Congratulations! Not many people have your patience in growing a full beard! It was such a journey up till now with so many challenges.
You think back the many itchy days that you had when you just wanted to get the straight razor in your hands and make your face look like a baby’s once again.
But here you are now, standing proud in front of your mirror, stroking your thick beard with your fingers, like Gandalf and smoking your pipe.
The time has come.
Once you reach the stage that your beard has the length and shape you desire, you soon realize that the most difficult part is not growing but maintenance.
You are no caveman that doesn’t care about his appearance.
You are interested in a healthy and nicely groomed beard that complements your style and doesn’t make you look like George of the Jungle, jumping with your rope from tree to tree. Besides, your coworkers don’t really appreciate this kind of savage behavior in the office.
How to maintain a beard healthy and well groomed
1. Wash it daily
Washing your beard –and your face if you feel like it, on daily basis is usually the key to a good looking and healthy beard. Besides, taking the grease off and all kinds of food that got stuck there, is also good for clearing out the microorganisms that can cause itchiness and flacking.
Make sure you use a mild shampoo that allows scrubbing the skin together with the beard but try to avoid anything which can be harsh for either of them. Washing up your beard 3 to 5 days per week is a good frequency. Everyday-wash shouldn’t be a problem but make sure you use products that don’t affect the natural oil and PH of your skin.
Try to avoid shampoos and (shaving) soaps with lots of chemicals such as ammonium lauryl sulfate. You will be better off with organic soaps and shampoos for the long term health of your skin and beard.
Couple of beard washes to consider
Just before you get out of the shower, you can consider applying conditioner in your beard and let it on for a minute or so. This doesn’t have to happen every day but it’s a good idea to make it a once or twice per week habit.
After you finish washing your beard, you need to rinse it with a lot of water so that you avoid waking up with a sore and itchy beard the next morning. Once you are done with rinsing, dry your beard with a towel and try to be as thorough as possible.
2. Put on some beard oil
Even if you don’t wash your beard with shampoo on a daily basis, this doesn’t stop you from applying beard oil. Your skin produces oils naturally, which keep your hair healthy, but giving it some enhancement is preferable.
The idea here is to put a little bit of oil on your beard in order to help moisturizing your skin.
Beard oil contains all these ingredients like jojoba, argan, hemp seed, castor, coconut oil (at least one of them in a beard oil recipe), that are proven to be excellent for making a beard soft, nourishing the hair, promoting growth and maintaining a beard healthy.
You don’t want to cover your face entirely. Your beard has to appear moisturized and naturally shiny, not greasy as if you spent the last 2 hours on the treadmill.
Only just a few drops on your fingers are enough. Start from the end of the beard and work your way towards your skin. Once you’re there, massage the roots of your hair which can also reduce any itch you might be experiencing. The beard oil will make the hair softer and it will keep your skin healthy and hydrated, reducing the chances of getting dry.
Beard oils that you can’t go wrong with
You can apply some in the morning after you take a shower and/or in the evening just before you go to sleep.
You can also consider using a good beard balm when you don’t use any beard oil for both conditioning and shaping of your bear. Beard balm is something between beard oil and beard wax and it’s mostly made out of natural ingredients in most, if not all, cases. If you want to know more about the similarities and differences of beard oil and beard balm, you can click on the below button for an in-depth article.
3. Comb it 100 times just like princesses do with their hair
Right after you applied the beard oil on your beard and skin, it’s time for some combing. Combing your beard is not necessarily about keeping it healthy but more like it adds some points to your appearance especially if you are not aiming for an “all natural” look.
Combing is one thing but using a good beard comb is a different game. You don’t have to buy the most expensive comb, but you need to get one that is saw-cut with its teeth equally spaced and that leaves your hair neat.
Cheap (or free) combs might give you the impression they do similar job, but from my experience, what they leave behind is a bushy mesh. Even more, a good comb will distribute evenly the oil that you have just applied.
From a more practical perspective, combing your beard can make your life easier when you want to groom it.
Tip: Try not to stroke the beard all the time. I Know it might be tempting, but think about all the time you spent combing it. Wouldn’t it be a pity to let it go to waste?
Beard combs and brushes that you’ll like
4. The beauty in brushing
We mentioned beard comb as being a great tool in maintaining a beard properly. Beard brushes can do an even better job, for both short and long beards.
A natural hair beard brush is able to carry the sebum oil from your hair and skin and distribute it evenly across the length of the hair. By doing so, your facial hair is getting softer with every brush stroke.
Prefer boar or horse hair brushes which are great because of their natural bristles and their good backbone.
Speaking of backbone, this will allow the brush to give your beard some shape and it is able to clean your beard from products that you put over the course of the day, impurities coming from food, pollution, sweat and dust.
5. Don’t forget the wax
You washed your beard, dried it and put some oil on it and, finally, combed it. But what about the stache?
Unless you shave your moustache, taking care of it is of great importance. First of all, you don’t want it in your way neither while you eat your pizza nor while you drink your morning coffee. I’m not even gonna mention while you have some sexy time with the lady!
Applying wax on your moustache allows you to style it in a very manly way and makes it stand out. This adds a few extra points on the overall appearance of your beard. All you have to do is scrape some wax and rub it with your thumbs and fingers and stroke the sides towards the direction you like. You don’t necessarily have to be creative here; just make it look neat and presentable.
Similarly to beard oil, there are waxes that contain only natural and/or organic substances in case you prefer ingredients from Mother Nature. Usually, a good beard wax is one that offers less consistency to your moustache and gives a good hold while making it appear more natural to both touch and sight.
6. Frequent Trimming
As mentioned above, you don’t want to be mistaken with Tarzan. Besides, I bet you don’t even have the six-pack to support this.
Remember that your face is what people see first and has a great influence on what they think about you! So, if you want to look your best, trimming your beard is not only healthy for the hair, but also necessary for your appearance.
Depending on the style and length of your beard, trimming is essential if you want to keep a certain shape. For a proper look, you should pay attention to certain areas. More specifically, if you wear a full beard, you need to take a good care of the hair at your neck line area and below the eyes.
The fact that you leave a beard doesn’t mean that you should start neglecting your appearance. Good and careful trimming of your beard shows that you are not just bored of shaving but you’re going for a certain look.
Besides the factor appearance, trimming with a well maintained device, reduces the facial hair split ends. This is very important for keeping your beard healthy which in the short run, it will reduce any potential beard itch.
7. After-shave balsam
The least you want is skin irritation right after you trim your beard. When you are done trimming/shaving your beard, make sure that you put on an after-shave balsam. This will keep your skin soft and moisturized and it will minimize or prevent irritation.
Prefer ones that have no alcohol in their ingredients since alcohol may irritate your skin if you’re prone to irritation. Besides that, alcohol dehydrates the skin just like your body after a long drinking night. I’m sure you’ve noticed it before 🙂
8. Beauty in frequency
With the risk of being captain obvious, keeping this schedule of beard maintenance is the most important for a well-shaped, slick-looking beard. Treat your beard with continuous love and care and it will never leave you (literally!).
Try to keep a daily routine from the moment you wake up until you go to sleep. This way, you’ll be able to maintain a beard healthy and well groomed. Your beard will appreciate it right away by showing you the gratitude by offering you no beard dandruff, no split ends, no itch, no hard and wiry hair.
A little extra from my favorite video collection.
The following video from Murdock London is one of the few that I bookmarked and watched couple of times when I used to be a proud beard wearer. It’s very comprehensive and it gives you great tips on how to keep a well groomed and healthy beard. I hope you like it
What’s your secret in keeping a well shaped and healthy beard?
Image Courtesy: Yacobchuk/Bigstock.com