“A Guest Perspective From a Longtime Beard Enthusiast.”
The Growth of Beards
As a man who has worn a beard for over 30 years, it is somewhat gratifying but bewildering to see the proliferation of beards, and facial hair in general, in recent years. For much of the time I’ve worn a beard, I was an anomaly. The trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down either as beards are still popular heading into 2018. However, styles have evolved from the full on mountain man type beards to a trim controlled style that, to my experience, is more manageable. It isn’t easy having a beard and keeping mine was sometimes inconvenient, too, whether for my professional position or as a part-time actor. The key to keeping a beard, through up and down trends, is to care for the beard and your skin under the beard.
Getting Comfortable with Product
This brings us to an area that is a little foreign to men and one I had to get comfortable with - product. There is no way you can get around taking care of your beard without establishing a routine that involves a variety of beard-care products. I have to tell you it took me quite a while to get on this bandwagon as, first, there weren’t a lot of beard-care products thirty years ago! It wasn’t as popular and your local barber shop was your best bet. Let me tell you, most of those barbers were more interested in a nice, clean shave than providing care products. Second, it wasn’t exactly in the nature of men to spend a lot of time grooming, at least beyond a trim and a brush of the hair and beard. But with a new generation of men, the evolution of styles, and the popularity of beards, there is a burgeoning beard-care industry.
If you have a beard you may already know all this and have products you are using. You may also already be using pomade, mousse, styling gels, or other products for your hair. If you are considering a beard, I’ll give you a few tips and directions on products that will give you an idea of what lies ahead. Be aware that your beard hair is different from the hair on your head. It will require some different approaches depending on the look and style you want. You also have to consider how much time you want to spend on your beard.
A Few Things To Know - Getting Started
It is important to know, despite what I said earlier, is that the barber shop can be your best friend. They’ve recognized the trend with beards, and are certainly seeing them, so they have amended their services. Many are adding waxing and beard trimming services, along with styling services like offering fades or keeping your “stubble beard” right at that 3 day or 5 day stubble you want to sport. This all important because your beard, if unkempt, can become smelling, unruly, tangled, and the skin underneath can become flaky and itchy.
It also appears that the modern iteration of beard wearing men have turned their beard into sort of a hobby, as well, making their grooming into a ritual. This has also led to the proliferation of products and services and men look for great beard oils, with varied smells, and trimming tools to help them groom. It is also important to keep your beard clean, smelling good, and soft for your significant other. Beard burns are not fun and nobody wants to have a read, chaffed face from kissing you.
What Should You Be Doing For Your Beard?
So, what should you be doing? It might seem strange, but the first thing in talking about a beard is to talk about shaving...for the areas where your beard isn’t. One of the things I’ve found about a beard is people see it and they see your face - separately sometimes. Almost as if they see your beard as something living on your face, which could be said to be true! This can cause them to focus on the unshaved portions of your face and you don’t want to have dry skin or razor burn.
First, you should be incorporating a good cleanser for your face as oils can tend to gather more on your face, or your face can dry out more, depending on your beard. Next, you need a product for shaving the areas around your beard. Shaving oils have become more popular, but the key is to get something that will protect your skin from razor burn and that won’t dry out your skin. Finally, you will need a moisturizer to rehydrate your face after you shave.
Next, you need to find great beard products. Arganade (www.arganade.com) has a great line of high quality products for your beard. You’ll want to select a good beard balm and select a variety of beard oils to try. You may settle on one oil or rotate them, as you prefer, to change things up. The beard balm will keep your beard smelling good, along with the oils, and help keep it clean.
If you are starting a beard for the first time, one of the things you will also find is that it probably isn’t going to grow in exactly as you imagine it. Again, the barber or stylist can be your friend. They can help you shape your beard as it grows in, give you grooming tips, keep you trimmed and help you determine the best products for your beard and skin types.
If going to the barber or stylist regularly isn’t in your schedule or budget, and regardless, you need to get a variety of trimming tools to keep your beard neat. A powered trimmer for thinning, a small grooming trimmer for styling, and a good pair of high quality trimming scissors are all necessary along with your combs and brushes for the hair.
Now, you are all set to get that beard under control, new, or old, and keep it for the rest of your life.