The most important thing to know about how to grow a beard is that you actually need to grow that beard. You need the canvas to throw paint on, and you need to engage in real time to do not shave if you want a beard. This is rule # 1.
But there are still dos and don’ts to keep everything clean and tucked in, so we’ve put together our best beard growth tips to get you started growing your first beard. Or maybe it’s not your first beard, but you’re determined to make it your better beard. Or maybe it’s the first time you’ve been realistic about what’s possible, given your specific amount and where the whiskers are on your mug. (If you’re dealing with inequality, we’ve got a guide for that as well.) Wherever you are, with these tips, the best beard your DNA allows can start right now.
1. Identify your goal, but be realistic
There are many beard styles to choose from; you don’t need to stick to perfectly maintained and even growth. (Think about how your beard can best flatter your face shape.) Let your growth be influenced by the style you want to achieve. However, I insist on “wanting” for one special reason: you can’t necessarily achieve your ideal beard if your facial hair isn’t meant to grow that way.
If your beard is patchy or has a unique growth pattern (sparse on the cheeks, full on the goatee, for example), you need to set your expectations correctly. This goes for large, small and medium beards.
2. Let it grow
Patience is a virtue. Not only can a little time help fill in some irregularities, it is also necessary for almost any style. A beard turns into something new every week. So if it looks like you never each is your goal – especially if it’s a long beard – then you might honestly wake up one morning and realize you’ve arrived at your destination.
3. Pay attention to the perimeter
One of the principles of beard maintenance is to keep it defined. In short: shave the cleavage and clean the cheek lines. These give him more beard and less neck – unless, for some reason, a woolly stoner beard is your goal. In this case, let it grow wild and free.
4. Trim it as it grows
The second way to keep things intentional is to sculpt and trim your beard as it grows. It might sound counterproductive – and contrary to # 2 – but it’s the same way you have to cut your hair while growing your hair out. This helps direct the hair exactly where it needs to be: fuller in some places, less in others. The styling products in the next tip can of course help influence matters, but most of all you want to keep the hairs under control if necessary: this could mean checking for parasites, trimming split ends, or just removing some bulk. You will need a beard trimmer or a pair of sharp scissors.
5. Use some nourishing products
There are a handful of beard products that you should consider getting if you are serious about proper care and maintenance. A few drops of beard oil will quickly absorb and give your hair the right nutrients (plus a pinch of shine), while also making it more tame in the process. You can also swap out a beard balm or cream, something slightly heavier than an oil, to help style the beard and keep it in place all day.
You also want to keep the thing clean. The shampoo works well, but a dedicated beard wash will be gentler on your face. Either way, that skin still needs hydration – a moisturizer will keep it from getting dry and scaly.
6. Brush it every night
Beard brushes help exfoliate the skin under the beard, to begin with, which lifts dead skin cells and prevents future flaking. In addition, brushing a beard at the end of each day will ensure its health and ability to tame in the long run. This distributes the natural oils produced in the skin, which otherwise collects at the base of the shaft and only nourishes the bottom of each hair. This oil distribution prevents breakage, frizz and split ends. (This is a great time to apply a few drops of beard oil as a booster, especially after a shower.)
7. Try a new style
Once your base has grown – it can take months – it’s time to really make it yours. One of our favorites is to cut the bridge between the mustache and the chin, thus blocking the mustache. Or, reduce the beard itself, leaving a fuller mustache. You have a lot of options and it is your privilege as a barber to display it.