What do Abraham Lincoln, Mr.-T, and Chuck Norris all have in common? All three men can grow outlandishly impressive beards.
I’ve marveled at the manly men in my life sporting their full faces of whiskers for years. It wasn’t until recently that I took the plunge into committing myself to living life as a bearded man. Now that I have my own ruggedly handsome beard to display, I can safely say that I won’t be returning to clean-shaven life anytime soon.
Interested in entering into the ranks of bearded-man status? I’ve got the details on what you need to know about what it’s like to grow, groom, and live with your future beard.
Growing a Beard
Sorry guys, but contrary to popular belief, growing a beard doesn’t mean that you get to completely throw away your razors and abandon your grooming regimen.
Beards Need Maintenance Too
Luckily, you won’t be spending as shaving as you did before you had a beard, but there is certainly some maintenance that needs to take place. I’ll give you some beard grooming tips later on, but keeping your beard conditioned is a must. Keeping your beard clean and soft is important too. Beard shampoo is a real thing, and it is worth investing in. Get ready to shell out some cash on shampoos and conditioning oils that are dedicated to keeping your facial hair healthy and soft. You and your significant other can thank me later for this little piece of advice.
It’s a Journey
Unfortunately, after deciding it’s time to give growing a beard a try, most of us can’t just wake up and look like Paul Bunyan right away. Achieving a face full of manly whiskers takes time.
Whether you’re just looking to get some masculine stubble or are dreaming of a , there is going to be some awkward stages along the way. While your whiskers fill in, your beard may not appear too appealing, but give it some time.
Try not to get disappointed if you have a hard time growing the beard of your dreams. Genetics plays a huge role in hair growth, so it’s normal to have some patches that don’t fill in as much as you’d like.
Growing out your beard is also going to itch. A lot. The first couple of weeks during your beard-growing journey might be a struggle. Not only is your facial hair probably going to look shaggy and neglected, but anticipate feeling the urge to scratch your face a ton as your stubble grows.
Eventually, the pointy edges of your whiskers will grow out enough that you won’t feel them rubbing against your skin, but it takes some time. Be patient–this too shall pass.
Living with a Beard
Having a beard is life changing. Not only does it have health benefits, but it also influences the way other people view you, as time goes by and that beard grows on you you’ll view yourself differently as well and probably in a good way.
Protecting your skin from damaging UV rays, keeping your face moisturized, serving as a germ filter—these are just a few of the health benefits that come along with the bearded lifestyle.
There’s a chance you won’t be aware of the health advantages associated with having a beard on a daily basis, but you’ll certainly notice the social effects pretty much every day.
No doubt about it, having facial hair will make you feel manlier. Beards have been a sign of masculinity dating back to prehistoric times, so it’s only natural that your beard is going to boost up your sense of sophistication and bravado.
You might not have realized it before, but once you have a beard, you’ll almost instantly feel part of a group. There’s an unspoken bond between men with facial hair. We have respect and understanding for one another. You’ll see what I mean once you begin living life as a bearded man.
It’s also important to point out that when you have a long, thick beard, you should anticipate hearing a ton of comments about it. Oddly, enough, the majority of compliments you’ll receive will probably be from other men. As a guy, it’s hard to see a lengthy, well-groomed beard and not say something about it—those majestic whiskers no doubt take a lot of time, hard work, and dedication.
For better or for worse, having facial hair changes the way that people look at you. On a positive note, a number of studies indicate that women naturally find men with beards more attractive than their clean-shaven counterparts. Other reports even suggest that men with some face fuzz tend to have a higher sense of confidence.
The human brain perceives men with beards as having a heightened sense of aggression, though. For a lot of us who are as lovable as a teddy bear, this can be a negative drawback, but if you happen to work as a bouncer or security guard, this might be all the more reason to start growing out your facial hair.
Beard Grooming Routine
Plain and simple, you need to put some effort into keeping your beard groomed and presentable or else it’s just going to look bad. All of those benefits we talked about in the last section? You can forget about them if you’re sporting facial hair that resembles Tom Hanks in Cast Away.
Don’t be too afraid, though, beard maintenance isn’t as bad as it may seem. Here’s a quick breakdown of typical grooming routines:
Washing the Beard
Wash your beard the same way you wash your hair on your head. It’s important to keep your beard clean from food particles, dust and dead skin cells. I recommend washing your beard 1-2 times a week, more than that will usually just dry out your skin. I recommend or soap made from natural ingredients only.
Use an Oil or Balm
You should get in the habit of conditioning your beard. Beard Oils and balms are the most important products for your beard. They moisturize, hydrate and nurture your skin and beard. This step is crucial for keeping your beard looking and feeling soft and healthy. As an added bonus, most conditioning products also smell great too.
A quick short note about the difference between beard oils and balms. Beard oils are best for moisturizing and hydrating your skin, while beard balms are great for conditioning and styling your beard.
Brush Your Beard
Using a beard comb or brush helps to spread the conditioning oils through your facial hair, and helps entirely coat the hair follicle with the oil and balm. Brushing also helps to train your whiskers to grow in one, uniform direction. Never use a cheap plastic comb, these will do more harm than good.
Styling & Trimming
You don’t need to style and trim every day, but sometimes your beard needs a little extra love and care. Just a quick comb through and a blast of heat from a hair dryer can really help your whiskers to hold a clean and presentable shape.
Trimming needs will depend on your facial hair length. Generally speaking, though, you’ll want to trim up your whiskers every 1-2 weeks. There are some fantastic beard trimmers on the market that come with changeable trimming heads so that you can properly adjust lengths to fit the needs of whichever part of your face you’re working on. And of course, don’t forget the cheek and neck lines, these lines define the borders of your face.