Having a good beard is part genetics and part laziness, but a trulygreat beard comes down to how you take care of it. Someone blessed with the gift of hair growth may have a shabby, unkempt beard while another individual can elevate a modest beard well above that of his peers with proper care. Once you get into a routine, you’ll take pride in it and find that your loved ones appreciate it too, especially those that come in contact with your face.
There are a ton of products out there and plenty of myths about beard-care, so here are the simple facts about managing for your beard.
1. Wash it
We’ve all made the mistake once - you grab whatever shampoo is in the shower, lather it into your beard, and end up with fried, unruly facial hair. Shampoos for the hair are far too harsh for your face. Beard hair is more wiry than head hair, and the skin of your face requires more careful treatment.
Washing your beard with an appropriate product will greatly reduce dry, flaking skin and keep your hair softer and more manageable.
Beard washes and beard soaps are specially formulated to cleanse the skin and hair without drying it out. Simply choose a format and make a habit of using it. Most beards only need a deep clean every 2-3 days, that way you don’t remove necessary oils. If you have a job that gets your beard dirty every day, wash it daily when you get home, and be sure to oil afterwards. I love Tremendous' PH Balanced Beard Wash for sensitive skin and Mammoth's Beard Soap as a head-to-toe solution.
2. Hydrate it
Moisture is the only difference between a dry, flaky beard and a soft happy one. Every time you wash (and sometimes more often), you should be moisturizing. If you find your hair coarse and bristly, a beard conditioner will be your best bet. A deep-hydrating conditioner should be left to soak in for several minutes before rinsing and can be used as often as you like. It will keep your hair healthy and free of split ends. As with the wash, Tremendous Soap Co makes the best Beard Conditioner around.
Beard creams tend to be the more popular choice among our clientele. This miraculous invention solves many ills of the bearded man, from itchy skin to rigid whiskers. Simply apply a little of this leave-in conditioner after washing (or as needed) and allow it to saturate the hair. It will supremely soften and hydrate the skin. This solves the issue of beardruff (beard-dandruff, get it?) while also making you more pleasant to cuddle up to.
3. Brush it
Brushing is one of the absolute healthiest things you can do for your beard. Brushing with boar bristle tames and shapes the hair, giving your beard a regal look and helping to cover over blank spots. The scratchy bristles are great for getting down to the skin and removing dandruff, and they pull oils (both natural and store-bought) through the hair strand, giving them a natural shine and softness.
Brush your beard at least once every morning, but bonus points if you get in 5-10 minutes of repeated brushing in the evenings. I brush my beard idly when I'm on calls at work or watching tv in the evening. Our Kent of Inglewood Beard Brush gives you a high-quality option as a great price.
4. Oil it
Oil is a must. Oiling your beard keeps it strong and hydrated, reducing split ends and making it easier to manage. By hydrating the hair, you stop them from pulling much needed oils away from your skin. Apply a beard oil daily, or anytime you want a little extra shine. Use it sparingly at first, until you figure out the right amount. If you want help picking the right oil, check out this article.
5. Shape it
Finally, if you aren’t already, you’ll want to pay attention to your presentation. Even soft beard hairs can be unruly, so steps must be taken to keep them in check. Once you’ve washed, conditioned, brushed, and oiled your beard, apply a light coat of beard balm. This will lock in the moisture that you got from the oil, and help you style your beard. If you want extra definition, go for a strong-hold balm. The added lanolin will help stubborn hairs lay down all day long. Bartigan & Stark's balms are highly moisturizing, while Mammoth's Heavy Hold Balm is perfect for serious styling.
If you find yourself munching on whiskers, consider using a moustache wax. Finally, give your beard a quick final brushing to give a natural look, and you’re ready to face the day!
For best results, follow this routine as we have laid it out. This process has been tried and tested by many staff and customers, and we guarantee it will do the trick for you. If you consider yourself a lower maintenance individual, feel free to pick and choose your process. Even a brush and a gentle wash will go miles to help your face.
Bonus points - Trimming
Don’t be scared, it’s easier than you think. Give yourself some time in front of the mirror, and start off slowly. Good tools make all the difference so grab yourself a safety razor or disposable straight razor for the edges, and a good pair of scissors for the strays. Consider seeing a barber once a month to set a strong guideline, and follow their example. If you live with another human, get a beard bib, it will catch the trimmings. It’s a small price to pay for keeping the peace, and they’ll thank you for it.
Take pride in your beard. Chances are you’ve worked hard to grow it, so take the steps needed to keep it happy. Remember, if you have any further questions about beard maintenance, we’re always here to help.