The Manly Art of Face-Gardening

Growing a beard is only half of what it means to be a bearded man. The other half, as with any facet of your personal grooming, is maintenance. I didn't really touch upon this too much in previous blog posts, so I wanted to share a little knowledge and maybe point some gentlemen in the right direction.

There are a few of simple principles to keeping a beard:

  • Logically, looking after a beard is much like looking after the hair on your scalp.
  • There will be bad days.
  • The longer or more complex your style, the more time it will require to keep neat.
  • Beards are more coarse than most hair, and therefore more difficult to control - hair styling products generally will not be of much assistance.
  • If you're trimming, take your time and cut in small increments, and if you're using a guided trimmer, start on a longer comb and work downwards.

Cleanliness is always important if you intend to avoid becoming a social leper, but it's also important in the early stages of a beard where itching can occur for those men used to being clean shaven, and as with your head-hair it can be easier to comb or brush into acceptability when still damp from the shower.

Your preferred shampoo and conditioner are most likely entirely adequate, but the skin on your face is a little more susceptible to becoming dry. You may want to try milder options if this is the case. For very short beards, your regular face soap is going to be fine. A sparing amount (really, just a drop) of Jojoba oil rubbed into your beard with your hands can help with any dryness, can help with control and will generally look and feel quite pleasant.

Moustache wax is essential if you're planning on a serious cookie-duster. Sparingly used it will help keep hair away from your mouth - nobody wants that. Twist a little in to fix it into place and then once dry, should you not be aiming for a full-on Poirot, just comb it out. Wax will be preferable, and more effective, than scented hair gels and such.

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