Everything You Need to Know to Grow, Groom and Maintain an Impressive Beard
The AskMen Acquire team thoroughly researches & reviews the best gear, services and staples for life. How to beard.
Don’t be fooled by the headlines or public surveys – the death of the beard is not upon us. Facial hair is still on-trend and remains the most authentic accessory any man can sport. It’s no longer the “hipster thing.” It’s become “the realm of the stylish,” as Beardbrand founder Eric Bandholz best puts it.
All of the top men’s lifestyle publications continue to run articles about beard grooming and styles, recognizing the look as part of the “stylish man’s repertoire.” “From models and movie stars to what I call “the urban beardsman” — your average style-conscious beard-wearer — fuller beards especially are sweeping the nation,” proclaims Bandholz. Beards are even making their way into the corporate sector, with Fortune 500 companies making them acceptable in the workplace.
However, following a trend isn’t exactly being part of it. Today’s beard-wearers are all about keeping their facial hair groomed and tailored to their appearance. Calling on the right beard products is a good starting point. An even better one is taking the advice of some industry buffs who know a thing or two on the subject.
To guide your facial mane on the right path, we got Scotch Porter founder, Calvin Quallis, and Grooming Lounge master barber, Arash Kiani, to join Bandholz in the discussion, as the trio shares their grooming tips on the proper ways to grow and maintain a beard. Start making space in your dopp kit, gentlemen!
Beard Growing Tips
Bandholz reminds us that “hair is little dead pieces of you slowly coming out of your body.” Treating follicles with care will certainly extend their lifespan. Eating healthier is a huge step in the right direction.
Adding more protein to your diet will increase testosterone – a key element that aids with beard growth. Some of Bandholz personal recommendations includes peas, broccoli, chickpeas, and spinach, which are all especially high in protein. Another option to boosting testosterone is through regular exercise. Lifting weights is said to be the most effective workout.
Maintaining a balanced diet does eliminate the need of any vitamins or supplements, though for some of us who struggle with dieting, it doesn’t hurt taking “beard-assisting supplements.” Some popular ones include biotin, fish oil, and a multivitamin. “Or you could simplify your life and take a vitamin designed specifically for beard growth,” says Bandholz.
Lastly, Bandholz urges to “keep stress and smoking to a minimum.”
One way to enhance your nutritional intake is by making multi-vitamins part of your daily diet. Smooth Viking’s supplements won’t just fuel your beard with 5000 mcg of Biotin and several other vitamins – they’ll feed the body other essential nutrients to boost skincare. A 30-day supply should help gain you fuller results.
Modern beard styles 2016
One of the best auto-pilot meal-kit providers out there, HelloFresh ensures you get your daily dose of protein by delivering farm-fresh ingredients to your front door. Weekly menus are curated by a team professional chefs and dieticians, which can be customized to fit your diet, schedule, and number of servings. Choose from three different plans – Classic, Veggie, and Family – each offering delicious recipes packed with seasonal produce and clean meats or hearty grains.
Incorporating this protein powder into your meal plan will accelerate the hair-growing process. Take in 20g of vegan protein and 9g of soluble fiber to increase keratin production for flexible, strengthened, and shinier hair. Add this to your protein shake after a serious workout.
Bob's Red Mill Chocolate Protein Powder Nutritional Booster, $19.68 at Amazon.com
Beard Maintenance Tips
After treating your beard with the proper nutritional intake, you’ll want to establish a beard maintenance routine. This starts in the shower with a good beard shampoo, not regular shampoo.
“Dandruff is the result of overly dry beard hair, as well as a yeast that multiplies when one has oily skin underneath their beard,” says Quallis. An anti-dandruff wash helps tremendously with ridding the face of any beardruff, though Bandholz stresses to resist the urge of shampooing daily, since doing so “strips out the natural oils that keep your beard healthy and moisturized.”
Much like your skin, facial hairs need to be moisturized right out the shower. Seek out a high-quality a beard oil. Besides acting as a leave-in conditioner that keeps hair feeling soft and looking shiny, it nourishes the skin underneath to prevent irritation. Quallis doesn’t recommend using an oil if you already suffer from oily skin or hair. His suggestion: “Lighter, penetrating oils like Argan Oil and Olive Squalane actually leave the beard and skin healthier, without the oily and greasy look.”
From there, minimize any damage done to the beard by stroking it with a boar’s bristle brush or cellulose acetate comb. These tools help distribute oils more efficiently, remove dead skin cells, and straighten unruly hairs. Be gentle though, as Quallis claims excessive brushing can “cause excessive shedding and permanently damage the hair’s cuticle.” Refrain from twiddling with your beard hairs or suffer a similar fate.
Lastly, Arash believes getting a professional beard trim once in a while is the way to go. “Barbers like me do this every day and can trim a beard to properly match the man’s face shape and lifestyle.” However, if your barbering skills are on-point, you can always pick up a trimmer to remove split ends and shape your beard style in the privacy of your own bathroom.
Beard trimmers are the go-to grooming tool for any beardsman. You can’t go wrong with Philips Norelco’s maintenance-ready machine, which boasts a variety of advanced features from 18 full-length settings to an integrated vacuum system that captures loose hairs before they hit your bathroom floor. Shape and style your beard to personal preference, while ridding it of splitting ends.
Rid the bird’s nest of dandruff and grime by cleansing it with this all-natural beard wash. It’s super-effective in ridding your moneymaker of grime and sebum, opening pores and fortifying whiskers with a potent blend of nettle leaf, silk protein, slippery elm bark and other hair-strengthening ingredients.
Not all beard oils are formulated for beard growth. Fortunately for you, this one is. Many of the oils found in here contain the basic minerals needed for growing facial hair – delivering vitamins and minerals to your hair follicles. It’s these same oils that keep skin moisturized and nourished as well.
A dual-purpose comb capable of taming the hair on both your head and face, Baxter’s editor-favorited hairstyling accessory adds comfort to beard grooming with smoothly tapered teeth and rounded tips for seamless straightening. It's lengthy enough to reach hard spots and indestructible thanks to its high-quality cellulose acetate shell.
Made in Germany, this travel-friendly beard brush comes equipped with three rows of 100% boar hair bristles that work to untangle the toughest strands on your mug. Massaging it gently onto skin helps exfoliate it and stimulate blood circulation, which in turn produces a fuller, thicker beard.
Beard Styling Tips
Maintaining a healthy and strong beard is one thing. Styling it is another. Options are afforded depending on your facial hair style. “Besides your natural full beard, your Garibaldi and Verdi are the most common full beard styles,” says Bandholz.
Bandholz lives by the motto, “if you can't grow a full beard, I say grow whatch you got." If you’re blessed with some thick bristles above your lip, then a mustache wax seems like an ideal choice. “A medium hold natural beeswax mustache wax will give you a lot of flexibility, keep your mustache out of the way, but have it still looking natural,” says Bandholz.
Arash is more a fan of beard balms than beard oils since “they condition beards, keeping them soft, manageable and also give the added benefit of moisturizing the oft-ignored skin below.”
Nonetheless, having these elements in place will warrant you a badass beard that's “manly, stylish, and just plain awesome.”
A product Arash helped create, this beard hydrator remains an editor favorite with light styling control and nourishing properties that remedy itchy beards. Quality consistency and a lightweight texture enables easy combing-through. It works great for men with coarse threads who rely heavy on moisture and conditioning.
Medium beard styles
Boasting a natural blend of beeswax and essential oils, this portable wax stick holds your ‘stache in place by keeping hairs off of your top lip. Its use of lanolin hydrates hairs, plus its texture offers great consistency to sort out beard patches or experimental looks. See if you can make the handlebar or horseshoe fashionable again. Enjoy the cedar, pine, and eucalyptus scent it leaves upon application.
This crème-based product comes recommended by world mustache champion, Bruce Roe. Application is said to go on easier and the formula stiffens to a hold. “It'll leave a chalky residue whereas the wax leaves a waxy residue, so pick your poison,” says Bandholz. Just don't leave it on your countertop or you just might mistake it for your whitening toothpaste.
This unscented balm is formulated with all-natural ingredients such as beeswax, shea butter, and Argan Oil, which helps with conditioning and shaping beards. Working it into your face keeps beard styles looking sharp and promotes hair growth. The portable tin packaging also makes it a valuable travel companion.