How to take care of your beard
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Horace teaches you how to grow, style, soften, and groom your beard.
For a long time, beards were the mark of scholars. These days, while scholars, philosophers, and pseudo-intellectuals would rather go clean-shaven, beards are still popular among civilised men. They are an excellent concealment method, both hiding potential imperfections and presenting the wearer in a new light. However, the line between a stylish beard and a shaggy bush is very fine: taking care of your beard is crucial if you don’t want to draw comparisons with artichokes and their fuzzy beards. Yes, artichokes have beards. Look it up.
Choosing a beard type
There are as many beard types as there are men. This is true since no two men have the same genetic makeup, and hence, not all beards are created equal. A beard can be short and patchy, a few days old, or long and soft. Faced with so many possibilities, how do you choose which style is best for you?
One of the classics, much like a white shirt or a navy-blue suit. The 3-day beard is an excellent introduction to the wonderful world of beards, on top of being (nearly) universally office-friendly. Main flaw: it’s a bit of an easy solution. The 3-day beard is the go-to style for men with patchy beards. Opting for a very short style will make the patches in your beard less obvious. Very convenient.
How to take care of it
As stated in the name, a 3-day beard is a very short beard growth, which you can shave off as soon as it becomes too lengthy, only to let it grow back again. An easy option, which doesn’t require any specific care.
The short and thick beard
By short beard, we mean anything longer than a 3-day beard and shorter than the mid-chest-length beards sported by ZZ Top. In short, anywhere between 1cm and 15cm. If they are impeccably trimmed (with clippers and scissors), they can prove incredibly stylish.
How to take care of it
By trimming it - obviously - but also by washing it with beard shampoo, or failing that, “standard” shampoo, which is intended for your hair, and as such is better than traditional soap. To make your beard softer (an important aspect, in particular for the person(s) you might kiss), we recommend beard oil, which deeply moisturises your beard hair and helps tame it. Nobody likes having a bushy mess for a beard.
The long beard
A popular choice amongst druids, wizards, and other powerful and wise men of yesteryear, the long beard is now much less popular, except maybe for musician Robert Wyatt. An urban lifestyle doesn’t help, as a long beard can get caught in car doors, will probably dip into your morning coffee, and will prove to be a desirable target for children’s hands. In these conditions, such a beard is understandably complicated to maintain. However, it should be noted that it’s a great style statement and can come in very handy around Christmas time, especially if it’s white.
How to take care of it
Firstly, by being extra careful to avoid constantly having a beard full of crumbs and other food remains. It is also crucial to regularly moisturise your beard with oil if you don’t want it to start looking (and feeling) like straw. We also must add that your beard should never reach below your waistline, in which case you should immediately trim it down.
Growing it out
There’s no beard without growth, a long and sometimes tedious process. This explains why it was so popular with Greek philosophers: only a man with incredible wisdom and resolve could manage to let the perfect beard grow out.
Should you choose to let your beard grow, be prepared for mean comments from the most conservative members of your entourage and considerable efforts to make it impeccable. To make things easier, secure the necessary caring products and habits from day 1.
First off, wait a few weeks (approximately six) before making your first trip to the barber. He will trim it so as to ensure it grows back neatly and properly.
Then, make sure to invest in good care products as early as possible. Beard shampoo, beard oil, clippers, and scissors will become your future beard’s best friends. Don’t let procrastination spoil your new beard’s first days. By the way, your beard will quickly become itchy. To make you and your significant other’s life better, remember to nourish it.
Size does matter
Whether short or long, a beard must be trimmed to look good. However, tread carefully, as too much trimming can result in your beard looking like a fauxhawk. It is perfectly acceptable for your beard to take over parts of your neck, in particular around your Adam’s apple. A chinstrap, on the other hand, is not.
As far as tools are concerned, it all depends on what you are trying to achieve with your beard. Sometimes some clippers and guides will suffice to help you trim your beard down without completely shaving it off. On other occasions, you will need some scissors to cut down unruly hairs and perfect your beard’s shape. For precision shaping, don’t hesitate to use a comb. What’s good for your hair is also good for your beard.
In this case, a trip to the barbers can also be worthwhile. He will be able to give you the impeccable styling you’re looking for. And he will lay the groundwork, which you can later repeat.
Your beard is like a little animal: the more you nourish and take care of it, the softer it will be. The following are a few essential beard grooming steps:
Clean your skin...
Keep the skin around your beard clean with your usual cleanser, and exfoliate it once a week, the same way you did when you were clean-shaven. This is particularly important during the first two weeks of your beard growth, as it will prevent nasty ingrown hair from spoiling everything.
… and your beard
Chances are you’ve already met the despicable type of (beardless) person who finds it funny to regularly bring up the study proving beards are dirtier than your average toilet bowl. The truth is that this study was probably carried out on men who never washed their beards. Beard shampoo will enable you to ward off all such accusations while nourishing your beard and leaving it perfectly neat. Word of advice, shampoos will not protect your beard against crumbs, and stray food remains.
Nourish your beard
You can moisturise your beard with beard oil. Once well-nourished and moisturised, your beard will be as soft as a cashmere jumper against which you’d want to snuggle.
You now know which beard style to choose and how to take care of it. Be warned though, this does not mean you have the right to start handing out life lessons to your friends. A beautiful beard doesn’t automatically make you a wise man.
My beard routine