Growing a beard is a great way to change up your look. For many, growing a perfect beard is easy. The problem is that many of us can't grow that even, thick, perfect beard easily. Some of us can't even grow a great beard at all. For those who may be lacking in beard growing ability, I offer these five tips on growing a better beard.
1) Be Patient. Growing a beard takes time and you should realistically expect to just let it grow for at least one to two months. The individual hairs on your beard won't necessarly grow at the same rate or thickness and you've got to give the little guys time to catch up before you start trimming. Of course, you can trim the neck and cheeks (which I recommend), but the rest of the beard you just have to let grow for awhile. It may look like a bit of a mess as it grows in, but your patience will be worth it in the end.
I should also mention that, if you are just starting out, you will go through an itchy stage for a few weeks.Just tough it out, you'll get through it. I would also recommend picking up The Soft Goat Stubble and Goatee Softener, which will help soften your stubble and reduce the itchiness.
2) Visit the Barber. If you don't know exactly which beard shape will work well with your face, a barber can certainly tell you. The shape of your beard is important, so I recommend seeking the advice of a professional. A great barber will also be able to show you exactly how to trim your beard. It's not as easy as slapping a guard on a clipper and buzzing. Beard hair can grow in different directions and at different rates, so keeping on properly trimmed can take skill. Of course, I recommend letting your barber handle the significant trimming on the beard during your regular haircut visits.
3) Wash It. Just like the hair on your head, your beard mush be washed on a daily basis. This is actually more important than washing the hair on your head because that "flavor saver" will hand the tendency to trap all kinds of stuff -- food, skin cells, etc. So, just like your hair, you'll need to wash your beard daily. You can simply use the same product you would use on your hair -- same shampoo will work just fine. Using a little conditioner can help as well.
4) Maintain It. In addition to regular brushing to keep things orderly, I also recommend investing in a good beard oil. "Huh? Beard oil," you say? Yes. Beard oil. This simple product will help soften your beard and keep it shiny and manageable. Your significant other will thank you for that, by the way. For beard oil, I love Jack Black's NP 10 Nourishing Oil -- works great on the beard and tons of other stuff as well.
5) Color It. Okay, so here is one area where things get a little tricky. For some guys, their beard may grow a little too light or be a little to gray to look even and full. For those, I recommend trying a beard color such as Just for Men Mustache & Beard, a semi-permanent dye formulated for beards. You just brush the stuff in, wait five minutes and wash it out. They offer varying shades to match your facial hair, but when in doubt, go with a shade lighter -- you don't want to completely cover the gray, just minimize it for a natural, fuller look. Because this is a semi-permanent, the color will fade as you wash your beard so you'll need to re-apply as needed (and as your beard grows out).
Hopefully, these tips will help those of us with less than perfect facial hair grow a better beard. No, put down those razors and go be your bearded best!
By David Alexander
Men's Hair Expert