Beards are powerful. For some, they help keep us warm. For others, they reshape our face. For all of us, they store food scraps for us to snack on later. I’ve had a beard for a few years now and I’ve learned quite a few things in the process. Here are my top tips as a beard owning human.
Moisturize! Bathing regularly is not a natural thing for humans to do. Don’t get me wrong, I fully support the human race in our mission to avoid being stinky. The problem is that when you have a beard and you take a shower everyday, your beard and the skin underneath it starts to dry out. This is where beard oil comes in! Whenever I get out of the shower I put on beard oil. Beard oil is designed to be worked deep into the hairs so that it also reaches your skin. This helps hydrate both the hair and the skin below. Do this every time and you probably won’t have to deal with flaky dry skin or an itchy beard. Plus, your beard hairs will be healthier! Sounds like a win win win to me.
Don’t wash your beard with regular soap! Your beard is a fragile, delicate thing. Just like you! Did I trigger anyone with that? Look, take a deep breath, stop trying to be macho all the time, and keep reading. Beard shampoo is a wonderful thing. It’s formulated specifically for beards and is designed to cleanse without stripping all the oils that are naturally in your beard. It doesn’t just help your beard stay strong and healthy either. It can help make it easier to comb and style too!
Careful what comb you use! All combs and brushes are not created equally. You remember those little black combs from school picture day? Do you have anything that resembles that? KILL IT WITH FIRE! Sorry, I’ll calm down. Those are great to keep with you for emergencies, but try not to use them too often. Usually black plastic combs are made in a mold where they’re quickly stamped out. This means there’s a lot of tiny imperfections in the plastic that can actually damage your hairs. This can lead to weaker hair that breaks, or worse, split ends. Whenever possible use a wood comb or a more gentle hair brush. Your beard will thank you! (Not literally, unless you’ve taken a psychedelic)
Get the right tools to trim your beard! When I was a kid, we had a toy poodle called Cafe. She was a real sweetheart. We also had a pair of scissors we used to trim dingleberries off her butt since her dookie would sometimes get tangled in her curly hair. Those scissors would be the perfect, most extreme example of choosing the wrong tools to trim your beard. I mostly use an all-in-one rechargeable body trimmer by norelco to trim and shape my beard, and it works great. Sure, you can get fancy and buy high end barber hair clippers, but you really don’t need it. For less than $60 you should be able to get trimmers that come with a handful of attachments and gets the job done. I also use a razor for my neck and cheeks, and small scissors for my mustache, but those aren’t necessary, especially in the beginning. The most important thing is to get a good tool that’s made for beards, move very slowly when you trim and shape your beard, and read my tips for proper trimming technique in my other post. When I first grew out my beard, mistakes were made . . . several times. I promise I know what I’m talking about.
Growing and taking care of your beard should be fun. No matter how your beard looks, how it grows, or what color it is, it’s part of your identity. It can turn into something that helps to define your identity. Take good care of it! Remember, your beard can’t work for you unless you work for your beard! I don’t really know what that means, but it sounded good in my head. Anyways, good luck!
Co-owner of Ape and proud beard owner