So you’ve decided to fulfill one of your “New Year, New Me” resolutions and grow a beard. Kudos. Maybe by next year, you’ll also have a Valentine (No, for real, research actually shows men and women equally enjoy the facial hair on a dude).
As you start (or continue) your journey towards Grizzly Adams, here’s some advice from five guys with bad AF beards to consider so you don’t end up looking like Casey Affleck at the Golden Globes.
1. Watch What You Eat - Meekay, Model
Eat Clean & Green - Care for your body from the inside out by eating the right foods and staying away from the stuff you know just won't nourish it. Your hair, skin and nails are the last places in your body to receive nutrients, so it takes awhile to reap the rewards of a healthy and balanced diet. But once you’ve been on a healthy regime for a while, nothing can have a more profound impact on the health of your beard. I switched to a strictly plant based diet over two years ago and have never felt better.
2. Let It Grow, Let It Grow, Let It Grow - Chris John Millington, Model
Let It Grow - You’ll find it difficult to establish your natural lines and shapes until the fourth or fifth week of growth. Once you’ve left it for that amount of time, you’ll be ready to start shaping the beard. When shaping the beard, follow the contours of your face and jaw. If you have strong cheekbones and a solid jawline, crop it around the jawline and cheeks. If you have softer features, you can use a beard to create a stronger, more defined shape by squaring off the corners and edges. And so what if it’s patchy or uneven — embrace it! Your beard can be uniquely shaped in ways that many others can’t easily recreate (Think: Josh Hartnett).
3. Shea Butter Is Your Friend - Dr. Epic, Street Photographer
Add Moisture - According to the beard experts at Lovely Beards, shea butter is a natural beard softener that can not only stimulate hair growth, but ensures your hair is properly groomed. Shea butter is filled with vitamins including A, E and F. These vitamins are proven to give the skin essential nutrients for collagen production. I’m a big fan of Xotics Sweet Jamila. I also recommend you add whichever product you like while your beard is still wet. It helps the butter get into your pours and that helps in the growth process. Lastly, comb your beard often. I honestly keep a comb on me at all times.
4. Don’t Over Wash Your Beard — Mike Errante, Bearded Bad Ass
Watch How Much You Wash — This is one of the most overlooked tricks in the book. It isn’t necessary to wash your beard every single day unless you’re someone who works in an environment where you need to. Wash your beard once a week with a soap like Grandpa’s Pine Tar to preserve the natural oils your beard produces. On the off days, simply rinse your beard with warm water. This also reduces the risk of an itchy beard and overly dry skin.
5. Get Professional Help: Talk To A Barber - Greg Jernigan, CrossFit Instructor
Talk To A Pro — Get some help! Go see a barber who specializes in beard care. A skilled barber can also help shape your beard — especially during the awkward, growing phase — so it’s a balanced and proportional look. Need help finding a barber? Ask someone with a kickass beard — even a total stranger on the street.