So you’ve decided to embrace your inner Thor and want to grow your beard. Well just know that even the god of thunder didn’t grow his beard in a day. As a mere mortal, here are some tips and tricks to help you grow and maintain your beard.
1. Give It Time
First and foremost, it’s important to keep in mind that growing a beard takes time. While you might see some fledgling stubble as early as day one, it will take weeks before your beard fully forms. And, even then, actually growing the beard is the easy part. All you have to do is stop shaving and let the hairs on your face do their thing.
On average, it will take about two weeks for your beard to go from stubble to a legitimate pattern of hair growth. Then it will take another two weeks or so before you start to see something resembling the true form of your beard. Remember your mileage may vary, as genetics, diet, and hormones will affect how long it takes your beard to grow. Some of you out there will appear to be professional loggers by the end of week two. Others will need a bit more patience.
2. Prepare For Bumps Along the Way
As your beard starts to grow out you’ll begin to notice some changes. And, no, not just the fact that there’s now hair on your face. If you’ve never grown out your facial hair before, you may take note when your beard starts to itch like fire. And, when you scratch it, there may be some bumps at the root of your budding forest. But fear not — itchiness and beard acne are two incredibly common side effects of beard growth.
Itchiness usually results from shaved facial hairs growing like little brambles, pushing uncomfortably through your skin. This unpleasant sensation will usually abate once your beard gets a bit longer. Keep scratching to a minimum though, as it can irritate your skin even further, leading to acne. Beard acne is often the result of trapped bacteria infecting clogged pores. The good news is that it’s often solvable with proper hygiene. If you feel like you’re struggling with persistent beard acne, you can address it with acne treatment.
3. Start Shaping After Four Weeks
Think of the first four weeks of growing your beard as the precursor to beard life. Once you enter the fifth week, that’s when things really start taking shape, literally. You’ll have enough hair on your face that it’s time to start thinking about how you want to shape it. That’s right, as your beard continues to grow, you can influence its shape and health in multiple ways.
First and foremost, you can start trimming your beard tofit your face. Just like finding the right pair of glasses, different beard styles suit certain face shapes. If you have a rounder face, shape your beard to be fuller and follow your natural contours. Conversely, if you have an elongated or sharper face, you may want a longer, sharper-looking beard. When in doubt, ask your local barber for their professional opinion. It’s all about finding what works for you.
4. Incorporate Product
Trimming your beard is a great way to get it looking crisper and cleaner. However, if you want to go the extra mile, it’s worth investing in some product. After all, you clean your hair with shampoo and conditioner, don’t you? Beard products can give your facial fluff that extra bit of vivifying sheen.
In addition to beard shampoo, the main products that many people use are oils, balms, and creams. Washing your beard once or twice a week with shampoo will keep it nice and clean. Oil is like a conditioner for your beard, softening it while also helping keep the skin under your beard healthy. Creams are like a less shiny oil that you can reapply, and balms are especially good at retaining moisture. Finding the right products will take a bit of trial and error, but they can help elevate your beard to godhood.
5. Healthy Life, Healthy Beard
Part of growing a healthy beard is maintaining a healthy body. Think about it. Your beard grows from you, so if your body is healthy, your beard probably will be too. A healthy body has the proper balance of vitamins, minerals, and hormones. So it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough of the right stuff from the right places.
In particular, you’ll want a nice mix of vitamins C, D, K, E, and some of the Bs. The minerals like zinc, selenium, and copper play roles in hair growth, health, and pigmentation. In addition to taking supplements, you can get these vitamins and minerals in beard-healthy foods. And, as you might guess, a good dose of the hormone testosterone will go a long way toward a fuller beard. You can find testosterone in food and supplements, though strength training exercises will also contribute plenty.
Cleanliness Is Next to Godliness
As your beard continues to grow, it will, admittedly, take more work to maintain. Like brushing your teeth, you’ll need to incorporate a grooming routine into your day. It will take time, energy, and commitment before you start seeing real results. But keep your chops looking good and you’ll soon achieve your inner Asgardian.