Anyone who says that the ‘beard trend is over,’ is hair-raisingly inaccurate. Beards have been a fabulous part of a man’s face since men had faces. And that’s been a long time.
But how do 21st century men like us look after our beard? Different skin types, hair types and beard styles mean that you need to find something that suits your unique mix of features.
But here’s some general beard advice from a #beardgang member, and some useful tips for looking after your facial furry friend.
Keeping things clean has been good advice since around the 1700s, but many guys don’t wash their beards. Depending on the length of the beard in question, this can be a problem. Bits of food, alcohol, ash from smoking, or perhaps even ‘other liquids’ (if you’re partial to a facial…), can mean that odours and bacteria can build up.
I remember meeting a super-handsome guy who was totally my type, but his beard smelt just a tiny bit of cheeseburger, and so I didn’t end up kissing him for very long and I never saw him again. Nowadays I’d have just spoken to him about his beard maintenance and maybe washed it with him (sorry super-handsome guy, come back if you’re reading, I’m still single).
Anyway, wash your beard twice a week, unless you work outside a lot, are a very messy eater or play a lot of sports and sweat a lot.
Do you need a special beard wash?
In short, not really. What is important is finding a facial cleanser that suits your skin type, without drying out your beard. There are lots of products out there that cater for hairy faces, such as Kalamazoo, by Lush.
However, if you have especially oily skin and so have a stronger facial soap or cleanser, this could be removing the natural oils that your beard produces by itself. This can lead to an over-dry beard. If this is the case, look at getting a beard oil.
Experiment with beard oils
There are lots of good reasons for using a beard oil – they can make your beard ‘calm down’ if it’s wild and wirey, they can make it smell good, and improve how it looks with added shine.
A good beard oil will also moisturise the skin under your beard. Once again – oily-skinned bearded brothers – make sure you’re not using too much oil on your face and thus causing spots, acne or blackheads.
Look for something with natural ingredients. Jojoba oil and grapeseed oil are two of our favourites. If you want a quick beard conditioning treatment, you can even use Extra Virgin Olive oil. Read more about why we love Olive oil here.
I find that brushing my beard really helps to give it a bit of shape, especially if I’ve not had time to give it a trim or to cut any rogue hairs that are sticking up, doing their own thing, making my beard look messy.
You can get a ‘proper’ beard brush, but any brush that has hard, tight bristles works well. I often use a clothes brush, which is pretty much the same as a beard brush, just much cheaper. If you’ve got a short beard, a quick comb through is a great, quick and effective step to add to your daily routine. I’m going to do mine right now actually!
Go to the barber
You might be great at trimming your own beard – I am not, and I’ve had a few disasters where I’ve accidentally shaved it way too short, or even shaved it off completely when I forgot to add the beard-trimming attachment…
A regular trip to the barber (it doesn’t need to be an expensive one), will mean you don’t have to worry about getting the shape right – this can be tricky to do. If I’m in a new city, I show the barber a picture of myself from my Instagram so they’ve got a guide to the shape and length that I want.
Regardless of whether you trim it yourself or get someone else to do so, knowing your ‘ideal size’ is always a good thing. My personal preference is a 0.9mm or number 3 attachment (they’re the same thing, so learn both).