You’ve probably noticed in recent years that beards are back. In a big way. But this time, they’re different.
Gone are the unruly facial decorations of the 20th century. The 21st century beard is a more modern affair. Sculpted. Immaculate. Luscious, even.
But maintaining such pristine facial hair ain’t a walk in the park. Effective beard grooming requires two things: the right knowledge and the right tools.
In this guide you’ll find all the beard grooming tips you need to turn heads, wherever you go.
Cleaning Your Beard
The most important step in maintaining an impressive beard is keeping it clean. Nobody wants to see morsels of last night’s dinner in there, right? Not to mention the potential build up of dirt, dust and dead skin. No thanks.
So a regular and effective cleaning regimen is a non-negotiable. Here’s how:
Step 1 – Wash with shampoo
Wet your beard hair with water and then apply beard shampoo. Gently work into a lather and rinse off with water. Make sure to use a specially formulated beard shampoo, which will be gentler on your skin than standard shampoo. This is important because the skin on your face tends to be more sensitive than your scalp.
Step 2 – Apply Conditioner
After rinsing off the beard shampoo, apply conditioner to your beard. Leave the conditioner on your hair for around 5 minutes before rinsing with water. Again, you should use a specially formulated beard conditioner. These conditioners are designed for the coarser, more wiry beard hair. They will also moisturise the skin under your beard.
Step 3 – Brush your beard
Once the conditioner is completely rinsed off it is a good idea to brush your beard with a beard brush while the hair is still damp. This will ensure that you avoid any troublesome knots forming.
Step 4 – Repeat the process regularly
While you should wash your beard regularly, be careful not wash it too frequently. Overwashing can dry out both your beard and the skin underneath. The facial oils that you naturally produce are useful for moisture retention and shouldn’t be stripped away unnecessarily. For most people, washing their beard two or three times a week works well. But everyone’s different, so you’ll need to experiment to find your own sweet spot.
Beard oil is a must if you want to maintain a healthy and well-groomed beard. There’s a wide range of different oils on the market, but the main idea of them all is to keep your beard and skin well moisturised and manageable.
Without beard oil in your beard grooming regimen, you may find hair becoming brittle and wiry. Along with dry skin this can lead to a bit of an itchy and scratchy nightmare. That pesky dry skin can even lead to flaky “beard dandruff” which nobody wants to see.
Beard oil solves those problems as it easily seeps through the hair and nourishes the skin, unlike regular moisturisers which can end up making a goopy mess.
Choosing the right beard oil
There are a few things you need to consider to make sure you find the perfect beard oil. Of course, everybody’s different, so this will take some experimentation. But the most obvious thing you need to think about is the length of your beard. For shorter stubble you might want to consider oils that contain vitamins E and K which will moisturise and soothe the dry and itchy skin associated with this stage of growth.
Longer beards may need heavier oils to keep the hair under control and in the desired style.You’ll also want to think about the type of beard hair you have. What works on coarse, wiry hair most likely won’t be a good fit for someone with soft, supple growth.
Applying the beard oil
With beard oil, less is more. You only need 3 or 4 drops of oil for each application.
- Put these drops in the palm of your hand and lightly rub your hands together.
- Now run your hands down through your beard hair, spreading the oil evenly throughout. You can use your fingers and thumbs to make sure your moustache doesn’t miss out, too.
- You might want to finish off by lightly combing through your beard to make sure the oil is evenly distributed.
How often should you use beard oil?
Again, this is down to personal preference, but most guys will apply oil to their beard at least once a day. That should be enough to keep your beard looking on point and your skin feeling healthy and well moisturised.
Another product available to the modern beard owner is beard balm. You might be wondering: how’s that different from beard oil? Well, like beard oil, beard balm moisturises your skin and helps to keep your beard soft and in shape. But there is a difference:
Who should use beard balm?
Beard balm is thicker in texture than beard oil. That means it takes longer to absorb, but it consequently gives deeper moisturising and nourishing benefits. Therefore, beard balm should be your go-to if you have particularly dry and sensitive skin. That thicker viscosity also makes balm a good option for those with longer, more unruly beards as it gives extra control for styling.
How to use beard balm
It’s a bit like styling wax or clay for your regular hair. Take a pea-sized amount on your finger and then rub it together between your fingers. Next, apply the balm through your beard, making sure it spreads evenly. Now style your beard just how you like it. You can use beard balm every day to keep those facial follicles looking sharp.
Using the right beard tools
Along with the right nourishment, you also need the right tools when considering how to groom your beard. Here are some of the most important weapons in the modern beardsman’s arsenal:
This piece of kit is essential for managing wiry, tangled hair. It’s also a godsend for working beard oil and other products into your beard.
When you need to add a bit more precision to your beard grooming, the beard comb does the business. Perfect for achieving that sharp, chiselled look.
You’ll never have a hair out of place if you can learn to use your own beard scissors. Get precise and get exactly the style you’re looking for.
For quicker, more even trims these are a trusty tool. Just make sure you know how to use them, though. One slip can have pretty severe consequences for your precious facial hair!
Styling your beard
When you’re thinking about how to groom a beard, the first thing you need is patience. Your beard needs to be at the right length before you even think about picking up those scissors. But once you get to that stage, here are some top beard grooming tips.
Consider the shape of your face
Take time to think about what style of beard will work best for your features. If you’re unsure, consult your barber. They’ll be able to point you in the right direction.
Keep it tidy
If you want to keep growing your beard out further, make sure you trim regularly to keep it looking shipshape in the meantime. Failure to keep in top of this will lead to a frayed and scruffy look.
Be conservative, at least at first
If you’re pruning your own beard, remember the old adage: measure twice, cut once. You can always trim off more, but when it comes to growing it back…that’s gonna take a while!
Easy peasy everyday beard grooming tips
Using the information in this guide on how to groom a beard, you should be able to take your beard game to the next level. A reminder, here are the key takeaways:
Keep your beard clean
Regular washing with beard shampoo will keep your beard looking and feeling fresh.
Nourish with beard oil or balm
Give your follicles a daily dose of goodness to keep your beard and skin well moisturised.
Find the right style
Keep on top of your beard grooming with regular pruning and trimming. Find the right style for your face and enjoy looking like a million dollars.