Whether it’s a no-shave-seasonal challenge that’s inspired you, or you’re simply ready to rev up your masculinity, growing a beard for the first time is exciting… and it can also be exasperating if you’re not prepared. These five simple tips for becoming bearded will ease you through the transition.
- Anticipate the Ugly Duckling Stage
There’s no avoiding it: very few beards grow in evenly and consistently, which means you’re going to be sporting a patchy, spotty visage for a period of time. Don’t be discouraged! Beards are not simply grown, they are earned, and this ugly duckling stage is but the precursor to even greater bearded glory!
Plus, the least appealing part of this stage only takes a little over a week to pass for most new beard bros. If you’re too bothered or the growth is exceptionally uneven, consider clipping the faster growing patches down to stubble length until the rest of your face gets on board with the beard.
- Resist the Itch
The evolving landscape of your face is going to be nearly irresistible to touch—and not just to constantly check your progress. If you’re a first time beard grower, you’re going to go through a few stages of itchiness. Resist the itch! First, it’s not good for your skin to be constantly touching your face throughout the day. Rubbing and scratching might seem like they help to ease the irritation but they really only add to it. Your skin needs TLC not abuse—more about that in our next tip.
Oh, and don’t get too enthusiastic about trying to shape your beard or clean up its lines early on. You’ll want to have a good, solid idea of your natural beard shape and fullness before you do that. Thirty days or so should give you a good idea of what you’re working with.
- Grease Your Gears
There is something you can do for the itching, and for your skin that will help soothe the transition: moisturize your skin and beard. Moisturizing won’t just help your skin feel better. It’ll also benefit your beard growth. A well-conditioned beard helps you avoid dandruff and dry beard growth, which in turn can help prevent split ends that lead to breakage. Less breakage will mean a fuller beard faster.
- Remember Your Hygiene Routine
Speaking of skin hygiene, don’t forget that most basic of skin routines: washing up! For many men, washing their face has become part of their shaving routine. If that’s the case with you, then don’t forget that not-shaving doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be washing. Clean skin is healthier skin, and that means a healthier beard.
- Style Those Strands
Once you’ve got several weeks’ growth in and you have a solid idea of how your beard is shaping up, it’s time to give it some shape. Check out various styles and choose one that suits both the shape of your face and your beard itself. There are plenty of options out there—do some exploring before you start shaping!