How to Grow Your Best Beard
I present to you, the all-inclusive guide to growing the best beard that you possibly can. This blog is packed full of a bunch of awesome information that’ll keep your beard healthy.
This article is meant to be the central location for everything you need to know in order to be a knowledgeable and expert beard grower.
WARNING! This sucker is long, it’s a lot of words, but it is all valuable information. Don’t get burnt out trying to consume all of this at once.
We have added sections below so that you can jump around to what is most important to you. Take notes, and come back to this in order to solidify this knowledge. Enjoy! ?
- What to Know Before You Grow – Beard Preparation Tips
- Factors That Actually Affect Your Beard Growth
- Understanding Beard Growth
- Steps to Growing Your Perfect Beard
- Common Problems While Growing a Beard
- Beard Myths
- Essential Beard Grooming Tools
- Taking Care of Your Mane
- Trimming and Styling
- Growing a Beard When You’re Older
- In Summary
Listen up, Bearded Brothers. I’m about to shed some light on how to grow a luxurious mane.
The good news: anyone can grow a beard and it doesn’t have to be complicated. It does, however, take work, dedication, and patience.
At Bearded Crew, we’re dedicated to growing beards and supporting bearded brothers the right way. Our goal is to help you and your beard look and feel the best.
If you’re looking to grow your beard for the first time, or just have questions about proper beard growing in general, then this is the blog post for you. I present to you:
What to Know Before You Grow – Beard Preparation Tips
Before you grow out your luscious mane, take the time to set yourself up for success.
First, set a goal. Determine what type of beard and style that you’re aiming for. Having a goal in mind will help you get through the early days of beard growth and will keep you motivated for success.
Don’t obsess though! Having a beard role model and an idea of what you want is good… But every beard is different, and obsessively comparing yourself to others is unhealthy and can be discouraging.
Focus on what you can grow and flaunt it!
Second, don’t wait to use beard care products.
It doesn’t matter if you have the beard of a Viking lord or are just starting your beard journey, beard care products are important. You may not think you need beard oil or beard balm when you don’t have a beard yet or you’re just starting to grow one, but that’s not the case.
Beard oil and beard balm help keep your skin hydrated, the skin soft, and your new growth less itchy.
Bearded Crew has a full line of beard oil made with all natural ingredients to soften, hydrate, and tame your beard. Pick up a beard oil sample pack to see which one of our beard oils you love the most.
On average, beard hair grows half an inch a month, and it takes about two to four months to grow a full beard.
With that in mind, it’s important to be patient. Give yourself time to grow your beard before you decide what you want to do with it. No. Seriously. Don’t touch it and don’t trim it. Give it time to show you what it can do.
Factors That Actually Affect Your Beard Growth
Just like every human is different, every beard is different. There are a range of factors that affect the way a beard grows and how it looks, so keep that in mind when you’re growing your face fur out.
The biggest factor that affects beard growth is your genetics. It’s the single most important factor that determines what your beard does, or does not, do.
Yeah, it sucks that the most important factor is one you have no control over, but it is something that you can endeavor to understand.
You may not grow the same beard as your dad or grandfather, but the genes that determine the coarseness, color, and length all come from your ancestors.
Another factor that affects the amount of facial and body hair you grow is your testosterone level.
Higher levels of testosterone lead to a better chance of growing abundant facial and body hair.
However, this same level of high testosterone comes with DHT, or dihydrotestosterone. DHT is linked to baldness, which is why so many men with long beards are also bald.
Age also helps determine the rate of beard growth. Most men begin to develop facial hair around the age of 13, but the fastest hair growth occurs between the ages of 25 and 35.
That rate of growth tends to slow down as men age, but that doesn’t mean you can’t grow a beard if you’re older than 35. It just may not grow as fast.
The Power of Exercising
While you may not be able to control your genetics, there are things you can control and change to get yourself the thick beard of your dreams.
Exercise, especially power lifting, helps to boost testosterone levels.
Pushup, pull-ups, squats, deadlifts, rows, chest and overhead presses, anything that requires compound movement over multiple muscle groups, are all great.
If you’re new to weightlifting, spend some time with a coach or trainer. Your trainer can show you the proper way to exercise to prevent injury and lead to bigger gains. If you’ve been inactive for a while, speak to your doctor before beginning a new exercise regimen.
Don’t forget to do cardio! Cardio workouts, such as brisk walking, running, and cycling helps increase blood circulation, including to your hair follicles. More blood flow means more nutrients and more beard growth.
Exercise will also help with your stress levels and sleep schedule, two other factors you can control which will lead to a fuller beard. Getting a full eight hours of sleep each night improves the growth rate of your beard.
Your body temperature lowers when you sleep, which leads to increased blood circulation, including increased circulation to hair follicles and their roots. Blood carries nutrients and minerals to the different parts of the body, and the more nutrients you get to your hair follicles, the better growth your beard will have.
Need another reason to get a good night’s sleep? Sleeping for five hours or less decreases testosterone levels by up to 15%.
Stress impacts your entire body, including your hair.
It’s no joke when someone says stress has caused their hair to fall out. It is, in fact, a real possibility.
Stress ultimately damages and weakens the immune system. A weakened immune system has many negative side effects on the body, one of those being less hair growth.
Stress also increases the cortisol production in the body, having a negative impact on testosterone production, and can constrict the blood vessels, making it difficult for nutrients to reach the hair follicles.
Stress is a natural part of life, so make sure you take care of yourself and find a healthy way to deal with that stress. Exercise is a great way to burn off negative energy, but there are other healthy ways to deal with stress too.
Smoking has been proven time and time again by scientists to be bad for you.
A side effect of smoking you may not have heard about is that it can cause hair loss, and that includes beard hair.
Finally, your diet can impact your hair and its growth. A well-rounded diet that’s full of protein, vitamins, and minerals will help maximize your beard’s growing potential.
Protein is an important compound in your beard hair and making sure you get enough of it in your diet is essential.
A lack of protein can make your whiskers brittle and weak. Other essential vitamins and minerals for a strong and healthy beard are vitamins B, C, and D, as well as zinc, iron, and biotin.
Looking for some foods that contain beard growing goodness? Try adding these to your diet:
Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are high in beta-carotene, which helps with beard growth. The body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A, leading to more cell growth within the hairs on the beard.
Oysters: Oysters are a great food source for a variety of reasons, but they are powerhouses of zinc. Zinc helps the cells in your body that build hair encouraging stronger and better growth. Oysters also contain a good deal of protein. A two for one!
Eggs: Breakfast anyone? Eggs are full of good stuff that will not only fuel your body, but will also encourage beard growth. They’re full of protein, iron, calcium, and zinc, and are a natural source of biotin.
Spinach: Ever wondered why Pop-Eye was so strong? Turns out spinach is amazing for you. Rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, protein, and potassium, spinach is full of all the good things that encourage healthy beard growth. Spinach is a versatile food and can be eaten raw, sauteed, in a smoothie, or you can hide it in your mac and cheese. Want a powerhouse breakfast? Try adding some spinach to your morning eggs.
Cinnamon: Cinnamon encourages the flow of oxygen, but a little goes a long way. Add it to your oatmeal, protein shakes, or put a dash in your tea or coffee. Want another beard growing food combination? Try a bit of cinnamon on a baked sweet potato.
Other great biotin-rich foods to consider adding to your diet are liver, almonds, peanuts, walnuts, soybeans, legumes, whole grains, bananas, cauliflower, and mushrooms. Try adding some of these foods to your diet. Your beard will thank you.
Understanding Beard Growth
Hair grows in five different locations on a man’s face, and hair grows differently in each of these areas. You have:
- The mustache: The hair above the upper lip
- The soul patch, flavor savor, or jazz dot: The patch of hair underneath the bottom lip but above the chin.
- The goatee: The hair on the front of the chin that expands to the jawline and cheeks.
- The side-burns or mutton-chops: The hair on the cheeks above the jawline.
- The neck: The hair that grows below the jawline. Most of the bulk and shape of the beard comes from here, and neck hair tends to grow faster than the other four growth areas.
The average man has 30,000 beard hairs on his face, and every single one of those hairs has a mind of its own.
Facial hair also grows differently in the five different areas of your face. Some hair grows fast, some grows slowly, some grow curly and in odd directions. This is the most noticeable around two to six weeks into beard growth when the hair changes from stubble to the beginnings of a beard.
Don’t panic though. It’s normal for a beard to be patchy and disconnected at this point. But, stay aware and away from some of the common habits that will, with continuous use, create a even more patchy beard.
Remember that hair grows differently from person to person, and the growth in each of the five different growth areas is different. Some men can grow long, horseshoe-like mustaches like Gardner Minshew or Sam Elliot, while others, like Ryan Fitzpatrick, take a more full-beard approach.
3 Phases of Beard Growth
Speaking of beard growth, beards grow in three different phases. The anagen phase, the catagen phase, and the telogen phase. They exist in a cyclical nature with differing lengths.
The anagen phase is the growing phase and can last anywhere from two to six months. The cells in the root of hair follicles divide at a rapid rate, and hair strands may grow a half-inch or more per month.
The anagen phase turns to the catagen phase, which is the shortest of the three phases. It represents the “transitional” part of the cycle. Hair growth stops and the hair strands separate from the hair follicles and attach to the skin. This stage typically lasts for two to three weeks.
The catagen phase morphs to the telogen phase. New hair pushes out the old hair, eventually causing it to fall out. The follicle returns to the anagen phase and the growth cycle begins anew. The telogen phase can last anywhere from two to four months.
Steps to Growing Your Perfect Beard
A perfect beard takes time, patience, and dedication, but it’s definitely worth it and if you follow these steps, you can get the beard you’ve always wanted.
Step 1: Set a beard goal – Take the time to set a beard goal. Find your “why” for wanting a beard and pick out a few styles that you like. Having a goal in mind will make the early days easier and will keep you strong as you’re waiting for everything to fill in.
However, don’t let your goal own you. Remember that your mane is an extension of you, and everyone’s beard is going to be different. Set realistic expectations for yourself and have a party when you reach them.
Pro Tip: Get some bearded brothers! – It is always fun to have a group of friends start this beard growing journey with you. See if you can get a group of homies to all start growing out their beards together.
If you don’t have any friends that are ready to be a man, find an online group of bearded brothers. Surprisingly, Facebook has a lot of options for choosing a bearded group. You are bound to find a group with a culture that matches your personality.
The culture is the most important aspect of this adventure. It is what defines this path of enlightment, the culture gives your beard meaning and purpose. Without embracing the culture, you are simply just a man that forgot to shave.
Step 2: Let it grow – Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your beard grow in a day. Give it time to grow out fully to see what you have to work with.
We recommend letting it grow out for at least 30 days (but really two months would be ideal) before you do anything to it. Don’t touch it and don’t trim it. Seriously. Leave it alone.
Step 3: Trimming and outlining – As your beard grows, it’ll start migrating up your face and down your neck, and if you absolutely feel the need to shape your hair before the 30 day growing period is up, take caution.
You may want to see a professional barber with experience in dealing with beards. If you want to trim your beard, keep your cheek lines higher than you think they need to be, and your neckline lower than you think it needs to be.
Personally, I highly caution against shaving your neck beard off. Shaving off the neck beard was listed as the number one way to kill a beard in a blog we previously wrote.
Step 4: Take care of your face – As soon as you decide to grow a beard, start using beard care products. Beard oil can keep facial skin hydrated and the hair soft, keeping fresh growth from being as itchy. Bearded Crew has an entire range of beard oils made with all-natural products designed to keep your skin soft and your beard smooth.
Pro Tip: Tea Tree beard oil is a blessing – Every beard care company worth anything offers a tea tree blend. Tea Tree is a powerful beard oil to use especially in the beginning of you growth. Every ingredient in Bearded Crew’s Tea Tree beard oil was individually selected to create the healthiest skincare solution. If you naturally have oily skin or severe cases of ingrown hairs and beard acne this oil is going to be your saving grace. This oil is best for users looking to significantly reduce beard acne!
Other than Bearded Crew Beard oils, take care of your face as your beard is growing. Cleaning and washing your face regularly with beard shampoo and conditioner, and applying a good bead balm moisturizer, will set a healthy canvas for your beard.
Moisturizers like beard oil, beard butter or beard balms will help keep your skin healthy, while good grooming habits will help stimulate circulation, exfoliate your skin, remove dead skin cells, and open up your pores. Your beard will grow thicker over time and it will help keep your initial beard growth from being as itchy.
Step 5: Take care of your body – We touched on this earlier but it is so dang important we want to stress it again. Growing a beard is the perfect excuse to take care of yourself!
Bearded Crew’s mission isn’t just about beard. Part of our mission is to help bearded brothers (and everyone) enjoy the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle physically, mentally, and spiritually (dealers choice on how you exercise this).
Exercising, eating well, getting enough sleep, and reducing your stress are all proven to promote thick and healthy beard growth. Try adding cardio and weight-training to your routine to increase blood circulation and testosterone. Eat a nutrient-rich diet full of vegetables and plenty of protein.
Your hair needs vitamins and minerals too, and the best way to get them is through a healthy diet. Taking supplements can help stimulate hair growth as well.
Copper, zinc, iron, magnesium, vitamin B, C, D, E, and biotin are all crucial vitamins and minerals, but most men don’t get enough of these in their diets. Taking supplements can help have a positive impact on your overall health, including growing a thick, luscious mane. Before taking any supplements, starting a new exercise program, or changing your diet, speak to your doctor or a professional.
Step 6: Drink plenty of water – Staying hydrated is good for your health. Drinking at least eight fluid ounces of water a day can help improve your blood circulation and regulate your body’s temperature.
If you follow these steps listed above you are going to be ahead of 99% of beard growers out there. So stay informed, healthy and prepare for a beard of Zeus to take over those cheeks.
Common Problems While Growing a Beard
My beard won’t stop Itching man!
The most common problem while growing a beard is beard itch. It’s normal for beards to itch in the early Anagen phase of growth.
As the beard grows, the hair curls and the sharp points prick the skin causing itchiness. New hair is poking out through the skin, and this can irritate your skin in the beginning.
The beard itch will typically last one or two weeks and will subside as the hair gets longer. Beards are not itchy, and if your beard continues to itch, it may be more indicative of a grooming problem.
If you have been taking care of yourself and your face, the beard itch should never happen or vanish pretty quickly.
However, if you have a longer beard and it’s still itchy, it’s likely that your beard hair and the skin underneath are dry. Use a beard conditioner designed to be gentle on the face. Veteran beard growers use a shower time technique called CO-washing to add nutrients back to their skin and wash your beard at the same time.
Question: What is Co-washing a beard?
Answer: Co-Washing stands for “conditioner washing” and is a great solution for curly hair or hair that tends to dry out. See, high quality beard conditioners (aka softeners) have a small amount of detergents in the formulation and will help clean the beard, but won’t leave it as dry as you’ll have it when using a beard wash.
Have a good beard combing routine
Add beard oil to your grooming routine to help lock in moisture and soften the beard hair and skin. Finally, brush your beard with a saw-cut green sandalwood beard comb. The comb will help exfoliate the skin under the beard while evenly spreading out the beard oil throughout your beard.
By applying beard oil before combing you can avoid snagging, pulling, and ripping out beard hair. The oils allow the comb to glide through your beard without resistance.
Not all beard combs are created equally. Do yourself a favor and read this article that talks about the importance of using the right beard comb. Don’t make mistakes that cause split ends. You will set yourself up for failure.
*Pro Tip: Beard comb + beard oil = Heaven – I personally LOVE the smell of green sandalwood products when using them to comb my beard. But a magical thing happens when you use your green sandalwood comb after applying your favorite beard oil.
Over time the wood of the beard comb starts to soak up some of the beard oils. Man! That is the smell worth combing to on the daily!
**PRO-PRO Tip – I apply a little bit of beard oil directly to my comb and rub it into the wood. When I am done, I make sure to leave it out in the open air on my counter so that it can dry up. Also, I may or may not have 6 combs for each one of the beard oils I own….. don’t judge me.
Beardruff loves black tees
Beardruff: is the dandruff that comes from your beard. Beardruff means that the skin underneath your beard is dry and flaky (Ewww gross, we know).
This skin needs to be exfoliated, it needs to be hydrated, so use a naturally made beard conditioner, slap some beard oil In after the shower, brush your beard with a sawcut green sandal wood comb, and grow your beard the right way.
If you have never used beard oil before you can watch this video Alex created that teaches bearded brothers how to apply beard oil the proper way. His expert tips will save you trouble, inconvenience and money!
If you have tried grooming your mane and still have excessive flaking and itching that you can’t get under control, you may have seborrheic dermatitis.
Seborrheic dermatitis is a common skin condition that causes scaly patches, red skin, and stubborn dandruff.
Daily cleansing with a gentle soap and shampoo can help reduce dead skin buildup and any oiliness that may occur.
Symptoms may become more severe if you are stressed or during cold, dry months. The good news is that seborrheic dermatitis is treatable. See your dermatologist for treatment options.
The Wavy Beard
Beard waves are another common issue that men have when growing out their beards. All hair grows differently, and your beard hair is no exception. However, if you don’t want a wavy beard, taming it is pretty simple. All you need is a blow dryer, comb it out, and use some beard balm. This is literally what beard balm was made for.
Question: What is beard balm?
Answer: Beard balm is simply a styling agent that also acts as a leave-in conditioner that moisturizes, conditions, softens the beard. Bearded Crew beard balms contain cocoa butter for softening and moisturizing, castor oil for growth (contains high content of ricinoleic acid that improves blood circulation in the scalp which provides nutrition to the hair follicles) and beeswax for sealing in moisture and giving the beard a bit of a styling hold.
Our recommendation is Bearded Crew’s Good Morning Bearded Crew beard balm. This is a perfect way to start your day off on the right foot, or left if that’s what you prefer.
With an award-winning blend of African and Indonesian coffee beans, the aromatherapy of dark roasted coffee stimulates your mind, and your beard, and will get you ready to tackle whatever the day has in store.
Apply some balm to your beard to protect it from the heat of the blow-dryer. Next, use the brush to curl the hair opposite of the wave and add heat from the blow-dryer.
Once the wave has been styled out, turn off the heat from the blow-dryer and use cold air to lock the hair in place.
Patchy or balm philtrum
As you are growing out your facial hair, you may notice a gap in your mustache at the philtrum. The philtrum is the middle dip between the base of your nose and your top lip. Scientists believe that it is where the different sections of the face come together in the womb. Some men don’t grow as much hair in this groove. If this is the case for you, be patient and allow your hair to continue growing. It may fill in with time. As your hair gets longer, you can also direct it towards the middle.
Patchy beard or bald spots
Speaking of gaps in your hair, patchy beards and bald spots are another common issue when growing out your beard. But don’t despair. Just because your beard has some patchy or bald spots at day 30 doesn’t mean they will still be there at day 90 and beyond.
The thing with beards is, the longer they get, the more equally distributed they appear. So be patient! Give your beard time to grow. It’s also important to note that beard growth doesn’t really kick in until you’re about 25 years old, which may be another reason you’re seeing a patchy beard.
If, after 90 days, you still have a patchy beard, it may just be what your genetics allow. Try a shorter beard style like Chris Hemsworth or Chris Evans.
Humans love myths, legends, and folklore. And why not? Stories like that can be entertaining and fun. However, myths about your beard can be detrimental to getting that thick and vibrant beard you’ve always dreamed of. Here are some prevalent beard myths and the actual reality.
Beard Myth #1: Shaving makes your beard, or any hair, will make it grow back faster.
Reality: All shaving does is get rid of hair. Period. There is no scientific evidence that supports the idea that shaving will make your hair grow back faster or thicker. The beard hair you have and the speed at which it grows is all thanks to genetics. If you want a long, thick beard, give it time.
Beard Myth #2: Beard growth oils, serums, pills, and kits work.
Reality: The short answer to this myth is that beard growth oils, serums, pills, and other kits that promise thicker and fuller beards don’t work.
Don’t fall victim to them. Beard growth items are lacking in scientific credibility and are honestly a waste of money. There are vitamins, such as biotin, that you can take to help improve the health of your hair, but ultimately your genetics are the reason your beard grows the way it does, and no beard growth oil is going to change your genetic capabilities.
Instead, let your beard grow out for at least 30 days and then see what you have to work with. Be confident about the beard you have.
Beard Myth #3: Beards are too hot for the summer.
Reality: I hated this myth so much I wrote an entire article defending the idea of growing a beard during the summer. Click here to read 4 Great Reasons to Grow a Summer Beard.
We’ve all heard the myth that beards are too hot for summer. Most people assume that beards will make you warmer, and that thought may seem unbearable to some.
However, it’s just not the case. In fact, beards provide protection from UV rays from the sun and can help protect your skin. Beards are more like shields than heaters and act similar to the way a literal bush would.
That same bush or tree that protects against the winter elements also provides a nice, cooling shade in the summer. As sweat evaporates from the skin, it creates air flow out of the beard, providing a cooling effect. So put down the razors bearded brothers and let that face bush shine.
Beard Myth #4: Beards itch.
Reality: It’s normal to have some beard itch in the early stages of growth as hair pokes through the skin, but this should go away quickly. Hydrated skin is not itchy, and itchiness is generally a sign of a lack of proper beard care and grooming routines.
Beard Myth #5: Beards are dirty.
Reality: Living is dirty, and that’s ok. Just like you use soap to keep your body clean, use a beard wash to keep your beard clean. Make sure to follow it up with a beard conditioner. Shampoo will strip away all of the dirt and the natural oils that your face produces. Problem solved.
Beard Myth #6: A bigger beard is a better beard.
Reality: Your beard is not indicative of your masculinity. The best beard is the one you can grow and love having. It’s all about confidence. Find your style and show the world how awesome you and your beard are.
Essential Beard Grooming Tools
Take some pride in that beard and give it the proper care it needs and deserves. Growing a beard requires commitment, which means investing in the right tools for success.
I know you’re thinking, “but cavemen had beards, and they didn’t use any products on them”, and while that may be true, you are (probably) not a caveman. You (hopefully) are a sophisticated gentleman.
Taking care of those face whiskers will make it easier to manage, prevent common problems like beard itch, and will look attractive to the ladies. Every lady loves a sharp looking beard. If they don’t, they might not be the ones for you.
Tools for Bearded Men
Beard Combs: The beard comb is the most straightforward tool in your beard care arsenal, but not all combs are created equal.
Traditional combs are thin and don’t have enough space between the teeth to get through your beard comfortably.
Plastic and metal combs can create static, which makes taming your beard more difficult and may come with some unintended shocks.
We recommend one of Bearded Crew’s saw cut green sandalwood beard combs. We make our wood combs with green sandalwood. They are anti-static, so you never need to worry about your beard looking like Einstein’s hair.
Regular combing will prevent knots and split ends in your beard and will keep you looking sharp. We provide 3 different combs that each serve their own purpose…..
Types of Beard Combs Bearded Crew Offers – And Why
The Beard Pic – has wide spaced wooden teeth that gently reach deep into the beard and get those pesky hairs that never get any combing love. Combing out the most inner hairs of your beard will create a fuller looking beard.
Also, starting with the beard pic is a good idea because the large gaps of distance between the combs teeth. If you start with this comb you are less likely to snag and pull on the beard.
The Large Beard Comb – This is my every day, always going to use, go-to solution. I love the way this comb gently guides the beard hair and helps create a unified formed look.
The teeth of this comb are long enough to still go deep into the beard, with teeth that are closer for easy styling. The large comb has a nice weight distribution and easy to grip handle for fellas with big hands.
The Travel Comb – Walk with me for a second… You step outside to a beautiful day, crank up your hog, give that throttle a tug, feel that horse power, then ride off on a mission to do epic things (probably grocery shopping).
There are going to be times in life, maybe when you have a date, where you need to restyle that ZZ top looking beard.
This is where the travel combs will be your saving grace. The travel comb is a durable, foldable comb that gives you the option to style anywhere at any time.
Don’t get caught looking like you have bed beard, get yourself one of bearded crew’s travel combs.
Boar’s Hair Brush: If you are going to be doing any kind of beard styling (and if you take the time to grow it, why not style it?) you’re going to need a good beard brush. Boar’s hair is a decent brush because the boar hairs draw dust and excess product out of your beard as you use it. The stiff bristles also distribute natural oils throughout the length of your beard, keeping your hair clean, healthy, shiny, and protected.
CON: These brushes smell like a pigs butt if you get them wet. For this reason I have personally never been a big fan of using the boar’s hair brush.
Beard Trimming Scissors: Hair grows unevenly, including your beard hair. It’s important to have high quality, barber grade beard trimming scissors to trim flyaways and keep your beard at your desired length.
Blow-Dryer: Yes, that’s right, a blow-dryer. You may think that only women need these, but if you have any unwanted waves or cowlicks in your beard, a blow-dryer is the key to getting your hair to do what you want it to do. Use a little heat and some of your favorite beard product, and you’ll have your beard styling in no time.
Taking Care of Your Mane
One of the biggest mistakes first time beard growing newbies make is not taking care of their beard and skin underneath. I (Alex) personally fell victim to this when I grew my first yeard. “I am a man, and I don’t need to educate myself on something that grows naturally”…. WRONG!
What is a Yeard? The yeard is a full year of uninterrupted beard growth. The goal is to grow your beard for 12 months without shaving or excessive trimming. Beards at this length have reached a milestone and are of course much fuller and longer than any regular beard.
Your beard is an extension of you, and it’s important to treat it with the same respect you treat the rest of your body.
Taking care of your beard from day one will help prevent common problems such as beard itch, beardruff, broken hair, knots, split ends, and dry skin, all of which my result in shaving. The bottom line is, the healthier your skin is, the more manageable your beard will be.
Beard Shampoo and Conditioner
Taking care of your beard doesn’t have to be tricky, although it does take an extra step or two.
For starters, get a good beard wash and beard softener for the shower.
You may be tempted to use normal shampoo and conditioner, but those products are formulated to handle the skin on your scalp, not on your face.
The skin on your scalp is thicker than the skin under your beard and contains roughly 130,000 hair follicles compared to the 30,000 on your beard.
More hair follicles results in more sebum, which is the oily substance secreted by the sebaceous glands that are on nearly every surface of the body. Sebum seals in moisture and prevents skin from becoming overly dry, however, it can also make your hair appear oily.
Traditional shampoos and conditioners are designed to remove excess sebum that can build up on the scalp, but using it on your face, where there is less oil, can strip the beard of the necessary oils it needs to stay healthy and your beard will be dry and brittle.
To keep your beard soft and smooth, we recommend co-washing. Co-washing is a method where you wash your beard daily with a beard softener and then two or three times a week you do a deeper clean with beard wash.
Beard softener uses light cleansers so will keep your beard free of any mild dirt buildup, and it comes with the bonus of making your beard soft to the touch. After using a beard wash, follow-up with a beard softener.
Use beard oil. Beard oil is something that every Bearded Brother should have in his collection.
Beards thrive off of sebum, and the shower can strip sebum out of your skin. This leads to dry skin, which leads to dry hair, meaning your beard will break easier and be harder to handle.
Beard oil is designed to hydrate the skin and hair, so your beard stays nourished, soft, and easy to style while preventing beard itch.
Bearded Crew has a variety of beard oils made with all-natural ingredients and empowering, soothing fragrances, each one specially blended to give you a boost of aromatherapy.
For example, our Equilibrium Beard Oil has the soothing smells of lemon and lavender, perfectly balanced to help reduce anxiety and increase focus. Our Good Morning Beard Oil is a blend of coffee and vanilla, energizing your brain and helping you get ready for a productive day.
Would you rather apply your beard oil at night? Then try Bearded Crew’s Sweet Dreamz Beard Oil. With the relaxing scents of cedarwood and sage, you will have a good night’s sleep after applying this beard oil.
Disperse your beard oil of choice into your palm and warm the oil between your hands. Apply the oil directly to the skin beneath your beard and onto the hair and use a beard comb to distribute the oil throughout your beard.
The amount of oil you need ultimately depends on the length of your beard, but here is a good guideline: If you are just starting to grow a beard, use two to three drops of beard oil daily until the one month mark.
After one month and up to three months, apply three to six drops daily. Apply six to ten drops to your beard daily after three months and up to a year where you should increase you can then apply ten or more drops to your beard.
Beard balm is another common product and is simply a leave-in styling conditioner that stays on the surface of the hair and skin longer.
Specifically created for beards, beard balm moisturizes, conditions, and softens your beard while offering a moderate hold.
It is heavier than beard oil, which will give you control over flyaways in your beard, this is a light styling product, but don’t expect it to have an firm hold like a wax.
When applying beard balm, a little goes a long way. Start with a small finger-full and warm it between your hands. Apply to your beard and comb through for even coating. If a finger-full isn’t enough, apply more, but do so slowly.
But what about styling? You didn’t put in all this work to not show it off.
The two styling products we recommend for your beard care arsenal are styling wax and mustache wax.
Styling wax has zero conditioning properties, so it will not replace your beard oil or beard balm.
It will, however, control the unruly hairs in your beard and give you hold throughout the day.
Mustache wax is a firm, wax-based grooming product that holds the hairs of your mustache in place throughout the day. With styling products, the general rule of thumb is, the easier it is to remove from the container, the less hold it will have.
To apply the styling balm, scoop out a pea-sized amount of product and rub your hands together to warm the balm. Work the product into your beard, starting from the root to the tips and shape to your desired style. Mustache wax works similarly. Remove a small amount of wax with your fingertip and rub the wax until it becomes warm. Apply the wax directly to your mustache and shape.
Pro-tip: for using mustache wax. Use the heat from a blow-dryer to warm up the wax. Then apply the wax the same way you would normally, but use the heat from the blow-dryer to shape and style your mustache with the wax in. To set your style, finish with cold air from the blow-dryer. This will help your mustache style hold in place.
Trimming and Styling
Honestly, I am a full-on advocate of growing it for a year before ever thinking about trimming it. Times will get rough looking but you will have a full hedge to trim from when you are done. If your goal is to grow your beard out, we don’t recommend touching it until after at least three months’ worth of growth. It may be a good idea to see a professional beard barber with experience, but if you want to do it yourself here’s how:
Trimming Your Neckline
- Grab an electric beard trimmer or trusty razor.
- Take your index and middle finger and place them with the middle finger on the top of your Adam’s apple. Where your index finger lands is where your head connects to your neck and it will be your line.
- Trim the bottom line above the Adam’s apple and follow the shape of your jaw.
- For the outer edges, trim straight down from the back of the sideburns until you reach the bottom line.
- Trim or shave all the hair below the new bottom line you’ve made.
Be careful! Remember, the bulk of your beard’s shape comes from the hair on your neck. If you are looking for a longer beard, don’t trim your neckline too high. You’ll end up with a wispy beard similar to Spanish Moss. Stop trimming your neckline once you have to lift up your beard. Keep your neckline lower than you think.
Trimming Your Cheek Lines
Trimming your cheek lines comes down to personal preference. For many men, cheek hair is the slowest to grow, so give yourself plenty of time to see where your real cheek line is. We recommend letting your beard grow for three months before attempting to trim any hair creeping up your face towards your eyes. If you decide to trim your cheek line, keep it higher than you think it needs to be. Pushing your cheek line too low will make it look like you have a chinstrap (no bueno) or neckbeard.
Here’s how to trim your cheek lines:
- Grab an electric beard trimmer or trusty razor.
- Find the point where the front edge of your sideburns meets where your beard angles forward.
- Form a line from that point to the bottom corner of your lips. This is your guideline. If you want to draw a line, you can pick up a cheap eyeliner pencil that will easily wash off when you’re done with your trim.
- Trim any excess hair above this guideline.
If you accidentally trim one side too low, don’t panic. Just bring the other side down to match and let both sides grow back up together.
Once your beard has reached the length you want, you can adjust the style, trim, and shape it however you’d like. At the beginning, it’s important to see what you’ve got before you make any styling decisions.
Growing a Beard When You’re Older
Typical beard growth happens between the ages of 25 to 30, so if you haven’t developed the thick beard of your dreams by the time you’re 30, it may just not be in your genes. Try the methods outlined above and be patient. Your beard may fill in. If, even after you try the above steps and are patient, your beard doesn’t quite grow in there are only a few options left, although they are not ones that we recommend without consulting extensively with a doctor.
It’s always better to embrace the beard you have and radiate with confidence than to go through with any extreme measures without understanding the risks. Remember, your beard does not define your masculinity.
One option for growing beard hair when you’re older is to try Rogaine. Rogaine doesn’t work the same way on your beard as it does on your scalp. Instead of stimulating new growth, Rogaine for your beard just helps kick the follicles on your face into gear by extending the anagen phase of growth. However, taking any kind of medication has side effects, and the effects of the Rogaine may diminish if you stop using it. Consult with your doctor before taking Rogaine.
Another option is hormone therapy. Beard hair growth is linked to testosterone, and if you have lower levels of testosterone, it may inhibit your beard growth. Your doctor can prescribe hormone therapy in the form of a pill, cream, or injections. Do not take over-the-counter hormones without talking to your doctor. Anything that you put in your body can have unforeseen consequences, so it’s important that you check with your doctor.
Beard implants are an extreme option, but they will lead to a thicker beard. They take the hairs for the transplant from the patient’s head through surgery performed under local anesthesia. Beard hair implants will always grow back, but the cost of surgery and anesthesia is high. Consider this option under certain circumstances only and make sure you speak to your doctor about the pros and cons before any surgery.
Your beard is an extension of yourself, and growing one doesn’t have to be difficult. Be patient and give it at least 3 months (if not more) to grow and show you its magnificence. Use beard care products early and often to reduce beard itch and hydrate your skin. Bearded Crew offers amazing, all-natural products scientifically formulated to improve your beard’s health. Your beard will grow in fuller and thicker.
Take care of your body too. Eating right, exercising, getting enough sleep, and reducing stress and anxiety can all lead to a healthy beard.
At the end of the day, it’s all about you feeling good and looking good, and with this guide, we’re sure you’ll be able to grow the beard of your dreams.
Keep growing, and GROW IT RIGHT Brothers of the Bearded Crew!