Beards have long been the ultimate man-accessory, and several years after bursting back onto the style scene, they’re still going strong. The rugged look is broadly perceived to be symbolic of masculinity, but while male grooming has only truly risen to prominence over the past decade or so, it is now a key part of any bearded gent’s journey to facial-haired perfection.
For those who are late to the party, any self-respecting beardie will be able to tell you that simply sprouting a few clumps of unruly fuzz is no longer the way to go about things. A good beard needs some careful pruning, shaping and nourishing in order to flourish, and luckily, there are several things that you can do to ensure that it turns out to be nothing less than a manly masterpiece.
If you’re starting completely from scratch, then patience is the ultimate key to success. Hold your horses, put down the scissors, and allow a good week of growth before you go tampering with the shape or length. Throughout this ‘limbo’ period, it’s vital that you keep the skin beneath in tip top condition. Look after it by using a decent facial scrub to slough away dead skin cells and remove any dirt and grime from the area. Facial hair can be a hotbed for bacteria to proliferate, harbouring oil and sweat which can result in all manner of unsightly acne. Bearded or not, it’s important to keep up a regular skincare routine in order to keep it at bay.
Apply a conditioning oil to the area to moisturise, nourish and protect the beard as it grows, taking care to massage into the skin as you go to avoid any dry areas developing. Remember, in order to grow a healthy piece of facial fuzz, you have to start at the source.
Once your beard reaches the desired length, maintenance begins to come into play. Invest in a beard comb and give it a regular once-over to eliminate any knots or tangles, using a pair of beard and moustache scissors to keep length in check. For sharper edges, a cut-throat razor is an essential tool, but to keep things really slick, a monthly visit to the barber for a tidy-up is highly recommended.
You can continue to use your beard oil on a weekly basis, as it will help to smooth and shape the beard as well as providing it with that all-important nourishment.