With great beard comes great responsibility.
Remember Tamagotchis? They were those little virtual pets, that if you didn’t take care of properly they would “die”.
Same thing with a beard. When you are starting a new beard, keep in mind it is not enough to just grow it. Once you start your beard for the first time, you need to educate yourself on how to take care of it.
Though proper beard grooming is pretty easy, it is not a grow it and forget it thing. Groom your beard the right way and you will reap the benefits of having a glorious beard that make your friends jealous and the ladies fight over you.
Our tips on how to maintain a beard should point you in the right direction and get your new beard grooming game leveled up. And if you need some tips on how to groom or shape a long beard? We have you covered there, too.
In this article I will lay out all the steps to growing a beard, plus what the essential beard care products are to keep your beard looking fresh. To get the most out of your beard, you need to be using the best beard grooming products, like an argan oil based beard oil or a boars bristle beard brush.
Don’t worry if you don’t have time to read the full article. Just below I made a table with a list of some beard grooming products reviews to get you started. Keep scrolling to read up on this comprehensive beard grooming guide.
- Philips Norelco Multigroom 7000
- Why You Need It:
To shape your beard and trim it as it grows
- 14 comb guards and 4 head attachments
4 to 5 hours between charges
- Smooth Viking Beard Oil
- Best For:
Low-Maintenance men who need fast-acting oils and conditioners
Sweet almond oil, olive oil, castor oil, vitamin E, avocado oil, Moroccan argan oil, pumpkin seed oil, and jojoba oil
- Billy Jealousy Beard Wash
- Best For:
Guys that have longer beards that need some shampoo love
Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Decyl Glucoside, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice,Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Honey Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Extract
- Hunter Jack Dual Action Teeth Sandalwood Beard Comb
- Best For:
A snag free, static free beard comb that doesn’t damage the beard
Dual Teeth-Fine and Wide Toothed, Scented Sandalwood
- Seven Potions Beard Brush
- Best For:
Moisturize and style an unruly beard
- Bristle Density:
First cut boars bristles and pear wood palm handle
- Zhou Nutrition Iron Beard
- Best For:
Supplement to grow a fuller, healthier and stronger beard that’s easier to groom
Biotin, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Folic Acid, Saw Palmetto
Step One: Starting a Beard
This is the easiest part, obviously. The one word though, that sums up what you need to grow a beard for the first time is PATIENCE. It takes time to get through all the stages of growing a beard.
You will go from stubble to itchy in a matter of days and you will have to be patient through that stage to get to when the beard is more comfortable.
To prevent that itchy feeling before the beard even gets there can prevent or reduce the amount of itchiness you’ll feel. Make sure you are using a good face wash for bearded men to keep your skin hydrated and plump. If your skin is healthy, then your beard will be, too. You’re setting up a great foundation for a successful beard by keeping your face in good shape.
Step Two: Stubble Grooming
One of the worst things I see when a guy is starting to grow out a beard is how unruly it is from very early on. You need to judge the best shape for a short beard at this stage. You need to keep the edges neat.
How to shape a beard neckline and cheek line, you ask?
You can use a beard trimmer or razor to do this, but making a line at the edge is essential to keeping yourself looking presentable while growing in a beard.
What to look for is where the hairs are a little sparse around the cheeks, and on the neck where the hairs start getting wiry or growing in the opposite direction of the rest of the neck.
You’ll need to look in a mirror to make sure you are making the line even all around. Or you can use a beard shaping tool to help make your lines even.
What is the best trimmer for beard stubble? In my opinion you should consider the Philips Norelco Multigroom 7000.
Since you will need to be trimming and shaping your beard through every growth stage, it pays to have a trimmer with attachments to handle the different phases.
Start out by using the stainless steel blade to get the edges and as it grows you can use the attachments to trim it and shape it.
You can get almost as close as a razor on the edges for a clean line. It is fully washable for easy cleaning and the battery lasts 4 to 5 hours between charges.
Step Three: Use Beard Oil
As your beard growth progresses, it is especially important to start a grooming routine. This is the part that seems to throw a lot of guy off based on how many questions I get. Is beard oil really necessary? What is the best beard oil?
Smooth Viking Beard Oil for Men is in my opinion, one of the best beard oils and among the best beard care brands.
What makes Smooth Viking one of the best? For one, it uses premium ingredients formulated to make it anti itch when your beard is going through that itchy phase.
Argan oil is a primary ingredient which is known to be one of the best things you can use on your skin and hair and is great to soften a coarse beard. It has remarkable healing and hydrating properties.
This beard oil will leave your skin plump, hydrated and moisturized and your beard hair soft and manageable.
After washing your face, rub this into your beard very vigorously, all the way into the skin. This is easy enough to do when your beard is short, but when your beard is longer you will need a beard brush and comb to help.
Starting out using a beard oil when your beard is only slightly longer than stubble is a good way to promote a healthy growing beard. It is never too early to start using a beard oil.
Step Four: Wash That Beard
As your beard hair gets longer, it begins to have different needs and you shouldn’t use the same face wash or regular shampoo on your beard, too. Instead try a dedicated beard soap or shampoo.
Your beard hair is much different than your head hair so it requires its own shampoo.
To properly clean your beard I highly recommend using Billy Jealousy Beard Wash.
You’ve probably read the reviews on other Billy Jealousy products and come out with a good impression of them as a company. I have dealt with them over the phone and by email many times over the years and can say that they are a top notch producer of fine beard grooming products. This beard wash is no exception.
Using all the essential ingredients to keep your skin and hair happy, this beard wash hits all the right notes. It smells fresh and invigorating, it lathers up nicely and leaves the hair and skin feeling so soft and luxurious after. All without stripping the hair of its natural oils.
Step Five: Use a Beard Brush and Comb
As your beard is getting longer, it is time to start using a beard brush and a beard comb. It is not 100% essential that you use both, but you really need to use at least one when growing a beard.
Since they both do different things, you should consider having both, however.
What is the difference between a beard brush and comb?
To answer that we have to answer the question, what does a beard brush do.
A beard brush does a few things, like:
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.
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.
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 make it grow better.
What does a beard comb do?
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 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.
Distributes the Beard Oil
When your beard is getting longer, it gets harder to make sure that all the follicles are evenly coated with the oil. After rubbing it in with your hands, it pays to comb it through with a good quality beard comb.
What is the best beard comb?
A general rule of thumb is to never use a plastic beard comb, or, worse, to use a plastic comb that you would use on your head.
The plastic causes static which makes your beard unruly and causes fly away hairs you just can’t seem to tame. But, even worse, plastic combs tend to snag in your beard and break the follicles causing split ends and a lot of damage to a beard.
Always go for a comb made out of natural material, or an acetate. Wood is very popular and cheap as a material for a comb, but you can also find some made out of bone or horn.
Hunter Jack Dual Action Teeth Sandalwood Beard Comb makes an excellent beard comb.
Made out of sandalwood, it has a classic woodsy scent to it. It may impart a slight scent to your beard, but probably not much.
Being made out of wood, it prevents any static electricity. It features two sets of teeth. One side is wide for when your beard is longer to get through the dense hairs easily and without causing any damage.
The other side is fine toothed. You can use this side when your beard is shorter, or after you have detangled the hairs using the wide side. This will really smooth out your beard and distribute beard oil really well.
What is the best beard brush?
Also called a military brush, a beard brush is traditionally made with boar bristles. Of course there are ones with plastic bristles, but those should be avoided. They can cause a lot of split ends and tear up the whole follicle.
Boars bristle benefits the beard by being gentle on the hair, while still being effective.
There are vegan beard brushes, but make sure it is made from natural materials like cactus fiber or from the agave plant. These will be very easy on your hair and actually pretty soft, too.
Seven Potions Beard Brush is one I highly recommend. It uses first cut boars bristles that are stiff, yet flexible and last a long time.
I love the color and feel of the pear wood handle. It fits perfectly in the palm which makes it easy to brush out that beard and get the oil distributed. The density of the bristles is just right, too. Too often the bristles are packed too tightly together which doesn’t allow for the strands of hair to pass through. These do a nice job of running easily through even thick beards.
If you are looking for a vegan or Halal beard brush then a special mention of Golden Beards Vegan Beard Brush is in order.
Step Six: Trim Your Beard
How to trim a beard evenly with scissors or with a trimmer is a bit tricky. The first thing to do is make sure it is washed, fully dry and combed.
If your beard is long, but not so long you need to go freehand, you can use beard trimmers with an attachment comb at the longest length and just go over your entire beard this way. Comb it out and away from your body to get the hairs all cut evenly.
If your beard is too long to go over with an attachment you will need to freehand it. This is where it gets interesting.
To shape a long beard takes a steady hand, especially when using electric trimmers. Again, comb out your beard so it has all the strands sticking straight out. Then, using a mirror, just start by going along and lightly get the ends, making a smooth edge of the beard. Do this all the way around and then use your brush to shape it to see if the length works. Repeat the process if it seems too long. It takes time and patience to do this without making an uneven beard trim.
If you don’t think your hand is very steady, then use some beard trimming scissors.
Check out this quick video for some beard trimming tips.
Even if you plan on growing a long ZZ Top style beard you need to be trimming it occasionally to make sure it grows in evenly.
In addition to that, 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.
Step Seven: Take Beard Vitamins
To make sure your beard stays healthy and strong, you have to feed it. Now some of you probably have a beard that could house a small animal inside, but that is not what I mean.
What I mean is there are beard supplements that will give you all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals your body needs to produce some glorious beard hairs.
There are some supplements out there that claim to be able to help grow a beard faster, and yes, some of them actually work. But, the point of this guide and reviews is to help you with beard grooming and not beard growing, so for now I am sticking with a supplement that I recommend to help grow a healthy beard.
Zhou Nutrition Iron Beard is packed with ingredients that will leave your beard fuller, thicker and nourished, along with your skin.
If your beard is a bit patchy, it will end up looking for filled in thanks to how thick your beard hair will become after taking these herbal supplements. There is a good dose of biotin which is an essential ingredient to strengthen hair. Not only will it look fuller, but it will also look better since the hairs are less likely to get frayed.
In addition to the benefits of this supplement to your hair, your skin will benefit by being more hydrated and less sensitive from lying underneath a bed of beard hair.
Step Eight: Beard Balm
This is not an essential ingredient for everybody. It really depends on the beard so I wasn’t sure it warranted its own step. For the sake of clarity on whether or not you should use a beard balm, well, here we are.
What is the difference between beard oil and beard balm?
Besides the most obvious difference being that beard oil is an oil and balm is not, beard oil is meant to help keep a beard shiny and healthy. An oil can be used if the beard is short or long, but is more easily applied to shorter beards. Oils typically last a few hours.
A beard balm is more geared towards longer beards. Since it is more of a waxy product, it can last longer than an oil. It is a conditioner that does pretty much the same stuff as an oil, except without the sheen. What really separates the two is that beard balm can help maintain a beard style in a way that a beard oil cannot do for longer beards. Oils tend to weight down longer beards as well.
What is the best beard balm?
The best beard balms are strong yet lightweight. Once again, I am drawn to a Smooth Viking product and recommend their Beard Balm with Leave-in Conditioner.
This balm goes on light and a little goes a long way. It gives great hold though, which means that you can style your beard without having to really glop it on.
It leaves your beard looking fuller, feeling softer and way more manageable than if you didn’t use it.
Though technically it can be used on any length beard, it would be overkill to use it on a shorter one.
The scent is slightly citrusy and herbal with neither element coming on too strongly. It has a light, fresh scent.
If your beard is getting unruly than you owe it to yourself to try out a good beard balm like this one.
Step Nine: Visit the Barber
Even when following all of these steps and trying to take care of your beard yourself, you may still need to see a professional.
Whether it is because you gave yourself an uneven beard trim and need it fixed, of you simply can find a way to keep your beard looking healthy.
If you are seeing less than expected results from your beard care routine, it’s time to ask a pro what to do.
Your barber will know exactly how to shape a beard and set up some guidelines for you to follow to keep it looking that way. He will know how to line up your beard with a razor, and again give you some tips on how to do it yourself at home.
And lastly, he can show you exactly how to wash, brush and style your beard so you can make it a part of your routine.
Or, maybe you can do all of these things successfully at home, but want to pamper yourself. Either way, you will find yourself in good hands with your local barber.
Odds and Ends
There are still a few items left uncovered that still deserve some mention. Like how to take care of a beard for black men.
The reality is that anybody can follow these steps and end up with a better looking and healthy beard. Black men do tend to have a couple of issues that may make it seem like extra care is needed, but that isn’t really the case. No matter how wiry a beard is, following this beard maintenance guide will work.
The only problem not addressed is how to deal with ingrown hairs, which, due to the curly nature of African beards, is a common problem for black guys. For tips on how to deal with ingrown hairs, take a look at a more detailed guide on getting rid of them.
Another question I am frequently asked is, what does a beard wax do and should I use it?
Beard wax is like using a gel for your beard. It is very thick and will help you style it or keep it tamed. Should you use it? That is up to personal preference. In most cases, it is overkill. If you are styling your beard and it is really long then, yes, go ahead and try one. If you have a handlebar mustache, then a beard wax could work on that as well.
Can you use hair gel for a beard?
You really don’t want to. If you follow these steps your beard will look fine on its own and won’t have any flyaway hairs or split ends making it look shaggy. And as I said, a beard balm will help style most beards and a wax can cover all the rest.
Using hair gel on a beard will probably dry your beard out or leave flakes that look like dandruff which would be a disaster.
Beard Care and Maintenance | Wrapping it Up
Ok, I hear what you are asking right now. “9 steps to take care of my beard? This will take me all day!”
Not really. It doesn’t take all that long to take care of a beard.
If you start taking care of your beard and make it a routine as soon as you start to grow one, then it will be very easy to do and take no time. If you wait until your beard is already looking like a grizzly bear, then repairing it may take more effort.
Either way, you owe it to yourself to put the time in no matter how long it takes. The results will speak for themselves. With that said though, it should only take a few minutes per day to brush it and put product on. Trimming it once in a while will take a bit more time, but if you are keeping up with it and doing it regularly then it will be a quick process.
If any of these tips worked for you or you have any questions, drop a comment in the box below!