Few things are manlier than the ability to grow a beard and wear it with pride. All throughout history, many great men have worn beards of varying styles and sizes. From the chin strap of Abraham Lincoln, to the full beard of Charles Darwin, to the five o’clock shadow of Ryan Gosling, the beard can add an air of distinction and masculinity to a man’s appearance.
Perhaps you have considered growing a beard. Perhaps you’re wearing one right now and are wondering if you’re doing it right. Never fear, DailyXY is here with a brief guide about how to grow, style, and maintain your beard.
Growing the beard
When growing in your beard, you want to give it a period of at least four weeks, preferably six, of complete abstention from shaving. Just let that baby grow. It will take approximately this long for the beard to fill in, so you don’t want to make the mistake of prematurely styling the beard before it reaches maturity. It takes commitment to grow a beard, especially in the early stages where it itches incessantly and looks scruffy. People may think you’re letting yourself go, but screw them. You’re asserting your manliness by growing a beard!
Styling the beard
It’s important to grow a beard not for fashion, but for self expression. But with so many beard styles to choose from, you might feel overwhelmed. Goatee or handlebar moustache? Full beard or mutton chops? There are many ways to go, but the one you chose should optimize your natural hair growth pattern. If you can pull it off, a full beard is recommended. For this to work, your moustache and beard have to connect. If they do not, you’ll look ridiculous.
Your beard should compliment your hairstyle, not override it. You might have big dreams of growing a massive burly mountain man beard, but this style is hard to pull off. In general, you shouldn’t have more hair on your face than you have on your head, unless you’re bald. Then you can get away with more.
There are two lines that you must define with your beard; the neckline, and the cheekline. Concerning the cheekline, it’s best to just go with your natural growth. Unless your beard goes all the way up to your eyelids, there is no reason to shave it down.
For the neckline, a lot of guys make the mistake of shaving right up to their jawbone. This is bad because instead of defining your jaw, as is the intent, it instead makes it look like you have a double chin. Not a good look. Your neckline should scoop down across the throat and come up behind the ear in a straight line connecting to the sideburns.
And please, no super-crisp lines or funky patterns shaved into your beard. These make it seem like you’re trying to get attention, and will possibly make a lot of people think you’re a douche.
Maintaining the beard
So you’ve made the commitment, you endured the itching, and you cultivated your magnificent beard to perfection. Now you must perform daily maintenance on your beard to ensure it keeps its majestic appearance.
This includes washing it with a mild shampoo, and perhaps also a conditioner, to maintain a strong sheen and lustre. That’s right, boys, your beard needs to be washed just like the hair on your head. And also like the hair on your head, you need to comb your beard to keep it neat and free of tangles. For this, use a wide tooth comb.
Inevitably, your beard will continue to grow and soon need a trim before it starts to resemble a tumbleweed. This is why you must invest in a decent beard trimmer. You can find them at just about anywhere that sells grooming supplies. You might also want to find a good barber who can trim a beard like a pro. This might be advisable if your beard is particularly large and requires a great deal of attention. Still, some guys won’t let anyone near their precious beard with a pair of scissors, so this decision is up to you.
Another thing to consider is investing in is a special beard wash like Bluebeards Original, Beardsley Ultra Conditioner, or Wild Man Beard Wash. These products are designed to relieve itch in growing beards, and to clean and moisturize established ones.
Now you know everything you need to know to grow a glorious beard. What are you waiting for? Start growing!
Chris Riddell is a freelance writer from Toronto who covers art, business, and urban life for various fine publications. Also a poet and aspiring novelist, he’s busting his butt trying to get his name into a few literary magazines these days. He encourages you to check out his website for a look at what he’s been working on lately.