New to Beard Grooming? Everything You Need to Know
Growing a beard takes a little more work than simply avoiding shaving for a few days. Setting down your straight razor is a good first step, but to keep your facial hair looking in top form you’ll need special tools and products that will shape and soften those chin whiskers. It can be confusing to know where to start, especially as beard products have exploded onto the market. With just a few tips about products, techniques, and routines, you’ll be well on your way to a beard that is sure to even make your dad jealous!
Tools of the Trade
Just like changing a car’s oil, taking care of your beard requires proper tools. A razor can only do so much. You still need to shape, trim and smooth out your facial hair to keep it looking great. Getting that movie star appearance may take a little work, but the end results will have you turning heads before you know it! Some of the most important tools to use during your grooming regimen include:
Razors: The first step to any great beard is getting rid of unwanted facial hair. Even if it’s just a few spots at your cheekbones, a good sharp razor will keep things feeling smooth. Disposable brands are a good option if you’re looking for something quick, and you can turn to a straight razor for a more elegant implement. Though they have a bit of a learning curve and take a little extra time, the precision and smoothness make any inconvenience worthwhile.
Brushes: A wild beard will make you look like a wild man, no doubt about it. Using a quality beard brush helps to tame unruly facial hair and distribute natural oils throughout your beard and mustache. Daily use will help to train hair to fall in specific ways, too, letting you hold on to that professional look all day long.
Combs: Like brushes, combs are meant to smooth out the scraggles but work better on longer beards that a brush just can’t control. Stay away from plastic varieties because, while they work great on your head hair, they can pull on and break beard follicles and contribute to split ends. A wooden comb is a great alternative as it helps to separate hairs smoothly and won’t overly damage hair.
Trimmers and Scissors: After brushing or combing out your beard, you may notice a few stragglers that are poking out at odd angles. That’s when a great pair of beard scissors come in handy. Flyaways and split ends can quickly be culled, and brushing your beard against the grain will help you identify overlong strands of facial hair that need clipping. Those with shorter beards and mustaches might want to try an electric trimmer. Like a guarded automatic razor, a trimmer will cut beards down to a specific length, making shaping a much less daunting process. Removing the guard will help give you additional precision like you would find with a straight razor.
There are so many skin and beard care products on the market today that it’s difficult to find exactly what you need. When choosing the best options, it’s important to keep several things in mind. Choose products that align with your skin type to avoid doing any damage to your face.
Beard Oil: Beard oils are exactly what they sound like: an oil base that may have fragrances added in. Oil is a great option for conditioning because it mimics the natural lubricants found on your skin, keeping your beard and mustache looking like you’re on the way to the red carpet.
Beard Balm: Balms are similar to oils and are a great alternative since they come in a tin and are easier to transport. Typically you’ll find these products falling into two categories: conditioning and shaping. After shaving with your disposable or straight razor, you may still have some flyaways that a styling balm can smooth down. Conditioning balms are great for adding that extra fullness and shine and they may help somewhat with shaping, too.
Waxes: If your mustache needs a little extra flair, grab some styling wax and try out a handlebar! Beard and mustache wax is great for dominating your facial hair, making it bend to your whim by almost gluing hair into place. Many people shy away from the extra work it takes to perfectly curve their beards, but those who do will find no better way than with a good brand of wax.
No matter what tools you choose, they’re just taking up space if you don’t use them every day. Create a shaving and skincare routine to help manage your beard and the differences will be noticeable. Wash and dry your beard at least once a day, before you start to shave with a disposable or straight razor. Clean up the edges, brush, and trim away any stray hairs. Then move on to condition and wax, and your beard will be the envy of lumberjacks everywhere!