When it comes to a beard, there’s a fine line between super sexy and ‘seriously, give it a wash’ – the difference all comes down to the grooming process.
We’ve all been there before when you’re walking around feeling like a Viking God, and everyone else is thinking neanderthal.
So, whether you’ve got the whole stubble thing going on or the full Val Haller, how can you ensure that your facial hair stays looking slick rather than slovenly? Follow our essential guide on how to get the perfect beard and if it’s already there, check out our line up of the best beard grooming kits instead.
Step 1. Get the even growth down first
Perfect burly beards don’t just happen; they take time and patience. And while the stubble part is pretty easy, the itchy, patchy phase that comes next requires serious will power to get through. To soothe the itching you want to dry a beard balm with aloe vera; their balm will also be quite waxy so it may even allow you to style your beard in a way that hides some of those dodgy patches.
The patches will eventually turn into a luscious beard, but as well know Rome wasn’t built in a day. Give the hair a few weeks to grow out and we’re pretty confident those patches will start fuzz. However, in the meantime, brush the hair you do have over the patches and invest in a good quality balm to hold the hair there.
It may also be useful to see if there are areas in your lifestyle that may be contributing to the patches as well.
Another important factor is to stimulate hair growth. You can help this along in two ways:
- Use a hair growth kit that includes a derma roller and stimulating oils. The derma roller has thousands of tiny needle that temporarily damage the skin created tiny microabrasions. This allows the stimulating serum to sink in better and when the skin heals, blood and nutrients are rushed to the cells to stimulate any dormant hair follicles.
- Invest in some quality hair thinning tablets. Nutrafol is a popular one, but any trusted brand with hair tablets that include biotin, keratin, or vitamin b12 will be useful.
Step 2. Choose the style that suits your face
If you have a longer, more oblong face, you don’t want to add to the length by having a long, narrow beard – nobody wants to look like a leprechaun or Lemony Snickets. Instead, you should try to widen your face with fuller sides but a trimmed chin. If you’ve got quite a wide face, you’re aiming for the opposite. You want to add bulk to your head so trim the sides and keep a fuller patch under the chin. If your face is somewhere in-between, the worlds your oyster.
Step 3. Wash it regularly
This is an essential step to getting a great looking beard since nobody is going to be impressed if your beard looks dirty. As gross as it is, beards are like giant nets for catching food, dead skin cells and dirt that your face comes into contact with throughout the day. Ensuring your beard is washed and conditioned will mean it stays fresh, bouncy and most importantly clean. It will also stimulate growth, as well!
Step 4. The right kind of pruning
Have you ever tried to trim your beard and ended up shaving it off because you just didn’t know when to stop? Yeah, us too.
It’s an artform to practice restraint and to know when to just leave it, but the general idea should be less is more.
If you’re still trying to decide on a shape then we recommend just trimming your beard with a pair of barber scissors. Obviously, this will mean you can’t remove the hair on your lower cheeks, but you can definitely add some definition and shape under the jaw.
If you’re ready to give yourself a shape up, we recommend taking a trimmer and starting with the baseline area under your neck. This where the hair grows thickest and to get the defined jaw look that you’re probably going for (because who doesn’t want a defined jaw?), you want to trim from the jaw’s corner a straight line down to the Adam’s apple. For the neck fluff, take the softer side of the trimmer and work up to that straight line.
The next thing you should focus on is the top line – the hair at the bottom of your cheeks. This line is going to give you definition and shape on your face. You should use your trimmer inverted and punch a line from the top of your ear into the centre of your face.
Step 5. Healthy skin is key
Hair doesn’t grow from dry flaky skin, so ensuring your skin is healthy and hydrated is essential. Investing in a good grooming kit with essential oils like jojoba and almond oil and ingredients like vitamin E and shea butter will keep the skin supple and moisturised. And as you’ve been told plenty of times before, make sure you’re drinking enough water and stock up on vital hair growth vitamins like vitamin B2 and B12 as well as minerals including zinc and selenium.
Step 6. The reward of your efforts
Now you’ve gone through that process; you can finally sit back and let the easier maintenance take over. From here on in it’s simple:
- Wash once/twice a week
- Moisturise with a balm, butter or oil once a day
- Gently comb through every couple of days to avoid knots and maintain shape
- Trim when necessary to maintain shape
It’s also important to remember that other factors are contributing to your hair growth: Stress, testosterone, diet and sleep all play their part in your beard’s success, and it’s worth looking into these further to see if there’s anything you can change in your lifestyle to promote healthy hair growth.
But for now, well done for getting this far with your beard, most give up and shave it off after a few weeks, but it’s clear you’re made of sturdier stuff. And now all that’s left is to enjoy your perfect looking beard and bask in all the envious looks that will be coming your way.