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How hard can it be to grow a beard?
“Oh, it’s easy. Just stop shaving.”
This was the only advice I ever received about it from my Dad. But it’s no secret that his application to join the local Beard Club was rejected no less than five times.
“Rub salt into your chin. The bristles will get thirsty and come out for a drink.”
That was the only other beard growing tip I received on the matter. This golden nugget of wisdom came from my older brother. The last time I followed his advice on anything resulted in a court appearance for us both.
In fact, the art of beard growth includes some surprisingly fuzzy areas so grab yourself a coffee and make yourself comfortable, this may take a while…..
Way back when you were young and innocent, you were very probably taught how to shave well.
But did a responsible adult ever take you to one side and actually tell you how to grow a beard, never mind how to care and maintain one?
- How to get past the initial itching phase without going mad?
- How to choose the best style of beard to suit your face?
- How to make facial hair grow faster?
- How to clean, groom, oil, and trim your beard?
- How to unlock your own super-beard powers which will help you to fight crime whilst still looking stylish and attractive?
Actually, no, scratch that last point, I think my brother eventually admitted that he made that one up.
But unless you were fortunate enough to be raised by a fully paid-up member of the Facial Hair Growth Appreciation Society, it’s fair to assume that many of these beard growing tips may have passed you by in life.
Let’s put that right.
Armed with nothing more than a pair of professional beard trimming scissors, we’re now going to hack our way through the wild undergrowth of fuzzy beard growing logic and reveal the definite one-stop guide to growing and maintaining a truly great beard…
Starting your beard from Scratch
If you’re a complete newbie (or Newbeard) to beard growth, there’s one initial tool that you’re going to need in abundance.
I’m not yet talking about beard softeners, texture pastes, or soft goat pads.
I’m simply talking about…patience!
You’re not going to grow an amazing full beard within just a few days, and you’re going to hit a few rough patches during the initial 2-week growth period.
When we talk about measuring beard growth, we don’t get out the tape measure to judge the actual length because beards are actually measured in time, and more specifically in months.
It will usually take most guys at least one month to grow out a good full beard.
During those crucial first few weeks, you’re going to be fighting your biggest battles against the dreaded itch factor, scorn and ridicule from friends, and that sinking feeling that your new growth looks patchy, shaggy, and generally a bit rubbish.
We’ll deal with each of those prickly issues in a moment, but your main focus right now is to be patient and resist the urge to mess around with it too much.
A good beard is going to take a bit of time to blossom.
The first few weeks is not the time to attempt any drastic re-shaping or styling or emergency trimming operations.
The only styling of any kind you should be considering at this stage is just very simple trimming of any excessively long hairs which appear to be in danger of taking on a life of their own.
Itching for a Cure
Here’s the problem that drives most half-hearted Newbeards away before they’ve barely got going;
You’re going to get itchy. Really itchy.
Whenever you’ve had a shave in the past, you’ve actually been creating small spears on the tip of each and every hair.
Now, after all this time, these spiky tips are finally being given the chance to grow long enough to bend round and poke furiously at your poor skin.
It can feel like your whole head is being given a massage by a very angry hedgehog.You’ll often find that your neck gets hit most by the relentless stinging, because of the angle where your neck meets your head.
Don’t panic just yet, as there are soothing solutions at hand.
Firstly, you could just try gritting your teeth and riding out the discomfort.
The itchiness has usually passed its peak after the very first week, so it’s really not going to last very long at all.
Think about it this way; Some men – and women! – out there are brave enough to experiment with beards composed entirely of bees.
Your itchiness surely melts away in comparison to the really stinging issues faced by those daredevil bee-beard wearers.
However, if you feel that the irritating itch is driving you to the point of strong defensive action, the following steps may prove useful to you.
1) Try giving your beard growth a little brush to ensure that everything is growing in the right direction and to reduce the risk of curling and ingrown hairs.
2) You might want to consider using a Soft Goat Pad during the first two days of growth, as this is specifically designed to soften your stubble.
3) Moisturizing and cleaning your beard can help, but avoid using shampoo whilst the length is this short.
You should also avoid moisturizers that contain alcohol and could dry out your skin, as well as bars of soap that contain irritating chemicals.
Your safest bet at this early stage is to use a completely natural bar of soap and/or take an early leap of discovery into good quality Beard Oils.
We’ll come back to beard oils a little later down the line!
More Prickly Points
So you’ve bravely made it past The Itchy Phase, and you’re ready to cruise into proper Beardsville.
All plain sailing from here, right?
Hmm. Not quite.
During the first month of beard growth, there are still a few final prickly hurdles to overcome which send many unsuspecting Newbeards in the direction of an early shave.
Your beard will now be starting to look quite untidy and seemingly in need of urgent attention, whilst flippant comments from friends on your changing appearance may tempt you into just abandoning the whole idea of growing a beard completely.
It could well be the case that your beard now needs a minor tidy-up, but it’s very easy at this stage to fall into the trap of going way overboard with the razor and completely messing everything up until the only option left is to shave it all off in defeat.
If you’ve already decided that you’re going for a full beard, then just leave everything well alone for now.
If you’re haven’t yet committed to a beard style or you simply feel compelled to do a spot of light grooming, then don’t get carried away!
During Month 1, think minimal tidy-up rather than ambitious beard surgery.
Simply trim the neckline, upper cheeks, and the mustache lip, and then step calmly away from the mirror before you do any serious damage to your young beard!
Taking the Mickey
Try not to get too disheartened or discouraged by friends or colleagues poking fun at your new face fungus.
Yes, your less-imaginative mates are probably going to start calling you Shaggy during those first few weeks.
Get over it!
It’s human nature to be a bit scornful about anything new and strange, particularly when it comes to your appearance.
Respond with confidence and let your mates know that your new beard is going to be awesome in a month or two. The ribbing will tend to stop when it becomes obvious that you’re not remotely bothered by it and you’re perfectly happy with the new direction your face is taking.
In a few months when you’re looking the complete hipster at least one of those friends will be seeking your advice about how to grow a beard!
Beard Style – Stubble, Scruff or Full Beard?
You can read my article on beard styles later, but first it’s a good plan to get a very broad idea of which type of beard is best going to suit the shape of your face.
Of course, these rules below aren’t set in stone and it could be the case that going against the grain will prove to be a winning formula for you, but these can be looked upon as handy guidelines if you’re feeling unsure.
Full beards can often make a round face look even rounder, whilst stubble doesn’t often complement the softness of rounded features in the best way.
You may be better off settling in the middle-ground with well-maintained Scruff.
Bear in mind that a ‘square’ beard could really help to define the jaw line of a rounder face.
Full beards or scruff can help to highlight the masculine qualities of a square face. However, classic stubble is also a popular option and works well in accentuating your natural definition.
In general, it’s a good idea to keep the hair ‘fuller’ on your chin and shorter on the sides of a squarer face.
You might be better off steering clear of full beards and scruff, as these will only emphasize the slightness of your narrow face.
Pencil thin stubble is often the best option for complementing your delicate features.
Good news if you’re Oval! As this shape is pretty much a happy medium, it should work really well with any style of your choosing from classic stubble to full beard.
How To Make Your Beard Grow Faster
Is your beard not growing quite as fast as you’d hoped? Worried that you’re not quite manly enough to grow a proper beard?
Firstly, please don’t listen to anyone who tries to tell you that shaving off your beard will make it grow faster next time.
They’re talking complete rubbish and you’ll just be wasting your time.
The secret to fast beard growth really is rooted in your manliness.
Or, to be more specific, it’s all to do with your testosterone levels. A good boost in testosterone will in turn help to boost the growth of your beard.
You could try running out into the streets, thumping your bare chest, and shouting “I AM A MAN!”
But a more sensible and effective solution can be found by making small adjustments to your diet and lifestyle.
In a nutshell, eat healthier and lift some weights.
You’re going to need to put the right nutrients in your body, so make sure that you’re eating a balanced diet including plenty of red meats, fish, eggs, nuts, spinach, dairy, and leafy greens.
You’ll also produce more testosterone by training hard and pushing your body hard.
So, forget about a little walk around the block or doing a few light stretching exercises in the kitchen whilst you’re waiting for the toast to pop up.
Get out the dumbbells and get lifting those weights for real manly results – especially if you are going for the full beard style!
Why not download our free “Get Ripped Fast” report to give your testosterone levels a real boost and get a new bulked up look to go with that soon to be awesome beard? Click here to get it on the house.
Beard Grooming Tips
Beard Care and Cleaning
Now that you’ve sailed past the itchy, shaggy phases and you’re starting to develop something which actually looks pretty damn good, it’s time to start taking some pride in your new furry growth.
Your beard may look cool right now, but if you don’t learn to take good care of it, you risk looking in the mirror one day and realizing with horror that you’ve become that guy with the soup dribbles and the nesting birds in his beard.
The guy that everyone crosses the road to avoid because he looks as if he’s on the verge of completely losing the plot.
Here’s a simple but effective grooming program;
It can become part of your daily routine, or should at least be carried out every few days if you feel you can get away with a pared-down plan.
Wash your beard with a very mild shampoo. Dedicated beard shampoos are widely available and come highly recommended, but you can also use a regular shampoo if it’s mild and hypoallergenic.
Don’t go putting cheap, strong stuff packed with nasty chemicals on your facial creation. You won’t be doing yourself any favors.
After cleaning, pat your beard gently with a dry towel.
DO NOT give it a powerful, vigorous rub to get it dry, as this will strip your beard of its natural oils and you’ll end up with a dry, brittle and frizzy beard. A gentle careful pat dry is honestly all you need.
Once your beard is dry, take a good beard comb and run it very gently through your beard to get rid of any tangles or unwanted debris. This also helps to encourage the blood supply to your hair follicles which will provide another healthy boost to your beard growth.
After you’ve completed these simple first steps, it’s time to apply your Beard Oil…
Do I really need to use Beard Oil?
Newbeards may initially find the whole concept of oiling your facial hair just a little bit odd to begin with.
But if you’re serious about maintaining your beard and looking dapper, then a good Beard Oil is highly recommended.
Grand Master Beardsmen will use them regularly and swear by their mighty oiling power.
Consider the initial grooming program above as the essential cleaning of your beard, whilst this second oily phase is the equally essential conditioning of your beard.
A good Beard Oil will;
- Moisturize both your facial hair and the skin beneath.
- Soften your beard hair and make it more manageable and easier to style.
- Help to give you a shiny and well-groomed appearance instead of looking a little flaky and dusty.
- Oh, and it should make you smell really good too!
Which Beard Oil?
There are so many excellent Beard Oils on the market right now, and the beard-grooming industry is growing bigger every day, rather like a mighty beard.
The final decision is yours to make, but for best results do try and ensure that your Beard Oil of choice is hypoallergenic and contains;
- Grape Seed Oil (rich in Vitamin E and great for battling dandruff).
- Aloe Vera (perfect for skincare as it penetrates deeply into the skin for ultimate moisturizing benefits.)
- Almond Oil (keeps inflammation at bay and helps to prevent ingrown hairs.)
Applying Beard Oil
After following the initial grooming steps above, it’s time to apply your Beard Oil of choice by hand.
Exactly how much you need to use will largely depend on the current length of your beard.
You certainly shouldn’t be splashing it about all over the place. This stuff isn’t particularly cheap and there’s no need to throw good money down the plughole.
An average beard will usually need around just six little drops during each treatment, so a one-ounce bottle of oil should typically last for a few months.
As with the general beard grooming program, most serious Beardsmen would choose to include this as part of a daily routine, but you may prefer to leave a few days between each oil treatment.
Rub each drop of oil between your hands and apply it first to your skin, then to your beard hair, working it through every area as evenly as possible.
Don’t forget the mustache area, too!
The reason why it’s better to do this after an initial wash is because your skin will still be nice and damp which means that the pores are open and the oil will have a much better chance of working itself all the way in.
If you have any excess beard oil left on your hands after the full application, don’t just waste it.
Rub it into your neck, hair, and even your elbows to extend this all-round healthy skincare treatment. Healthy skin makes for an even healthier beard!
The Perfect Beard Trim
So how do you trim your beard and keep it in fresh shape?
Firstly, you’re gonna need the right tools.
Invest in a good trimmer, not a cheap and cheerful one that’s likely to feel a bit like a tank running riot over a beautiful golf course.
Your perfect trimmer should include a range of cutting lengths and an adjustable safety guard to help in tidying up the hair around the lips.
If you’re maintaining a well-defined beard, you’ll also need shaving oil. This stuff is transparent so you’ll be able to see exactly what you’re doing as you shave around the edges of your beard with ultimate precision.
DO NOT try and trim your beard whilst your facial hair is still wet. It’s a common mistake for a Newbeard to make.
Your hair expands when wet and then contracts again when dry, so you’ll discover later on that you’ve actually trimmed way too much off your glorious beard!
A general rule of thumb is to trim less, not more.
You should never usually need to trim very much at all to keep the beard looking in optimum shape. You can always make adjustments later if you feel that more trimming is required. But there’s no going back after you’ve got carried away and taken too much off!
A lot of Newbeards end up trimming the neckline far too high. The perfect spot for trimming is the exact line where your neck meets your head.
To look at this another way; If the hair is growing down, then leave it well alone for now. If the hair is growing straight out in front of you, then go ahead and trim.
When trimming the mustache, you may be better off putting down the trimmer and picking up a good pair of scissors instead.
This just gives you a little more precision control for removing those few overlong hairs or stragglers that have extended beyond your natural cheek line.
Ultimate Beard Care Kit
All the vital tools you’ll need for surviving in the wild with your new beard.
For a buttery smooth finish, go for a professional hand-made beard comb instead of a standard molded plastic comb with nasty jagged edges.
An alternative to the comb would be a professional hand-made Beard Comb, designed to draw out dust and excess product from your facial hair.
Soft Goat Pad
An essential item for the Stubble wearer, this will rub down the harder edges of your growth for a softer finish.
Beard Trimming Scissors
Put the kitchen scissors back in the drawer! For best results, you’ll need ergonomically shaped beard trimming scissors for ultimate precision.
A must for the styled mustache that needs to be confidently held in place for the day ahead.
Special beard shampoos are available, but the golden rule is simply that your chosen shampoo should be hypoallergenic and very mild.
The ultimate accessory which no self-respecting Beardsman should ever be without.
See section above on Beard Oils.
It’s transparent so it helps the Master Beardsman see exactly what he’s doing when taking a precision shave without getting bogged down with any of that foamy nonsense.
Phew! A Close Shave
Finally, what steps should you take if you ever decide to shed your glorious beard?
Don’t panic. I’m not going to go into huge detail on how to shave off beard growth. That would be far too harrowing for me, and besides, it’s a pretty straightforward job.
But I would offer a word of warning before you take the plunge with the razor.
Stop, think, and don’t rush into anything!
So many great beards are lost on a whim, particularly after a big night out crammed full of bad advice from drunken friends.
Don’t be the guy who wakes up the following morning howling with regret whilst nursing a hangover.
It can take months to grow a fine beard but it only takes a few misguided minutes to destroy it.
For every month that you’ve been growing a beard, give yourself a full day to consider whether you really want to shave it off.
So, if you’ve been growing your beard for seven months, you should give yourself at least a full week to fully weigh up the pros and cons of beard removal.
You’ll usually feel relieved that you didn’t rush into an impulsive decision that you almost instantly regretted.
After months and months of growing and maintaining a great beard, the thought of having to start all over again can often feel like a giant blow to your clean-shaven face…
Thanks to the following sources for helping with the finer details of how to grow a beard.