Growing a good beard is a matter of method. It’s not enough to stop shaving, you have to make a deliberate effort to style, make choices, and put in the time. This step-by-step guide could be a very good start.
1-Start by determining your own beard style
A man may be clear that he wants to grow a beard, but what kind of beard? There are so many styles that it is difficult to choose the one that best suits your personality, physiognomy, and style. When in doubt, the best solution may be to put yourself in the hands of an expert: “A good beard grooming always starts with a conversation between the barber and the client,” says Quique Carballo, owner of The Hair Men’s Club salon. In Carballo’s opinion, the first step would be to study the lines, volume, and shapes of the face, which among stylists is known as visagism. From there, a proposal could be made and agreed with the client, who is ultimately the one who must decide what fits and what doesn’t fit his or her personal style.
2-Or, when in doubt, follow the dictates of fashion.
This would be plan B, to be applied in case the previous one does not give the desired results. For those who like to follow the dictates of fashion, Juanjo Ruzafa, manager of Ruzafa Barber, recommends the so-called beardstache: “It’s the new trend for this season. Beards that last several days, with a certain look of studied scruffiness and more bushy mustaches”. Examples? Pablo Alborán, James Franco or David Beckham. Ruzafa considers that “the beard is the ideal complement, either to our hairstyle or our way of dressing, to define a style”. In his opinion, we are living in a time in which all types of beards have a place, “from the perfectly unkempt to the polished and pristine look, but always, if possible, under the supervision of a professional”.
3-One barbershop visit is not enough
You have to persevere. A truly stylish beard is not achieved in a day. “It is necessary to define the beard as it grows so that we can get the contours well marked and choose the style that best suits the client’s tastes,” advises Giovanni Galiza, an international barber at Acqua di Parma. Carballo puts the deadlines: “The ideal would be to go to the barbershop every 15 days to have a good maintenance”. According to Treatwell, the app for booking beauty appointments online, we are a long way from meeting these deadlines. Despite the trend for beards, barbershop treatments only account for 6% of men’s treatment bookings, far less than, for example, haircuts (65%) or male waxing (27%).
4-At home, use quality accessories
The same professional who designed our beard can give us the instructions we need for its maintenance at home. To do this, it is important to use the right tools that protect and care for the skin. Giovanni Galiza suggests applying the foam with a brush: “Using the brush, the hair softens and works in greater depth, thus achieving an optimal condition so that shaving is much easier and less aggressive with the skin”. By acting in this way, he adds, the possibility of opening the pore and causing small wounds is greatly reduced. “The clippers or razors give us a uniform measure and it is a good way to maintain the length if we pass it weekly,” recommends Juanjo Ruzafa. But you have to be careful: “making a mistake with the numbers on the razor is more common than we think, and we can end up leaving the beard shorter than we really want,” warns Quique Carballo.
5-Mark your own red lines
Even the wildest beard should have boundaries. The neck, ears, and lips are natural boundaries that should be carefully considered. Experts offer advice on how to get it right. “The mustache should not go beyond the lip, we must avoid hygiene problems and that the hair creates problems to eat,” says Juanjo, who also recommends shaving the central part of our neck about two or three centimeters above the walnut and leave lower the contours of the jaw: “This way, we will better fit our beards hiding the annoying double chin. He advises doing all this with a transparent shaving gel that allows us to see where we are passing the razor. And he warns that one of the common mistakes when grooming our beards at home is that “as the hair grows, we lose the finishing lines and perimeter”.
6-Don’t forget to wash it twice a day
Although not everyone does it, it’s a good idea to use specific beard soaps and gels. “Beard hair is much more delicate, just like the skin on the face, so it’s very important to use products that are suitable for both hair and face,” says Quique Carballo. Giovanni adds that not using them is one of the most common mistakes we make at home: “When unsuitable products are used, the skin can become irritated, forming eczema and creating a feeling of discomfort that can be fixed simply by choosing the right shampoo”. Aqua de Parma’s international barber considers cleanliness a basic pillar for a perfect beard: “It is necessary to wash it twice a day, morning and evening, because being exposed to city fumes, tobacco, and many other things, external agents end up lodging in the beard and contaminate it”.
7-Systematically moisturize your beard to take care of its appearance.
A rough and dull-looking beard can ruin the best of hair designs. There are specific oils that experts recommend applying regularly. “But it is essential to have a routine and follow it strictly, not apply them sporadically, as many people do. because this lack of systematic care is what can make the beard look unkempt. The lack of hydration affects the cuticle of the hair, which opens up, causing the beard to frizz, which is why it looks rough and lacking definition,” says Giovanni. These oils also serve to gently scent the beard.
8-Pay attention to the little details
Finally, as a styling tip that can make all the difference. Juanjo Ruzafa recommends brushing the beard “frequently with bristle brushes. Giovanni puts the icing on the cake: in his opinion, “the final touch for a perfect finish is the styling cream that defines the style of the beard”“.