Every man who wants to grow a beard wants it to be full and thick in a couple of months, but the reality is that it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Growing a large beard takes a considerable amount of time and effort, especially for first-timers. First, there’s the growth element: the average beard grows at about half an inch a month, but this could be more or less for some. Then there’s the coverage element, even if your beard grows at the average rate (or higher) it may not cover every area you want it to right away — that’s where the maintenance comes in.
Unfortunately, there is no quick tricks. Growing a beard is an investment, one which delivers returns if you continue to look after and manage it.
So, with that in mind, we’ve got a few tips to help you get the best beard possible.
First Time Growing a Beard? Think About Your Face Shape
Image credit: @glory_leopard
Before you grow a beard, you need to work out what styles will suit your face shape. As mentioned earlier, not everyone’s facial hair grows at the same rate or has the same thickness or coverage, so you need to work with what you have.
With any grooming decisions, you need to follow your face’s shape. For example, men with an oval-shaped face can generally get away with most beard styles, whereas men with long and rectangular faces focus on beard width and height, which avoids their face looking longer than it is.
So before you start, work out what your face shape is and then look at the beard styles which would best suit it.
4 Tips for Healthy Beard Hair Growth
Want to make sure your beard is at its best? We highlight four top tips for healthy beard hair growth.
Image credit: @obinnaeji
Being active will increase testosterone, which in turn promotes healthy follicles and hair growth. Exercise also increases blood circulation, enabling nutrients to get to your hair follicles quicker.
2. Eat the Right Foods
Food plays a significant role in the development of a healthy, strong beard and general hair growth. You want to be eating lean proteins, wholegrains, foods high in zinc, healthy fats, fruit and vegetables! If you can’t get quality nutrients through your diet, consider taking some vitamins/supplements along with your meals.
3. Reduce Stress
Stress has a proven impact on the body’s ability to produce testosterone. As cortisol (the body’s stress hormone) is produced, testosterone is limited, affecting the growth of hair.
4. Get Plenty of Rest
Sleep will decrease stress and enable your body to regenerate testosterone. Not getting enough can inhibit your beard’s growth.
How to Manage Your Beard and Create a Simple Routine
If you want your beard to be the best it can be, you need to develop a simple beard care routine.
In the same way that you bathe/shower, comb your hair, brush your teeth and wash your face, the same needs to be done for your beard — and it’s not difficult at all. So here’s what you need to do:
Your beard gets a lot of exposure to the elements: dust, dirt, pollution, food — the list goes on — so you want to cleanse it regularly so that it’s fresh and clean.
Of course, you can’t just cleanse or wash your beard with any old shampoo, no, those things will strip it of its natural oils and leave it desert-dry. Conventional shampoos and cleansers are harsh and designed, primarily, to remove dirt, not apply nutrients.
What you really need is a mild, natural cleanser, something designed for both your beard and face. Our sulphate-free shampoo, Swish is combines Aloe Vera with fruity essential oils to cleanse and soften dry curly and Afro hair/facial hair. It's pH balanced, scientifically formulated, contains 97% natural ingredients, and gentle enough to be used frequently.
Like your hair, your beard — and the skin beneath — need to be moisturised.
So, after you shower or bathe, oil your beard as this is when your hair follicles and pores are open and can easily absorb it.
Make sure you use a balm that contains natural ingredients and avoid anything that contains silicones: they just make your beard look shiny and provide no real health benefits.
Moisturising will help to soften your beard hair, making it easier to style and maintain, whilst also looking more groomed.
Soothe, our natural oil helps maintain a healthy skin and combat dryness.
Just apply, Soothe to a slightly damp beard and work into the beard. The light, easily absorbed oil is specially blended to promote growth, soften hair at the roots and leaves no build up, making it great for beards.
Next, get those tangles out. Combing your beard will make it look “fuller” (as hairs tucked away can be combed out to their true length) and tidier. Also, combing your beard will “train” your facial hair to grow in a specific direction. Just as plants grow towards the light, combing your beard will enable you to shape it — over time — to your liking.
Trim, Trim, Trim
As your beard begins to grow and take on a shape you’re happy with, you need to keep it in check. A regular trim will help you to style your beard and get rid of any spilt ends (yes, beards get spilt ends too!).
NB: before you start trimming, make sure to comb your beard out so your hairs are settled in one direction.
Armed with these tips and tricks, you should now be in a position to grow and manage an epic beard.
Save these tips for later and come back to them if you need to. And don't forget to let us know how you get on!