Men’s Spotlight: Growing & Maintaining a Beard.

How to start:

“Let it grow…Let IT groW, you can’t hold it back anymooore.” Although a Disney parody serenade may have some unknown growing stimulus on your beard, it’s the meaning of the words that’s most important. And like Scott Maggs who grew the fab beard above to support melanoma research, you too may flaunt such a masculine artistry. First step, just quit shaving. Let your beard be free to be what it wants and see what happens. Refrain from any trimming or sculpting for a least four weeks, to prevent accidental razor happy chopping and unevenness.

What to expect:

As the hair grows, the 2-week itch begins, as those little keratin spears poke through the skin and are in close enough proximity to rough it up! Use a good moisturizer that aids in itch, like Bluebeard Original Beard Saver (https://bluebeardsoriginal.com). For more stubborn itching, apply hydrocortisone, like Cortisone-10 with aloe to soothe skin. Itch is normal in beginning phases but usually subsides. Beard growth may also be patchy and grow in a pattern or thickness that is unique to each individual. Yet, knowing what your beard will look like only comes with growing.

Skin Maintenance:

Though the beard is covering its skin foundation, the skin is still important in a successful attempt at beard growth. Beards may trap dead cells, oil, and dirt which reside on skin and cause irritation, acne, or itching. Additionally, soaps that are too harsh may cause dryness and irritation. Wash skin with a gentle yet moisturizing cleanser like Dove. Baby shampoo can also serve as a gentle cleanse while still removing debris. Apply a good facial moisturizer like Dove for Men or Neutrogena daily. Luckily, a dense beard does provide some protection against the sun, but a moisturizer with sunscreen is still prudent.

Beard Hygiene:

In addition to using gentle cleansers for the facial skin, use on the beard itself may serve as a good wash. Nonetheless, if the OTC variety of shampoo’s and soaps are too drying, there are other brands available specifically made for beards. Medicine Man Beard Wash contains coconut and hemp oil (natural anti-itch) which are both moisturizing (https://www.onedtq.com) along with the well-received Scotch & Porter Brand  (https://www.scotchporter.com) which provides shampoo and conditioner, touting ingredients like aloe and chamomile.

Post shampoo and conditioner, use of a beard comb or brush will keep your mane tangle free while a blow dry on low heat will give you a manicured fluff. Maintain a soft sheen by applying a quality beard oil like Badger Beard Oil (https://www.badgerbalm.com) , Jack Black Beard MP10 Nourishing Oil (http://www.getjackblack.com) or a local favorite Outlaw Beard Balm (www.outlawbeardbalm.com).

Adverse Skin Conditions:

For those prone to scalp or facial dandruff, the flake may plague a growing beard. Use an anti-dandruff shampoo like Nizoral 1% shampoo or Neutrogena T-Gel (tar based) to decrease the snowfall.

Acne type bumps may also fill in the base of the beard landscape. Use an exfoliating cleanser to clear pores like Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash.

Patchy Beard Growth:

Beard length and breadth is genetic and affected by your body’s hormonal environment. The beard is an androgenic receptive area, meaning, it can be stimulated by chemicals which enhance male type hormones to skin receptors. Use of shampoo’s that stimulate scalp hair growth, may also give beard growth a little push. Try massaging Pura D’or or Follicure shampoo into the root of your facial mane. You may also supplement with vitamins that promote hair growth like Biotin, Niacin, or Viviscal.

Beard Styling:

After surpassing the four week mark, beard sculpting is permissible. Although best done by a professional barber, if you choose to tackle maintenance here are a few tips. Define your neck line by trimming where the neck meets the head. Keep the mid cheek perimeter natural. Use scissors to trim, as aberrant chopping is less likely and you have more control. At two months of growth, expect hair to become a little more wild, crazy, curly, or frizzy. Your natural beard tendencies will sprout around this time and it is what it is.

With using this tips and given a little time, you could eventually be the proud owner of a yeard (one year beard!). Good luck on your follicular efforts.

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