Growing a yeard can seem like a good idea at the start. As the growth starts, things are pretty easy going - a bit of oil here and there and you're good to go. But as the hair keeps on growing, things can get a little itchy and wild and this is usually when many give up on their dream of a yeard.
I was in this very situation a few months ago. I had set myself a goal of growing a full yeard (12 months of uninterrupted growth) but when I was 9 months in I was starting to struggle with the wild beast on my face. The skin beneath my beard was getting itchy and the only way I could enjoy a burger in public was with the help of a knife and fork. So it had me thinking - was the yeard really for me?
I'm proud to say I stuck with it for the next 3 months (and beyond) by making a few changes to my usual beard care routine and man am I pleased that I did. I was SO close to heading down to the barbers for a full shave. If I had I'm sure that I would have started getting ID'd at the bottle shop. Ok, probably not! But my kids would've wondered who this strange man was when I got home, my wife would have avoided me until I at least grew back a bit of stubble, and well, I just wouldn't have felt like myself.
Here are a few tips that helped me along the way, and I hope will help you too on your journey for a yeard:
- Prep the surface and take care of the skin beneath. We often overlook this important step in the initial growth stage, but it's so important to prep the skin prior to and in the early stages of growth. By not properly prepping the surface, you're more likely to get increased itch and beardruff a few months in. So in the lead up to your growth, you should exfoliate and cleanse your skin daily in order to remove dead skin cells from your face. Follow with a quality beard oil (even if the growth hasn't yet started). For more info on beardruff, check out this blog.
- If you get the urge to shave, wait a few weeks! You don't want to make any rash decisions here - once it's gone, it can't be stuck back on. If it helps, look back at some photos of you pre-bearded. I guarantee the urge to shave will diminish.
- Have fun with your beard products. This is a great time to have fun with your beard - invest in some new beard products. A moustache wax will help to stop you getting a mouthful of hairs every time you open your mouth. Try using a few different scented beard oils / beard balms and make sure you're using a quality beard brush.
- Wash your beard, but not too much. We don't recommend washing your beard too often. In fact, once or twice a week should suffice. Some beard products suggest more regular washing, but from experience this can often dry out your beard hairs and skin beneath. Also, make sure you're using a quality beard wash and not a normal hair shampoo. You beard hairs and head hairs are not created equal.
- It's ok to trim that bad boy. I guess it depends what you read and who you talk to. But I very quickly realised that growing a yeard didn't mean I couldn't and should maintain my beard along the way. Depending on how much growth you have, sometimes it's just not practical to not main it at all. I'm lucky to be able to grow a full beard - but with that comes strays and long mo hairs. I found that after I trimmed my mo hairs, life (eating) became so much easier. I had forgotten what food tasted like without the addition of hairs in my mouth. With the help of our loyal beardsman, we've collated a list of barbers who have been recommended for trimming beards. But if you're going to trim it yourself, make sure you use quality beard scissors to avoid getting split ends.
So here's to the yeard, and to letting your beard be free to find its greatest potential. All beards deserve that.