With Movember already upon us, there is no shortage of guys giving the beard their annual try for a month. Most guys love the opportunity to grow out the beard for a month and go into Movember with high hopes for bearded glory, and maybe even the hope that the beard could become a permanent fixture for them.
I know this because I have been helping guys get the best out of their beard for a while now. I have written an entire book — How to Grow a Beard — to help all of the guys out there that struggle with growing a beard for any number of reasons.
For the sake of brevity, growing the best beard you can really comes down to three essential things: having the right mindset, having the right methods, and having the right products.
Now, keep in mind that I am really writing this for the 80 percent of guys out there that don’t have an amazing beard just pouring out of their face, the guys that struggle and by week three or four of this month will probably be thinking, “I just can’t grow an awesome beard.”
The majority of guys don’t have the Epic Beard Gene. If you are one of those guys that do, consider yourself lucky — and by all means read on anyways.
The right mindset
Having the right mindset means coming into growing a beard with realistic expectations. The truth is, it takes most guys about 6 weeks of raw, untrimmed growth to even begin growing a beard — a month and a half. With that in mind, don’t get frustrated with your beard at week two when it looks patchy and just plain unflattering. I call the first 6 weeks “the Beard Hazing,” because it usually looks terrible for about three to four weeks of this period.
Bearding is all about the long game.
Another important mindset issue that is incredibly common is that most guys expect their beard to be able to become exactly like some other (usually amazing) beard that somebody else has — and get disappointed when it doesn’t.
Your beard is like having a kid. You gotta love it for what it is, nurture it, and don’t compare it to other beards. Each beard is as unique as the guy growing it, and the awesomeness of any beard is really rooted in maximizing the awesomeness of the beard, not trying to make it like some other beard.
The right methods
Next up, you need to have the right tactics to give your beard a fighting chance.
First, don’t trim for the first month. If you have some kind of crazy growth, trim as little as possible. Most of the time, guys trim way too early in the game, and then shave because the beard doesn’t look right. This usually comes from setting the cheek line way too low or trimming the jaw line way too high. Just let it go for at least four weeks before trimming — six if possible. If this is really difficult because of work or lady rules, then just trim around the edges about 1/8th of an inch to clean them up.
Also, avoid washing the fledgling beard with anything but water. Cold water is even better.
Commercial soaps, shampoos, and conditioners contain all kinds of crazy stuff that is terrible for your face and will really dry you out. This can give you tons of issues with dry skin, itchiness, and the infamous “beardruff”. Avoid washing with any kind of product, or if you just can’t imagine living a life without washing your face with fragrant soaps hop on Amazon and buy a wash specifically made for beards.
The right products
The final piece of the beard puzzle for most guys is getting the right products.
While this probably sounds like a shameless plug for Beard Mountain, the reality is that a good beard oil can make all the difference when it comes to growing a great beard.
Beard oil is a product designed to keep your beard healthy. These oils are made from carrier oils that moisturize your skin and hair, as well as other essential oils that have a broad range of effects; everything from antiseptic and astringent properties to opening up and lubricating hair follicles.
You can start by just getting a good carrier oil like grapeseed or jojoba, and just rubbing a bit into the beard every day. This alone can make a huge difference for guys that struggle with itchiness and dry skin. Most of the issues that guys run into with the skin and beard can be greatly reduced with regular use of a good beard oil. I have a ton of information on my blog about this if you want to know more.
Also, get a good boar-bristle brush and a comb. Regular brushing and combing keeps your beard looking sharp and even, and helps exfoliate the skin and itch less.
You probably didn’t expect to see the word exfoliate in an article about growing your beard.
Beard Mountain actually grew from my own lack of amazing beard genetics. I have had to apply knowledge and testing to make it happen for myself, and I started with a patchy, goofy-looking beard.
That is why I laugh when guys tell me they can’t grow a beard like mine.
If you can put the right mindset, methods, and products to work for you, there are really no limits on the bearded awesomeness that you can achieve.
Feel free to contact me at BeardMountain.com with any questions, and always Live the Beard. Stop by and use the coupon code livethebeardbillings to download your free copy of my book during the month of November.