Beards are awesome - we all agree on that.
However, growing the perfect beard is not an easy task, and there are a few problems you might encounter, especially if it’s your first time.
Want to know how to solve them & how to avoid the most common beard mistakes?
Read on to find out.
1. Trimming too soon
Ah, trimming! One of the most discussed topics when it comes to beard maintenance. Beard forums, blogs, and Facebook groups are full of people wanting to know whether it’s time to trim their beard, and how to do it exactly.
Should you trim or should you wait?
How often should you trim?
There is no straightforward answer to questions like these. When you first start growing your beard, it might come out patchy and uneven, so you might be compelled to trim it straight away in order to try to give it a more even look.
The truth is, this might not always be a good idea - you want to give it at least a couple of weeks or even months before you start trimming, in order to give it enough time to grow.
Trimming too soon might actually make it look patchier, and problems with texture & coverage usually resolve with time.
2. Not trimming at all
Never trimming is also not a good idea - rocking an all-natural beard can be awesome, but most beards need some maintenance in order to look at their best.
This is especially true for wilder, frizzier beards that are more difficult to tame. A good trim can make a huge difference in how your beard looks and feels.
In order to give it a well-groomed look, you need to trim from time to time. If you’re unsure about how to do it, you might want to go to a barber for the first 2-3 times, to see what they’re doing & how. They will also likely give you good tips on beard maintenance and daily grooming, as well as on different beard styles.
3. Not being patient & giving up too soon
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your beard also needs time and patience.
In the beginning, a lot of us struggle with itchiness and irritation, or with a patchy beard that’s coming out uneven, and many give up for these reasons.
But here's the deal:
In order to know whether you can grow a thick, majestic beard, for which other men will envy you, you need to give it enough time to reach its full potential.
“Enough time” for most beards means at least 2-3 months. This is enough time for most issues with thickness to resolve - length usually helps a lot with patchiness. If they don’t, you’ll have a much better idea of the beard style that will best fit the growing pattern of your beard.
As far as itchiness and irritation are concerned, these are usually tightly related to dry skin & hair. Give your beard some love in the form of beard oil and it will thank you with a healthy, lush appearance and a soft texture.
Beard oil will help you get rid of the itchiness, it will moisturize both the skin and the hair, and will make your beard easier to maintain and manage. As a result, its overall appearance will greatly improve. What’s there not to like about that?
4. Not washing your beard often enough (or washing it too often)
Eating with a full-grown beard can be a challenge, especially when it comes to ice-cream, burgers or sauces. You need to be careful when eating and you need to make sure that no food has remained trapped in your beard, and clean it promptly after that. Additionally, your beard will inevitably attract some dirt & unwanted smells, and you’ll want to make sure that it stays clean and well taken care of.
Washing your beard is best done with a beard shampoo (or soap), and not just with the same one you use for your hair. Your beard needs a gentler shampoo than your hair and if you just settle for using the same one, you risk a dry and lifeless beard.
Excessive washing is not necessary, as it will strip your beard of its natural oils that protect the follicle, and will make both your beard & skin too dry. Washing it every 2 to 3 days is ideal, and if you need to wash more often, you can do it with warm water, or with a very gentle beard shampoo, suitable for daily use.
5. Having a neckline that’s too high
Nothing kills a fabulous beard like having the wrong neckline level.
Yes, you need to keep your neck clean (if it isn’t so naturally) - letting your beard grow until it blends in with your chest hair is not very stylish. However, make sure that you’re not setting the wrong neckline level, as it will be very difficult to correct it, and you’ll need lots of patience.
To define your neckline, imagine a curved line that goes from one ear to the other, whereas its lowest point is set right above your Adam’s apple, and trim below that line.
If in doubt, your best bet would be to go to the barber the first time you do it - they’ll know exactly how to define your natural neckline, and after that you’ll be able to use that as a guideline.
6. Not taking care of dry skin & hair
Dry skin and hair can be a disaster even for the best beard, and they need to be promptly taken care of. If you let your skin dry out, it will become irritated and flaky, and this can result in the dreaded condition called beardruff, a.k.a. dandruff of the beard. Moreover, to boost healthy, natural growth, your skin & the follicles need to be well-hydrated & nourished.
The best way to moisturize your beard & skin is to use beard oil - it will deeply hydrate your skin, relieving itchiness and irritation, and will protect your beard from external damage, such as dry air, pollution, the sun, and so on.
7. Not combing/brushing your beard properly
Yes, you actually need to comb your beard in order to achieve the best results. This is necessary in order to keep your beard looking tidy and neat, to train it to grow in the desired direction (downwards rather than outwards), and to distribute evenly the natural oils that your skin produces and keep your beard properly moisturized.
After taking a shower or washing your face, let your beard dry a bit before combing it - if you do it while it’s wet, you risk hair loss.
You can use a towel to dry it, or alternatively use a blow dryer. Apply beard oil after that, and then comb your beard thoroughly (but not too aggressively).
You can first comb from the neck outwards, and after that comb the beard downwards to give it a good shape. Combing it “teaches” it to grow in a specific direction, so use that to your advantage to keep the area around the mouth clean and to help your beard grow downwards.
When combing your beard, don’t use a basic plastic brush or comb. Instead, invest in a wooden comb that is specifically designed for beard care, or, alternatively, a metal one. If you prefer getting a brush (the better solution for longer beards), we advise investing in a boar’s hair brush, which works well with all hair types.
8. Touching your face & beard too much
Touching your face is a bad habit that you need to get rid of, for the sake of the health of your skin, and the same goes for touching your beard.
You can provoke an acne breakout on the skin under your beard too, unfortunately. Besides, playing with your beard too much and pulling it can lead to hair loss, or mess with its growth pattern or shape. So just leave it alone during the day, and only let your loved ones touch it (from time to time) to admire its softness.
9. Not using beard care products
Yeah, it would be easier if we could just use the same products for our beards as we do for our hair, but it’s unfortunately not really wise to do so.
Your beard has specific needs, and therefore specific products that correspond to these needs. Not using a beard soap or shampoo to wash your beard, but instead using a regular one for hair, might result in an overall dryness, as hair shampoos tend to be more aggressive.
10. Neglecting the moustache
Many of us tend to concentrate on the beard and not pay enough attention to the moustache. In order to achieve the perfect look, however, you need to comb it, shape it and trim it from time to time.
Combing the moustache is best done with a fine-toothed comb, which will help you detangle it and keep it clean and well-groomed. Additionally, combing your moustache will help you keep it out of your mouth by influencing its direction of growing.
Trimming it is also necessary, past a certain length, and can be done with moustache scissors. Make sure not to trim too much.
Styling the moustache can definitely improve the overall appearance of your beard, and there are plenty of different moustache styles that you could try out. The most important thing, however, is to keep it healthy and well-maintained, and to not let it dry. The best way to do that would be by applying beard oil or beard balm to it.
The bottom line?
In order to have an epic beard, you need to invest some time and efforts into growing, grooming and maintaining it. Your beard needs love and patience, and if you take good care of it, you can achieve amazing results, which you will be proud of.