Well, guys, here we are in the first week of November, and you’ve probably heard talk of Movember, No-Shave November and various other organizations or movements dedicated to cancer prevention and education, as well as mental health causes.
Whether you’re supporting one of these worthy movements or are just looking for a reason to become a beardsman, read on for some grooming and maintenance tips to keep your facial hair and/or beard the envy of your fellow fellas.
You might be new to the beard game or maybe have experimented with variations of facial hair just to see how it would look – in either case, there are some basic guidelines a man must follow in order to maintain a great-looking beard.
Depending on the length of your mustache, beard or facial hair, you might need to wash it differently than you would the hair on your head. Facial hair is a much different texture and can be wiry, curly and overall unkempt-looking when it starts growing out.
If you’re just starting to grow out the length, you might be using a face wash or even a regular shampoo for your facial hair. For longer beards, though, you’ll probably want to switch to a specialty beard-specific wash formulated to maintain moisture and add some extra shine.
The ladies are already in on this secret of maintaining gorgeous, healthy hair: don’t wash it every day. Washing hair too frequently can dry it out and cause itchiness and flakes, and that’s exactly the opposite of what you want. Wash your beard and facial hair regularly as food, grime and skin cells can accumulate, but shoot for a max of two to three times per week.
Another pro tip? Rinse your beard with cold water after washing. Warm water opens up the hair cuticle, leaving it more prone to damage, but a cold water rinse will help close the cuticle and leave your facial hair looking smoother and more polished.
If you’re already in the habit of using conditioner on your hair after washing, then go ahead and include your facial hair on the moisture boost while you’re in the shower. Otherwise, not to worry, there are other products to keep your mustache and beard conditioned.
For shorter beards and mustaches, a good quality beard oil will suffice to add moisture, reduce fuzziness and soften up your facial hair. If a polished stubble is all you’re seeking from your facial hair, then you’re probably covered with just a beard oil. Longer beards need oil, too, but may also require additional products (keep reading).
Apply your beard oil to damp, towel-dried facial hair – ideally after showering, when your skin and hair is at its cleanest. Make sure to work the oil into the skin under your beard as well, not just the hair.
Beard oil can also help protect the hair if you’re planning to use a blow dryer.
If you’ve committed to bearded life, at some point, you may consider using a blow dryer to help style your yeard.
First off, don’t try to blow dry soaking wet facial hair. Make sure you’ve towel-dried the hair by gently patting, not rubbing the hair, as that can cause unwanted frizz.
Then, grab a blow dryer nozzle to concentrate the air and heat on smaller portions of your beard rather than trying to dry it all at once. Hold the dryer high with one hand and smooth the hair down with a comb or brush, in a downward motion while drying.
Brushing and Styling
Brush your beard daily to help soften it and distribute your skin’s natural oils (and beard oil products) evenly. Using a boar bristle beard brush will help wrangle the beard hair and train it to grow downward.
As your beard develops into full lumberjack mode, you might find that a brush just isn’t doing it for you anymore. You might also need a beard/mustache comb, and additional styling products like beard balm, mustache wax or styling cream to maintain smoothness or combat unruliness. With the plethora of styling and facial hair care products available, you’re bound to find one you absolutely love.
Whether you’re growing an over-the-lip mustache (it’s certainly not for everyone), a more manicured “mo” or a full-on beard, you’ll definitely need regular trimming, as some hairs can grow faster than others.
Trim stray mustache hairs with grooming scissors – they tend to be more precise than electric trimmers. Mustaches may require trimming every 2-3 days whereas a beard probably won’t require it as often.
You’ll also need to consider your neckline. If you’re going for the mountain-man look, you may just let your neck hair roam free – but we’d strongly recommend cleaning up your neckline with a single blade razor for better shaping and reduced razor burn. Also, decide whether you want a sharp edge between your beard and neck, or if you’d rather fade the neckline into the length of the beard for a less-pronounced contrast between bare skin and beard.
If you’re unsure how to achieve the right beard shape or where exactly to trim your neckline, just stop by your local Fantastic Sams for some stylist TLC.
Growing out your facial hair can be a daunting task to some men, and a thrilling adventure for others. However you choose to grow it, style it and maintain it, be sure to remember these grooming tips to look your best.
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