As a modern man in today's world, it is no longer enough to simply grow a beard. You must know why you want it and what style suits your face. You have to trim it, style it and keep it clean at all times – be careful with those crumbs! Welcome to our comprehensive guide to getting you started on how to grow a beard.
Caring about and knowing how to look after your beard hair is no longer considered taboo. You no longer have to be afraid of showing interest; it’s expected of you to learn everything there is to know about facial hair. Embrace it, it’s your body we’re talking about. It’s never too late to start with a grooming routine, even if you’re in your 30’s, 40’s or older. What’s important is that you go on with a leap of faith.
Why Should I Grow a Beard?
Facial hair growth, and particularly beards, have multiple benefits. Facial hair helps baby-faced men look more mature, but it's not the only reason to grow a beard.
Beards and mustaches can help with self-esteem if you have skin problems (e.g. acne, rashes, scars) or if you want to give your face symmetry. Evened out faces are more handsome, look more responsible and even powerful.
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Some men hide behind their beards, as it provides them with armor and a mysterious look. Others like to use it as an accessory. Beards are still fashionable - stubble, the goatee, and the “beardstache” are a few options. Whichever style you choose to don, own it first!
How do I grow a beard?
Facial hair must be flattering - it must give structure to your face. However, it is important to note that developing it does take time, and patience is of the utmost importance.
While your grown may initially look out of place, things will start to take shape from about your second month onwards. Beginning with these essential steps below should take you well on your way to developing a full grown beard:
- Shave during week one to stimulate follicles
- Try and coincide the second week of your growth with days off, to ensure that people don’t ask you what you’re up to!
- Establish a scrub and peel away routine for the skin underneath to remove dead cells, which will prevent beard dandruff and ingrown hairs
- Style the sides as they grow out
- Trim the rest after the first month
If you take one tip from this guide, let it be to cut as it grows. Don't let the beard grow and then style it. What’s more, avoid growing neck hair and style cheek lines. If you want, ask for professional guidance during the first four weeks, in order to set a base. Even if you seek outside help, it is imperative that you know exactly what to ask for.
For example, when it comes to the neckline, you can take two fingers above Adam's apple; trim an imaginary U-shape behind the ears and jaw, then meet in the middle of the neck to be able to shave everything below this line.
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Another trick is to take your thumb and index finger in an L-shape and put it in front of your ear and below your neck, with the jawline right where the two lines that form the letter meet; trim everything below where the thumb meets the neck.
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While styling in the beginning is hard, it does eventually get easier. To trim the right way, it’s recommended that you first comb your hair upward to see what has grown. Some parts grow faster than others, and it’s important to trim every two weeks. When it comes to your neck, you can also play with different razor blades to create the feel of fading underneath your chin.
You can go to the barber to give it a shape and to pick up personalized styling tips and tricks. An example of shaping your beard would be to shape the mustache hair to follow your lips, which can be accomplished at home with a comb and pair of scissors.
The Best Beards for Each Facial Shape
You don't grow a beard. It’s not possible. The beard chooses you. If it's your first time doing it, or you want to change it, know that a beard must suit you. You can't pick a shape that might not work with your face, let alone your hair. Facial hair must soften your features and the general idea is to make the final look oval even if you have a wide or longer face.
1. The oval face is the luckiest. Everything that isn't sharp angled will do. Bushy sides and a short beard, or short sides and a longer beard are the extremes that you can try out.
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2. The round or square face needs to elongate his features with a long beard with short sides. You can let everything under the chin grow wild lengthwise but sculpt the sides to make it oval.
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3. Long and rectangular faces need equilibrium. You can achieve this with a short and full on the sides beard.
4. A triangular face is the trickiest out there. A triangular face is where your jawline is the widest point of your face, tapering upwards through your cheekbones. You have a face that needs either a short and cropped beard or a long beard with short sides. If you choose the latter, know that the sides need to be sculpted inward.
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5. A diamond shape is widest at the cheekbones. The forehead and jawline are slightly narrower, usually in fairly equal proportion. With a diamond shape face, you should keep the sides short, but you can play with the length. To play with this style you can keep chin hair shorter than the rest and sculpt the sides into an oval shape with beard wax or something natural like coconut, argan or castor oil.
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How to Grow a Beard Fast
The truth is that you can't grow a beard fast, but you can use some tips to help it grow faster. Ultimately, it largely depends on the length that you desire. Facial hair takes at least a month before it can be referred to as a beard, and not stubble or lazy facial growth!
Facial hair grows around half an inch or around one centimeter per month. So, if you want a beard of about six inches or twelve centimeters, that's a one-year project. While some parts grow faster than others, it is important to note that this is a timely process, which requires patience.
One of the main setbacks for beard rookies comes in the first two weeks. If you're used to shaving, your skin will itch during this period and you must push through it with lots of moisturizing. This helps the beard become softer and more manageable.
Another thing to consider is to invest in proper tools: trimmer, scissors, special soap, natural beard products, combs and brushes, styling creams and conditioner. Besides these, use a separate towel for your face.
In conclusion, to grow a beard fast try out different moisturizing oils mentioned in this guide; enjoy a proper lifestyle and diet, boost your testosterone level by eating meat and things like spinach and work out as much as you can. Invest in some supplements and apply oils with added vitamins, like vitamin A, to avoid breakage. Last, but not least, don’t pull your face hair, but stroke it!
How to Grow a Thick, Full Beard
If you’re having issues growing a thick, full, beard, then you’re better off with a professional setting the base. But if you’re not a rookie and you want to do it yourself, try first shaving against the grain as you might get thicker hairs. Don't be afraid to try different razor grades on each part to help balance the style.
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There is no right or wrong way to grow a beard. It all depends on the type of hair and face you have. You can go long and big or short and straight. To grow a beard the right way is to work with what you have. Enhance what you can, style, and keep it neat and soft.
Cut around the neck, cheeks and mustache as it grows, but don’t touch the rest in the first month. If you still didn’t get how to cut around the neck, don’t touch anything that is parallel with the floor. And if the cheeks are quite full and you’re finding it hard to follow your natural shape, don’t shave or trim anything below the nose.
Skin type is also very important. Dry and oily skin can cause itchiness and growth of zits respectively. Hence, regular cleansing and moisturizing is of the utmost importance. Beauty products with aloe vera and tea tree oil are great for most skin types and it’s best to avoid styling products with alcohol in the beginning because they will dry out your skin.
A full-on beard will typically take over two months. And this period is also tricky as natural shapes come into play – what was once nice and straight might get curly. Embrace it or use styling products, it’s your choice. Once you go over the 3-month period, and you want to add volume, the use of styling products when it is damp can help.
Top 10 Tips for Growing a Better Beard
- Always take care of the skin underneath your beard, especially in the beginning. Clean, scrub and moisturize each night. If you are prone to blackheads, weekly peeling is necessary and if you want to take it one step further and aren’t afraid of masks, try a charcoal one. Application of Vitamin C early in the morning after you have washed your face can also help.
- Once the hair grows, get to your skin in the shower and use a brush and a towel after to air and dry it. Whatever you do, don’t scratch when it itches and clean it with a special product every couple of days.
- One extra tip: change your pillowcase as often as you can, even twice a week if you have oily skin, or flip it over to prevent acne or blocked pores.
- Drink plenty of water and eat your vitamins. Things like mushrooms, salmon, avocado, nuts and seeds, sweet potatoes, peppers, broccoli or anything with vitamin C will do wonders.
- If you're interested in vitamins as supplements to add to your diet, consider items with zinc, iron, folic acid, vitamin c and b, biotin or vitamin H, fish oil, but also magnesium.
- If you think cosmetics aren't for real men, think again. They are here to help you, especially conditioners in the form of beard balms, oils and creams. They will tame wild hair and might help you avoid problems with your next shave.
- Know your combing. Use brushes at the end of each day to help distribute natural oils the skin produces at the base of a long beard. This will nourish it, help with breakage, frizz and split ends.
- When you want to style a beard, use a beard comb instead of a brush as the latter is best reserved for night.
- If you want to change the style of your beard, but you're not sure about the direction to go with, play with a thin mustache and a fuller beard and vice versa first.
- When trimming, always start with a longer grade. Anything long can become short, but not the other way around.
One last pro tip before we go-go: if you’re thinking of cutting or shaving it all off, take one day for each month you have grown out your beard (e.g. take a long weekend if you’ve had it for 3 months, and two weeks if you had it for a year), and definitely don’t do it after a night of heavy drinking!
And that’s a wrap for this one! We hope that you have found this article both enjoyable and informative.