All over the world, men are finding themselves looking in to the mirror and pondering this very same thing. In fact, almost every man considers making this change at some point in his life. After all, a beard is one of those timeless fashion statements, one that will never be uncool and will forever be envied by younger, less mature boys who lack what it takes to pull off a statement as bold as the beard.
- Still thinking about it? There are a dozen or more reasons to consider growing out your bristles.
- Maybe you’re tired of being mistaken for a 20-year old kid?
- Maybe your girlfriend mentioned how much she loves a man with a full, flowing beard?
- Or maybe you just want to stay warm during the cold winter months?
- Whatever the reason, one question remains:What are you waiting for?
Beards are more than just a personal cosmetic choice. For many they are an affirmation of one’s manliness and a rite of passage that most boys spend years waiting for. Quite simply, full, well-nurtured beards are a wondrous thing to behold, not only for the women who love macho men but also for the guys that enjoy being the center of other men’s envy.
While beards are quite popular with both sexes, not everyone can pull them off. However, there is no certain “type” of man best suited for a beard. No, the only thing actually required to pull off the bearded look is the freedom of being comfortable in your own skin. Beards represent unmistakable confidence and everything masculine, and can be seen everywhere from on the faces of lumber jacks and bikers to corporate business men and soccer-coaching fathers. The men who wear them differ, as do their personal styles, but they share a few common factors. They are not afraid of showing their individuality, nor do they shy away from the hard work that is required to grow a beard.
Make the Decision
Once you have made the decision to start growing out your facial hair, you’ve got to be ready to dish out some serious dedication and patience in order to achieve the desired results. Cultivating an awe-worthy beard takes time and devotion, so therefore it should be no surprise that achieving the perfect set of whiskers won’t come easily. Also not a surprise is that the quickest and best way to grow a beard is by throwing out that razor!
Committing at least 4 to 6 weeks to your new venture is a realistic approach, but the time frame will be different for everyone. Be prepared to ignore the cynics and your own recurring bouts of doubt during the awkward first days. The first 2 weeks will be the worst as you juggle spotty patches and an itchy period, but if you stay strong and committed to sticking it out, you’ll be reaping the benefits of your new look sooner than you think.
Another thing to consider before tackling your new look is the final outcome. Do you have a specific beard in mind, or do you wish to simply wing it and be surprised with the outcome? In most circumstances, having a plan is a good place to start. And with all the different styles available to choose from, having a reference will help you in the beard-growing process.
Certain styles, such as the “euro” and “corporate look” and other more conservative styles, will require more frequent grooming and trimming as your beard gets longer. More attention to detail is involved with the conservative beard styles and lengths. Other more casual, unkempt styles and the full, classic beard will require less maintenance once you’ve gotten past the initial growing-out phase.
What you will need
Before you begin, you will need a couple of essentials. It is best to have these items at your disposal before you start allowing your beard to grow:
- A moisturizing beard oil – try to avoid oils that contain alcohol to avoid over-drying the skin.
- Scruff softener
- Natural, irritant-free bar of soap
- Razor or electric clippers
- A reference – having a specific beard style in mind to use as an example is a good idea
- Biotin – while not required, daily doses of 2.5mg of Biotin have been shown to promote hair growth
- Dandruff shampoo, if needed
Now that you have everything you need, it is time to get started. I will tell you step-by-step how to grow a beard. Simply follow the outlined directions below in the order they appear for maximum results.
- Don’t shave. It seems obvious but now that you’ve decided to grow out your beard, resist the urge to shave. If possible, begin this process at the start of a vacation or long weekend.
- Resist trimming and shaping. During this initial stubble phase, which usually lasts 1-3 days, your beard is growing at different rates in different areas so right now it is difficult to determine where it will fill in naturally and where it won’t. Be patient and put down the clippers.
- Apply scruff softener. This is a great product designed with your comfort in mind. During the initial 1-3 day stubble phase, apply a scruff softener such as Soft Goat Scruff softener to keep stubble soft and make your face more kissable.
- Moisturize daily. During the first 2 weeks of itchy stubble, apply a beard moisturizing oil to keep skin soft and hydrated.
- Wash face with an irritant-free natural bar of soap during this initial 1-3 day phase instead of standard shampoo.
- Once past the 2-week long itchy phase, use clippers to trim untidy areas on your face such as your neck and upper cheeks and scissors to trim the hairs above your top lip. Skip this step if you are going for the yeard, or natural beard. If you can tough it out and wait a month to trim, do so, as this is the stage where most men over-trim and end up shaving off their beards entirely.
- Trim your beard once a minimum of 2 weeks has passed. Be careful to not over-cut. Again, skip trimming your beard if you are aiming for a natural beard, as an unkempt look is the goal.
- As your beard continues to grow, remember to moisturize with beard oil and rinse 2 or 3 times weekly with dandruff shampoo if skin becomes itchy or scaly.
- After 4 to 6 weeks, you should have an idea of what your beard will look like. Trim according to your style preference.
You’re Almost There
If you’ve made it past the 6-week mark, go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back. Sticking it out through the annoying itchy phase is no easy feat, but you’ve done it. Many men give up when they can no longer take the incessant need to scratch their face at all times, and even more drop out of the race when they accidentally over-trim when their facial hair first starts to come in. This is a major reason that waiting a month to trim if possible is highly suggested.
Now that you’ve put in the time and effort to growing the perfect beard, it may be time to re-assess your look. Are you satisfied with your results? Does reality meet the expectations you started with? One thing to remember is that all men are unique and the ability to grow a beard is different for each individual.
After 6 weeks, some men will have a full beard accomplished with little to no struggle, while others may still be dealing with spotty, uneven patches of hair instead of the epic mountain-man beard they had envisioned. Regardless of the results, don’t give up on your beard if it is something you still want. Though it doesn’t yet live up to the idea in your mind, you can still have the beard of your dreams if you stay persistent a while longer.
Additionally, you may find yourself with a full beard that doesn’t satisfy you. Even if you grew the perfect beard, you may come to find that you prefer your face clean shaven. If this is the case, there is no shame in shaving it off and starting fresh.
If you prefer a full, more natural beard, continue to grow hair for 2 or 3 months or longer as desired. After this amount of time has passed, you might start to notice surprising changes in the texture or movement of your hair. Hair that was once straight and sleek may now suddenly be curly or wavy or even unruly. This is a natural occurrence and should be taken as a sign of success. Congratulations! You have achieved the classic, full-length beard so often sought after.
No matter what length beard you choose, just be sure to keep up with healthy grooming habits. You will want to wash your beard once weekly or as needed in addition to a daily rinsing and moisturizing. Also, it is not time to find a barber that you trust to assist you with your future grooming needs.
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Last update on 2017-02-24 at 15:17 / - Links / Images from Amazon
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