7 steps to grow a beard – Everything you need to know
Gone are the days of the hunter-gatherer, where hair was unkempt and hacked off with some sort of weapon. In today’s world, beard grooming is considered to be an art form so our very own founder (and beard guru) Marius has put together this, the Bad Norwegian guide to all things beard.
-BAD NORWEGIAN Co-founder Marius Kristiansen to the left and the rest of the team-
Growing a beard and caring for this beard is more than just a fleeting thought, action or decision. You reach a certain point in your life, and you begin to wonder, beard? Yes or No. I have no doubt that many of us have already attempted a beard. Some meeting with success and perhaps, some, not so much. Beards have been known to enhance confidence and it is almost a rite of passage that unites many men from across the globe.
Guys, welcome to Beards 101:
1. Start with a blank canvas, shave it off
This is a great starting point. You need to prepare said canvas carefully so start from scratch and set aside some time to have a decent, proper shave, as close as possible. This ensures that the skin is fresh and looked after. We hope that by now, you have a skincare routine in place, if not check out our simple skincare routine.
Not let’s get ready, here is what you should do: wash your face with a face wash that clears the face of excess oils and dead skin. You might also want to use a pre-shave oil which softens the hair, and ensures a smoother shave whilst nourishing the skin. It’s imperative that the skin not take a beating here. Use a fair amount of shaving cream and pick up your blade of choice. The preparation of the skin is vital to a successful beard, maintenance thereof and carrying it off with pride.
2. Understand your face and its shape
Stand in front of the mirror and take a long, hard look at your face. You need to know and understand what you are working with. The shape of your face is crucial as it determines the beard style that will work for you. The desired goal is to cultivate a beard that makes your face look as oval as possible. Having said that, if your face is a little square or even round in shape, grow a beard that adds some length to your face to elongate the face, while keeping the sides trimmed.
Conversely, should your face already be oval or rectangular, the opposite would be required. Keep the length a little shorter and don’t trim the sides nearly as much. The fuller sides will detract from the length and your face will appear more evenly shaped.
From the moment that you have made your decision, stick to your guns. Your chosen beard style is a statement and will help define the new bearded you.
3. Feeling the itch? Persevere and you will conquer!
You are now two weeks into the growing of your beard and you are starting to itch. Your beard may be itchy for anywhere between two weeks to a month and a half. Remember the goal here gents and stay the course! As the stubble comes in after merely a few days, you may start to feel the itchiness or irritation of the skin. This won’t last forever and is a result of dead skin cells and dehydration.
Despite a good skincare routine, you will still have to endure for as long as it takes. See this irritation as part of your initiation into the world of beards. There are products that can help combat the irritation, namely a beard oil and moisturiser, to keep the skin under your beard fresh and hydrated.
Moisturise your face in the evening after a good, warm shower and face wash. This way your skin is clean of the dirt and pollution picked up over the day, and the moisturiser can be absorbed properly as it’s less likely to be rubbed off during a good night’s sleep than an active day. That way, you leave the house in the morning with a healthy-looking beard.
Use the beard oil each morning, again after a shower, to ensure the beard hair and skin beneath is feeling refreshed and hydrated along with smelling great for the day ahead.
These products will soothe your irritated skin and help you to go the distance. Expect the itchiness and the irritation but remember this, and I cannot highlight this enough: both symptoms will eventually disappear.
4. The growing period
Allow your beard to grow – let it do the talking.
Typically, the male beard grows between 1,5 cm (half an inch) to 3 cm (an inch) in a month. We recommend that you allow yourself three months of growth before you start trimming or want to shave. Walk the walk guys. Wear the beard with pride albeit a little on the bushy or patchy side. Within three months, you will be sporting some serious facial hair. Do not be tempted to see the barber before the three months have lapsed. Again though, remember the moisturiser or the beard oil. These will both be of tremendous assistance, not to mention relief.
5. But avoid the caveman look!
Yes, you are growing a beard, but that’s no excuse for a scraggly-looking neckline. Use a blade to neaten up the neckline to give your beard a more intentional look. Use the space of one or two fingers above your Adam’s apple as a yardstick, then draw an ‘imaginary’ line from ear to ear. The space below the line is the neckline that needs to be maintained while growing your beard to give it the smart, controlled appearance you are after.
6. Beard barber here we come
Learning how to grow a beard properly is a full-time job. After the three months have lapsed, your facial hair will be making a statement and there is much work to be done. We recommend that you visit a beard barber, especially if you are new to all of this, for expert tips and advice. They will assess the amount of trimming required and how often this should be done. They can show you how to maintain your work of art. This will include the direction of combing for best results and how to keep it clean without having to wash it every day. However, this does not mean that you cannot treat yourself to an appointment for a bit of pampering for yourself and your beard. Beard care should never be taken for granted.
Should your beard be a bit patchy, you will learn the ways to even it out and before long, you will be the proud owner of a masterpiece.
7. Show off your masterpiece
To maintain your beard at home, there is much to be said for a combed or brushed through the beard. It alleviates any knots that might have developed and will give your beard a healthy shine. Alas, let’s not forget the moustache. The moustache will require more upkeep than the rest. Comb it downwards and use a pair of moustache trimmers to keep it neat. Over time, you will learn how best to keep your beard neat and intentional-looking.
Don’t forget your skincare routine, this is paramount as there are many elements that can take a serious toll on the skin. The best way to combat this is with a simple, regular routine and good quality products will keep your skin supple and healthy and your beard refresh and hydrated, giving you THE best possible results.
From here on out, enjoy your finely crafted and proportioned facial hair and the many compliments that will accompany it!