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If you want to grow a beard, the first and most important thing you need to do is stop shaving. Ditch the razor and wait for your bountiful beard to appear. Of course, there is more to it than just not shaving. If it were that easy, everyone would have awesome beards.
To grow a beard you can be proud of, you need to take care of it and the skin beneath it. That means getting enough rest, eating right, and using the right beard products. Don’t panic. We cover all this and more in this handy guide to growing your beard.
Let’s start with an obvious but often-overlooked question:
Why Do Men Grow Beards?
Facial hair growth is related to testosterone. Men produce more testosterone than women, and the hair follicles on the face respond to the testosterone. This is why it’s men that get beards.
But why are we drawn to keeping our beards?
If we look at evolution, beards relate to sexual selection. Men with beards were perceived as stronger, older, and more aggressive. They were more likely to survive and provide for their families. In early history, when survival was a key determining factor in choosing a mate, a beard placed you above other males.
While survival may not be a key determining factor in choosing a partner now, a well-kept beard can still play a part. So, how do you grow that perfect beard?
- Ditch the razor and have patience
It takes about four weeks for a beard to start showing itself. It can be very tempting in these early days to pick the razor back up. Avoid the temptation and practise patience. It will be worth it.
The first four weeks are vital. Hair grows at different speeds, so it might look patchy and straggly for a time. You might question your decision during this time and will other people, but it will be worth it.
Oh, and there is the itching. Your skin will react to this new sensation. Ignoring the itching might be more difficult than ignoring people’s comments and strange looks, but you can do it.
Luckily, when the itching strikes, there is something you can do that doesn’t involve a razor. A good quality beard oil will help soothe the itching and soften your beard. Using Lord of the Beards beard oil daily in those early weeks will help keep the irritation under control and your beard healthy.
- Health and well-being first
Your general health affects your beard growth. If you are getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, and exercising, it will promote strong, healthy beard growth.
Eight hours of sleep a night is recommended to promote general physical and mental well-being. When it comes to your beard, it’s all to do with growth hormones. These hormone levels increase when you sleep. This speeds up cell reproduction and hair growth. Rates peak around 2 am, so you should aim to be tucked up in bed and sound asleep before then.
The main ingredient in hair is protein, and supportive fats and oils coat healthy hair. In this regard, facial hair is the same as the hair on your head. It needs a balanced diet of healthy fats and protein-rich foods to keep it healthy. Your diet should include foods like:
- Chicken and turkey
- Nuts (including almonds, cashews, pecans, and walnuts)
Vitamins are also essential as they boost the immune system, provide a good oil balance, and improve blood circulation. Here are the most vital vitamins for your beard, along with the foods you’ll find them in:
- A – maintains hair follicles – broccoli, carrots, and green leafy vegetables.
- B3, B5, and E – improve blood circulation – avocado, beef, chicken, egg yolk, fish, and whole grains.
- B9 - helps with thicker hair - cereals, green leafy vegetables, and nuts.
- C – improves the immune system – citrus fruits, dark green leafy vegetables, green peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes.
We all know that we should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day, but did you know it is also good for your beard? Blood pumping exercise improves your metabolic rate, sending hair growth-stimulating nutrients rushing to your face. Great activities include brisk walking, cycling, running, swimming, and playing sports. High-intensity exercise can help boost testosterone, which enhances beard growth. Weightlifting is an excellent example of a high-intensity testosterone-boosting exercise.
- Beard maintenance
If you want a healthy, well-kept beard, you must put the time and effort into looking after it. Create a beard care routine that includes brushing, washing, conditioning, and oiling it regularly.
While it may sound like a lot of work, it takes less time than your daily shave, especially once you find a routine that works for your beard hair and skin. Here is the Lord of the Beards’ five easy steps to beard maintenance.
- Wash it at least twice a week, more if it’s dirty. Use a beard wash rather than shampoo, so you don’t strip the much-needed serum from your beard.
- Condition it with beard conditioner to keep it hydrated, smooth and manageable.
- Oil it daily with beard oil. Moisturise the hair and the skin underneath the hair for the best results and to keep dandruff away.
- Style it with a product that works best for you. Depending on the size and thickness of your beard, there are plenty to choose from. Beard balm works similarly to beard oil to soften, moisturise, and condition your beard. Beard butter nourishes facial hair, giving a matte finish and a light hold. Beard wax is just for styling and is ideal for keeping frizzy hair in line and twizzling the moustache.
- Brush or comb it every day. Brush the hair in a downward direction to help train the hair in the early days of your beard growth. Combs are great for getting knots out of longer beard hair, but either work, and it is a personal choice as your beard grows.
- Beard Shaping
Once you have significant beard growth, it is time to think about shaping it. While it may feel intimidating initially, taking scissors to your beard hair does get easier. The key is to start simple.
Lord of the Beards recommends finding an experienced barber for your first beard trim. It’s a great idea to visit your preferred barber every three to four weeks once your beard gets going. Professional maintenance makes it easier to keep on top of at home.
When you are shaping your beard at home, start by washing and drying it. Never cut a wet beard. It will look very different once it is dry. Give it a good brush or comb through to remove any knots and stray hairs.
Invest in a sharp pair of beard scissors and snip away stray hairs following your natural cheek line. Visualise a line curving from behind one ear down to the top of your neck below your jaw and then back up towards the back of your other ear. This will help you avoid going too close to the area between your neck and chin.
For your moustache, comb out from the middle to either side and snip any rogue hairs encroaching on the lip. Now style with your favourite product, and you are good to go.
There are no shortcuts or magic tricks to growing a beard. It comes down to basic care, maintenance and, above all, patience. Find your perfect beard products at Lord of the Beards to add to your beard care routine.