Beards have been a popular fashion trend for many decades now, and it looks like they’ll be here to stay for several more. But whether you’re sporting a full, bushy beard, a goatee, or even a five O’clock shadow, sometimes it can be tricky to tame your facial hair.
So, we’ve put together six tips to help you stay on top of your beard grooming game. From beard balms to determining your face shape, we hope these tips will help you look and feel your best.
1. Let your beard grow
If you’ve decided that you want to grow a beard, you may already want to get stuck into styling and trimming – but the first step in growing a full, impressive beard is actually to leave it alone for a while.
Waiting to shape your facial hair until it’s ready is key to getting the lustrous, well-styled beard you’ve been hoping for. It allows the hairs to grow evenly, which will set you up to give your beard the full shape that it deserves.
Experts recommend leaving your beard to its own devices for around four to six weeks before touching it. The best time to start trimming will vary from person to person, as everybody’s facial hair grows at different rates. But the minimum you should wait is at least three weeks.
Trimming too early can leave your beard looking uneven or patchy, so being patient will almost always pay off.
2. Fuel your beard
While you’re waiting it out, there are still steps you can take to help your beard grow in healthy and strong. Just like any other part of the body, your facial hair needs proper nutrition to help it reach its full potential.
Many beard growth supplements are available to purchase online and in stores. But there’s a lot of misinformation out there on which vitamins and minerals are actually helpful, so it’s best to take products’ lofty claims about huge boosts in hair growth with a pinch of salt.
For instance, various sources recommend foods and supplements containing B vitamins, vitamin K, selenium, and zinc. Yet, little research exists to support their effectiveness in promoting healthy facial hair growth.
Additionally, some sources reference studies that suggest links between hair loss and certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies – using this as evidence to promote the use of supplements. However, these deficiencies are rare, and healthy individuals usually already get the right amount from their diet and wouldn’t necessarily benefit from supplementing their diets with these substances.
Keeping that warning in mind, though, there are definitely some science-backed vitamins that can help keep your beard healthy.
Here’s an overview of three of them, and how you can add more to your diet…
We’ve all been hearing a lot more about vitamin D in recent years, so you may already be aware of the general health benefits of getting the right amount of it.
Though, what you may not know, is how vitamin D can support beard growth. Studies have suggested that vitamin D is involved in the maintenance of hair follicles – which leads to healthy hair growth.
Many beard styling advisors and vitamin brands also claim that vitamin D’s effect on testosterone levels is a major factor in beard growth. But, according to Holland and Barrett, this supposed link between testosterone and hair growth is a misconception.
As we get vitamin D from the sun, spending more time outdoors is a great way to give your levels a boost. You can also try adding more oily fish, seafood, and mushrooms to your diet as these contain generous amounts of vitamin D.
The NHS also recommends that we take vitamin D supplements during autumn and winter when sunlight is less available – though it’s important not to overdo it. Vitamin D is fat-soluble meaning that if taken in excess, it can build up to dangerously high levels in the body and lead to health complications. The NHS advise taking no more than 10 micrograms per day.
Holland and Barrett offer a range of vitamin D supplements, which you can find here – though it’s always best to check with your GP before taking supplements.
If you want to find out more about the various health benefits of vitamin D, then you may want to have a read of our article; What is vitamin D and why do we need it to stay healthy?
Vitamin A is necessary for all cell growth in the body, and naturally, this involves hair cells. For this reason, getting enough vitamin A isn’t only vital for our overall health, it also has a specific effect on hair health too.
This important vitamin has been linked with the balanced production of sebum – an oily substance released through hair follicles that protects the skin. Sebum also moisturises our skin, so it’s important in both protecting and promoting healthy hair, including facial hair.
Foods which help to boost vitamin A include leafy green vegetables like spinach and broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, tomatoes, fish oils, milk, and eggs.
If you want to learn more about vitamin A and its health benefits, check out our article; The Complete Guide to Vitamin A.
The body uses vitamin C to produce collagen – an important protein that serves as a building block and helps to make up our skin, hair, and other bodily structures.
To help maintain healthy facial hair, you may want to add some vitamin C-rich foods to your diet. These include bell peppers, strawberries, citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and kiwis, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussel sprouts, and cabbage.
For more information about vitamin C and what it does for your body, check out our article; Everything you need to know about vitamin C.
3. Choose your style
Once your beard has properly grown in, it’s time to think about shaping. When choosing the style you want to go for, it’s important to pick one that complements your face shape.
For example, rounder faces suit more triangular styles with complementary angles, whereas this kind of angular style can look a little too pointy on a more rectangular face.
In their article on how to make this important choice, FashionBeans suggest that there are seven main face shapes: oval, rectangle, triangular, round, heart, square, and diamond. For guidance on how to determine which shape matches your own visage, along with what style will best suit you, you can read the full guide here.
4. Once your beard has grown in, trim it regularly
- Firstly, a well-trimmed neckline can make or break a good beard – especially if you’re going for a smart, tidy look. Men’s Health recommends shaving your beard’s neckline so it resembles a ‘U’ shape above the Adam’s apple. To find out how to do this, you can read their article here.
- The other two edges of the beard are the cheek line and back line (the vertical edges at the sides between the neck and cheek lines). In general, it’s best to keep your cheek line as high as you can (consistently) manage, whereas the back line can vary depending on whether you’re going for a round or square style.
- Finally, once your beard has grown to its full potential, it can be helpful to trim any rogue hairs around once a month. Though the best frequency will depend on your beard’s length and style, so feel free to trim whenever you feel your beard needs it.
5. Practise good beard hygiene
As with the rest of your body, proper hygiene is crucial for your beard’s health. It’s important to wash your beard regularly – but keep in mind that your beard will need a different washing approach to head hair.
Washing your beard regularly is important since it removes the dirt, dust, dead skin, and food particles that can get stuck in it day-to-day. Keeping your beard clean will also help to keep it from itching, which is a common problem, as well as prevent dandruff and irritation caused by dry skin.
To wash your beard, it’s best to use a dedicated beard shampoo one to three times a week – although if you have dry skin, it’s best to do this only once or twice a week.
When drying, it’s important to be gentle with the towel. The skin on your face is particularly sensitive, so the best way to avoid irritation is to gently pat your beard dry.
6. Make use of oils and balms
Beard oils and balms have become a lot more popular in recent years – and with good reason. Oils and balms are used to condition and style your beard, so they can really boost your beard’s health and give it that extra sheen.
Both beard oils and beard balms help to hydrate your beard by trapping moisture in the hairs. Beard balm is heavier than beard oil, so if you’re going for a thicker, heavier style of beard, balm might be the right choice for you.
Another reason to choose beard balm over beard oil can be the weather. In winter, or if you live in a particularly cold climate, it’s really easy for your beard to dry out, which can leave it looking drab and feeling itchy. In cases like these, the heavier duty product can be the answer.
Conditioning can be especially important for greying beards, as grey hair is drier and coarser – so if you’re sporting silver whiskers, a beard oil or balm is your friend.
We hope that you’ve found our tips useful and that you feel equipped to grow those magnificent whiskers you’ve been hoping for.
For more advice on how to look and feel good, you might want to check out the fashion and beauty section of our website.