Growing and maintaining a beard
How to grow a great beard and keep it looking great. A little secret….use beard oil.
It’s been about five or six years since I’ve been totally clean shaven.
There has been an admittedly embarrassing goatee, the perpetual stubble, and the quite glorious mustache, which made me look like my father to a stunning degree.
But this fall, I let it go. Now my face is big and bushy. And I really didn’t know what I was doing with the thing. It grew in all different directions. It got dry, and I wanted to scratch my face off.
So while working on this story, I decided to learn the best way to grow and maintain a beard from the professionals at Elephant in the Room. Last week, I went to get my beard trimmed by barber E.J. Ghazal and get some tips on beard maintenance from Justin Moore, owner of the men’s grooming shop.
For those looking to grow a beard or for people looking to take control of their existing facial hair, Moore and Ghazal have tips to make the best beard, mustache, goatee or any other facial creation.
PATIENCE AND GOALS
A beard isn’t going to grow overnight. In fact, it can take a couple of months for a full beard to really start to show. Moore said it takes patience. People come in frustrated and want to give up, but Moore tells them to stick with it.
“Ultimately, what’s the goal, you have to ask yourself,” Moore said. “Is it to maintain that length, to grow it out? We’re going to look at that final destination where you’re going.”
CLEAN THE BEARD
Ghazal said a beard should be treated like hair when it comes to cleanliness. It is hair, after all, just not growing on top of your head. Wash and condition regularly. The same stuff used on top of the head can be used on the beard, he said. At least to a certain point. More specialized items are needed to keep the beard itself healthy.
USE BEARD OIL/BALM
The longer the beard, the higher the risk of dry, crackly whiskers. It’s apparent on an unkept beard, but a small amount of oil can give the beard a shine, keep it and your face moisturized, and infuse nutrients that can help the beard keep growing at a good pace.
NO SUDDEN MOVEMENTS
At some point, the beard grower will want to do something to trim parts of the facial hair to achieve a shape or just get the beast under control. Ghazal used a variety of tools to trim my beard, but the key for each one was small precise movements. He took about 30 minutes of looking at the beard from every angle, trimming tiny amounts here and there. After he was done, however, the shape and feel of the beard was different.
“The overall maintenance, don’t do anything too drastic,” Moore said. “Don’t get bored and think you want to hack at it. The minor things like shaving the cheeks or shaving up under the neck can be done at home.”
In those cases, a mirror is a bearded man’s best friend, Ghazal said.