My favorite expression in the world: “A bad day with a beard is still better than a good day without a beard”
There is really no way around it, there will be many a challenge along your beard journey. Between the awkward first couple months, new beard itch, negative comments or disapproval from others, and eating and drinking, your beard presents more problems than it solves. But that is not to say do not grow a beard, it simply means you will have to work for what you want. Nobody said this was going to be easy. So strap in because we’re about to discuss some of the annoying things of having a beard and bad times too. I will also give you some ideas on how to deal or fully negate these issues. So let’s get started!
- The neck beard: This can be a truly strange phase for beginners. Many mistakes can be made here, particularly trimming your beard up to the jaw line, especially when going for a full beard in the long run. Honestly, its just a weird look and there’s not much you can do about it. If you think about it, most people are used to seeing men with neat, trimmed up, shaped up beards. But now you come along with neck hair all over the place and they instantly think “wow this guy needs to get it together”, little do they know in just a few short months you will have a stunning piece of art settled upon your face. So my main point here is stay strong through those rough phases, even when you look kind of strange. It’s worth it.
- The never-ending itch: Your beard will forever itch something fierce. From day one until the next time your completely shave. Just kidding, it does end, after about the 2-3 month mark. Depending on your hair type you will experience beard itch to varying degrees. Straight beards will see the least, wavy beards will be affected a little more, and curly beards will obviously experience the worst in most cases. After shaving, the tips of your hair become razor sharp, combine this with the fact that as your beard grows in length it will lay down on the surface of your skin causing itch and sometimes slight pain. Fret not, as this is yet just another phase. It will come to pass. On second thought, guys who regularly shave experience more itch and pain than bearded guys, I mean come on dude, you’re taking a razor to your face.
- Food-Beard, a common condition: “I just want to eat!” This is an expression I say regularly when eating or drinking. Whether a cheeseburger, spaghetti, soup, water, whiskey, or just about anything else you might enjoy is being consumed, be prepared for a battle. Have napkins at the ready, trust me, you’ll need them. I miss the days of partaking in the joyous occasion of chowing down on some homemade soup, or getting a juicy burger with all the toppings. There are actually quite a few things you can do to lower your risk of getting food-beard: eating decently and slower. Opening your mouth wider. Eating food with less toppings. Purchasing a mustache guard (only for drinking). Speaking of which, check out my review for the Fisticuffs Moguard on YouTube —> Protect your mustache, drink your whiskey . I also have a video giving a quick and easy method for drinking a milkshake! It is life changing! —> How to Enjoy a Milkshake.
- Stop giving in to peer pressure, you’re not a teenager anymore: That’s right. I said it. You need to stop giving up on your dreams of growing an awesome beard just because a few people disagree with it or don’t like how it looks on you. You know who you are, the ones who shave your beard off simply because you are concerned about others’ opinions. So muster up the courage to not care and just grow it already! Apathy is a great skill. But now for you beginners: as previously mentioned do not sacrifice your goals due to a few comments or remarks regarding your beard, especially in the early stages. This can be a hard time, and you don’t need anyone influencing you to do something completely rash and absolutely insane. Keep the beard and keep it growing!
- Self-Doubt: By far the most difficult things about having a beard in the early stages is self-doubt. You probably won’t like your appearance at the beginning until after the second or third month passes. Not many guys do care for their look during these times. But do not let your perception by misconstrued, great things are on the horizon, all it takes is time and willpower.
- Rise and Shine: You just woke up and already have to problems to deal with, and I’m not talking about deciding on which beard oil to use. I’m talking about getting that weird wave out of your beard and getting all of your beard from one side of your face back over to the other so its even again. This can be a daunting task, even for the most seasoned bearded ones. My advice is wake up and take care of it right away. Throw in some beard balm to style it just a little and use a round brush to pull the hairs back straight or however you want them. But going around with your beard fresh outta bed is never a good idea if you care about your appearance.
Now, I know I’ve listed a lot of issues here but just keep in mind these are all manageable and sometimes even avoidable if the right measures are taken and the right mindset is applied. I’ll be adding to this list myself as I continue my beard journey. There is always another issue or event that I run into. The main thing is to stay focused on your goal and set aside anything that puts up a resistance.
Okay, we’ve established that you want to grow a beard, after all, you didn’t just read the first two articles for nothing. You now need to decide what length and style of beard you want. Do you want a short-styled neat beard or a beard like that one guy from Lord of the Rings…..oh what’s his name….Gimli the Dwarf, now his beard is amazing! Sure, you can always change course later and go with something different but, I highly recommend going for a particular length and style then sticking to it. The reason for this is: if you think you want to go for one style but trim too much off and end up not caring for the look, it’ll take a while to get back to where you were. So what are the different types of beards you may ask, well, there are plenty. But I will list the most common ones here:
- This beard is easiest to manage. Generally it doesn’t get in the way that much and definitely stays the cleanest throughout the day between work and eating. The timeline for this beard is approximately 1-1.5 months.
- This beard is obviously in the middle of short and long beards. It isn’t the easiest to maintain, but it isn’t the hardest either. It may get in the way just a little, but not too bad. You may find your medium length beard getting a few things in it here or there, such as dust or debris depending on your working conditions. Also, your mustache may begin getting in the way while eating slightly. You will be able to begin styling your beard some and take advantage of products better, as they will become necessary. The timeline for this beard is around the 2-3 month mark.
- This beard is most definitely the most problematic. But with great beard comes great responsibility. You will likely get many head-turns, broken necks, questions, compliments, and complaints, but it is the most rewarding beard to have. You will notice some challenges with this beard as it gets in the way a good bit. You will have trouble enjoying activities such as eating and drinking but there are always remedies for that. Debris at work will find its way in your beard, hopefully someone is nice enough to tell you about it. This beard is extremely needy: you will have to wash/condition it on a regular basis and style it daily, otherwise you may look a slight bit well, homeless. The timeline for this beard is somewhere after the 5-6 month mark, that is for a good sized full beard.
You may be asking at this point, well, what about stubble and scruff? I am omitting those facial hair lengths as this site is geared towards true beards. Taking pride in your beard and growing it out in a healthy, effective way is our focus. We may cover stubble and scruff at some later point, but for now, we are completely focused on the aforementioned.
Okay, we’ve discussed beard length but what about beard style and shape? Depending on your genetics, skin type, hair type, your beard will grow differently than everyone else’s. Do not fret, you will learn which style is best for your beard as it grows. Let it grow for at least three full months without touching it up, trimming it, or anything. This will let your beard grow to its natural form and shape, then you can go get a trim to shape it up and begin truly styling it. These are the most common beard shapes and styles:
- This beard looks slightly unruly and unkempt. Its not to say it looks really bad or anything, it just looks a little more wild and unpredictable perhaps. Again, perception is opinionated. Those with curly beards and those who do not grow a beard evenly around their face may want to try for this style. It doesn’t scream homeless but, it still shows some ruggedness.
- You’re beard will never be completely straight or perfect. So don’t bother trying that route. The best you’ll get is kinda wavy or almost straight. Your beard is much harder to maintain, so do what you can if you want this style. Typically, this beard is best suited for those who do grow a beard evenly all around their face with somewhat straight/curly hair naturally. Those with naturally curly beards may try this style but won’t find it as easy to maintain.
Finally, if you truly want to impress people just go with the wizard’s beard. Like Gandalf, his beard is a masterpiece to behold. And you thought I forgot about him at the beginning the article huh? Now, you shall pass on to the next page, thank you.
There is an myth embedded deep inside every man’s psyche. The myth that the more you shave your face the faster your beard will grow. This is entirely and utterly false, to the point that it is like saying black coffee is good. That was a joke, black coffee is actually good. P.S. coffee is really good for your beard. Okay, back on topic! This myth sprung about many years ago when adolescent teens first began growing facial hair. As their “beards” grew they shaved their face, and as they did, more hairs began growing after a while (as puberty tends to work that way) and so they perceived it as thus: shaving = more growth. I’m sure most of you figured out that as false before reading this article, but the myth is so widespread and believed by thousands and thousands of men that it still has a huge influence on our bearded culture. Once you understand that myth you can confidently STOP shaving and trimming if you want to grow out your beard.
Now, onto the trimming section that this article is actually focused on. So, you’ve successfully been growing your beard for a while and its beginning to look a little rough. If you like the rough look, then hey, keep going with it, but I personally prefer a nice shaped and styled beard. It will also make you stand out a lot more among the other beards if you truly take the time and effort needed to shape and style it as desired. Anyways, it is starting to get wild, what do you do? Well, get it trimmed. Yes, yes, I know, you’re thinking “Dude! You just told me not to shave or trim!” Well, just listen to what I have to say.
As your beard grows you will get split ends. This is VERY common in all beards and will happen no matter what. Once split ends set in your beard will take a wild shape as it grows longer. Curling in every direction, being troublesome to comb, and overall you just not being satisfied or happy with it anymore. Do not give up and shave! Just go get it trimmed up a little, not much though. This will ultimately remove those pesky split ends giving your beard a much needed reset and get it back on track for the next few months.
Depending highly on the speed of your beard growth, and health of it too, you may need a slight beard trim every 2-3 months. I would not get it trimmed less than the two month mark. I’ve found three months is the right timeline for my beard trims. It gives time for the growth I want and then the trim gets it back to looking good for the next few months. My honest recommendation is try your best to not trim your beard whatsoever for the first three months of growth. This will truly let your beard take its natural form and get some length on it, then your barber can shape it and take care of those split ends better.
So please, do not give up on your beard. It needs your help sometimes to get where you want it to be. If you want perfection, well maybe not perfection, but at least a very well-groomed and healthy looking beard, you will need to put forth patience and a little extra work. It is not going to get to where you want it magically. Unless you’re going for a wizard’s beard, then just cast a spell on it and boom. It is now time to grow a beard like a man, not like you’re in high-school. But in all seriousness, if you are in high-school and can already grow a full-fledged thick beard, go for it dude. You’re awesome.
The first thing you’re probably thinking is: “I can’t wait for my beard to grow in”. But first you must understand that things like this, well, they can take quite a long time. Your beard is as majestic as an empire, and Rome wasn’t built in a day.. Depending on your genetics and other factors such as diet and testosterone levels, your beard may grow anywhere from 1/8 in, 1/4 in, to 1/2 in per month. Obviously, keeping a well-balanced diet with plenty of protein, exercising, and your testosterone levels will play a great part in the speed of your growth but also the health of your beard to a certain extent. These things may boost it slightly, but will not dramatically hinder your growth if you fail to do so.
As your beard grows you will notice growth right from the start, but as time goes on month after month you will see less and less growth. This is not to say your beard has stopped growing. Imagine, you clean shaved last week and already you can see new hairs sprouting and taking form, growing each and every day. You can feel them growing in length and after several weeks you can begin pulling on them a little. Then after the first or second month you can twirl the hairs in your fingers and still notice growth. But now imagine, you are six or seven months in, and you begin having doubts because you haven’t seen much growth. It does not mean your beard stopped growing, it simply means growth is a little more difficult to perceive.
Once your beard gets to a certain length, and as it grows, it will curl and take all kinds of shapes. This slightly reduces your overall beard length, but make no mistake it is definitely still growing. Doing things like blow-drying your beard on cool with a round brush to straighten your beard will make it noticeably longer, giving you back the assured feeling and confidence you once had that you are indeed on the right path.
Growing your beard to your desired length or goal will be a long journey. Do not get discouraged. You will experience ups and downs, itchiness, dryness, compliments and negative comments. Just like anything else in life, you must go your own path with disregard of others’ opinions and the perils along the way. Growing a beard is as much psychological as it is anything else. So in closing I will tell you, it is definitely worth the wait and struggles along the way. Just hang in there, have patience, and eventually an empire will be yours to brag about.
So, you’ve decided to give a shot at growing a beard. Mostly, you’ve probably either clean shaved most of your teenage years – young adult years, or you have shaped up a very short stubble using lines or fading. Whether you wish to begin this journey with the intention of changing your appearance or simply because you want to see your potential, we will guide you through that task giving you the best advice for the healthiest and best-groomed beard possible.
So what are some basics to be aware of before starting out? Well, there are plenty, but here are the most important things to keep in mind:
- Rome wasn’t built in a day (yes, your beard is as majestic as a great empire)
- Your beard will never grow longer if you trim/shave regularly (more on this later)
- Decide on what your overall goal is (short, medium, long beard?) (bushy, styled?)
- You will experience ups and downs, but the advantages far outweigh the negatives.
- Avoid at all cost: fake miracle growth claims, myths, and others’ negative opinions.
You can get more detail on each of the aforementioned by clicking the Beard Links above, but first, I want to humbly welcome you to the beard community. Whether it is through this site, another site, a group on Facebook, or wherever, I wish you the best of luck in your journey!
Most of you, just like myself, probably work for a living. No matter what kind of environment you work in, your beard will need the best care possible to be successful in the working world. So, how do you juggle work with beard care? It can be complicated or simple depending on your particular situation. I, for example, work in a manufacturing plant which produces corrugated board (cardboard). I experience high heat and low humidity all throughout the day. These things can be extremely detrimental to your overall beard health, such as split ends, in the long run. So I found myself asking, what can I do to better my beard without getting in the way of my job?
- Condition your beard before work
- This is a very important step to achieve a better beard day at work. Putting a little beard oil or balm in right before work will help your beard stay hydrated up until your lunch break usually.
- Put a little product in on break
- Even if your break isn’t very long, take just 1 minute to put a little oil, balm, or other conditioner in your beard. If your break if less or half way into your day put some beard balm in, if your break is after the halfway mark put beard oil in. It’ll get your beard through the rest of the day feeling much better than if you hadn’t.
- Don’t forget about after work either
- Whether you go straight home to sleep or get some errands done after work, don’t forget about your beard. If it needs some product then go ahead and put some in. When you do go to sleep after work, make sure to put a little leave-in-conditioner into your beard, it’ll help soften your beard and keep it hydrated while you sleep.
Remember, just because you are a man and your job may be a little rough and dirty, doesn’t mean your beard needs to be the same. Take a little time to ensure your beard is taken care of and you will feel a noticeable difference at work.