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Top 10 things I’ve learned while growing my beard

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Even if you’ve only been growing for a month, I’m sure there are things that you’ve learned along the way, and if you’re considering continuing growing, or maintaining, I’d like to share with you some things that I have learned in my 2+ years of beard growth.  This list could go on for days so I’m going to limit it to, in no particular order, the Top 10 things I’ve learned while growing my beard.

Beards can itch.  It happens, deal with it.  It typically stops within the first few months, and there are steps you can taken to ease it, namely using quality beard products and making sure that you’re well-hydrated.

Let it grow.  I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – I trimmed my moustache weekly for the first six months and now, really wish I hadn’t.  You won’t know what kind of facial hair you can truly grow until you let it grow for a few months, so let it grow for a while and then trim if you feel that’s necessary.  But always remember – while it will grow back, that takes time, so trim cautiously.

Beard competitions are awesome.   You can meet like-minded individuals, see some cool facial hair, get your hands on some beard products through the raffles and/or silent auctions, and support some worthy charities.  Even if you don’t want to compete, go and enjoy the fun.

The Duck Dynasty references won’t stop.  I still hear them.  Don’t sweat it.  Sure, some people are doing it to poke fun at you, but many are doing it because they just haven’t seen a big beard in person and that’s their point of reference.  Take it as a compliment, even when they don’t mean it that way.Beard products work.   There are plenty of them out there, and while I do what I can to help you wade through the sea of facial hair goods, there are new companies and new products popping up all the time.  Which leads me to my next point….

Growing a beard is a very individual thing.  You are truly doing it on your own, and while your beard may look exactly like your best friend’s, it may not respond to products the same way.  Products that work for him may not work for you and vice versa.  By that same token, products that work for me may not work for you, so while I do rate products on their effectiveness, you have to remember that this effectiveness is judged in a vacuum, specifically the vacuum of my facial hair.  If something didn’t work great for me but you think you’d like it, give it a shot.

Beard clubs are great for some people, not great for others.  I’ve never joined a beard club.  I’ve been asked, and I’m friends with a ton of people in beard clubs and I have helped out with club-related activities, including getting sponsors for some local competitions, and judging, I just don’t have a burning desire to join a beard club.  If you do, awesome, look around to see what’s available in your area.

I really enjoy styling my moustache.  When I compete, I always look for a Full Beard Natural / Styled Moustache category.  It’s my favorite.

Recognizing “beard milestones” is fun.  I had people commenting on the length of my beard from fairly early on, because not many people in my area have a big beard.  But I remember the first time I really thought I had a longer beard was when I felt my beard blowing in the wind.  Silly?  Sure.  But it was a cool realization.  I was also happy when I hit my “yeard” and two-year beard anniversary.  But remember, not all of these realizations are as fun.  I distinctly remember the first time I went to take a bite of a chicken wing and also got a giant bite of my moustache.  Some of these realizations certainly continue the longer your facial hair gets, but it’s a good problem to have.  You’ll find that you may have to change the way you do some things, but it’s worth it.

I really enjoy my beard.  That may seem like an obvious comment, but what many of you may not know is that I planned a serious trim when I hit the “yeard” mark.  Long story short, it didn’t happen.  Then I thought to myself “I’ll do a more serious trim when I hit two years.”  That didn’t happen either.  I did do a substantial trim around the two years and four months mark, and while I was nervous going into it, I was really happy with how it turned out.  Long story short, I’ve had a lot of fun on this facial hair journey, and I don’t have any plans on stopping.  The longer I grow my beard, the more I like it.

Whatever your own plans may be, make the most of your journey.  As trivial a thing as it may seem to some, serious facial hair growth can teach you a lot.  These are a just a few of things I’ve learned, and I encourage you to pay attention to the things you learn along the way.

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