Six Simple Steps For Growing Your First Beard
The beard trend began a few years ago, and you refused to join a temporary fad. Now a couple of years have passed and it’s official, facial hair is here to stay. The fact is that the beard is not a fleeting trend, it is a classic. With that in mind, you have decided that you would like to claim this classic look for yourself. Although it seems that there is nothing more natural than letting nature take its course and growing a beard, there are a few obstacles that can lead to a less-than-desirable look.
Facial hair only looks refined when it is well cared for. Just throwing away your razor and leaving your bristles to their own devices will only result in your resemblance of a barbarian. That look definitely is not part of the classic beard image people are striving for today. The quintessential, elegant beard can only belong to a disciplined man who knows how to take care of it.
So we would like to simplify the process of growing and a maintaining a classic, exemplary beard. Here are the six simple steps we suggest for your beard success.
1. COME TO TERMS WITH REALITY
Genes and DNA are a miraculous and integral part of our anatomies. You might not think that your particular set is the best in town; you might place a lot of blame and resentment on it. Yet a grown, mature man accepts the hand he is dealt in the genetics lottery and makes the best of it. You might have patchy whiskers like Justin Bieber, but refrain from wistfully hoping for Santa’s full beard. Instead, acknowledge that your sparse facial hair will attract its fair share of ladies if the Bieber’s popularity is any indicator.
Beards have been around as long as man has walked this earth. When man spread out and each area saw his DNA evolving differently, his facial hair pattern began to differ from continent to continent. Asia might see light whisker growth while the Middle East has men’s faces covered in dense forests of bristles. Now that all the different variations have joined by land and via the internet, we need to appreciate our differences rather than envying another man’s genetics.
If you were to ask the ladies which particular facial hair style they prefer, you will get as many different answers as there are beard types. Every woman has her own taste, meaning that there will be plenty of female attention lathered on your whiskers regardless of how densely they grow.
2. REALIZE YOUR REASONS
Whenever you want to succeed at anything in life, you need to know your reasons before you can achieve success. Without realizing what your reasons are, you will lack the motivation necessary to see your project through to the goal.
Ask yourself if you want to grow your facial hair to look older or if you want to look a bit more weathered and rugged. Maybe you wish to increase your slight chin or define your jawline for a more chiseled look. Other reasons can be a wish to cover up acne scars or just to add an air of mystery to your boyish good looks. There are even those of us who grow a beard at a lady’s request or simply to check it off our list of things to try out.
Whichever reason you claim as your intention for growing out your facial hair, let it be your motivation to keep at it until you have developed a beard you are proud of. On days when you become uncertain about your decision and start playing with the idea of shaving it all off, your motivating reason will help you to stick to your initial goal.
3. SURVIVING THE FIRST SEVEN DAYS
The first week of growing out your facial hair can prove to be the most difficult stretch of your journey. You will be in a state of limbo, neither looking clean shaven nor having a decent growth of whiskers. If you let insecurity get the best of you, you might end up feeling downright uncomfortable and awkward around your acquaintances.
What is the solution to this inconvenient beginning? Nothing other than holding your head high and sticking to your guns. Along with a manly beard, you will also have to grow a grown man’s confidence. Even the discomfort of itchy under-beard skin should not be able to sway you in the other direction. Refrain from dwelling on the look and feel of the in-limbo stage, and go play some basketball instead.
If the itch is really messing with your head, the time has come to invest in the first tool for your beard arsenal. So get online or head on over to the nearest barbershop and get your hands on a bottle of beard oil. This stuff is the best cure for a dry, itchy beard. After you wash and towel-dry it, work about a dime-sized amount into your facial hair and distribute it evenly using your fingers or a beard comb. Problem solved.
Although the itch could return at any given time, especially as your bristles grow in length, you always will be able to relieve it almost instantaneously by applying more beard oil. In fact, you may very well make this potion a regular part of your beard maintenance process since it helps keep your whiskers hydrated, supple, and less likely to break.
You might be curious about what is causing that annoying itch in the first place. The simple answer is that your natural sebum needs a bit of help in protecting your skin and hair from moisture loss. This causes you to develop irritated, dehydrated skin under your facial hair. Beard oil easily resolves this issue by supplementing your face with extra oil which coats your skin and bristles, keeping the moisture from escaping into the air.
Beard itch does tend to be as annoying and distracting as a mosquito buzzing about your ears while you are trying to drift off to sleep. If only there were a way to get rid of that bothersome mosquito as easily as you can stop your facial itch with beard oil.
Another annoyance may be the constant comment from acquaintances who are not used to seeing you with a face full of hair. There will be words of approval and appreciation while you also may get some less favorable feedback. Think of this as a test of your will, because a grown man knows what he wants and won’t let others discourage him or persuade him otherwise.
Just read up on some of the recent surveys and studies which have revealed that the ladies actually prefer anything from the five-clock shadow to a slight stubble over the clean-shaven, prepubescent look. This information ultimately might influence you to maintain a short beard or “designer stubble” rather than growing it to its full potential; whatever length you eventually decide to maintain, invest in quality tools such as a beard trimmer, or let a professional barber keep your whiskers at the perfect length. For now, however, focus on growing your beard to its maximum length so you can check it off that list.
The beard growing process really is like a learning process where you become familiar with your own preferences, likes, and dislikes. Remember, taste is subjective and everyone’s preferences differ. If you are not going to be able to please all the different tastes of the world, you might as well focus your energy on pleasing one particular person’s taste: your own. After all, if there is one single thing all women are attracted to equally, it is a man’s confidence within himself.
4. PRACTICE PATIENCE
We all know that a beard, like the world, is not made in a day. Whenever the urge hits to just trim or tamper with your emerging bristles, think of the moon’s cycle as a reminder to be patient with your beard. Let at least one month pass before you start looking at your facial hair with a critical eye and judging its appearance. Just watch the moon slowly grow from a sliver to a giant, full circle. By the end of the month, your facial hair will look much more promising.
The idea is to not even touch a single razor, scissor, clipper or trimmer throughout the first four weeks. The urge to trim some longer whiskers or shape and mold areas of uneven growth could easily mess up your naturally attractive facial hair. So leave all those blades and shears locked away somewhere while you wait for the full moon to emerge.
Once the full moon has shown its face, you are very likely to approve of your reflection in the mirror. After four weeks, your facial hair will have grown significantly. By then, you will have an idea of what your full beard will look like. At this point in time, you can make the decision to continue growing your whiskers longer or opt to keep it trimmed to a specific length that you find most becoming for your face.
The choice is yours. There is no wrong or right way to go about it. The important part is that you determine what you like and don’t think about anyone else’s opinion. Once you have an exact image of how long you want your bristles to be, you should invest in some high-quality tools to help you maintain an attractive beard.
Some of us might need a little extra time for our bristles to grow longer so that we can make our decision. There is no failure in taking extra time to determine the perfect look for yourself. Wait another month if you like. At that point, you will have seen your face at every stage of the beard growing process. It is possible that you ultimately feel that your clean-shaven mug is your best look ever, or you may opt for that deliberate 5-o’clock shadow now popularly referred to as “designer stubble.” That’s perfectly fine as well. Experimenting and making up your mind about your personal taste is a growing process that will make you more confident in the long run.
For those of you who are only in the second or third decade of your lives, keep in mind that you could be a late developer. Some of you might not grow much facial hair right now, but if you try again a few years down the road, your results might be drastically different. That is not to say that your current beard is not worth the effort. Every type of facial hair will have its female admirers.
A beard is best measured in time, not inches. Patience is a virtue belonging to a sophisticated man and most suitable for a man sporting a classic, refined beard. So this is the perfect time to practice and master the art of patience.
5. GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS
The itch has been treated. Your mind has been made up. Now it is time to switch from the passenger to the driver’s seat and focus all your attention and energy and actively participate in your facial hair growing process.
LATHER AND RINSE
You might have noticed that your beard has been playing the role of bib at supper time. It is unavoidable that some of your food and drink inadvertently end up in your beard. Your facial hair will also be like a lint trap, catching dust, pollen, and pollution. While it is inevitable that things will get stuck in your facial fur, you can resolve that problem easily. While most days it will suffice to let the shower water wash through your whiskers, every other day or so you should definitely lather your beard with a bit of shampoo and rinse well.
CONDITION AND MOISTURIZE
Conditioning is not a concept solely for the ladies. If you want a classic beard rather than a random overgrowth of wild bristles, then you do need to keep your beard moisturized. The benefits will be plenty since you will also be left with hydrated skin as well as no dandruff or irritating itch to speak of. Products such as beard oil and beard balm will do the trick.
In case you are still unfamiliar with power of beard oil, we can get you up to speed. Its benefits are many, including keeping your hair and skin hydrated, keeping the itch at bay, bidding beard-ruff farewell, and controlling stray whiskers. It even adds a slight musk to your beard.
The application process is simple enough. Once your whiskers are washed and dried, evenly apply a dime-sized amount throughout your facial hair. Massage it in from root to tip using your fingers or a beard comb until the oil is evenly dispersed.
TRIM AND SCULPT
After the first month has come and gone, you can do some minor touch-ups to your beard. You can create an outline at the neck and cheeks where you want your beard to end, using either a razor or electric shaver to shape and mold your hair to your advantage. For example, if you don’t like your round jaw, create a square outline instead.
The neckline is definitely the best area to start chiseling away at your facial mane. For the best results, let a professional do it at least for the first round. After that, you can do regular touch-ups along the outline created by your barber.
The cheeks are next in line. Unless your beard is of the type that grows all the way up to your eyes, you are better off leaving well enough alone. If you do happen to have an extremely bushy cheek growth, start chiseling away a bit at a time so you don’t accidentally go overboard.
6. MAXIMIZE YOUR POTENTIAL
It may be true that your facial hair growth rate and pattern are all up to your genes’ determination, but you still play an integral part by helping your body reach its maximum potential.
Yes, we all know that exercise is good for you, but know that it also helps with your beard growth. Let’s count the ways:
1. Exercising, in particular activating as many muscle fibers as possible, increases your testosterone production. As you may have guessed, this hormone helps optimize your facial hair growth.
2. Aerobic exercise, in particular, improves circulation and provides extra oxygen to your cells including your hair follicles.
3. A good workout helps you sleep longer and deeper, which is conducive to optimal hair growth
A well-balanced diet with the ideal amount of protein and biotin will help your body grow the thickest, strongest hair possible according to your DNA. Protein provides some of the building blocks from which your hair is built. Biotin, or Vitamin B7, is essential for strong and healthy hair, skin, and nails. Lean meats and eggs are great sources of both protein and nutrients.
CATCHING ENOUGH Z’S
Your body does a lot of its growing and replenishing while you are in dreamland. So do your beard a favor and get at least 7 hours of sleep nightly. It’s not called beauty sleep for nothing.
Stress can lead to loss of sleep, hormonal imbalance, and constricted blood vessels so that your cells receive fewer nutrients and less oxygen. Don’t be selfish, stop stressing for the sake of your beard.
As you can see, nature and your DNA are perfectly capable of growing your beard while you put your legs up and sleep. However, the maximum potential prescribed by your genes can only be met if you supply all the necessary resources. So take care of yourself and adopt healthful habits to help your beard achieve its optimal growth. Once you have sprouted a full beard, be careful when you decide to trim and shape it; if in doubt, let a professional do the sculpting.