Top 9 Beard Grooming Tips
My father always took time to groom himself properly, and he taught me to do the same. He would wake up every single morning and shave with a proper safety razor and splash on aftershave. I can still smell the scent. Every first sunday of the month, my father would go down to Marc Weiss’s barbershop to get a proper trim. My father was a man of few words, but he left me with his one crucial beard grooming tip:
A shave is only as good as the aftershave you use.
Since I was 16 and my first whiskers started sprouting up, I’ve been faithfully using Lather & Wood from Amazon.com. My father was, indeed, a wise man, and to this day I appreciate the value of aftershave. However, grooming a beard properly requires more than just aftershave.
Your manly mane won’t just take care of itself. Neglecting to shave is not equivalent to growing a beard. If you really want to grow a full beard, you need to give it some tender loving care. You’ll need to wash, groom, and trim it on a regular basis to keep it in tip top shape. You could just let it grow out, but you’ll be left with split ends, rough chin and neck lines, and dry, frizzy, uncontrollable facial hair. No thank you.
I’m no longer 16, and I’ve been shaving quite a while. Over the years, I’ve picked up a few tricks of my own about the art of shaving that I’d like to share with you. So, without further ado, here are my top 9 beard grooming tips–the tricks of the trade, so to speak.
#1: Use the Proper
A razor is a knife, and if you use it against your skin without proper lubrication, it will leave your skin feeling raw and irritated. While clippers are far more like scissors than knives, the same principle applies. Unless you want painful, red razor bumps and ingrown hairs, you need to prep properly.
Sure, you can pick up an aerosol can at your local drug store, but a true beardsman uses a brush and an old-fashioned cream. Creams tend to be richer, and if you apply them with a brush, the razor will cut through them more easily.
The cheap cans of shaving cream you pick up at the corner store are also loaded with chemicals like parabens, SLS, and artificial fragrances. Believe it or not, some of the chemicals you find in cosmetics are actually potentially carcinogenic. When you apply these creams to your face, they absorb into your blood stream. You don’t want to put toxins and harsh chemicals on your skin let alone your face. It’s better to stick with the old-fashioned, organic creams you’ll find in barbershops.
Shaving creams come in different shapes and sizes, and not every style suits every beard. Some are thicker and meant for those with dryer skin, while some will lather up well but are more of a soap than a cream. If I had to pick my overall favorite, I’d have to go with Taylor’s Sandalwood Shaving Cream from Amazon.com. Not only is the scent fantastic, but Jeremiah Taylor’s barbershop has been around forever. As far as I’m concerned, it’s stood the test of time.
There are plenty of options though if that doesn’t suit your fancy. Pacific Shaving Cream on Amazon.com is completely organic and perfect for anyone with sensitive skin.
#2: Lather up With Beard Shampoo
You need to clean your beard with a proper beard shampoo. The hair on your chin needs to be washed just like the hair on the top of your head, and if you’re a messy eater, it probably needs an even more thorough scrub down. A simple rinse isn’t going to be sufficient especially if you have a full, proper beard. You’ll need to shampoo it to make sure you wash out the excess grime and oil that collects naturally over the course of the day.
You don’t have to wash your beard every single day, but if you have a medium to long beard, you should be shampooing at least twice a week. We prefer to use beard shampoos because they’re slightly gentler than shampoos for your hair. Far more oil collects in the glands on your head, and your typical shampoo is designed to strip hair of even its natural oils. If you use these harsh chemicals on your chin, you’ll find yourself with beardruff and itchy, dry hair.
Currently, I’m using the Polished Gentleman Shampoo, which is pictured above. Truth be told, I purchased it because the description on the back is absolutely hilarious. However, it does help thicken my beard and keep it full and healthy. I’ve used a few beard shampoos in the past as well though. Professor Fuzzworthy’s on Amazon.comproducts are always a safe bet. I particularly like their shampoo because it’s nourishing enough that I can sometimes get away without any conditioning balm.
If you want an entire grooming kit, check out the Fulllight Tech Beard Grooming Kit from Amazon.com. It comes with conditioning balm, beard oil, and a wooden comb–pretty much everything you could possibly need!
#3: Beard Balm is Your Best Friend
Beard balm is the equivalent of conditioner but for your beard. It helps give it the moisture it needs to survive those hot, humid summer days. Apply a pea-sized amount to your beard while in the shower after you finish cleaning it.
Beard balm is a relatively simple product typically with beeswax, shea or cocoa butter, carrier oils, and essential oils, but a little bit a few times a week can go a long way. Honest Amish beard balm, the one pictured above, is probably one of my favorites.
If you’re crafty, you might even try making your own beard balm. The recipe is relatively simple, and you can whip some together in a pot on the stovetop in only a matter of minutes. It will save you a chunk of change, and you’ll be able to choose which essential oils to use. Try sandalwood, peppermint, eucalyptus…whatever blend suits you. You can read more about the ingredients by clicking on our blog post here.
#4: Never Forget Beard Oil
There is nothing like beard oil. While you should always use beard balm, beard oil is the ultimate conditioning tool. The difference between beard oil and beard balm is that beard balm is applied in the shower and is meant to give the beard a certain amount of control. The beeswax acts as a holding agent that keeps the hair all in one direction. However, beard balm is made mostly with essential oils that intensely nourish and moisturize your beard.
I might go a bit overboard on the beard oil, but in my opinion, you can never have too much. I use a bit in the morning and before I go to bed. I’ll even use some beard balm in the late afternoon if it’s particularly humid. That being said, you can overuse it. You only need two to three drops to get the job done. It is oil after all, and if you use too much, your face will look like a greasy mess.
Simply overturn the bottle so that you have a tiny bit on the palm of your hand. Rub your hands together to coat them evenly and run your fingers gently through or over your whiskers. Your hair will instantly feel smoother, and it will smell incredible. Because it’s made from natural oils, you can rest assured that it’s nourishing your hair with the vitamins and nutrients it craves.
Every experienced beardsman knows Honest Amish, pictured above. While I adore their beard balm, their oil is my all-time go-to beard product. Made with a blend of virgin pumpkin seed oil, sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil, golden jojoba oil, kukui oil, avocado oil, moringa oil, and virgin argan oil, you know it’s high-quality. Certainly no canola in sight!
#5: Your Shave Is Only As Good As Your Aftershave
My old man was one smart guy. He knew, as I said before, that your shave is only as good as your aftershave. Even if I purchase brand new cartridge razors and work my shaving cream into a nice, rich lather, if I don’t use an aftershave, my skin is red and itchy all day long. I discovered Calvin Klein’s Obsession for Men recently, and while it is a bit pricey, it’s totally worth it. It’s thick and creamy, and it feels heavenly against my neck.
There really are two different kinds of aftershaves you should know about. There are creams and gels meant to moisturize and hydrate irritated skin, and there are aftershave splashes, like bay rum aftershaves, that are made from alcohol or witch hazel. These washes clean out dirt and bacteria from your pores to prevent infections. They are also anti-inflammatory, so they also help reduce post-shave irritation.
Some men find the splashes a bit harsh, but they will cool your skin quickly. Plus, they typically smell delicious. However, if you find your skin drying out, you may want to switch to an oil-based aftershave balm like Lather & Wood, an aftershave lotion that smells of sandalwood. You’ll only need a couple of pumps to cover your whole face, and it does wonders for sensitive skin.
#6: Comb Out the Curls
You should be brushing out your beard just like you’d brush out your hair. It will help for the following four reasons:
1. Distribute Natural Oils-
By brushing or combing your whiskers, you’re helping to distribute the sebum from the follicle to all parts of your beard. This is especially important if you have a longer beard because the oils won’t necessarily get to the ends of the hair otherwise. By distributing these oils, you also help to prevent the ends of the hair from dying and splitting.
2. Exfoliate the skin-
As you brush out your mane, you’ll also be exfoliating the skin underneath. You should ideally exfoliate your skin with a face wash as well, but either way, you’ll be removing dead skin cells. If you don’t properly remove dead skin, your skin won’t be able to absorb any of the moisturizers you use on it afterward. Remove all of that build-up to help rejuvenate the skin underneath.
3. Detangles Hair-
This should probably be an obvious one, but perhaps it’s not for everyone. If you have a medium to long beard, you need to brush and comb your facial hair regularly. No one wants a beard full of tangles and knots. It looks like a birds nest for heaven’s sake. Take a few seconds to go through the hair to tidy up your appearance and set all the hairs going in the same direction.
4. Stimulates Hair Growth-
By brushing your beard you bring blood to the surface of the skin. With blood comes the vitamins and minerals your hair needs to grow. So, regularly brushing your beard will naturally stimulate hair growth.
Whether you use a comb or a brush is really up to personal preference. A comb generally works better on longer beards because it’s easier to get all the way through the hair with the teeth of the comb then with the softer bristles of a brush. I also generally tend to use a comb on wet hair and a brush on dry hair, but as long as you’re using one regularly, you should be fine.
If you are using a brush though, you’ll want to use one with natural boar bristles. They are coated with sebum that helps to condition the hair, and they will improve the texture of your beard. Synthetic ones are, admittedly, slightly easier to clean, but they are not as good for your hair.
The brush or comb you have on your vanity at home will probably do the trick, but if you want a nice, sandalwood set and a brush with proper boar bristles, then I highly recommend Smooth Viking’s brush and comb set. The double-edged comb has teeth that are both set widely and narrowly to suit your hair’s texture, and the brush is thick and full. Plus, it makes a great gift set!
#7: Trim Your Beard Regularly
Even if you’re growing your beard out, you need to trim it regularly not only to cut off dead ends, but also to shave off straggling hairs. You want to shave off the hair on your neck and shave along your cheek line from your ear to your lip to keep the whole look neat and trim. A great, long beard should still be shapely and orderly, so make sure to shave along nice, clean lines.
You should always shave off your neck beard. Unless you want to pull off a viking look, neck beards don’t really look that great on anyone. You also want to shave along your cheek line. It’s best to go for a natural line from your ear to your lip that will flatter your cheek bones rather than emphasizing the curve of your cheek.
Check out this helpful video to learn how to find the appropriate markers on your face.
Lastly, you’re going to need the right tools of the trade. These home clippers will help you trim up your beard in no time. You might also want to pick up a pair of barber’s shears to snip off the ends.
#8: Take a Trip to the Barber Shop
As this wonderful article in the Federalist states so aptly, “Men don’t go to salons. They go to barber shops.” Well, real men that is. While they may seem old fashioned, there is nothing that will have your beard looking better than a Sunday morning trip down to the barber shop.
A barber is trained to cut men’s hair and facial hair, and he has professional trimmers and products that will make your skin look and feel amazing. From the shaving cream to the razor to the aftershave, a barber will touch up your beard the right way to get you in tip-top shape.
You don’t have to go to the barber every week, especially since it does get expensive. Aim to go at least once a month though, maybe the first or last weekend of the month.
#9: Get Your Vitamins
As it turns out, what you put in your body is just as important as what you put on your body when it comes to grooming your beard. After all, your facial hair is made from a protein called keratin. Your body simply can’t grow hair without the proper nutrients. So, perhaps the best beard grooming tip we can give is not really a grooming tip at all.
Load up on the protein and greens!
According to Jack Passion, author of The Facial Hair Handbook and two-time world beard championship winner, the trick to growing a full, healthy beard is your diet. A diet high in fats and proteins from animal sources is ideal, he explains. He also supplements with Vitabeard, Iron Beard, or Beard Grow XL, all of which will provide you with the B vitamins you need to get those extra inches.
Exercise can also help you grow a healthy beard because it increases the blood flow to your face. That blood carries oxygen. Plus, exercise can also help boost your testosterone levels. Because facial hair growth is a secondary sex characteristic, increased testosterone levels can only help your beard growth.
A study by the National Institute of Health also reported that sleeping aids beard growth. That’s right, all you have to do is get some more Zzzz’s into your day to grow a healthier, more beautiful beard. Could it be any easier than that?
Our Favorite Beard Grooming Tips
A beard is difficult to maintain. There’s prepping, trimming, washing, and moisturizing to do day in and day out. If you want a truly handsome beard, you’ve simply got to put in the effort. However, if I had to choose my three top beard grooming tips, I would probably say trimming, washing, and applying beard oil. If you can’t make the time for all of these steps, at least try to get in these three.
Though these beard grooming tips might be difficult to implement at first, if you take your time and introduce them into your daily routine bit by bit, your beard will start looking better in no time.
Comment below to tell us if these tips have worked for you and if you have any of your own tips to add.