Beards have seen a real surge in popularity over the last few years.
Loads of men have joined the beardsman team, which is fantastic.
Unfortunately, I also see a lot of men out there who obviously don’t know how to take care of their newly grown facial hair.
It's true....there is a period of time where beards don’t need much care.
When they start to get a bit longer though, it is hard to know when (and how) to get started caring for your beard properly.
Everyone has an opinion about what to do or a ‘secret’ method you should try.
It’s all made to seem really complex, but it’s not.
The basics of beard care are universal and simple.
Sure, you can go deep on the intricacies of beard care and it can get complicated, but I want to give you some fundamentals to get you on the right track.
1. Washing Your Beard
Yeah, I know, it sounds like I am implying you aren’t already washing your beard. Don’t worry, I am sure you are, but probably not with the right product.
Most men (yes you) like to keep things simple and use the same shampoo for their head and beard.
I mean, it’s all hair, right?
It IS all hair, but for the best results, you need to treat your beard with a bit more care.
Shampoos that are formulated for use on your head are far too harsh for your facial hair. They strip out oils and moisture, leaving you with a dry and itchy beard. Not cool.
“So what can I use?” you ask.
What you should be using is ‘Beard Soap’. Specifically, a beard soap made from natural ingredients. None of those long words you can’t pronounce, like Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Diethanolamine or Polyethylene Glycol on the ingredient list!
With their natural oils, scents and moisturizing ingredients, these soaps give your beard the nourishment it really needs.
Another variable to consider is how often you should wash your beard. Washing it too often can cause just as many problems as not washing it enough.
The thing here is that every beard and every face is different.
A couple of factors come into play. Do you work in a dirty environment or outdoors? Do you have naturally oily skin?
If either of these sounds like you, then you will want to wash with soap every day, or every other day to keep your beard looking fresh.
If you have less oily skin or work in a cleaner environment, then you can get away with only washing with beard soap once a week.
Reducing the frequency of washes with soap stops your naturally occurring oils being stripped away and will help you maintain an awesome beard.
Yeah, I know that sounds like too little. On the days you don’t use beard soap, you should still rinse your beard with cold or lukewarm water to keep things smelling fresh!
2. Use Beard Oil and Beard Balm
While washing and grooming are without a doubt important, it is beard oils and beard balms that really do the heavy lifting when it comes to beard care.
They keep your beard and face well moisturized, keep your facial hair soft and also smelling great.
I consider a good beard oil to be an essential product for anyone rocking a beard. Let me explain why in some more detail.
How Beard Oils and Balms Help Your Beard and Face
The average man has anywhere from 5,000 and 25,000 hair follicles on their face, where hair grows from and which each produce natural oils for the benefit of that hair and your skin.
Facial hair acts as a natural wick, drawing that oil away from your skin. This can cause your body to react in two very different ways.
First of all, this can dry out your skin, leaving it flaky and itchy. However, there can also be the opposite effect. Your skin can begin to overproduce oil (sebum) leaving your skin and facial hair an oily mess susceptible to acne. Yuck.
This is where beard oils and balms come in.
Beard oil replaces those natural oils, keeping your skin well moisturized and also prevents your body from overproducing oil of its own to solve the problem.
When using good natural beard oil, especially one with Jojoba oil, you will begin to notice much smoother and healthier facial hair.
How Much Beard Oil Should I Use?
I hear this question a lot and is tough because it is also highly variable like washing.
There are two general rules of thumb to stick by:
For some beardsmen, this means that they may need to make more than one application throughout the day.
If you choose to use a balm as well as oil, then you should always apply the oil first to see the best results.
Your routine with beard oil is something anyone can figure out quite quickly through experience.
3. Grooming Your Beard
Unless you are going for the ‘lost in the forest’ or ‘Castaway’ look, then grooming should be pretty high up on your beard care schedule.
Even a sleek and smooth beard can look like a tangled mess if it hasn’t been carefully brushed or combed.
I can already hear you pulling out your cheap $0.99 plastic combs.
Hear me out first.
Those combs are cheap for a reason. They just aren’t very good.
Cheap combs like this yank and pull at your beard and cause split ends. They also do not do a very good job of distributing oil all the way through your beard and down to the hair follicle.
What you really want is a good boar bristle brush.
The finer bristles of the brush evenly distribute sebum and beard oil throughout your beard, without pulling, tugging or causing split ends.
You can brush your beard whenever you like (we know how fun it can be). The best time though is right after you have applied some beard oil or beard serum so that you can distribute it evenly and see the full benefits.
Get Started on The Beard of Your Dreams
Beards aren’t rocket science. With these simple tips to get you started, you are well on the way to sporting the beard you've always wanted.
Get out there and start washing, oiling and brushing your beard the right way!
Once you have these basics down, then you cant start your very own deep dive into all things beard care and reach facial hair perfection.