A Beginner’s Guide to Growing a Beard: Week One

—Urban Beardsman

Movember and No Shave November, or Growvember as we’ve officially dubbed the month, is officially in full swing. You’ve seen the tweets, Facebook posts, and Instagram photos documenting the celebration and now it’s time to embrace the beardsman (or mustachioed gentleman) within. Depending on how fast your facial grows, you might still look somewhat shaven while your fellow participants look as though they’ve been living life off the grid after only a week, quite possibly in the woods somewhere. Regardless of where you are seven days in, you’re helping to kick cancer’s ass and raise awareness for men’s health across the globe, which is why November has become such an important time for beardsmen everywhere.

That being said, for those of us who are less tenured in the beard or mustache growing department, there are certain milestones and markers of sorts that you’ll start to reach near the one week checkpoint. Regardless of hair color, texture, or thickness, every guy goes through similar motions when it comes to facial hair, but don’t fret rookie, we’ll get through this as a team. Let’s take a look at what to expect a week into Growvember.

Your Beard Is Slowly Taking Shape

For those of you out there who opt for the completely shaven look most of the time, at the beginning of the month you might have wondered what sort of pattern your beard would take on as it grew in. Would it be full or patchy? What color would it be? Will it be soft or coarse? These are each questions we’ve wondered during our first forays into beardsmanship. After a week or so, you’ll begin to notice how your beard or mustache grows and how heavily it will alter the look of your face. At the moment, you still look about the same, but give it another week and you’ll be a whole new man.

Your Beard Is Going To Itch

If you usually opt to go unshaven over the course of a long weekend, you’re probably familiar with the early stages of itching that come with the territory of beardhood. You just have to accept the reality that your face is going to be mildly irritated. Simply put, there’s really no way around it. Do your best to keep your skin moisturized (beard oil is great for your skin and scruff) and try to refrain from using any shampoo on your new beard, a rookie mistake that we’ve all made at some point. Try not to scratch it constantly and just know that in another few days, the itching will be a (somewhat) distant memory.

Your New Beard Will Make You Feel Like A New Man

A beard doesn’t just make you look like a new man, facial hair also makes you feel like a new man. There’s something inherently manly and fraternal about letting your more natural tendencies take over and slowly transform you into a more mature and rustic looking dude. You’ll feel older, wiser, and more experienced, all while learning to operate as not just a man, but also a beardsman. It might take your friends, family, or work coworkers a little time to get used to the new you, but over the course of the next month, everyone will get to know a new side of you and increasingly support your decision to participate in whichever Growvember cause you’re raising money for.

People Will Make Comments About Your Facial Hair

Whether you like it or not, your beard is going to garner attention and everyone, especially if this is your first time growing out your facial hair, is going to have something to say. Also, this goes double for the gents opting to only grow out their mustaches. Everyone has an opinion on facial hair and although it has become increasingly supported, tolerated, and appreciated in recent years, there are still those who just wish you would stay baby-faced forever. For the most part, the commentary will be positive as anyone with a soul should support your reasons and your end-goal for the month, but for those who try to bring you down, just take it in stride and walk forth. You’re a beardsman now and you don’t have time for anyone’s god damn negativity.

Your Beard Is Officially On Its Way

Believe it or not, you’re almost 25% of the way to your goal for Growvember. Your beard is itching, it’s starting to take shape, and each day you learn a little more about what it means to be a beardsman and the maintenance it will require moving forward (more on that in the weeks to come). In the meantime, try to get together with your friends who are also participating in Growvember and check in with them on their progress. These causes are all about support, awareness, and really, brotherhood. You’re now part of an awesome community: hang out with them and keep on bringing awareness to what you’ve started. Beard on, gents. Beard on.

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