A beard is natural; a beard is manly. A beard is also harmonious and more and more men today are opting to leave their faces unconquered by a razor. However, growing a beard has its set of trials and tribulations and the bearded lifestyle is one that is not devoid of pitfalls. So, to make matters easy, we are presenting some steps and easy ways to grow and maintain a beard.
1. Stop shaving and invest in the right shaving tools
This is one of the easiest steps to growing a beard. However; you’d still want some parts of your face to remain hairless. So invest in a good quality electric razor or a safety razor. These help you maintain a closed cropped beard as you grow it out. Philips Norelco cordless electric trimmer has several settings with a safety guard that can help you maintain short stubble or up to a 1 inch-growth.
2. Choose a style
A beard comes in many styles but you must choose one that is high maintenance, low maintenance or no maintenance. If you like grooming yourself daily and have the time and patience for it, you can choose advanced styles including the full beard, a Goatee or even a partial FuManchu. If you do not want any maintenance, then simply go for the Natural full length beard.
3. Brush it regularly
If you have to trim the beard from time to time, choose a good quality boar bristle brush to brush the hairs outwards. This will show you areas that need your attention. Once you are done trimming, simply brush the beard down. Brushing helps exfoliate the skin and prevent ingrown hair.
4. Use beard shampoos and conditioners
Shampoos made specifically for beards help clean it thoroughly and prevent skin infections including Tinea or ringworm infections. You must specifically use products that do not contain Sodium lauryl sulfate which is a surfactant that is also found in detergents. This can dry out the beard and lead to dandruff and flaking. Instead, go for herbal or organic beard shampoos. You can also make your own beard shampoo using the following recipes:
- Mix together ¼ cup each of Castile soap and distilled water. Add 2 tsp of Jojoba oil and 8-10 drops of tea tree or peppermint essential oils. Use the mixture daily to shampoo your beard.
- Alternatively, make a paste of baking soda and water and apply on the face and bearded area.
Rinse off with warm water. Use these DIY homemade beard shampoos daily.
5. Use beard oils to condition the beard
Beard oils help condition the beard. Many great beard oils are available in the market and you can even make your own beard oil using a Base Oil (Coconut, olive, sweet almond or Jojoba oils) mixed with essential oils which you love (peppermint, tea tree, rosemary, cedarwood etc). Apply the oil all over the beard and keep it for half an hour or overnight; then shampoo using a mild herbal or homemade beard shampoo.
6. Counter itchiness with honey and hot oil deep conditioning treatment
When you are just starting to grow a beard the worst thing you would likely encounter is itchiness. This is a result of the hair shaft coming out of the skin-pores and irritating the skin. Honey adds great nourishment to hair and skin and it contains many antibacterial properties. It is also rich in vitamins and minerals.
- In a small saucepan, gently mix together 2 tbsp Sesame oil, 2 tbsp Jojoba oil and 4 tbsp local honey. Heat the mixture gently-do not boil. Allow it to cool. Fill it up in a clean bottle and use it as serum to apply to the beard and facial skin. Keep for 30 minutes before rinsing off with warm water. This is one of the easiest ways to deep condition a beard. Use this beard deep conditioning treatment once a week.
7. Take supplements and herbs
If you believe that your beard is not achieving its full growth potential, then you may be deficient in certain vitamins and minerals. Eat a balanced diet of proteins and vitamins and, if needed take the following herbs and supplements to aid beard growth:
- GotuKola or Centella asiatica is a herbal remedy used in Indian ancient medicine (Ayurveda) as well as Traditional Chinese Medicine for stimulating hair growth. It contains a host of minerals and vitamins. You may consume it in powdered form, capsule or apply topically as massage oil. Take up to 30-60 drops of tincture three times daily.
- Aloe juice with lemon juice– Make a refreshing drink by adding some gel from Aloe Vera plant, equal quantities of water and a dash of lemon or lime juice to it. Drink this three times a day as one of the easy ways to grow and maintain a luxurious beard.
- Nettle root tea- Nettle root can balance hormones and prevent hair loss. Drink nettle root tea three times daily.
- Take Vitamin B complex, Zinc, Biotin, Vitamin A, L-Lysine, magnesium and Folic Acid or folate to support beard growth.
- Make a paste of parsley by boiling it for a few minutes in water, draining and blending it. Apply this paste to the beard hair to enhance growth. Eat plenty of parsley to nourish body from inside.
We hope these tips to grow and maintain a beard help you get a soft, luxurious and well-groomed beard.