Before making the decision to grow a beard, be sure to consider the upkeep that it will entail. Sure, shaving on a regular basis is a pain, but having an unkempt, unruly bush on your face is far worse. Beards are very high-maintenance and require regular attention to ensure you look distinguished and handsome like Brad Pitt, rather than crazy and homeless like Tom Hanks in Castaway!
The first four to six weeks are the easiest – you simply have to wait for your chin fuzz to grow. Try not to start razoring or plucking it into shape yet, as this will prevent the hairs growing evenly and it will be difficult to see what style will really suit your beard. And don’t be discouraged by slow, patchy growth. It may take a few tries, but we are all capable of producing a little face fur.
When it has grown out a little, you will be able to decide whether you prefer a short, neat Iron Man cut, or if you want to go all out and parade a full-on mane like Dumbledore. Whoever your fictional beard hero is, our guidance will help keep your facial hair in check.
Keeping clean and trim
Once the majority of your hairs have grown in, it is essential you keep your beard pruned. You will need a good quality beard trimmer, even if you want long and luscious facial hair, as this will keep your beard tidy while you continue to grow it out. Once it has got to the length you want, regular trips to the barber will ensure it doesn’t develop out of control.
The early growth stages can be particularly itchy, and keeping your beard clean can help soothe any irritation as new hairs begin to show. This also stops your beard becoming a breeding ground for bacteria as you collect bits of food, ash, and all sorts of surprising other knick-knacks in it. Choose a specialised beard wash, or use your usual shampoo and conditioner for silky-soft locks. In between washes, use a beard oil to keep your beard smooth and manageable, and your skin flake-free. As your beard becomes longer and frizzier, you may prefer to switch to a heavier beard balm which will tackle those fly-away beard hairs and work better to control a thicker mane.
Finally, make sure to invest in a beard brush or comb, and use it on a daily basis. This will help you to train the hairs to grow in the direction you want them to, instead of them wildly running off on their own chosen course.
Don’t dismiss your diet
While that’s the maintenance side of your beard sorted, there is actually one more thing you can do to encourage good hair growth. Your diet is key in helping your face sprout a glorious mane, so eat plenty of meat, nuts, eggs, milk and leafy greens to fill your body with vitamins B3, B5 and B9, and give each strand the best possible start in life.
And whatever you do, wear your beard with pride!