Chances are you love your beard. I love mine, once in the morning and twice on Sundays!
Today I am here to shed some light on 5 common ways you might be killing your mane!
I am also going to throw in two bonus tips at the bottom. One of which comes from our article on 4 Tips to Fix the Patchy Beard (This is a must-read for first-time growers).
There are many reasons why men decide to grow a beard. One thing is for certain we all want it to look it’s best and most importantly be comfortable while growing.
But starting this journey, especially as a new grower, can lead to a beard horror story.
Growing a beard can be challenging, but follow these tips, and you are near guaranteed to navigate this process, with minimal muss or fuss.
1. Shaving Off the Neck Beard
This is like an unspoken mistake that only the bearded veterans know. I personally made the mistake of trimming my neck beard for the first 2 years of growing.
I wanted my beard to look neat and sharp. I think subconsciously I might have missed shaving a little bit and trimmed my neckbeard to make up for it. BAD IDEA!
Then one time I decided to let the neck grow with the rest of my beard. The difference of this decision really shined about 6-8 months into growing.
My beard is curly, has patches on each side and refuses to grow past 6-7 inches. But by growing my neckbeard out it gives my beard a longer appearance and makes it look incredibly full.
It might look a little rough in the beginning but once your beard grows down past your chin you will be thanking me.
2. Bad Beard Care Routine/ Maintenance
Just like your Grandfather’s 20-year beastly beard, your beard needs TLC. Take some pride in growing your beard, you are apart of a culture now. Keep it maintained with a great beard care routine.
After being in this beard care game for so long I have heard men describe a long list of problems as to why they either don’t or quit growing a beard.
“Alex I think a beard would look badass BUT, I don’t grow mine because it’s….. Itchy, smelly, dry, patchy, it gets knots, split ends, looks wild and almost homeless.
Truth is, as popular as beards have become a lot of men are still living in the beard grooming stone age.
A good beard care routine is essential to living your best bearded life. Each man is different, so grooming routines boil down to what your skin needs and what your lifestyle dictates.
To simply sum this up you need to wash it (every 2-3 days), condition it, moisturize it (you have options here), and comb it.
A Good Morning Beard Care Routine
During your first shower of the day use some organic beard conditioner to wash and hydrate the skin under that mane.
Right, after that 1st shower of the day, massage some of Bearded Crew’s Good Morning beard oil deep in your beard, working it down to the skin. Infused with award-winning gourmet African & Indonesian blend of coffee beans that are expertly hand roasted.
Good Morning beard oil blend was made from the ground up to assist you in the dreadful morning wake up process. With your first sniff, the aromatherapy of dark roasted coffee stimulates your mind. Good Morning instantly works its way to the follicles, leaving your face refreshed and clean. This is a signature aromatherapy recipe found only here at Bearded Crew.
Beard oil is a moisturizer, as mentioned you have other options that might suit your preference better. If you are looking to shape or style the beard you might want to consider using a beard balm or butter.
At the end of the day if your beard is dirty you should give it a wash with some beard shampoo. When you wash your beard it strips away all of the dirt, but it also removes the natural oils that keep your skin healthy. After washing your beard make sure you restore all the nutrients with some beard conditioner or oil.
3. Trimming Too High
This is a pretty easy mistake to make in your first trial runs of beard growing.
After 6-8 weeks, some people start looking for areas to trim. The top of your cheeks is an important area to groom.
The goal should be for you to keep your uppermost cheeks clean cut. That is the area that separates your eyes from connecting to your beard.
Beware of using beard trimmers! I am not saying don’t use them, but use them with caution.
It is really easy to buzz a little bit of your beard on one side. Then try to make the other side match it only to realize that you are off just slightly. So you move back to the original side and buzz more off.
I’ve personally ruined a good 5 months of growth one time by trying to make the perfect adjustments. If you accidentally trim to low on one side just let it go. I promise if it’s not too drastic no one will notice.
Unless it fits into your long-term beard growing plan do not move that cheek line down to far. You have to be patient, letting the beard hair grow and fill in your patches.
4. Shampooing To Often
This killer problem comes in two forms: 1) Using the wrong shampoo, 2) shampooing too often. Both are equally bad.
Every man’s skin is different but one thing is certain regular shampoos will dry your beard out! Do you want an itchy beard? Of course not.
Shampooing with head and shoulders, Tresemme or anything that doesn’t use natural oils will most likely give you the terrible IBS (itchy beard syndrome).
Some of you may have seen or heard of the term “co-washing” your beard. Co-washing is a method of cleaning your Viking mane with only conditioner.
To do this, you simply cut out the shampoo from your routine and lather your hair in conditioner. We recommend that you only use any shampoo (beard shampoo) on your beard once every 2-3 days.
By using a high-quality conditioner it will clean and hydrate your beard.
Co-washing was first put into practice by long-haired people with curly or wavy hair. This type of hair tends to be dryer than thin, straight hair.
So what’s so great about it? Most conditioners contain trace amounts of detergents called cationic surfactants, or “quats” for short. Some common types that you can find on your conditioner’s ingredient list are cetrimonium and behentrimonium chloride.
These detergents are the powerful agents responsible for cleaning your hair of any dirt, residue from hair products, or grime collected from your day to day activities. You can co-wash (condition) your hair during every shower if you please.
5. Not Having Patience or Lack Of Confidence
Growing a beard is a process. Like every worthwhile pursuit ever attempted, the journey towards magnificent flowing face mane, comes with peaks and valleys.
If this is your first foray into the hallowed ground known as beardsman, you could be faced with standard beard growing challenges.
In the beginning, you might falter and forget. But, he who is bold enough to embrace what naturally grows and maintain that beard, is in fact a man among men.
With proper care, excellent products, and patience, you will enter the hallowed halls of beardsman. Who knows one day the story of your beard growing prowess may reach ZZ Top proportions.
*Quick and Easy Bonus* Don’t Play With Your Beard
I am guilty of this one. One of my favorite things to do while sitting at a computer working is comb through my neck beard with my fingers.
Sometimes it will literally look like a bearded war went down on my desk. This constant pulling on the beard creates stress fractures in the hair and at the root of the follicle.
Every man strokes his beard every now and then. My advice is to save that stroking for the ladies.
*Bonus Tip* Letting the Barbers Get Wild
I am a man of loyalty. This fact is especially true when it comes to choosing a barber. I have been using the same woman “Jill” for about 6 years now.
One of the most common beard horror stories is hearing how a man had a prize beard until the barber cut it a little too short. I’ve had buddies get so mad that they cut the entire beard off. RIP.
When I first started this beard journey I would tell Jill “trim the beard and make it look professional”. The problem with that statement is that I left a big decision in Jill’s hands. What looks professional?
Truth is you shouldn’t even touch your beard for the first year. Growing a “Yeard” (year long beard without any trims) should be your first induction into this new bearded lifestyle.
Some of the hair on your face won’t even start growing until 4 months in. Let your beard fill in the patches and grow in naturally before deciding to wack it off (ugh poor choice of words).
If you are going to have the beard talk with your barber remember to have good communication. They can’t read your mind and probably have a different style preference.
After growing my beard for 3 years I do get a light trim and shape up about once a month. I have some gnarly hairs that have decided to grow rouge and stick about 2-3 inches out past all of the other hair.