Everyone assumes growing a beard is as easy as putting down your razor but in reality growing a beard actually takes a few more steps than just ditching the double edge. Every beard needs some love, you’re in the right place.
A man’s first thought is that since it’s hair, it must be the same as the stuff on my head, right? Wrong. Beard hair is much more coarse and grows out of far more sensitive skin, using a hair shampoo or a body wash to cleanse a beard is a big no-no. The dreaded beard-druff is commonly caused by use of harsh washes not intended for the face and beard, and lack of oil can cause brittle hairs resulting in breakage and uneven growth. Thankfully, companies have created soaps specifically intended for the beard. Gentle beard washes by Tremendous ($24), Groom ($26) and Blue Beards ($20-$32) will cleanse the beard and face but won’t strip the delicate and much needed oils from the forest you are cultivating. Add in a rinse out conditioner and your beard hair’s will be shining and soft, ready to flow majestically in the wind and create envy in your fellow man.
If a rinse out conditioner isn’t for you, companies such as Fortknight, Bluebeards, and Reuzel have the products for you: leave-in conditioners. They’re a two birds, one stone kind of product. If you tend to have dry, itchy skin under your face fluff, Beard Saver by Bluebeards ($35) or Beard Suds by Reuzel ($21) are great options. They not only soften and control the hairs, and also moisturise and care for the skin underneath! Just slap some on after you shower or when your beards feeling a little crispy and BAM! Soft luscious hair and happy smooth skin.
Beard Balms and Oils (Mammoth, Groom, Prairie Boys, Browns, Dapper, and Big Red all make amazing options around $20-$30) are used to add shine and moisture to the beard, along with luster and a healthy sheen. Most will contain some mix of argan oil, hemp seed oil, jojoba, coconut, or castor, along with some essential oils for fragrance. The general scent profile will be a woodsy one. Things like Cedarwood and tobacco are often used. Oils are great at providing protection from breakage and keeping the health of the hair. Balms are pretty much the same as an oil, just suspended in a wax base. They will provide the same benefits as an oil, and will also add some control to the hair. They’re nowhere near as thick and controlling as a moustache wax or a hair pomade but will provide slight relief from fly-aways. Oil’s or balms are wonderful and easy to use, and work well if you tend to be low maintenance. If you were to purchase only 1 product for your beard, an oil would be the perfect option.
For styling, a good boar bristle brush will create a seamless beard, free of the perils of frizz. Bristle brushes smooth your beard and distribute product and oils evenly through the hair. They won’t do much in the way of detangling, leave that to a sturdy comb. Combs come in a variety of materials like plastic, wood and metal, but having a thick and well-made comb is the only thing to worry about. Cheaper plastics can cause static and tug on the hair. There’s nothing worse than pulling broken comb teeth out of your already tangled beard.
This may seem like a lot of steps and don’t get me wrong, it is. But the beauty of it is you don’t need to buy every single one of these products to have a magical beard. Start with a wash, oil, and comb. If you feel you need it, add a rinse out conditioner or a leave in. If you need some help with fly-away whiskers, pick up a boar bristle brush and a styling foam or balm. Listen to your beard and give it what it needs.
Tala - Kent of Inglewood beard aficionado