Thinking of growing some hair on your face?
One welcome change of lockdown is that there’s simply no reason to be picking up a razor in the morning. And men around the world are embracing it. Apparently, in the UK, nearly two million more gents have grown beards during the pandemic.
Maybe you’re a bearded newbie. Or maybe you’ve already got a pretty solid beastly beard brewing, but are facing the challenge of multitasking hair on your face with the ever-important face mask when you step out.
Either way, if you want to keep yours – make it presentable, and ensure you’re avoiding skin issues while wearing masks – here’s how.
Give it time
You need to understand that growing a beard takes time. You might have a mate who can grow a big hairy ball of fluff in what seems like a few days; but for most, growing a beard is a commitment.
You’ll most likely find it takes about 4-6 weeks for your beard to really take off. So, put down that old shaver, and resist the urge to shape or groom for as long as possible. The first week will be the hardest - you might get random stubble and beardruff.
Hang in there.
As the old saying goes, “This too shall pass”.
Manage the itch
During those those first few weeks of growth, that sh*t is going to get itchy as F*@$!
This is because the tips of your beard hairs were shaved relatively recently and have sharp edges to them. Just know that the itch will get less and less, and more so, through the application of a quality beard oil.
Beard oil will help to soften the hair, making it less scratchy. It will also provide a thin layer of lubrication between the skin and beard, reducing the friction that causes itch.
As the hair gets longer you can also comb the beard a couple of times to ensure those oils get right in there, which can help with the dreaded Beardruff.
Wash it, for the love of all things good
Beards are like spider webs. You’ll find all sorts of things get caught up in there…. especially after a meal. And especially if you have kids.
Washing the beard with a quality beard wash is an important part of the beard care routine, though it’s important to know that both under-washing and over-washing can cause your beard to become dry and flaky, even if you’re using quality products.
So we recommend that you wash it once or twice a week and increase or decrease from there as required.
Beard washes are particularly useful for those with longer beards; tradies and those who work around dust and other small particles; or beardsmen with dry, sensitive skin.
Comb or brush
When your beard grows out for the first time, hairs will grow in all directions.
And what's worse, hairs can start growing back into the face causing irritations and ingrown hairs, and even beard pimples.
You can also use a brush to exfoliate the skin beneath your beard.
Combing after you’ve applied a grooming product is also a great tip.
“You can kind of train the hair to move the way you want it to move, and it will look well kept,” said Jeremy Heiser, a training and education executive for the skin care brand Kiehl’s who has had his beard for years. “You don’t have to have this crazy Santa Claus beard.”
A beard needs to be kept in check. And if you’re not careful here, your neckbeard can look like a bunch of weeds overtaking your vegetable plot face. The same goes for stray beard lines that lack definition.
You’ll want to ensure you’re trimming your neckline just above your Adam's Apple and use scissors to trim stray beard hairs that grow longer than others.
Always shave the neckline and cheek lines of your beard to define the edges and give your beard intentional shape. Even if you prefer a bushy, boisterous beard (in all its unkempt glory), there is a difference between growing a beard responsibly and simply refusing to groom oneself.
A beard helps give your face definition and dimension, and a clean neckline is always necessary.
Diet & Exercise
The simple rule here is a healthy mind + healthy body = healthy beard.
By focusing on your health (diet and exercise), you’ll increase your chance of growing a healthy thick beard.
Some of the basic things humans need for a healthy immune system (and also to improve testosterone levels to support a big healthy beard) include vitamin D (ideally from some daily exposure to the outdoors), zinc, vitamin C, solid sleep & exercise.
Sure, there are some products on the market that claim to magically increase hair growth tenfold; but these are often full of chemicals that we don't think should be included in cosmetics… And generally are all smoke and mirrors.
By simply focusing on your health you should see some healthy growth coming through.
So #beardon fellas, use this lockdown to focus on your most prized possession: your beard.