Having a beard is a privilege that not all men are graced with. With all privileges come responsibility and with this one it is especially true. As a proud beard wearer, I cringe at the unkempt and disheveled facial hair adorning the faces of hipsters and Jason Momoa wannabes. A great beard is a great thing, just remember that you can't force it.
Popularity Of Facial Hair
In the past, facial hair was viewed as a status symbol, but in the last century or so, the desirability of facial hair has diminished greatly. I believe that the desire for facial hair is directly related to the number of, "manly men" that choose to wear a permanent face carpet. In the mid 1900's facial hair began to decline in popularity among American men due to the ban on facial hair in the military. However, we are currently in a facial hair renaissance. I believe this increase in popularity was triggered by the military permitting beards for soldiers deployed in places where facial hair is the cultural norm. Concurrently, the online and streaming media revolution allowed many more outlets of bearded badasses showcasing their beards in epic ways. Just a few examples include UFC, HBO, Video Bloggers, NETFLIX Originals, and social media personalities. With the newly bearded militant forces and the social media beard revolution, everyone and their mother rushed out and started growing their own.
10 Tricks To A Badass Beard
1. Let It Go
I frequently get people coming up to me at work and blurting out, "I wish I could grow a beard like that." You can. You just have to stop shaving and running those number two guards over your beard every day. It seems like common sense, but apparently it's not. Just like hair, if you want it long, you have to let it grow. That doesn't mean you can't trim it or keep your cheeks and neck clean, but it takes time. If you never let your facial hair go past that awkward two-week and two-month stage, you'll never have a big beard.
2. Wash & Condition
This is highly disputed in the hair industry, but I like to shampoo my beard every day. I'm an oily guy. I have an active job, I work out, and I'm a pretty sweaty dude. That leaves me with one choice for my face, washing daily. After washing I choose to condition, rather than using gimmicky and expensive beard oils. I go for the good stuff in the hair care section looking for ingredients like coconut oil or Argan oil. I also make sure that I love the smell of the product because I'll be catching whiffs all day!
3. Regular Brushing
It's always a shame seeing a beautiful beard that's unkempt. Regular brushing stimulates hair growth and helps work out those nasty cow-licks over time. I make this part of my routine right after I towel dry my beard.
4. Eat Healthier
Eating healthier can help you grow a thicker and better beard. Eating nutrient rich vegetables, lean protein, and healthy oils helps your beard and hair grow faster, healthier, and thicker. I always take a multi-vitamin on top of these healthy foods to make sure I'm getting all the good stuff! Look for Iron, Omega-3, Zinc, Selenium, and Vitamin A, C, & E. Remember, you literally are what you eat.
Regular exercise promotes healthy hair growth by improving circulation in your body and stimulating growth in your hair follicles. Make sure to rinse or wash your hair after exercising because sweat can leave salt buildup around the base of your hair and cause irritation, chafing, and even hair loss.
6. Reduce Stress
Stress can cause a condition called telogen effluvium which slows the growth of your hair and even causes hair loss in some cases. Stress can also lead to you picking at your beard which is the absolute worst! Let those pretty little hairs stay where they belong!
7. Find A Barber On The Beard-Wagon
Make sure your barber is on board with beards and knows how to style them properly. Many barbers will offer to trim up your beard for you but don't actually have much experience in doing so. Unfortunately, trimming and shaping your beard almost always tacks on a few dollars to the total price of your hair cut. I usually trim my beard about half as often as my hair.
8. Style It
Once your beard is basically the right shape thanks to you barber, now it's time to finish it up. This is one of the most overlooked steps when it comes to beard maintenance. For most of my life, I subscribed to the belief of keep hair ready to roll out of bed and go. Unfortunately for my bearded brethren out there, you need to do a little bit more than simply, nothing. I personally use a tiny dab of styling cream and massage it into my beard. Then I blow-dry my beard to get rid of the stubborn cowlicks.
9. Bad Beard Days
Girls and guys alike are entitled to bad hair days every now and then, so you're entitled to a bad beard day. I try not to take these too often, but it does happen. Sometimes your hair just won't cooperate or you don't have enough time to make it work. It's all good. Unfortunately, everyone else still notices and will be sure to comment on it.
10. Find What Works For You
Not all beards are created equally. Just like hair, not everyone can rock the same beard. Find what looks best for you and also what works best for you in regard to time and effort. Personally, I love having a quirky handlebar mustache but the time it takes to get it perfect every day isn't worth it all the time. I like to try new looks every now and then but they often don't work out. Through trial and error, I've found out that the Hulk Hogan and the Fu Manchu don't work for me. "Don't worry." I tell myself, "It will always grow back!"
Now that you've started growing better, stronger and healthier facial hair, feel free to flaunt that beard.