For each of us, it can be easy to forget to take care of our hair. As a whole, women have always been eons ahead of men in terms of giving our hair the attention it requires to make sure it stays both looking and feeling good. Of course, in recent years dudes have started giving their locks the attention it deserves by opting for everything from more routine trips to the barber to actually forking out the cash for higher quality shampoos and and conditioners. However, the one area that many guys still don’t seem to allocate enough time towards is maintaining the health of their beards.
Look, we know that beards are associated with pioneers and dirty jobs and pirates and whatever other stereotypes you want to include, but these days beards are everywhere. Gone are the days when they existed primarily in lore and bedtime stories. Instead there’s now a good chance that everyone, from the mailman to your barista to your veterinarian, has opted to grow his beard out. This is an inherently good thing, but as more and more guys enter the beardsman ranks, many of them are unaware of the steps that they need to take to keep their beards clean and correct. With that in mind, let’s look at how you can ensure a healthier beard as this year unfolds.
Develop a Maintenance Routine
This, simply put, is essential. Just like the hair on the top of your head, your beard needs to be given proper attention in order to stay healthy and look its best. You might be worried that developing a “beard routine” will eat into your pre-work morning time, but just an extra minute or two can make such a huge difference. Starting with drying your beard sufficiently after taking a shower, give your beard the attention it deserves so that you aren’t left with hair on your face that could stand in for a tumbleweed if need be. Additionally, if you can get in the routine of washing, trimming, and using the necessary products when needed, it’ll eventually become second nature and just another part of your day. There are a few steps in particular that we need to consider here.
Use A Proper Beard Wash
Repeat after me, “I will not use shampoo to wash my beard.” Thanks, I feel better now. In all seriousness, shampoo will dry your beard out to an extreme level. Much like what happens when you wash your head hair too often, using shampoo on your beard will remove all the healthy oils that keep your facial hair looking and feeling nice. Instead, we suggest utilizing a legit beard wash to help keep your beard clean without turning it into a desert. Of course, if you’re like us and spend most of your work hours seated at a computer instead of drilling for oil or falling trees, you really only need to wash your beard once a week or so. Again, a little washing goes a very long way.
Trim When Necessary
Beards are finicky and grow unevenly. These are two undeniable truths that each beardsman faces as soon as he lays down the razor for an extended period of time. Of course, just because you’re growing out your beard doesn’t mean that you should simply let nature do as it will. Just like the hair on your head, beards can get knotted and split ends can form. Although we suggest trying to prevent this by following the very information you’re currently digesting, sometimes these things simply happen. Instead of opting to simply shave your whole beard off when you’re noticing uneven lengths or damaged ends, we suggest grabbing a pair of scissors and very slowly adjusting areas on your face that could use a little TLC. As long as you perform this task carefully and conservatively (remember, you can always trim more off, but you can’t trim less), it should help your beard stay at peak health. Additionally, using a comb each morning will help your beard appear at its fullest, which is something we each undoubtedly aim for as proud beardsmen.
Use Beard Oil Correctly
What’s that you say? There’s a wrong way to use beard oil? In fact, yes, the process can be more complicated than you think. Many guys will either use way too much beard oil – a few drops is all the majority of us need per use – or they’ll simply dab it on as if it were after-shave. This is how to not use beard oil. Much like any post-wash hair product, you really need to take a minute and massage the oil into your beard to get the desired effect. Also, try to remember that beard oil doesn’t just keep your beard lubricated and soft, it also helps keep your skin moist, which has a much larger effect on your beard than you might imagine. A healthy beard starts with healthy skin and healthy skin requires cleanliness and, especially during the winter, proper moisturizing.
Beards Are Not To Be Picked
We greatly apologize if this last tip somehow triggers a subconscious or involuntary habit, but the act of picking one’s beard is a legitimate problem that can lead to patchiness and a dirtier beard, two things that you definitely don’t want. Whether it’s a nervous habit or you just really enjoy plucking out ingrown beard hairs, before you know it your beard will start to thin out in random areas, which is most certainly not a good look on anyone. Additionally, your hands carry a lot of bacteria and constantly touching your beard with them leads to more bacteria making its way to your facial skin and causing inflammation and/or infection. Long story short, once you’re done with your morning beard care routine, do your best to leave your beard as is, aside from the occasional pensive stare and beard stroke. That, fellow beardsman, is something you have certainly earned.