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Beard Grooming 101

Beards of all shapes and sizes have been in style for quite a few years now. Men have been showing stubble regularly for at least twenty years, and the 2010’s saw a resurgence of the full, thick beard. Now that we’re mostly on a collective pause, lots of men are taking the plunge and growing that beard they thought they’d never be able to. What an opportune time for Beard Grooming 101.

In this post, we’d like to give you a basic overview of how to care for beards, and we’ll also discuss what types of beards you can wear for your face shape, and whether or not you should grow a beard.

Tips For Beard Care

bald man with bushy beard reads textsAwesome beards don’t just magically occur. They take time, patience, and a care routine. It’s important to note that there are different care methods and products that you may want to look into depending on the beard style you wish to grow. Men of different ethnicities, races, etc. will have varying textures to their hair. They may find that certain products and grooming schedules are more advantageous to others, so please keep that in mind too. What follows is a general “best practice”guide for any man growing and/or maintaining facial hair.

1. Shampoo & Condition Your Beard

Just like the hair on your head, the hair on your face needs to be regularly shampooed and conditioned. This has many benefits, a few of which are:

  • Keeping it clean. A clean beard will feel better and smell better, which will likely lead to a higher incidence of your partner wanting to kiss you. It will also keep your grooming tools clean, which makes them perform better for a longer period of time.
  • It helps soften & moisten your beard. Right up front: do not use standard shampoo and conditioner on your beard; instead, get beard-specific products. The reason is that the skin on your face is much thinner and more sensitive than the skin on your head. Shampooing your head hair and using the same stuff on your face will yield an uncomfortable result, especially if you have sensitive skin in the first place.

man with afro and thin beardA common complaint from first-time beard growers is that the hairs are coarse. Regular shampooing will keep things clean, sure. The thing about shampoo, however, is that it strips the skin of sebum, the natural oil secreted by your sebaceous glands to keep the hair and skin moisturized. This is where conditioner comes in. It replenishes the oil that shampoo removes, which is good for both your facial hair and your face. Don’t skip this step!

Men who keep short beards can shampoo daily because the shorter hairs don’t require as much time to replenish their oils as long ones do. Men with longer beards should space out cleanings to 3-4 times a week.

Note that if you’re just starting to grow a beard, that sandpaper feeling from the first week or so is unavoidable no matter what you do. Don’t be discouraged when your beard isn’t immediately supple, just keep at it!

2. Brush & Comb

man getting beard trimmed at barber shopAfter your beard has been washed, conditioned, and gently towel-dried, take a beard brush (similar to a pocket hairbrush you may have used in the past) and give yourself a thorough once-over. We recommend going against the grain all over, then with the grain to finish. This will eliminate tangles and set the hairs in the same direction.

3. Trim

man with beard at barber shopTrimming a beard is more complex than a simple clean shave. You’re looking for evenness, neatness, and a conspicuous lack of neck beard (two fingers above the Adam’s apple is a good starting point).

We suggest defining your lines (cheek, mustache, and neck) with a trimmer. Then, use a bigger-than-you-think-you’ll-need guard on the trimmer to get your beard to your desired length. This way, if you make a mistake, you won’t have to shave off your entire beard.

4. Apply Beard Balm Or Oil

Before leaving the house for work sitting at your home office desk, moisturize your facial hair. This is achieved by using a small amount of beard balm or beard oil and massaging it into the beard, reaching the skin underneath. An added benefit is that these products will help your beard hold its shape.

Where To Buy Beard Care Products

We don’t have an exhaustive list, but we know luxe style when we see it. We’re fans of Beardbrand, for whom fellow Philadelphia Greg Berzinsky is an influencer. Our friends at Bespoke Unit have also done exhaustive research on the topic of the best balms, brushes, and shampoos.

Should I Wear Facial Hair?

man with beard and glassesShort answer: if you feel like it, absolutely! Well-kept beards accent a man’s jawline handsomely while giving him a more mature appearance. The operative phrase here, of course, is “well-kept.” If your facial hair is perpetually uncombed, untrimmed, and scraggly, you’ll hinder the impact your image can make.

With that said, there are some professions that take kindly to less-than-perfectly-maintained facial hair. Artists (including graphic designers), musicians, freelancers, and other creatives can generally get away with a more lax beard grooming schedule.

As always, use your best judgement when making decisions about how your image will be perceived. Enlisting the help of an image consultant is, of course, a smart move to make. You can also read our post about suggested beard styles for your face shape to get started on your journey to bearded guy-dom.

In Conclusion

A beard can make or break your appearance, and a proper grooming regimen is key to making it work for you. Give us a call at 215-253-5905 or send us a note at info@henrydavidsen.com to start managing your image with intention.

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