Beard growing is the most macho and rebellious celebration of your manhood that you can do with no effort at all. Beard devotees will claim that it’s everything good about being a man.
Did you know that over your lifetime, you’ll be spending about 5 months of it running a razor over your face? By growing a beard, you’ll be saving a lot of time. If you need more excuses, feel free to use a few of these.
- You’ll look better (tougher, manlier, older, younger, beastlier, sexier, happier, scarier…)
- Facial hair will balance your shaved head.
- You want to prove to yourself that you can still grow hair.
- A beard will draw attention away from your receding hairline.
- Your girlfriend says you’ll look hot as hell.
- You just broke up with your girlfriend.
- You’re getting back into the dating scene.
- Your face will appreciate the break.
- You want a new look.
- You’re hiding from someone.
- You’re saving money.
- You’ve got acne.
- It’s cold out.
- It will be fun.
- You want one.
Winter is the perfect time to grow a beard. The holidays are like six weeks of weekend. Stay out of the stores, and you’ll have that much more time to celebrate your shaving freedom.
It Takes Commitment
Growing a beard will be just like having a baby. It’s going to take over your life. Even if your goal is just growing a mustache, you’ll need to grow out all your facial hair.
- For four weeks you’ll probably look like you’re homeless.
- You’ll get tired of looking like you’re homeless.
- Your face will itch like hell.
- You’ll be hearing a lot of crap from your mother, your boss and your girlfriend.
- If you’re married, you’ve got to get agreement on the deal.
Just remember. When you’ve hit the end of week one and you’re constantly hearing that razor calling your name, you’ve only got a couple of more weeks to endure before experiencing a transformation that could last a lifetime.
Your Genes May Not Be Your Friends
Even if you do have a full-on commitment from your brain, your girlfriend and your mother, your genes have the final say in whether you are capable of growing a beard. How much hair you grow everywhere is determined by your gene pool, not how cold it is outside, the amount of Vitamin E you take or how often your stimulate your follicles.
The only thing you can do to help the process is to be patient. Hair grows at different rates. Seeing hair on your chin but not on your cheeks for the first couple of weeks shouldn’t be your excuse for giving up.
Age is also a big factor, too. Don’t try to grow a beard too early. It doesn’t matter if your grandma told you that you have an old soul, baby-fine patches of facial hair are just sad.
A good starting for your beard project isn’t just about hiding away your shaving equipment. Do yourself a favor and make some preparations.
- Shopping – To shop for grooming products for the first time, take your girlfriend, your wife or your mother with you. Most women know all about shopping, hair care and skin care. If you’ve got a buddy who has a great beard, ask him for product recommendations. Ask the person who cuts your hair for advice, too.
- Face washing – You still have skin underneath that beard, and the hair on your face is not the same as what’s growing on your armpits. Stop using deodorant soap to wash your face. Facial skin is thinner and more susceptible to abuse. Find a cleanser made for faces.
- Beard washing – Use a shampoo & conditioner made for beards (Bluebeards Original Beard Wash is Awesome!). That’s right. Your beard needs a two-step routine. If your beard feels really itchy or your skin is flakey-dry, a shampoo made for dandruff might help clear it up.
- Moisturizing – If you’ve never used any moisturizer on your face, you’d better start. The kind of moisturizer we’re talking about is not the stuff you’ve occasionally slapped on your hands. A good facial moisturizer replaces lost moisture, helps to repair damage and just feels good. Stay away from moisturizers that contain oil. Oil is greasy and clogs pores. That will lead to blackheads and pimples.
This is easy stuff, and you won’t be giving away your manhood when you admit you like some of it. There are lots of decent products out there, and you should be able to find what you need for the cost of a couple of Big Meal Deals.
Tips for the Growing Period
- Start with a naked face. Do a really close shave to remove all beard hair.
- Resist the urge to trim your beard as it’s growing out. The one exception is your mustache. If it’s covering your upper lip, trim it just enough to stay out of your mouth.
- Don’t panic if you see bald spots. Everyone has them. A longer beard should eventually cover patchy areas.
- Comb your beard in the direction you want it to grow.
- If you want to get an early idea of how your beard might look once it’s filled in, rub a little pomade in the whiskers and comb them in the direction you want them to go. Don’t use so much product that your beard looks shiny or feels greasy.
NO shaving for at least 4 weeks. In case you’re wondering, that’s 28 days (or 672 hours or 40,320 minutes) of leaving your beard alone.
You might just feel the hair growing every one of those minutes. Keep your hands off of your face. Resist the urge to feel the stubble. You’re probably running dirty hands over it. Mark down your four (or six) week target date and prepare to celebrate. Hell, celebrate every week if it motivates you.
Swap the shaving tools for your new face and beard care products. Clean up the shavers and fit them with new razors so they’re ready when you need them. Get them out of sight. Reminder: keep your hands off your face.
After two or three days, check for bare patches and the direction the hair is growing in. This will help to determine if you can grow the type of beard you want. How soon you can get an idea will depend on how fast your facial hair grows. Don’t worry if you don’t see much right away.
During the stubble phase your beard is likely to be as irritating as a 4-year old who needs a nap. This happens because your hair is stiff and you made the ends pointy the last time you shaved. You’re also starting to see some of the skin irritation that comes with oil and dirt left trapped in the whiskers. Your skin might get mad enough to produce ingrown hairs, bumps, blackheads. You’d better start using those products we talked about. Once your beard gets past the terrible twos, it will start to feel softer again.
By this time, you should be past most of the itch. If you happen to need more relief, apply some moisturizer more frequently to the areas that are itching.
Post Week 4
You may have grown something that looks atrocious. Depending on how thick your beard has begun to appear, it might be time for a little clean up. It’s time to shape your beard and define your neckline. This is probably best done by a barber or stylist. If your beard still looks thin or patchy, leave it alone for a couple of more weeks.
Six Week Milestone
It’s time to celebrate, regardless of how your beard looks. You’ve kept your commitment. If you haven’t given it a trimming and a shaping, it’s time to head to the barber. If you think you can handle the sculpting on your own, dig out your clean equipment with the newly sharpened blades and gather your shaving soap and brush, scissors and aftershave.
Check out the Trim Your Beard section before you put razor to face.
To state the obvious, your work has only just begun. If you screw it up, go for another style or shave it all off and start over. Beards aren’t like tattoos. You can change your mind.