Have you just started growing a beard? Or maybe you’ve had one for a few years already? You might have fallen into a few bad beard habits without even realising it. Growing a beard is not just about not shaving, you have to look after it properly to look like a dapper gent.
Some habits might seem like good grooming techniques, but overkill changes them into bad ones.
Bad Beard Habits:
#1 Don’t Pull Out Troublesome Hairs
When fiddling around with your beard, you might feel some hairs growing in strange directions or find a few knots. Resist the urge to pull out these unruly hairs. When you do this, your beard will start thinning in those areas you nitpicked at.
If you find knots, don’t just pull out the whole bunch. Usually if you gently push your fingers between the hairs and carefully unknot the hairs, they will unwind themselves naturally.
For an ingrown hair, use a tweezer. First put a hot towel on your face to open the pores. Grab it as close as possible to the base, to pull out the whole bulb. Yanking it from the top will cause the hair to split.
#2 Don’t Over-Wash Your Beard
This is one of the good intention habits that can turn sour if overdone. Maybe you feel paranoid after the article about beards being dirtier than toilets. Don’t worry, it was a load of hogwash. When you over-wash, you are preventing your beard from naturally forming essential oils.
These essential oils help prevent dryness, both for your beard and your face. You’ll start struggling with other problems, such as ‘beardruff’ if you over-wash. You shouldn’t wash your beard more than twice a week.
#3 Don’t Over-Comb Your Beard
Again, it might seem like a good idea, but it can cause more harm than good in the long run. You want to keep your beard in good shape and looking amazing, but over-coming will cause split ends and kill some of the hairs prematurely.
You might also be using the wrong brush or comb and combing incorrectly. You should not fix your beard more than three times a day, even just twice a day will suffice. Fix it in the morning, check it midday and then again before you go to bed to make sure no knots where formed during the day. Take time to learn how to comb your beard properly.
#4 Don’t Stroke Your Beard Too Much
This one might feel like an innocent habit, it’s fun to feel proud of your beard. But the problem is that your hands have oils on them that could cause acne. Not to mention all the hidden germs. If you struggle with a dry skin, the stroking could also cause beardruff.
Before tending to your beard with your bare hands, make sure they are clean and that your face is well-moisturized.
#5 Don’t Trim Your Neckline Too High
This one is more an appeal from the people who have to stare at your face all day. Trim it too high and you will create an optical illusion of a chubby face. Yup, the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve. You need to create a neckline that looks natural. A neckline too low will also look strange.
The easiest way to figure out where your neckline should finish, is by placing your index and middle finger near the top of where your Adams apple starts. The top of the two fingers is where your neckline should be. This will look best on most men, but if it seems too high or low, change it until you feel comfortable and look good.
Good Beard Habits
Now that you know what not to do, here are a few things that you should do. If you’re serious about cultivating an awesome beard, you’ll have to put in some time to nurture it. Otherwise it will just look like you’re too lazy to shave.
#1 Get the closest sculpt
Want a super-close trim? Then you’ve got to invest in a traditional straight razor. This razor will trim down the hair much closer than a normal disposable razor. Using a straight razor will also give you more control over the sculpting process. You might feel quite nervous in the beginning about slitting your own throat, but you will quickly get used to it.
#2 Get the right tools
Together with the straight razor, there are a few other tools you need to purchase when embarking on your beard growing journey. For trimming, you need the correct scissors and a high quality clipper. You also need to get a proper beard comb or brush. And a tweezer to deal with those ingrown hairs that pop up occasionally.
#3 Pamper Your Face
No, it won’t turn you into a wimp if you take good care of yourself. Invest in good beard products, you can’t just use the same shampoo you rub on your head for your face. The skin underneath your beard is much more sensitive than your scalp. To maintain the beard hair in a good condition, purchase some beard balm or oil. Exfoliate your face once a week to get rid of the dead cells and to maintain your skin in a good condition.
#4 Trim It to Keep It Looking Great
You might be aiming at the wild look, but you should still trim your beard regularly. For long beards, trim it about every two months or so. Before you gasp at the idea of losing precious length, there is method to the madness. By trimming it, you’re getting rid of nasty split ends. This will make your beard look and feel healthier. If you’re wearing it short, trim it every few weeks to maintain the look.
#5 Eat Well, Sleep Well
You might find the idea strange, but your lifestyle habits will be reflected in your beard growth. A balanced and healthy diet will keep your hair and skin looking great. You could also consider taking some supplements such as a B vitamin complex and biotin. But it’s still debatable whether it really works or not.
A recent study found that if you’re not sleeping well, your beard growth could slow down. Lack of sleep will also affect your immune system, which will in turn affect the condition of your skin and hair.
May It Grow Well
Hopefully you’re cultivating good beard habits and getting rid of the bad ones. Were you surprised by any of the bad habits? Any other habits that you think every bearded gentleman should follow?