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The Beginner’s Guide To Caring For Your Beard

photo of men with beards

Growing a full-fledged beard is one of those things that happens to fall on the bucket list of most men. No matter your facial hair type, chances are good that the thought of a lumberjack-style facial hair situation has crossed your mind more than once.

If you’re ready to embrace a beard for the first time, you’ll need to know how to take care of your chosen beard style. Growing a thick, healthy beard takes a regular maintenance routine complete with only the best grooming products. That’s why we brought in Josh Velazquez and Carmen Marie Reyna, Baxter of California brand ambassadors, to act as your beard spirit guides on the journey.

When it comes down to it, Velazquez says the main difference between scraggly facial hair and a lush beard style is the amount of maintenance involved.

“Men want a nice beard but don’t always want to put any effort into making them look good...Invest time and a little money, and you’ll see a great beard form,” Velazquez says.

Keep reading for everything you need to know about how to take care of a beard.

Think Before You Grow

Growing a beard sounds easy, in theory, but if you’re not convinced you have what it takes to grow a full-on beard—you’re not the only one. We see many men who aren’t sure they can grow more than peach fuzz. When it comes to the speed at which your facial hair grows, Velazquez advises patience. Everyone’s hair grows at its own pace—typically about a half an inch per month.

Having the patience to grow out your beard is only half the battle. nce you have some facial hair to work with you’ll need to decide on a facial hair style that works for you. . Not all faces are suited for the classic lumberjack style, so you may have to experiment a little before finding your ideal shape. If you’re debating letting your facial hair grow freely, take a few minutes to find a photo of your dream beard online. Whether it’s a celebrity you admire or an executive with the same face shape, having a goal will keep you on track. Moreover, photo inspiration ensures your barber is on the same page as to your ideal style. A “short” beard can mean a dozen different things to a dozen people, but a photo never lies.

Still not sure which beard style is right for you? Think about your beard in general terms before narrowing down to any specific styles. Do you want an old school beard that sits at the neck? Artfully trimmed stubble that makes you look a bit more like a millionaire bachelor?

It’s also important to consider how much maintenance you’d like to put into your facial hair. If you’re an on-the-go man with little time for personal grooming, that permanent stubble may not work. A longer beard will generally require less styling and fewer touch-up appointments.

Length isn’t the only factor to consider when planning a beard, either. Take your texture and hair type into account. If you’re working with wiry hair or starting to see a few grays poke through, know that your facial hair may require more precise styling and grooming to sit nicely. Short stubble can rid you of that commitment.

Photo Credit: @baxterfinley.

Trust A Professional

Speaking of barbers, now is the time to remind you that there are professionals out there who craft flattering beard shapes from morning until night. Rather than attempting to shape your facial hair alone in your bathroom, consult a barber for a style tailored to flatter you.

If you’re experiencing any difficulties styling or maintaining your hair, your barber is always there to help. He or she can also provide product recommendations and quick fixes—even suggesting stylish updates to a beard style you may have held onto for some time. The most important thing is for you to be honest about your lifestyle as well as your availability for touch-ups and beard maintenance.

Growing a beard means hiding half your face behind hair, so there are bound to be a few complications as you adjust to your new facial hair. Keep your barber saved as a “favorite” contact in case of a minor style emergency.

If your beard is in desperate need of a trim and you just can’t wait for barbershops to reopen, Reyna says there are a few tools and products you should have on hand to get the job done.

“A small cordless trimmer with guards. A razor—or if you want to be fancy, try our Safety Razor. A clear shave gel like our Beard Line Up Shave Gel, which allows you to easily see your shave lines. After Shave Balm to reduce skin irritation post-shave and Facial Scrub, which is a good skin exfoliant pre or post-shave.”

Stock Your Bathroom

You wouldn’t adopt a pet without first stopping by the pet store for a crate, some kibble, and a food bowl, so don’t grow a beard without preparing first. In this case, we recommend stocking up on a salon-quality shampoo and conditioner, as well as other must-have men's hair products designed to keep your beard in tip-top shape.

Whether you rock a five-o-clock shadow or a full-on lumberjack beard, you’ll have to show your face some TLC if you want your beard to look its best. Much like your hair care routine, Reyna says a healthy beard routine includes a facial cleanser and moisturizer.

“Keep your beard clean. Our Baxter of California Daily Face Wash is a great sulfate-free, fragrance-free cleanser that can wash away anything trapped in there. Add Beard Grooming Oil to soften beard hair and soothe any itchy skin underneath,” Reyna explains. The Baxter of California Beard Comb is great to keep it tangle-free.”

If you’re already using a physical exfoliant on your face when you wash, Velazquez notes that it’s also helpful underneath your beard. After all, your facial skin is still there under all that fuzz. When in doubt, try Baxter of California’s Facial Scrub.

Washing and exfoliating is important, but don’t forget to add conditioner as well. Who doesn’t want a soft-feeling, healthy-looking beard?

“Definitely condition your beard with a conditioner….a dime-sized [dollop] of hair conditioner is just right. Condition twice a week if possible—that will keep your beard looking nice. Comb your beard throughout the day, so your beard doesn’t tangle. And, lastly, add a beard lotion or a beard oil. That will ensure softness and control throughout the day,” he says.

These mens grooming staples not only work incredibly well but they’re also aesthetically pleasing. Line them up on your bathroom counter and enjoy the feeling of being a man who’s confident in his grooming game.

Maintenance Is Everything

It’s not only quality products that can make or break your new beard. Regular grooming will make a big difference in how polished your facial hair looks. Velazquez recommends investing in clippers and grooming scissors to keep beard hair even.

However, at-home care can only do so much. Once your beard begins growing out of control, it’s time to switch into professional maintenance mode. Book a weekend appointment with a trusted barber and relax, knowing that your facial hair is in seriously skilled hands.

Velazquez recommends regular visits to a barbershop to keep your facial hair in line.

“Always keep [your facial hair] clean and well-groomed,” he says. “Visit your local barber for your grooming needs—I would say every three to four weeks to keep it well maintained.”

Don't Fear Change

When it comes to facial hair, the hardest part is merely accepting change. Whether you’re wearing a beard for the first time or trying an entirely new style, give yourself a few weeks to adjust. Seeing a new version of yourself in the mirror can be challenging!

If you’ve given your new style a few days and don’t love how you look, don’t hesitate to give your barber a call. Hair professionals want you to leave the shop feeling your best, so he or she will be happy to tweak your style.

Once you’ve successfully built a beard routine, bookmark this page in case you need a refresher course. When in doubt, your trusted barber is the best source of all beard care information.

Need beard inspiration? We’ve got you covered. Read on for four of our favorite beard styles to get you started.

The Best Beard Styles To Try Now

Day One Stubble

If you’re just trying this beard thing for the first time, a little bit of light stubble can be the foot in the door you need to get hooked on facial hair. If it becomes distracting, itchy, or it’s not as flattering as you thought it would be, just shave it off. It’s a low-stakes personal challenge.

More Mustache

You’re not seeing a retro Halloween costume. Within the last few years, the dramatic private investigator mustache has made a triumphant return to popularity. If your facial hair grows best just under your nose, a barber can help you embrace that mustache power while maintaining stubble elsewhere.

The Effortless Beard

Some guys make wearing a beard look effortless. Full and lush, their facial hair grows within what seems like mere minutes. If you’re lucky enough to be able to blink and grow a full beard, embrace it! Keeping your facial hair a bit longer will enable you to try new shapes and find one that flatters your face.

If you’re working from home for the foreseeable future, let your beard grow. When else are you going to try it?

Photo Credit: @barberbirdman.

Barely-There Beard

If you have a naturally strong jawline, you may want to opt for a short beard. Instead of disguising flaws, this style can show off your assets by highlighting that defined chin. While short beards do require more maintenance than longer styles, we think the resulting look is totally worth it.

Interested in more beard advice? Use our salon locator to book an appointment at a barber shop near you.

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