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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

(Don't) Fear the Beard

Spring is on its way in and sweaters, scarves and mittens are on the way out. The temperature is rising, but that doesn’t mean the beard trend is going anywhere. Although this manly fashion staple has been around for quite some time, the art of growing and maintaining facial hair hasn’t always come as easy for some as it has for others. The amount of time it takes for a cleanly shaven face to sprout a full beard varies for every man, but the average is about four weeks. Take note of these tips for growing a beard from the beginning to ending stages.

Ingrown Hairs
Sometimes known as razor bumps, ingrown hairs will sometimes occur in the beginning stage of growth when hair gets trapped inside the follicle or grows back into the skin. This will occur after your initial shave before you start growing out your beard. It is common, but very painful and uncomfortable. Be careful when treating the irritated area. Don’t pull it out from the top, as that can cause it to break instead of come out, which will create more irritation. Instead, put a hot, damp towel over your face, disinfect the area with some alcohol and use tweezers to gently pull out the hair as close to the base as possible to pull the bulb out. Don’t ever squeeze them with your fingers! Dirt under your fingernails could lead to an infection. 

Don’t stress. This should only last a couple of weeks. If you’re new to growing out your facial hair, this initial stage can be uncomfortable and will make you feel like you’ve got a rash under all of that stubble. Don’t worry! It’s most likely just your face drying out and collecting dust. Apply some lotion to your face daily, and you’ll be good to go. Remember, that annoying itch is only temporary!

Growing Pains
Like I mentioned before, the amount of time it takes to grow a beard is different for everyone. Be patient and avoid trimming or shaping your beard for at least a month. For some men that’s too long, and for others it takes two months to get rid of that patchy look. Use your best judgment, but avoid the clippers for as long as you can!

When you’ve achieved your desired beard length, which should be after a month or so, you should start a beard grooming routine. You’ll experience the best results by shampooing and conditioning your beard a couple of times a week. Most guys use their regular bar soap in the shower, but you shouldn’t! It will dry out the skin underneath your beard and cause the hair to be brittle.

Trim your beard every week to every few weeks, depending on how long you want to keep your beard and the speed at which your hair grows. When trimming or shaping your beard, always use the right tools. For trimming full, thick beards, comb your beard before using shears. Some men prefer to use scissors, while others prefer to use electric trimmers with a high guard. For a more scruffy, stubble look, use a stubble trimmer every couple of days and an after-shave moisturizer afterward.

Do you have any questions about growing a beard that weren’t answered in this post? Ask your questions in the comments below, and we’ll help you out!


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