There’s a myriad of beard myths, mad lies and things to avoid. Some of the mistakes you will see in this article will seem like obvious roadblocks on the golden pathway to great beardness. Others are subtle, clandestine peccadillos, which you may be committing without knowing.
One thing’s for sure – this thoroughly researched extravaganza contains everything you need to know about what not to do.
So, You’re Finally Growing a Beard, huh?
Whether you’re about to start growing a beard or you’ve been struggling to get to your desired length – so long as you avoid these faux pas, your facial hair growth will be in the hands of fate. Right where it belongs.
So stretch those fingers out (hope you can count) – let’s learn which six things to avoid when growing a beard.
1. Treating it like head hair
Why do we have hair on our heads, huh? Kick that question around for a bit. Gets weirder the longer you think about it.
If I was forced into a corner and made to hazard a guess, I’d probably make something up about blocking UV rays. Or losing body heat. Sounds scientific – but I’m literally making this up as I type.
What I would put good money on is the fact that our head hair probably serves a very different purpose to our beard hair. Continuing along this logical path and you’ll realise that we shouldn’t treat out beards just like our head hair. Here’s why:
Head-hair products ruin beards
Generic shampoos and conditioners are strong. In fact, they’re pretty insanely harsh – the idea is that they rid your hair and scalp of all it’s greasy oils. You remember when you were a teenager with greasy hair right? And nerdy braces? And acne. Yucky, oily hair. Gross.
Well, that’s down to a little elixir we like to call sebum. Sebum is the natural oil your face excretes to stop your skin going dry – but using generic shampoo on your beard will strip it all. This will leave you with dry skin and a brittle beard, which will undoubtedly hinder beard growth.
The answer? Wash your beard with specialised beard products. Check out our guide to beard growth products for the four-one-one on how the right elixirs can help you on your quest to sport a full beards worth of thick, healthy facial hair.
Other head hair things ruin beards too
If beards could show emotion, the only time mine would probably have shed a tear of jubilance was when I stopped brushing it with a poncy little plastic comb and invested in a proper beard comb. Seriously man. Plastic combs and generic hair brushes are mass produced in big ol’ machines that leave little plasticy jagged edges everywhere.
And that’s awful for your beard.
Similarly, using a blow dryer (or – as if I had to point this out – straighteners) on your hair can both dry your beard out and damage it, due to the intense heat. No one wants a beard which feels like the aftermath of a forest fire!
Remember what they say about you scratch your beard’s back and… Actually no, nevermind. Just be good to your beard!
Ok – I don’t know what you’re thinking of but… I meant fiddling with your beard. Which is gonna get pretty dirty, what with your mind in the gutter and all.
The temptation to stroke your beard like the wizened old soul you are can be tantalizing. We get it, you’re a man of the world, weather-beaten and battle-hardened, deep in thought – whatever. If you keep stroking your beard to look wise, it’ll end up drying out!
Stroking, picking, plucking, scratching and general fiddling with your beard hairs can damage them, which doesn’t exactly help your facial hair grow.
3. Neglecting it
A lot of dudes think they can just stop shaving and bam! There’s a sweet beard style on the way.
This is not the case. No way, hombre.
If you want to grow a beard that looks good, smells nice, doesn’t itch and generally feels healthy, you need to look after it. We already talked about the importance of treating your beard hair like beard hair – not head hair. Let’s take a look in greater detail.
Before you grow a beard, you can just wash your face regularly to keep your skin from drying out. Once your facial hair grows out though, we’d say that beard oil is pretty much essential. It’s the first step to a healthy beard, keeping the skin underneath hydrated and the hair itself nice and soft.
Some more advice that isn’t exactly groundbreaking (but still worth reading!) is that the right vitamins and minerals will help you grow a healthier, thicker beard. Look after yourself and your beard will follow…
4. Primming it
Fancy a prim? Yup – another made-up word. Pre-trimming your beard can be tempting, but if you’re looking to grow out your thick, lengthy whiskers, don’t be tempted to reach for the beard trimmers.
Put it like this: maybe you’ve got an idea of how you want your beard to look in your minds eye. Say you’re about halfway there. You’re thinking maybe you could shape it up, put a few edges in there and it’ll grow into the style you want.
Classic mistake – you’re a primmer.
We’ve all regretted primming it. Another common example is shaving your cheek lines too low or your neckline too high. Once it’s done, it’s done, and usually it takes long enough to grow back that you’ll end up saving yourself embarrassment and getting rid of it. If you’re going for a specific style, you’re better off waiting until it’s just a teeny bit longer before making any drastic decisions.
Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
5. Not primming it
The other mistake which people make is not trimming their beards enough whilst they are growing them. Sure, I just recommended that you don’t pre-trim too much, but you should still manscape garden your beard a little bit. It’s the middle way – straight Buddhism really. Everything in moderation.
Except moderation itself, of course – go all out on that, by all means.
Anyway, let your beard grow, bro – but keep it in check. We’d totally encourage you to shave your neck hairs, chop any stray hairs back into shape and prune the line between your sideburns and your ears so that it’s straight.
Because let’s face it, your beard is there to look good. There’s no point waiting until the proverbial video has been rented (what does that saying even mean!?) – you want it to look good whilst it’s growing as well! And I guess that leads us on to our sixth, extra, bonus, conclusion point:
6. Not loving it
Growing a beard, whatever size, shape and length is a privilege. Do it because you can, man. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!
Now you know what to avoid, you’re probably asking yourself – “how long does it take to grow a beard?” Only one way to find out. Whilst you’re at it, hit subscribe below for exclusive offers when we launch our beard oil next year – trust us, you’re going to love it!