Beards are back in fashion with a vengeance; fewer and fewer men are opting for the clean shaven look, and many are even going for the bushiest style they can grow. There are now even series’ on the T.V dedicated to those who grow beards; the extremely popular Whisker Wars follows a group of competitive beard growers – it’s a serious sport. Don’t worry though, the beard trend doesn’t require 5ft of perfectly smooth curly beard, you can jump on the manly bandwagon with just an inch of beard cut into your favourite style. Look to Brad Pitt and George Clooney for a little beard inspiration, then once you’ve grown your very own, you can use this handy beard care guide to keep it in perfect condition.
The first stage of beard maintenance is of course, the trimming. A beard needs to be an exact shape without any stray hairs or stubble that escapes the ranks, otherwise you risk looking more like a hobo than a well groomed celebrity. You can either use a beard trimmer or some scissors to keep things neat. If you are using scissors then make sure you have a wide toothed, and a fine toothed comb to help you trim, as this will help keep everything at the same length. Some digital trimmers can be programmed to your chosen length, so all you need to do is sweep the trimmer over your beard and it should all come out the perfect length. No matter how you cut your beard, make sure you only trim it when it is dry, as wet hair will appear longer.
Never be tempted to pluck stray hairs, you should always use a razor to remove them instead to avoid ingrown hairs. When you have finished neatening your beard you can then use a razor to perfect the edges. Be very careful not to cut into the line of your beard!
Just like your hair, your beard will need shampooing and conditioning regularly to keep it clean and soft, but since your beard is close to your face, use a very mild PH neutral shampoo, as this won’t risk drying your skin out. Conditioners will help your beard feel slightly softer, but don’t expect anything silky, as beard hairs are naturally much coarser than those on your head. Make sure you wash it out thoroughly once your done too, as leaving any in can result in flakes when dry. Not a great look!
Finally just brush or comb through your beard to remove any knots and tangles, don’t worry about drying your beard; the nature of the hair should mean it will dry quickly, and using a hairdryer can burn the sensitive skin on your face. The more extravagant styles may require a little styling gel to keep everything looking neat, but don’t overdo it or you can end up with greasy looking facial hair, or an unnatural look. Beards look most sophisticated when you leave them in the style they would naturally grow in, then just neaten them up!
This article was contributed by Groom U, an online store for high end mens grooming products.