Growing a Beard
Most men have at least contemplated growing a beard at some point in their lives. Having a beard is not only accepted by our society but, is actually quite common. Just walk around some areas of Brooklyn and you’ll see that not only the religiously devout are sporting beards in large numbers. You don’t have to be a hipster or a professor to have a preference for facial hair. You can grow a so-called “corporate beard” that is well trimmed and defined, or go with the natural look and let it all “hang out”.
Many men grow beards because they feel it would be an interesting and “different” thing to do, only to cut it a few weeks later (after a few annoying comments and dissatisfaction with the way it looks). The way to determine whether you should be bearded or not is to make a commitment to your beard for at least six weeks before making the decision to keep it or not. Many men who opt to go with a beard realize that it significantly changes their looks. Some enjoy this fact while others choose to ditch the idea and shave, but, regardless of what you decide, it’s worthwhile to give your beard a real, solid try.
In the beginning
One of the hardest parts of growing a beard is the first phase. Maybe you impulsively decided to grow a beard, or you missed shaving, like the look and decided to keep on going. Some people believe that a beard grows faster and better if it is cut occasionally, but, the real way to grow your beard is simply to grow it and let it go. Give your beard a chance to grow for a month before shaping or trimming. One reason many people decide to get rid of the beard is because of the initial reactions people might have. It’s not that all of these comments are negative, but, you may weary of the attention or decide that you don’t want to hear the comments anymore. If you are serious about growing a beard, it’s a good idea to do so during a vacation when you won’t see many people that you know. It’s pretty easy to deflect comments with a simple, “yes I’m growing a beard” and simply leave it at that.
Another issue that arises early in the beard growing process is itchiness. You might find that you are scratching more than usual, but, this should stop as your beard gradually develops. Your skin is not yet used to having hair growing out of it and it takes some time to become accustomed to the beard. Try beard oil, which soothes the skin underneath the beard. Apply the oil and stroke your beard regularly to stimulate circulation to that specific area. Wash your beard every day with shampoo and conditioner, and pat it dry with a towel. Resist the urge to shape or trim your beard until after the first month of growing. After this period is over, you can visit a professional to start styling your beard or even do it yourself. At this phase, it is worthwhile to get a grooming comb. You could even use regular scissors to trim your mustache rather than buying a special trimmer.
What to know about beard growth.
Whether or not you are the “beard type” may depend on genes and the kind of facial hair you have. You might not realize it until the beard actually grows in, but, you can look to bearded family members for clues as to whether your facial hair is going to be patchy or abundant. If you are under a lot of stress, or experiencing poor health, and have an unhealthy diet, please understand that all of these factors may hinder your ability to grow a beard effectively. One of the keys to growing a beard is testosterone, so increase your levels of this masculine hormone by consuming red meats, avoiding soy products and lifting weights. Plant foods that help boost testosterone include avocado, broccoli, spinach, and olive oil. Stroke, rather than pull your beard as it is growing in, and be sure to stimulate the blood to the skin underneath it. This can help stimulate growth and relieve skin irritation, it will also help you grow accustomed to your beard.
Decide on your style
Once you’ve succeeded in not shaving for a month, and have your starter beard, it is time to decide what kind of beard you want to grow. You might go for a minimally trimmed natural looking beard, like those favored by hipsters and the Amish, or you may want a corporate type beard, that is closely trimmed and styled meticulously. After growing a full beard you might decide that you actually want a goatee and cut back on the facial hair, or go all in and grow it longer and stronger for a ZZ Top kind of look. Just keep in mind that even the most natural looking beard requires significant maintenance and a certain amount of trimming. You will need to trim your mustache now and again to ensure that it doesn’t interfere with eating, even if you like an abundant mustache. Talk to your stylist about what kind of beard style is right for you and take your lifestyle into consideration. Think about how much maintenance you’re truly willing to put into your beard.
A whole new look
Your friends, family, and coworkers will almost certainly make comments during the first phase of your beard growth, but, it is best to ignore most of the commentary. Keep in mind that your beard is your own and their commentary will not change that fact. Only you can decide whether the bearded look is for you or whether it was just a passing fancy. Most men are curious at some point about how a beard will suit them and decide to grow one, even if it’s only temporary. Beards have been subject to fashion throughout history. In the 19th century, it was all but compulsory for a man to have a beard whereas in the 1950s in America a beard was a rare sight. In our era, the choice is yours and social pressure for and against having a beard is minimal. So, explore your options and take a chance with an experimental beard.