Contrary to most people’s opinion, growing a decent beard is not just a simple matter of tossing out the razor. It takes patience, discipline and products to achieve a glorious beard that is admired by most and envied by some. Editor’s note: This article is based on my own personal experiences with growing and maintaining my beard for over the past year.
Patience & Discipline
Many men start growing a beard but not all will reach the finish line. There comes that point, about 7-10 days in, when for some, the itch becomes unbearable. There a few things you can do to help get you past this difficult time and we’ll cover that a bit later. Let’s fast forward to the point where you already have established a beard.
We all have those days when we look in the mirror and think “this beard looks like crap”. Those are dangerous moments. When you have that moment, just take a step back. Say this to yourself, if my beard still looks like crap tomorrow, then I will shave. I mentioned that it take discipline. You don’t want regret. You’ve come this far, don’t let a moment of doubt take it all away. When I do shave off my beard, I’m thinking about it for weeks before I actually do it. No regret.
I’m going to assume that you’ve had the patience to allow it to grow and the discipline not to destroy it. So now let’s look after it because a well groomed beard will make you happy and give you confidence to rock that beard like a boss.
DON’T use regular hair shampoo on your beard and here’s why. Shampoo is designed for your scalp which typically produces a lot more oil and has a much greater density of hair follicles. Using regular shampoo on your beard and face can leave it stripped of natural oils, lead to dry skin and a dehydrated beard. This could set the stage for beard dandruff. You don’t want “beardruff”. More on that later.
DO use a beard wash that is specifically designed for your beard. It will cleanse your beard and skin without stripping away all of your natural oils. Most beard washes are premium formulas with natural plant extracts and oils that are beneficial for both your beard and skin. Any added fragrance is usually accomplished by adding essential oils rather than synthetic perfumes. Equally important is want isn’t present like irritating chemicals, harsh surfactants or silicones. After using a good wash your beard will feel softer, refreshed and clean.
How Often Should You Wash Your Beard? One thing is for sure, we are all different. This is where you where you may want to experiment with the frequency of using a beard wash. Generally most beardsman don’t use a beard wash every day. I think it depends on your skin type, occupation and your environment. The consensus is that 2-3 times a week is what works best for most men. However I know guys who use a beard wash daily and with a good grooming routine, it works for them.
Beard conditioners can be applied after using a beard wash. These products are rinsed out after a few minutes. There are leave-on conditioners but we’ll talk more about those later. Some beard washes are available as 2 in 1 products with extra conditioning included. In that case that a separate conditioner wouldn’t be necessary.
Co-wash is when you wash your beard with just a beard conditioner. Some guys find that works for them on days when they are not using a beard wash. It’s a matter of finding out what works for you. Don’t be afraid to experiment until you find the right products and frequency that hits that sweet spot for you. This is the first step in establishing a beard grooming routine. “
Washing the stubble beard. If you are rocking a stubble beard then a beard wash may not be the right product. With very little length in facial hair, it’s more about cleansing the skin than anything else. I would suggest using a good quality face wash to cleanse pores, remove excess oil, pollution and dirt.
Personally this routine works for me.
Day 1 – use beard wash and beard conditioner
Day 2 – wash with warm water only
Day 3 – use a scrub to exfoliate the skin beneath my beard
Then I repeat this cycle.
Desired results. Using a good quality beard wash and conditioner will leave your beard and face feeling fresh, clean, conditioned and ready for the next step. Before we talk about Step 2, I’ll list a few products that I found really worked well for me.
Grave Before Shave Beard Wash
- Fresh old time barber shop scent
- Infused with argan oil
- Good value
Grave Before Shave Beard Conditioner
- Softens and soothes beard hair
- Infused with organic argan oil
- Pairs perfectly with the wash
Bluebeards Original Beard Wash
- Lime breaks down oil & dirt
- Aloe softens & soothes hair
- Gentle enough for sensitive skin
Peregrine Face & Beard Soap
- Micro-abrasive clays clean and refresh
- Super fats moisturize & nourish
- Relieves itch & won’t dry skin
Educated Beards Beard & Body Wash
- Refreshing Bergamont & Grapefruit scent
- Gentle on your facial skin
- 2 in 1 beard and body wash
Ursa Major Fantastic Face Wash
- Dissolves dead surface skin
- Clean formula foaming gel
- Great for face & stubble beards
PART 2 – How to Style Your Beard – Coming Soon.
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