow long and shaggy and hope for the best.
Maintaining your beard will help it get longer, so start using your oils and balms, brushing it daily, and keeping it trimmed at regular intervals so the new hair can come on through.
Keeping Your Beard Hydrated
The human body is made up of around 60 percent water, and it’s essential to keep it hydrated for our health.
Beards are another part of the body that requires a whole lot of hydration, and without it, you’re bound to encounter some common beard problems like breakages, dandruff, and brittle hairs.
Keeping your beard hydrated is easy enough to do, and if you’re committed to a beard care routine it’ll probably already be taken care of.
If you’ve noticed your beard in dire need of some H20, you can try these things to take it from brittle to bright in just a few weeks.
You should brush your beard every day to get rid of knots and help to distribute the product evenly. Carry a comb with you at all times and give it a brush every couple of hours; you’ll be surprised at how easy it tangles.
Washing and conditioning daily
Use a dedicated hydrating beard wash to clean the beard every day so that it strips less oil but adds more moisture.
This not only hydrates but also removes any built-up product that gets stuck at the base of the hair and causes stiffness. Apply a moisturizer in the shower and leave it to sit for a few minutes before washing out.
Trimming with scissors
Add some extra trims to your beard grooming process with a special pair of beard scissors. Comb your beard upwards and comb it back into place, then use your scissor to trim these stray and stiff hairs out.
Balms, butters, and oils twice a day
Quality beard oil should be applied twice a day (or more) if your beard needs moisture, rather than the once that’s recommended.
Rather than styling with products that can dry it out, use your beard butter balm to do the job. This works at conditioning and shaping at the same time, adding extra hydration where you need it.
Keeping A Clean Beard
Keeping your beard clean is essential for hair growth, shape, gloss, and smell. It’s been reported that the beard is one of the most unhygienic things around, even being compared to an unwashed toilet seat.
You can relax and stop reaching for the razor though, as this minor study turned out to be blown way out of proportion.
A beard is only as clean as the man who owns it, so if you’re notoriously grimy, your beard probably will be as well. If this is the case, facial hair might not be the best option for you.
Beards are known for collecting things like debris, dust, hair products, and oil, so they have to be washed regularly and deeply to keep things clean.
Beards have also been found to contain a number of bacteria, which in itself doesn’t pose a threat, but if they’re not washed regularly, they can turn pretty nasty.
Always use hot water so that the grime can be separated from the hair, and make a conscious effort to dry it as much as possible when you step out of the shower.
A dedicated beard wash or shampoo is the best approach because it’s cleansing without stripping away the natural body oils that other shampoos eliminate.
Over washing or using the incorrect product can lead to a dry beard or an oily one, as the skin underneath overcompensates by producing more of its own oil.
This leads to a greasy and grimy beard, getting you right back to where you started trying to keep it clean.
To Brush or Comb?
Beard hair requires just as much care as the hair on your head, and that includes daily brushing or combing.
There are two popular tools used to keep beard hair in order: the bristle brush and the comb. We’ve compared the two with their pros and cons so you can decide which one would suit your beard best.
A beard brush is a smaller type of brush than one used for hair on your head, and it’s usually made with natural fibers like boar hair.
There are hundreds of hairs on the brush head, all distributed evenly, and they allow you to get each individual piece of facial hair just as evenly.
The biggest advantage of using a soft brush like this is the extra conditioning power. You’ll get all of your daily beard products distributed through the beard so any balms or oils you use won’t be wasted.
It’s also adept at cleaning the beard and picking up the small parts of debris that get trapped in there, which is a common concern that bearded men have.
In addition to conditioning and cleaning, a bristle brush can be helpful if you’re trying to train your hair to grow a certain way.
A quick brush and getting the hairs in order can push them to the direction you want them to grow, and with regular upkeep, they should start to pay attention.
A beard comb is the most popular choice for men with beards a little longer as it’s better at reaching the roots. These combs are thinner than brushes and easier to take with you in your pocket, so you’ll always have a styling tool on hand.
The comb is ideal for beards with longer hairs because they can untangle better than a brush and this becomes more of an issue the longer your beard gets.
While a brush gives more of a surface treatment, the comb is getting to the roots of your hair and making them smooth and unstuck.
A comb is also helpful for styling, and any bearded man knows how important this is. You’ll get better control with a comb and it can also be used when you’re trimming and shaping the beard, making it your ultimate styling tool.
Because it fits in your pocket you can use through the day so your beard is always in an impeccable state.
Which is Best?
If you’re at the early stages of beard growth and have been attempting to grow your hair for less than six months, the beard brush will be your go-to tool.
If you sport a long beard that regularly gets tangled, you’ll rely more heavily on the beard comb.
The best solution is to have both ready to go so you can take care of the surface and underneath the beard.
The brush does the conditioning and smoothing of the hair on top and the comb detangles the hair underneath and assists with styling and cutting.
Popular Grooming Tools for the Bearded Man
If you’re getting the feeling that beards require a bit of maintenance to make them look good, you’re getting closer to understanding the reality of them.
To take your beard past the lazy scruff stage and into the seriously groomed beardsman look, there are an additional few tools you’ll want to have in your back pocket.
An electric trimmer is a must-have for any man, whether you’re trying to grow out an impressive beard or not.
A good beard trimmer should be powerful, affordable, and easy to use so that you can take care of the trouble spots with ease.
Keep your trimmer around to clean your neck hair, smooth out the sides, and make your beard even, using it once a week to make sure everything is in shape and looking good.
There are a few options of razors for beard grooming, so it all comes down to personal preference.
Some might prefer the old fashioned straight razor for a closer cut, others will like their standard cartridge razor, and some want the convenience of a wet razor.
Whichever you choose, the razor is essential for styling beards that feature clean cuts and lines, so you’ll want something that can get to the finer details.
A good pair of beard friendly scissors is essential, regardless of the length and thickness of your hair.
Beard hair should be regularly combed out and trimmed to get rid of the strays, so choose a smaller pair of sharp scissors that are designed specifically for beards.
To get a sharply styled look that your beard balms and butters just can’t offer, you might want to opt for mustache wax.
This is a heavy-duty styling product that will make even the most stubborn hairs sit in place and it’s a must-have if you’re trying to achieve the famous handlebar look.
If your beard is in need of deep cleaning, you can use a dedicate beard scrub for the job.
These are exfoliating scrubs that you apply to your beard and they remove dead skin, built-up oil and beard products, and prevent ingrown hairs from developing underneath where you can’t spot them.
Facial Cleansing Tool
You might have seen these battery-operated facial cleansers in recent times, but did you know you can also use them on your beard?
Featuring a circular head that pulses and rotates, some of the more modern styles have attachments and settings just for the beard that can remove food, oil, and other debris without pulling on any of the hairs.
Ingrown Hair Remover
For serious ingrown hairs that exfoliation just can’t solve, there are powerful products that go deeper.
These formulas include glycolic and salicylic acid to treat the skin, remove ingrown hairs, and kill nasty bacteria, which is something many bearded men struggle with.
Common Beard Problems and How to Fix Them
We never said growing a beard was going to be easy, but the final result makes it all worth it. If you’re like most men, you’ve probably hit a few bumps in the road on the way to creating your dream beard, but the good news is, it’s fixable.
These are some common beard problems that men face and how to fix them, so you can get back to the important task at hand.
Beard itch is common during the growth phase so if you’re trying to get longer facial hair it’s probably annoyed you at some point or another.
To prevent beard itch, the best thing to do is keep it clean, avoid the urge to scratch, and apply a few drops of beard oil so it stays moisturized.
Use your beard brush instead to comb it out and this will offer much-needed relief but also prevent further itching in the future.
Beards are notorious for picking up smells that we encounter during the day, and they can start to smell due to the production of sebum that occurs underneath.
A beard can smell because of this or the accumulation of products and other debris that builds up in it, making you very self-conscious.
If your beard smells, use a sulfate-free shampoo to give it a deep clean and apply a chemical exfoliant that gets past the hair and onto the skin to remove any trapped odors.
Try as you might, there are some areas of your beard that just don’t seem to grow. Many men give up on their hopes of having a beard because of this patchy look, but you can make a difference.
Keep the patchy areas of hair between a beard and stubble as it’ll be less noticeable. Make sure the edges of the beard are sharply shaved and this will bring attention away from the thinner parts.
Use a brush to stimulate the hair and promote growth, and a specialized beard butter that conditions and styles at the same time.
Pimples and acne can sometimes form around and underneath your facial hair, adding irritation and making it look unsightly. This is due to the bacteria growth in the hair follicles and how they trap dirt and oil.
To fix this problem, use a dedicated beard wash, exfoliator, and ingrown hair remover that will go deeper into pores to clean them out.
Beard products featuring tea tree oil can also be beneficial as they feature microbial and antifungal properties that can alleviate the issue.
Does it feel like your beard all of a sudden stopped growing and refuses to budge?
Beard grows in different cycles and when it reaches what’s called a terminal length this indicates the end of the life cycle, but that usually doesn’t happen until it’s quite long.
If your beard has stopped growing and it seems too short to be at the terminal length, try giving it a trim and exfoliating the skin underneath to remove dead skin cells that might be stunting its growth.
When you’re ready to take your beard from its scraggly, auto-growth mode to a serious and committed length and style, there’s a lot you need to do.
We’ve answered some common questions that men have about growing their beard and keeping it healthy, so you don’t have to ask them.
What Foods Can Help With Beard Growth?
Sweet potatoes, spinach, oysters, eggs, and liver are all ideal foods for a healthy body and hair and can give the body a boost of nutrients that it needs to facilitate growth.
Can You Take Supplements for Beard Growth?
If you’re in your thirties and your beard hair still isn’t growing, some options can help. Minoxidil, or its commercial name of Rogaine, can facilitate hair growth but once you stop taking it, it will fall out.
Also, the drug comes with side effects, most of which outweigh the advantages of being able to grow a beard.