The Essential Guide to Beards
Welcome to Beard Tastic’s ‘Essential Guide to Beards’. Hopefully you have already grown a beard, have decided you want to grow a beard, or are still in the just thinking of growing one stage.
If for some strange and unfathomable reason you are not convinced that facial hair is for you, then please pullup a chair and pin back your ears, because we need a man-to-man chat.
In this world of political correctness, women’s rights and removal of gender roles, there is still one last bastion of hope for men to become a real man, a warrior, a commander-in-chief, a beardsman of the highest order, a legend.
And that last bastion of hope my friend, is for you to grow a beard, entice a moustache, and cultivate a facial forest of manliness. Growing a bushy thick beard and/or mustache is seen by many cultures as a rite of passage for men and a symbol of power. But not everyone has the beard gene and growth rate of beards will depend on both genetics and testosterone levels, as well as requiring perseverance and patience.
This means that some men can only produce wispy bum fluff, whilst others can produce a forest of beardness by just raising one eyebrow. But you owe it to yourself to beard up.
This fine book will guide you through the life-affirming changes that growing a beard will bring. We will help you on your journey, answering those difficult questions, helping you on this wonderful journey.
So without further ado, let us head to better place. All the answers you have been seeking are right before you. Let us help to make you complete. . .
Why Grow A Beard?
Why should you grow a killer beard? There are so many reasons you need to grow a beard, and they include:-
- The ultimate symbol of masculinity
- Can make you look older and more distinguished
- Makes you look more powerful
- Good for hiding an odd shaped or weak chin
- You will look more attractive to many people
- Adds character to the face
- No chance of being mistaken for a girl
- Protection from cold weather and biting winds
- Protection from being punched or blows to the face.
- Can act as a filter, to filter germs from entering the nose and throat.
- Look cool, hip and trendy.
OK the decision is now made, and you WILL be growing a beard. Once you have decided to grow a beard, you can just let it grow freely and wild or you may want to decide what style of beard may best suit your face. From a goatee to a full beard, what kind of facial fuzz is for you?
The best course of action is to simply start growing a beard first, and then make your style decisions once it gets established and you can see what suits your particular face shape.
Tip: A good tip is to set a date in your diary, maybe six weeks from when you start to grow your beard and wait until that date to decide if you are going to join the beard brotherhood or reach for the razor!
One thing that you need to be mindful of is that the hair on your face is different to the hair on your head. When you first grow a beard you will notice that the hairs do not grow over your entire beard area. There will be small areas where hair will not grow. The solution is to either choose a beard style that suits your growth or to let the beard grow long enough to cover any patches.
So now you have seen the light and committed yourself to embarking on a beard quest, let’s get cultivating.
The Best Time to Start Growing a Beard
It is sometimes the toughest decision, when to start growing your new beard. You may not want to start looking scruffy and have that initial unshaven look at work, you could face objections from people you know, friends and family may think you’re weird for wanting a beard.
Because of this you may want to grow a beard whilst on a break or holiday. Having an extended break from work/relatives could also be a good time to let it run wild. You can plan it over a long weekend or a trip abroad. Once it is starting to get established you can face everyone with your facial hair in a
good state of development.
What Makes A Beard Grow?
This may seem like a stupid question, but seriously what is a beard and what makes it grow? Well just like all human hair on the body, a beard is composed of a protein called keratin.
How Long Does it Take to Grow a Beard?
A beard will generally take between 2-6 months to grow. This of course is dependent on the person, the genes, and the genetics. The Cycles of Beard Growth The growth of a beard is subject to a bit of a journey whilst growing, a series of stages that lead to the holy grail of the long beard. There are three different stages of growth – anagen, catagen, and telogen.
This is the stage we are most concerned with as it is where your beard will grow the most and is the stage of active growth. The length of this stage (whilst dependent on your genes and genetics) will take around two
months or so. This same stage for head hair lasts a mammoth two to six years!
This is the phase between anagen and telogen, and is a period where your hair stops growing. This period usually lasts around 2-3 weeks.
This phase is where no new hair growth occurs and the hair stays the same length. During this stage the cells prepare to start back at the beginning in the anagen stage again. This period can last from 3-9 months before it all starts again from the beginning.
How Long (what length) will a Beard Grow?
The average beard, if left untouched, will grow three feet long. The total length will again depend on your genes. It may grow less or even longer.
The Difference between Head Hair and Facial Hair If you are a smart cookie then you may have noticed that head hair looks and feels a bit different from the hair on your face. This is because different parts of the body produce different kinds of hair. After puberty a male body grows head hair and androgenic hair, which is your bristly body hair. Although Beard hair is of the androgenic type just like the rest of your body, it also continues to grow just like head hair.
How to Grow a Beard
Although simply growing a beard is easy, but growing it correctly and maintaining it requires a little more thought and care. So if you are trying to grow your beard out, or already have it where you want but are looking for ways to keep it looking sharp then relax! Here I will show you tips on growing out and maintaining your chin blanket.
Starting the Beard Growing Process
Although this is a simple enough step, you just have to throw out the razor, stop shaving, and wait. But in reality it is not so easy. After a day or 2 you will start to look scruffy, people will think you have had a heavy night or no sleep and will question your sanity.
Then you will be faced with the inevitable comments such as, “Why do you want to do that”, and “I hate beards” etc. Growing a show stopping beard will require grit, determination, and commitment, along with some patience on your part.
But follow our tips below and you will be the proud owner of a baby beard that will be the envy of your friends and make people take you more serious, find you more attractive, and increase your charisma levels to untold heights.
Essential Tips for Growing a Beard
Be Patient, Although this may seem obvious it is the only way you will get to where you want to be. After ditching the razor you need to wait some time for results, as the saying goes, “Cometh the beard so cometh the man”.
During the first few weeks you may feel scruffy, get itchy and even maybe a few funny looks. You may also want to trim your beard after it starts looking wild, patchy, and out of control.
But try to resist the urge to do any trimming or grooming at this stage. On average a beard will grow around ½ an inch per month and will grow quickest if it is left well alone.
After around 3-4 weeks have passed, you can see how your beard will take shape and think about trimming and shaping to your desired style. To see the full potential of your new beard (if you are growing a full beard), you may need to wait around three months to see it in its full glory.
Have a Shave
Get your skin in perfect condition for the journey ahead by having a shave.
Make sure your skin becomes primed for beard growth, so give your face a good wash with a cleansing face wash product. This will remove dirt, oil, and dead. After drying use a good Pre-Shave Oil to nourish and soften the stubble. Apply shaving balm/foam and shave as normal. After shaving use a good moisturizer and get rid of any existing skin issues or irritation which will be bothersome whilst you grow out that man hair. Your beard may be itchy for the first two weeks or even up to the first month and a half of growth.
Beat the Itch
A big problem for many beard growers is overcoming the dreaded itch. An itchy beard can cause some discomfort and will need to be endured until it subsides.
This new and unknown growth may cause the skin on your face react to the new irritation with a natural itchiness. But persevere through the itch barrier as it will not last too long. Your facial skin is just getting used to the new hair growth during the early stages.You can help reduce itching by using Beard Oil and Moisturiser to keep it moist and the skin underneath clean.
Commit to the Process
As you know there will be several obstacles that you must overcome to get the facial fuzz of your dreams. But do not give up, stay committed to the cause.
Your skin may get dry and itchy, friends and colleagues may mock you, it may not be growing fast enough etc. But do not shave. You need to commit at least 4 weeks to see how your beard will look and feel.
After making it through these initial stages, all your facial hair related problems will cease, and your friends and family will forget you were once a wimpy clean shaven lad. You will now be seen as a bearded behemoth of a manly man.
Use Beard Oil and Moisturize that Fuzz
It’s important to add items to stimulate the growth of your beard and take care of facial hair. Beard oil contains essential oils, vitamins and minerals which feed and moisturize the beard helping the growing process.
A good example of a superior beard oil which does this is the Beard and Wonderful conditioning beard oil. With all natural ingredients like Jojoba and Hemp oil, this moisturizes and impregnates the hair follicles making the perfect environment and conditions for good, strong speedy hair growth. During growth you should avoid using regular shampoos and soaps that are full of chemicals.
A beard oil massaged into your facial hair daily will nourish the facial hair roots and help to grow your beard faster.
How to Grow a Beard Faster
While it is down to nature and genetics determining just how fast and thick your beard will become, and you cannot speed up the growing process, if your body is not in a good state then growing hair may be inhibited.
So although you cannot speed up growth, there are some things you can do that may help speed-up the growing process, and grow thicker and healthier hair by improving the conditions for growth.
Some of the tips are obvious and some are not-so.
But follow these recommendations and you will soon see those follicles fermenting faster.
Take Care of Your Body
The reason why it is so important to take care of the body is because your facial hair condition is in
direct relation to the health of the body. So lets start taking care.
Eat Protein, Vitamins and Minerals
Start by eating more foods that are rich in proteins like beans, eggs, and fish. Eat more fruit
& vegetables as they will help to provide some of the vitamins and minerals your hair requires to
grow more rapidly. If you just eat junk food and sugar etc. then the lack of appropriate nutrients in the body will result in a slowing down of hair growth.
Stress is a killer when it comes to hair growth, leading to hair loss in many men. Reduce the stress in your life by exercising more and getting a full night’s sleep each night.
Exercising will improve the circulation of the blood in the body, which will help to promote facial hair growth.
Use an exfoliant or scrub once a week to remove the dead cells on the face. This will help stimulate the growth of new hair. Try to make it a point each day to keep the face as clean as possible, rinsing with warm water and mild soap at least each morning and evening. The clean facial skin encourages tiny hairs to grow.
Additional Minerals and Vitamins
Eating a good and healthy diet can also be supplemented with a multi- vitamin and mineral supplement which can help your beard grow faster. A good supplement is to take 30-100 micrograms (mcg) per day of biotin (vitamin B7) which can help grow both nails and facial hair. Look into increasing your daily intake of vitamin B6, beta-carotene, vitamin C, flax seed oil, vitamin E, and nettle. In your effort to grow your beard more quickly, don’t overdo it with these supplements. Before embarking on supplement use it is a good idea to speak with your doctor first.
Massage your Face
Giving your face a good rub down will help, a facial massage will improve blood circulation to the beard and mustache area which in turn will stimulate new hair growth. Make sure you have a top quality beard oil and then you can massage the face as you apply it (perfect).
Although it seems pretty obvious, many people do not keep hydrated properly. Ditch the sugary drinks and juices and drink plenty of water every day.
Follow the above tips or at least some of them and within a week or so you should start to notice a difference. And because these steps will improve your whole body, it will not just be your beard that thanks you for it.
Trimming and Maintaining your Beard
Regular Maintenance is the Key, A great beard only looks great if it is regularly maintained and trimmed. It
may be tempting to grow facial hair because it means you don’t have to waste time shaving, but even without shaving you do need to spend time every day maintaining your beard and mustache.
You can head down your barber or hairdresser for a trim and tidy up , but if you do not want to then you can easily do it yourself.
You will need the following equipment to ensure beard trimness, smartness, and coolness:-
- A pair of small scissors.
- A brush or beard comb.
- Good quality beard trimmer or clippers
- Also some beard care products, beard oil, balm and mustache wax.
Depending on your choice of beard style, you may need a daily trim of your facial hair or you may just need to check it over twice per week. Make sure you do it regularly though as it ensures you always have a great looking beard and mustache. Now carry out the following steps:-
- Give your beard a good comb or brush: Brush it thoroughly in the same
direction. Do not forget to comb everywhere, under your chin and
sideburns as well.
- If you have a style that has part of your face clean shaven then use a
razor to shave off the unwanted stubble and use scissors to remove any
loose, straggly, or out of control hairs.
- For a nice uniform length make use of a pair of clippers to get that even
cut. Make sure to set the clipper guard length longer than you need, you can
easily cut a little shorter but you can never put the hair back without a long
- Take time to trim the tache so that you dont have hairs that grow below
the top of the lip, otherwise it will start to fill with food and carry around
stains from beverages. First comb all hairs to the side first, then use the
clippers. Comb downwards and trim any that hang below the lip.
- Graduate the trim length as your beard heads down the neck and
upwards onto the cheeks. As you move away from the beard pick a lower
clipper setting so that the hair fades away nicely.
- Once you have a good trim, look for areas that might need to be trimmed
more. The goal is to make your face look symmetrical. You can just use
scissors to clip here and there freehand for this.
- Once finished give your beard a wash with water then pat dry and add
some beard oil to both moisturize and keep your facial hair healthy.
Dealing with the Neckline
Many people wonder how far the beard should grow down the neck, and for a good reason. There are many disastrous looking beards which have been ruined by a badly cut neck line.
If you choose not to cut the neckline you risk ending up with a scruffy and unkempt looking beard, so master the art. Many experts say that you should shave from where the chin meets the neck. The vertical neck area should be shaved clean leaving the underside of the chin covered.
Another way is to imagine either a line that gently curves from the back of your ear ear, around the chin and back up to the back of the opposite ear. Or a line that extends down from the back of the sideburn around to the other. The main point is to create a smooth, pleasing shape and avoid the mistake of defining the neck line too high.
Dealing with the Cheek line
The cheek line is the top area of your beard which grows into the upper cheeks area. You can just let this grow naturally and you should only really trim/shave it if it is heading too high.
Beard Care Products: What they are and why you need them ?
For Beardsmen there are some dedicated products available that will help to grow, maintain and keep your pride and joy in the best possible shape and condition. A beard is unlike the head on your hair so needs can benefit from dedicated beard care products. Here are the ones we recommend.
This is the one essential piece of kit for keeping your beard and mustache in tip-top condition. Although it is not used to style your hair, beard oil is a special blend made from a number of carrier oils such as Jojoba, Argan, Hemp etc., along with essential oils such as Cedar wood. A good beard oil will moisturize your skin and beard, nourish the hair follicles, and keep the beard area healthy, primed, and conditioned for growth and strength.
Balms will condition to an extent but they are mainly used to style your facial fuzz. Beard balms are generally made using beeswax, butters or lanolin. As well as styling balms also help to hold the the beard as the butter based balms are heavier than oil so help keep loose hairs tamed.
Mustache wax is purely used to hold and style your mustache and/or beard, and they are generally used alongside oils and balms. Waxes do not have conditioning oils but are great to hold position and create styles such as a handlebar mustache.
You can use just any old brush or comb on your beard. Dedicated beard combs will generally have wider bristles/teeth so they do not pull on the facial hair.
Although many people don’t think they need to comb their beard, it has a number of benefits. A comb can remove knots and tangles from your beard (especially important for longer beards). Combing your facial will make sure individual hairs are separated and will make trimming easier.
These dedicated Beard care soaps & shampoos are generally the same as those you would use on your head, but beard follicles are different to head follicles and don’t need washing so often. In fact washing your beard daily can actually be harmful.
Beard Supplements (vitamins/minerals)
There are a number of beard enhancing and growing pills and potions available to buy in a number of names and usually high prices, but are they actually needed or indeed any good?
As all these products will contain a number of vitamins or mineral combinations then it will be easier (and cheaper) to just buy those same vitamins and minerals. We suggest taking a good multi vitamin along with a B complex (Biotin) daily which is good for your body as well as hair growth.