[Growing A Beard] For The First Time
By Anil Davé | Last updated
26th May 2018
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We’ve all seen them. You know, those cool guys that have awesome beards. I bet you’ve always said to yourself, “How can I be a bearded man like that?”
Well, I’m going to give you some top tips for Growing a Beard For The First Time.
Let me tell you about my journey. I’ve always had a fear of growing a big beard, mainly because I was worried about what people would think. I tried, but then my mates would take the p#ss, or my wife would complain about my stubble. Guys with awesome beards just look so damn cool!
Before last year I was a dreamer. Now I’m a doer, and you can be too.
Where I am today?
I just don’t care what people think anymore. I wanted to grow an awesome beard, and now I have and I love it. Now my mates and family always say to me that it looks really cool. If you decide to grow your face beast, then go for it. Life is way too short.
You’ve tried to grow a beard, but there are always challenges along the way. You either get fed up and shave it off, get to a point where it’s itching like crazy and then shave it off, or you get a little patchy, you bottle it, and then shave it off!
Basically, all roads lead to you shaving it all off and I bet you ask yourself the below question...
What am I doing wrong?
There is a very simple answer to this question, STOP saving it off! You have to let it grow. So, my first piece of advice for you, which is probably the most important thing to take away from this article is patience. Just let it grow. Don’t touch it, just grow it!
Yes, it might itch, but you WILL get through it. Yes, it might look patchy at first and maybe grow a little uneven but you just need to get over it. Let it grow lads. That’s the key.
If you’re letting it grow, then you’re on the right track. But, how do you groom it while it’s growing? What is the best way I can take care of my growing beard to give me that full, bold beard that I’ve always wanted?
Well, let me take you through some of the things you can do to help groom your growing beard and become a bearded man like me.
Time Vs Length
We all grow at different speeds, so just because your mate grows his beard at the speed of light doesn't mean you’re going to. If you’re serious about growing your beard then your milestones should be based on you and your personal goals.
For example, a ‘Yeard’ (Year-long beard), should involve your own individual goals. This should be, how you want it to look and the style you’re going for. You should be proud of your beard no matter how different it grows to other peoples.
Let’s talk about the different phases of growing a bead for the first time. I like to call these the ‘Steps to Bearded Awesomeness!'
So let’s break this down...
The itch fest!
After a few weeks, you’ll notice the dreaded beard itching. At first, you’ll be like “This isn’t so bad”, but after a few more days it’s gonna drive you up the wall.
Why does it Itch?
In a nutshell, as you shave, you’re creating sharp edges to each haircut on your face. As they grow, the sharp edges of the hair scrape against the edges of the follicle. That’s the recipe for the annoying itching.
Will it pass?
Yes, it will! Trust me lads, it will pass. Over time the hairs in your beard will naturally develop a tapered edge, which will prevent friction against the follicle.
Is that the end of the itch?
Well, that depends on how you take care of your growing beard. Poor conditioning can lead to a ruff and wiry beard which will bring back the itch. But, if you’re following my guide today, you can prevent the ‘itch’ from ever coming back.
To help ease the itching, I would recommend using a beard oil, or a stubble softener like this Percy Nobleman stubble moisturiser.
At this early stage in your beard growing journey, I would probably advise you to stay away from using your normal hair shampoo on your baby beard. My recommendation is to use an all-natural beard soap. Craftsman Soap does a great range so go check them out. It's the only product in this article that I recommend that's outside of the UK, but it's worth it.
Time to make a choice!
After a few weeks, the itching will have gone and you will have gotten further than you ever had before. Now you’re feeling good, am I right?
It’s at this crucial time that you need to really sit back, grab a beer and think about what you want to get out of your beard growing. What style do you want?
This is the stage where you need to consider your beard genetics. Not all of us can grow an awesome beard like Aaron Kaufman formerly of Gas Monkey Garage.
You need to accept what you’re working with and move on!
Choose a style that will suit you and the way your beard hair will grow.
There are so many styles available, the Full Beard, Ducktail, Goatee, Imperial or maybe you want to go for the awesome Bandholz! Check out this cool infographic over at Real Men Real Style.
Patience is the key
Ok, so it’s been four weeks. Your beard is gonna look a little messy. You’re gonna want start reaching for that shaver.
Put it down!
Don’t do it! You’re going to want to start trimming that beard but be patient. Sure it looks messy, and it’s probably driving you s#it crazy.
Stick to your guns, and let it grow. Wait a few more weeks. I know a lot of experts and bloggers say you should trim around your neckline blah blah blah, but if you ask me, I say don't do it! I’ve been there. You start trimming, it’s not right, you trim it a little more, and then a little more, and before you know it...
... You’ve pretty much shaved your beard off and all that hard work has disappeared.
OK, if I’m not trimming it, what should I be doing?
F*** all! Just leave it to grow. What I do recommend is a good grooming regime to help your beard take its form. You need to take really good care of your beast.
A few things you should be doing at this stage are below.
1.) Wash it
Invest some good quality beard shampoo. Your beard is going to start attracting dirt and lint. As it gets longer, it will need to be kept clean.
I wouldn't recommend that you wash your beard more than three times a week at this stage. Washing your beard strips away all those awesome natural oils.
I’ve used a number of products, but I really love Percy Nobleman’s Beard Wash. You can grab a bottle from Amazon.
2.) Beard oil is your friend
You should already have a stash of beard oil and this is probably the most important grooming product in your collection.
It’s important to use beard oil after every wash to ensure that you put back some of those natural oils you’ve lost in the washing process.
Again, there are so many beard oils out there, but the UK based Little Green Soap Company do a nice 100% pure natural oil which is pretty damn sexy.
There is an option to use beard balm, but I would recommend this at a later stage in your beard journey.
Time to start trimming
So you’ve now survived six weeks, you’ve not touched your beard and it’s starting to take shape. I know, it’s still looking messy, but it’s not time to get your trim on just yet.
Before you start trimming, you’ve got to get the right gear. When I say the right gear, I mean spend some cash and get some quality stuff.
There are essentially three items you need at this stage:
Scissors, Beard Trimmer and a Beard Brush or Comb.
Lads, don’t jog down to your local Boots and get a cheap plastic hairbrush for your growing beard.
Get yourself a decent comb or beard brush that is made for the job. If you’re really serious about growing that facial hair, you have to get some good quality stuff.
Which one is it? Brush or Comb?
Get both. I like to use both, but if you’re on a budget then I’d recommend a beard brush as this works great for both short and long beards. However, if you’re ‘mou-stashing’ the cash, then having both in your grooming collection would be better as the comb is better for definition.
I personally use a Kent comb. You can definitely tell the difference between a Kent comb and your standard crap from Tesco. This comb will glide through your beard like a hot knife through butter and for me, it’s a bonus that it’s quintessentially British.
You can pick up a Kent Comb from Amazon.
What else do I need?
To trim that beard, you’ll need a beard trimmer. There are so many out there so I’m not gonna go into any detailed reviews here, but check out my article on the Top 5 Beard Trimmers.
For this stage in your beard growing endeavour, you should have everything you need to start trimming your beard.
You should be aiming to trim the neckline, upper cheeks and moustache lip. If you’re planning on growing your moustache then you need to leave this alone completely. The moustache is an entirely different beast and trimming your moustache is a little more involved.
Don’t trim the neckline too high! This is the biggest mistake guys make.
You want to trim at the sweet spot between your neck and your head. If you’re not feeling confident at this stage, then stop, and ask your barber to do it.
Again, this is just for trimming around the beard, you shouldn't be touching your actual beard at this point. This is where most guys get it wrong and start trimming too much. Take your time. I would actually recommend that you go to the barbers for the first trim, and get them to give you some tips on how you can do it at home.
Two months have gone - You're on a roll
After eight weeks, you should be well on track for your ‘Yeard’. Now at this stage, you only want to ensure that you’re washing your beard once a week and that you’re using your beard oil every day. But, if you now want to start styling your beard, you can introduce beard balm as it’s great for shaping and definition.
I personally use the beard oil at night and the beard balm in the morning to style. There’s not really a need to use them both at the same time. Take a look at the beard balms from The Bedfordshire Beard Company. Mango is my favourite.
Now, if you’re planning on growing that 'Twisted Moustache', then you’re gonna need a good quality pair of scissors. I personally love these Gentlemans Face Care Club Scissors from Amazon. They’re reasonably priced and have a great grip.
The moustache is a tricky area to trim, but there are some great videos on YouTube that you should check out. I love the videos on YouTube by BeardBrand. Check out this Moustache trimming video - Taming the Beast.
As your beard gets longer, you’ll be interested in how to style it and keep it straight. I’ll save that for another article. But if you want to see more, then again, check out these videos from BeardBrand on YouTube:
Styling My Beard and Hair in Real Time
How I Style my Beard at Home | Carlos Costa
Take care of yourself
Exercise, diet, rest and a stress-free life.
Sounds about right? Well, we know that genetics plays a big part in how well your beard can grow, but there other factors that can help your beard reach its potential.
Exercise and a good diet can help you lose weight, improve your blood circulation and boost your testosterone levels, which can help with hair growth.
A high protein diet is also recommended for boosting testosterone levels. So start eating those chicken breasts lads!
I personally use a good quality protein supplement to help with my protein intake. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey Protein Powder from Amazon is what I use and highly recommend
Look after your body and your body will look after your beard!
Let’s wrap it up
So I hope this article has helped you in some way. I must stress that I don't claim to be an expert on growing beards. This is purely my journey and research I’ve done over the years.
I'm gonna leave you with this photo of an awesome bearded dude. Check out that Moustache.
I would love to hear your experiences with growing your beard.