Beard grooming for beginners: how to get started

Simply by being here, you’ve made the third most significant step in beginning your beard grooming expedition. Before this moment, you made the conscious decision to grow a beard and the honourable decision to keep it.

Only if you’ve already bought some beard grooming tools can that first assertion be incorrect, and if you have, we’re more excited for you than you can imagine.

While your uncle may look particularly perplexed at the idea of you having a beard care routine, it will undoubtedly become an essential part of your life going forwards as you notice the benefits will include healthier skin, greater self-confidence, and an extra dose of the happy chemical every time you look in the mirror.

So, whatever your end goal, and whatever your dream beard style may be, the following beginner’s guide will include all the tips you could possibly need to know about growing a beard, maintaining your beard, and loving your beard.

beard grooming for beginners

First things first…

Let’s get the potential bad news out of the way, and that’s the very possible impact that your genetics can have on your beard growth and appearance.

Unfortunately, not everyone can grow a perfect beard, and if your father and your mother’s father were both incapable of growing a full beard at your present age, a beard brush, beard oil, and beard shampoo can only assist so much.

It’s certainly not all over for you and your facial hair either, though, as these tools can do a lot in the way of assisting growth, filling in gaps and keeping everything in check.

The first thing to do is set the razor down. Don’t throw it out, as it can still be useful for beard shaping and tidying, but you certainly won’t be fully shaving each morning any more.

Whether you have no problem sprouting fur from your facial hair follicles or you’re looking for beard hair growing assistance, beard grooming is a necessary next step to take, and it comprises a number of tools and techniques.

The Tools – 7 essentials any beginner beard needs

beard tools

You may have already purchased yourself a beard brush, some beard oil or a beard trimmer – or maybe you had some gifted – but you could still be looking to discover the best way to use these items and why they’re used exactly.

There are many beard grooming products out there, and you could well be wondering what on earth each one is supposed to actually do. So, here’s a rundown of each of the most common beard grooming tools so that you know what to look for as well as tips on how and when exactly to use them:

1. The beard trimmer

If you’re anything but clean-shaven, you’ll likely already have a trusty beard trimmer in your possession – that is unless you’ve let it completely roam free.

While the purpose of beard trimmers is fairly self-evident, there are a variety of types and functions for them.

Choosing the ideal beard trimmer for you isn’t as simple as it may seem. There are numerous businesses fighting for your custom, each offering a diverse choice of models and designs for different purposes. Some are marketed as simple trimmers with a “this is all you’ll ever need” approach, while others are promoted as entire body stylers, and are intended to clean up everything from head to toe.

If you merely want to maintain your beard at a certain length, you’re okay to go as long as your beard trimmer is well-made and has the clip length you want. If you want to style, trim, and tidy your beard regularly, investing in a quality beard trimmer at the high end of your price range might be well worth the investment.

A good barber will always know how to look after our beards, but being able to do it ourselves can save time and money.

2. The beard brush

beard brush kit

The beard brush has had a huge rise in popularity of late, and that’s because so many bearded beasts are learning exactly what this absolute must-have tool is capable of.

Like with a hairbrush on head hair, a beard brush is used to detangle and straighten beard hairs, as well as exfoliate the facial skin underneath and remove dead skin cells, providing additional benefits such as eliminating beard itch.

Brushing your beard can also improve blood circulation to particular areas, which means more nutrients are getting to those bald patches and encouraging better hair growth.

While it doesn’t really matter what material a beard hair brush itself is made of, we find wooden beard brushes to be much more sturdy and supportive of the type of bristle they possess.

Both the wood and the bristles of a beard brush come in varying qualities as well. You’ll always find us recommending firm boar bristles attached to a firm, high-quality wood such as cherry wood. If you can, avoid plastic bristle beard brushes, because these can scratch your skin, create split ends on the tips of beard hairs and generally do more harm than good.

As tempting as it always is, it’s important not to brush your beard too often, as it can halt hair growth and undo all of your hard work. When it takes time to grow a beard, you don’t want that. Keep using your beard brush a part of your routine and fight the temptation of giving those extra few strokes.

3. The beard comb

Single stray hairs may drastically detract from your style and, as a result, your self-confidence, thus a beard comb with finer taming skills is critical to your beard grooming regimen.

Beard combs should always be made from wood, as plastic beard brushes are more rigid at microscopic levels and prone to snagging on beard hairs. This damages them, meaning the rest of the hard work put in by you, your beard oils and beard wash is rendered redundant.

Combing your beard is best actioned immediately after using a beard brush, providing the finishing details that complete your beautiful beard.

Make sure there is a beard comb in your beard grooming kit and your whole beard will look much more presentable from the moment the hair grows.

4. The beard oil

While a generally healthy lifestyle can provide some of the vitamins and nutrients required to grow and maintain a healthy beard, good beard oil will always go above and beyond with helping your beard grow and live its best life.

Beard oils that are rich in natural oils, essential oils and even healthy fats, can improve the look, feel and health of your facial hair in just a few days, eliminating beard itch through hydration when your hairs would otherwise pull any moisture out from the skin underneath.

It’s only really within the last few years that beard oil has soared to the heights of popularity, as those that experience it learn of its beard growth and nourishing powers – even for men with more sensitive skin that were a little more sceptical than others to begin with.

As the demand for beard oil grows, they are only growing in quality as well, with new healthy ingredients being included that are proven to aid issues like split ends, stunted growth and damage dealt to the skin beneath.

Beard oil really is imperative for men trying to grow a beard to its full potential – and with plenty of top options with beautiful fragrances available, it’s sure to smell great, too.

Don’t forget the mustache!

5. The beard balm

Beard balms work similarly to beard oil – offering all of the same benefits – but create an altogether different finish that can enhance your favourite beard styles.

Beard balms are thicker than beard oil and have greater viscosity. They’re usually produced with a blend of butter or hard oils, waxes, and other carrier oils similar to those found in beard oils.

The denser texture covers the outer layer of skin and the hair roots, taking longer to absorb. This generates a more long-lasting, slow-release conditioning impact. The thickness also serves a practical purpose: it gives just enough mass to assist keep stubborn beard hairs and stowaways from distorting your beard’s form.

Usually, the preference between beard oil and beard balm is based on the hold required and the appearance the products give, so give each of them a try and see which you like the look and feel of the most. Alternatively, you could just choose to make use of a good beard wash if you prefer a more natural-looking beard and you don’t notice issues with itching, flaking and styling.

6. The beard shampoo

Many beardos believe regular shampoo can do a decent job at providing a good beard clean, but this is far from the truth, and using a proper beard shampoo can make a huge difference.

While both shampoos serve to prevent dandruff and create a velvety feel, beard shampoo works with the natural oils of your facial hair rather than replacing them. This is very important to the health of the skin underneath.

Beard shampoo features a variety of ingredients, including jojoba oil, cocoa butter, and shea butter, that are meant to protect natural oils and keep your mane in top shape. So while it may do a similar job to beard oil itself, they also combine to form a killer combo for beards as far as grease and dirt are concerned.

7. The beard conditioner

Just like beard shampoo, beard conditioners are another form of beard wash with an entirely individual purpose, just like you’re familiar with when it comes to head hair.

Beard conditioner is a hydrating wash-out treatment made specifically for facial hair. The components in this product normally nourish the skin and hair while also locking in moisture for a healthier, more pleasant beard or moustache.

The majority of bearded men’s peeves stem from a lack of moisture in their skin and facial hair, including itchiness and the resulting beard dandruff. Top quality conditioners that are developed specifically for beards helps to solve this problem by feeding your skin with minerals and vitamins while also sealing in moisture with carrier oils. As a consequence, you’ll have softer, more manageable facial hair as well as supple, pleasant skin.

If you don’t want to use a leave-in beard product like beard oil, beard balm, or beard cream/butter, beard conditioner is a fantastic alternative. While it isn’t a perfect solution for a leave-in conditioner, it is beneficial for people who have certain preferences.

Whether your beard is made up of luscious, thick hair, or you’re sporting a fairly thin beard style, a facial hair conditioner is essential to keeping it in tip-top… well… condition.

The techniques

Now that we’ve covered all the beard products, it’s important that we go through some of the most common and most effective practices for keeping your beard looking clean and tidy.

Here are some of our top beard grooming tips that can be used when you’re trying to grow a beard and look after it with proper care and attention:

How to encourage beard growth

While there is of course no magic beard growth elixir, there really are a handful of things you can do to encourage your beard to grow.

Beards rely on hydration, vitamins, minerals and good blood circulation in order to grow. While this certainly doesn’t mean that a good combination of these elements is guaranteed to help your beard grow faster or fuller, they are proven to assist in the process.

Now we refer back to the tools above.

If you’re trying to grow a beard and it just won’t play ball, you’ll do yourself great favours by getting your hands on at least a top-quality, firm beard brush and nutrient-rich beard oil.

Use the beard brush as intended, which will increase blood flow to the face, and use beard oil to hydrate the hairs and provide all the nutrients necessary for longer, stronger, healthier growth.

How to trim your beard

It’s critical to keep your beard in good shape by cutting it to your ideal length whenever you get the chance. When your beard grows a bit too long, the overall style becomes messed up and does not look the way you want it to.

Beards grow at different speeds, but most individuals should trim their beards at least once every two weeks, if not once every week for those who sprout faster.

How you trim your beard exactly depends on your style, but there are some rules that apply to most of the popular styles.

Starting with the longest hair length and gradually bringing it down is the safest technique to trim your beard without risking going too short. Trim your beard all over with your beard trimmer on the longest setting. To get rid of extra mass, go in a downward direction, opposing the direction of hair growth. Shorter trim settings should be used until you’re satisfied with the length.

If you’re looking to trim your beard for the first time, paying a visit to your local barber can be a good idea. For roughly £15 ($20) you’ll get a professional trim that will set firm foundations for you to then maintain at home. 

How to shave your neckline

Establishing your neckline is key to ensuring your beard is always kept tidy. If you decided to grow a beard so that you could just stop shaving, we’re afraid it’s just not that simple.

Place a finger lengthwise just over your Adam’s Apple and cut a vertical strip below this line for the proper beard neckline. Make your way outwards to one side of your jawline, then back to the middle and make your way to the other side. Again, the Adam’s Apple is a respectable landmark when manoeuvring around the lower neck.

Creating a routine

Now, it’s time to take all of our beard grooming tips and formulate a routine that works best for you.

With all of the products you have to play with, creating a routine you can stick to might seem like a daunting task – but it doesn’t have to be. Follow our sample 5-day beard care routine below, take on board our tips on how to grow and maintain a perfect well-groomed beard, and you’ll be boasting bountiful facial hair in no time.

Your starter 5-day beard care routine:

MorningWash beard.
Oil/balm beard.
Brush beard.
Oil/balm beard.
Brush beard.
Wash beard.
Oil/balm beard.
Brush beard.
Oil/balm beard.
Brush beard.
Wash beard.
Oil/balm beard.
Brush beard.
EveningOil beard.
Brush beard.
Oil beard (optional).
Brush beard.
Oil beard.
Brush beard.
Oil beard (optional).
Brush beard.
Oil beard.
Brush beard.

When you create your beard hair care routine, it makes the most sense to incorporate it into any skincare or facial routine you may already have. This minimises the need to repeat any processes, such as applying alternative products that work on the skin beneath your beard hair.

Now that you don’t plan on shaving every morning, your beard’s daily routine can fit into that timeframe where you can incorporate regular washing, oiling and brushing to ensure that you keep your beard looking pristine.

Alex Cutler
Alex is the owner and Editor in Chief of Mission Beard. When he's not researching articles or creating badass beard care products with the MB Crew, you'll find him exploring the great outdoors, training BJJ, or in the pub with a good pint.

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