Beard grooming whilst growing it out
No one can deny that beards look good. A well groomed, well maintained beard can set off any man’s look, making him seem more ruggedly attractive, more masculine, even more imposing and dominating, (if that’s your thing.)
But if you’re the proud owner of a strong and powerful beard, you probably went through that painful growing phase where your beard was that awkward length, so that nothing you did looked or felt right.
It’s a weird fact of life that sometimes you have to do the most counter intuitive thing in order to see progress. And in this case, even though you’re trying to grow a beard thick and long enough to make lumberjacks blush, you still need to trim and manage it.
And yes, sometimes that means taking off a little length.
See, despite what a lot of people might think, growing a beard to be proud of isn’t as simple as putting away the razor. Even when your goal is length, you still have to trim and groom your beard. So read on to find out when, how and why you should groom your beard, whilst you’re growing it out.
First steps: What shape is your head
According to the experts, your beard should aim to make your head look as oval as possible.
What this means is that if you’ve got a relatively narrow face, feel free to grow your beard out, adding width to your narrow features.
But if you’re got a wide jaw, or a solid, square face, don’t focus so much on the sides. You should be looking to bring the sides in, and add length to your face.
Second: What tools are you going to need?
If you’re looking at maintaining your beard, there’s a few tools that make the whole process a damn sight easier. You might already have some or all of these, but don’t worry if you don’t. We’ll go into why these are useful later on.
- Beard oil
- Beard brush or comb
- Beard wash and conditioner
- A beard trimmer; or
- Beard scissors
Shorter beards and stubble
The earlier you start grooming your beard, the easier it’s going to be to maintain it. If you start up a regular routine, maybe once a week, where you trim your stubble down and keep it all the same length, as well as treat your beard with a good beard product, you’ll definitely notice the difference in the coming weeks.
If this is the first time you’ve grown a beard, then you might be surprised by how hot and itchy your face can feel once you start getting a little bit of length to it.
This is entirely natural. It only tends to last a couple of weeks, and there’s simple ways you can mitigate it and get through this period as quickly as possible.
Beard Grooming for a short beard
Right now, your beard barely needs maintenance. It’s still growing out after all.
Take a look at your face, and see if any of your beard or mustache hair grows longer than the rest of it. Some men tend to have overgrown cheeklines, or throat areas. Right now, you might get away with leaving it to grow, but you’ll want to pay close attention to it in the coming weeks.
You might also want to trim back errant hairs that grow past your natural hair line. I know from personal experience that I grow small clusters of hairs above my cheekbones. Back when I shaved regularly, they didn’t get long enough to see, but now that I’ve grown out my beard, it’s something I have to keep on top of.
Feel free to deal with these in any way you normally would. Trim them back with a razor or trimmer, scissor them down. Even consider plucking them, if you can hack it.
Whilst you might not need too much grooming right now, you should definitely start treating your beard with a good beard product.
At the very least, I’d recommend a beard oil, and as your beard gets longer, you might want to think about picking up a dedicated beard wash, too.
A good beard oil will replace the natural skin oils lost when you’re growing your beard, stopping your skin from drying out, helping to prevent that itch you’re feeling right now.
Beard oils also stop your skin from flaking, which, left untamed, can lead to long term problems like beardruff, or beard dandruff, as well as keeping the hairs of your beard and mustache soft, supple and flexible.
We’d recommend starting with beard oil as early as a week or two after stopping shaving.
Grooming medium length beards
You’ve been growing your beard for at least a month now. There’s a healthy crop of fuzz gracing your face, and you’re starting to take serious considerations about how to get this under control.
Luckily for you, it’s relatively simple, once you know how.
You’re going to need one of two things;
- Beard scissors and a beard comb, or
- A beard trimmer, with adjustable length settings
And before you start, one major tip.
Start long, and trim down
Don’t, whatever you do, start trimming low, without knowing exactly what it’s going to look like.
I know people who have made this exact mistake, and it’s not pretty.
After all, it’s far simpler to go back over your beard and take off another couple millimetres of hair, rather than shaving off too much and trying to grow it back with sheer willpower.
As for the beard itself, grooming it is relatively simple. Either set the trimmer and go over it like you normally would, or use your beard comb and raise up individual areas a piece at a time, scissoring it down gradually whilst trying to maintain an even and measured length.
There are two areas that might need special consideration, however. Areas where you might want to trim it back to bare skin again, and if you make a mistake, it can majorly affect the overall look of your face. These are the areas above your cheek line, and below your jaw and neck line.
Luckily, there’s a pair of simple fixes you can use to know exactly where you should trim these, for maximum effectiveness.
The cheek line
When you’re shaving your cheek line, it’s easy to shave too low, and leave yourself looking a little bare and bereft. Avoiding this is simple. Draw an imaginary, straight line from the bottom of your earlobe to the area just below your nose. Shave everything above this line, and you’ll look sharp, without looking stupid.
The neck line
You need to groom your neckline, especially if you’re one of the men for whom their neck beard grows slightly faster than the rest of their beard.
Trimming your neckline is a little harder than trimming your cheekline, but there’s a simple method you can follow.
Face square into the mirror, and look at yourself straight on.
Take your hand, and place two fingers above your adam’s apple. This is the midpoint of your neckline.
Draw a line from the bottom of both of your ears, meeting in the middle at the point above your adam’s apple.
Shave everything below this line. You can trim upwards afterwards if you need to.
Remember to keep up your beard grooming routine
You should already be using beard oil as part of your daily care routine, but now that your beard is getting a little longer, it might be worth integrating a beard wash into your life.
For the uninitiated, most regular shampoos are actually antithetical to a solid beard growth, drying out the skin and actively working against a strong and healthy beard.
On the other hand, beard shampoos are specifically designed to work with your beard, cleaning out your beard without drying it out or attacking the skin around it.
If you’ve never used a beard shampoo before, a great starting guide can be found here.
Grooming a longer beard
You’re a few months in, and your beard is looking fine. You’re probably getting the hang of this by now, with a concrete routine that you’re sticking with, and a thick, manly beard that you’re suitably proud of.
You’re not going to have to do anything different, just because your beard is longer. It’s simply more of the same. So, just to refresh, here’s the routine you should have.
- Treat your beard every day with a good beard oil, to soften and maintain it.
- Now that your beard is longer, it can be worth regularly brushing it with a good beard brush or comb. Standard brushes can work, but beard brushes tend to have wide teeth and hypoallergenic materials, so they’re far better for your beard.
- Wash your beard two or three times per week with a dedicated beard wash or beard conditioner.
- Trim your beard down every week or two, focusing on maintaining an even length and trimming back any straggly or snarled hairs.
Whether you’re still an apprentice stubble warrior, or you’re rocking the full length, as long as you follow our simple guide, you’re guaranteed to end up with the beard you want.
All you need is a few minutes a day to maintain your beard, and once you’ve got the hang of it, it’s a process that you’re going to be able to get into, and maybe even enjoy.
Remember, as long as you’ve got a quality beard oil, the more love and care you lavish on your beard, the better it’s going to look. Now get out there and grow the beard you were born to rock.