5 Tips to Help Men Maintain a Well-Groomed Beard
This is a guest post courtesy of Paul Agelidis, the Founder and Owner at Revolucion, a cigar, tobacco and men’s gift shop in beautiful Vancouver, BC.
A lot of men want to grow out a beard but don't know how to avoid having it look wild and messy. The truth is, you can't just let your facial hair grow and expect it to look healthy, soft, and well-groomed. You also can't treat it like the hair on your head, as facial hair tends to be thicker, darker, and more coarse. This means there is a different set of products and grooming routines to follow to keep your beard properly maintained. Here are five tips to help you maintain a well-groomed beard.
You should wash your beard at least once a week — twice a week in an ideal world. Washing your beard less frequently leads to it getting dirty and damaged, while doing it too frequently can be too harsh on the hair and follicles, which can affect how it grows. When you wash your beard, avoid using hot water because if it is too hot your hair follicles get dried out, and your facial hair will not grow as well as it should.
Second, purchase a good quality beard wash or shampoo. Avoid products that are full of sulfates, formaldehyde, phthalates and other bad ingredients that are not good for the health of your beard. Look for natural ingredients and oils like argan, coconut, avocado, and jojoba oil. Do your research into quality products you can use, and you will keep your facial hair clean and healthy.
Using a Hair Dryer
After you wash your beard, dry it gently with a towel without being too rough, as pulling at the hairs and follicles will weaken or damage them. Use a good hair dryer that is not too hot and hold it between 6 and 9 inches from your face — you can cause heat damage if your dryer is too hot or you hold it too close to the hair.
A proper amount of heat will not damage the hair, but will weaken the hydrogen bonds in the hair's structure. This helps you train and style your beard so it will keep the shape you want. When combined with brushing or combing, this is the easiest way to lay the foundation of a well-shaped beard.
Brush It During Drying
After your first drying phase with a towel, get your beard warmed up with the hair dryer to start weakening the hairs so they're ready to train. Then, start gently brushing or combing your beard in the direction you want with your hair dryer following after it. The combination of the heat and the brushing helps you straighten out the hairs and train them to run in the direction and shape you want.
Look for a good quality beard brush or comb that are good at running through your facial hair without sticking, giving or breaking. They should help train your hair and distribute your natural hair oils throughout the beard to keep it healthy and even.
Apply Styling Products
There are three types of styling products for beards: balm, oil, and wax. Oil is weaker in terms of how well it can hold the hair but is generally better for helping protect or nourish the hairs so they look and feel soft and healthy. Wax has the best hold but little nutrients, and doesn't necessarily make your hair look natural. Balm is the middle ground — it has a mix of good hold and a decent amount of nutrients for your beard.
When you wash your beard, apply your styling product of choice after you dry and brush your beard to help it hold the direction and style you brushed into it. On days you don't wash your beard, you should apply at least a good beard oil once a day. There is a variety of beard oil types that can help different hair and skin types, so do your research to pick one that works the best for you.
Keep It Trimmed
When your beard is shorter you can use a good electric trimmer to keep your facial hair properly edged and at a good length. As your beard gets longer, you should switch to clippers and scissors of various lengths to make even cuts at the right lengths for the different parts of your beard and face. Depending on how long it is and how you want to style it, you should follow proper fading and trimming techniques to keep it looking nice and even.
About the Author:
Paul Agelidis has been the founder and owner of Revolucion, a Canadian cigar, tobacco and men's gift shop in Vancouver, since 2005. For the last decade Paul has worked very hard to become an expert in tobacco products, men's care, travel & accessories, body & bath, and gifts & home. Prior to 2005, from 1997 – 2005 Paul worked in the wholesale cigar industry and traveled to the annual cigar trade show (Habanos Festival every February). He loves to share his tips with others who are looking to achieve a complete lifestyle with the finer things in life.