New trends are always coming and going, but let us be the first to tell you that the beard is a trend that’s here in a big way. Did you see the BAFTA awards this year? So many accomplished, powerful men were sporting beards that we lost count. Chiwetel Ejiofor from 12 Years A Slave had one, and Bradley Cooper wore some stubble that we thought looked particularly dashing. They weren’t the only ones, either. Christian Bale, Leonardo DiCarprio, Brad Pitt, Alan Garner and Kieran Evans all have beards as well.
Proper beard maintenance includes several different aspects, and it’s something that you should be aware of (and in tune with) if you want to grow a beard and have it look good. After all, not everyone can pull off a beard like Bradley Cooper, and you want your partner or co-workers to appreciate how you look with your facial hair, not turn in the other direction.
So take our expert malebox advice and keep up with the maintenance of your beard, starting by picking a role model. When you choose a role model you’ll be choosing what kind of look you want to have. That means deciding if you want a long beard or a short beard, and what specific areas you’re planning on trimming. Choose your role model carefully, and make sure his look would work well with your features, then focus on obtaining that look. Keep focusing on your role model throughout other beard maintenance processes as well. Your role model will be your guide, and should keep you from getting off track and accidentally growing a straggly, unattractive mass of hair that just happens to be in the vicinity of your chin.
Once you’ve decided to grow a beard and have chosen a role model you can start actively growing out your facial hair. Take a few days and don’t shave, see where it gets you. Consider this a little vacation from your daily or weekly shaving ritual, and a trail period for your new beard. If you like the way your beard is turning out after a few days or a week, you can let it grow out even longer. Don’t think you can get out of shaving forever, though. In order to care for your beard you’re going to need to do some shaving or trimming, or both.
You should start shaving and trimming while you’re beard is growing. When you do this, look at your role model for inspiration. What areas of his face are kept clear of hair, and what areas are trimmed down a little? Copy what he does, but feel free to make a few changes if you want your beard to have a more specific, personalised look.
Make sure you shave, trim, and sculpt your beard the right way, too. You can do this by following a few easy steps.
1. Clean your face and neck - You should never shave with a face that’s dirty from a day at work or has fine fabric particles from your bed’s pillows and sheets. These particles and dirt may clog your pores or cause infections if they’re present while you shave. So clean your face and neck using a gentle but effective cleanser before you even start shaving. Our Face Cleansing Milk will remove dirt and grime, and will also help protect your skin from cuts while you’re shaving.
2. Put a hot, damp towel on your face - The hot (not scolding) towel will open up your pores and soften your skin, which will make it easier for you to shave. It will also help prevent ingrown hairs and razor burn.
3. Use quality shaving soap or cream - Don’t try to shave your skin with just water or ordinary soap. It won’t work. Or rather, it will, but you’ll end up with razor burn, an ingrown hair or two, and maybe a few pimples. Always use shaving cream or special shaving soap like our Sandalwood, Almond, or Sage Shave Soaps instead. They’ll help leave your skin soft and keep it useful. These soaps are great when paired with shaving oil too, and have wonderful, understated scents.
4. Use the right shaving tool - There are electric trimmers that will help you cut your beard down to size without taking too much off. But if you want to really sculpt your beard for a close, intricate look, use a straight razor. Straight razors are difficult to manage, so go through a few tutorials online or read the directions to avoid unintentional blood loss.
5. Use a moisturizer - Shaving cream, soap, or oil isn’t enough. No matter what you do your shaving, trimming, and sculpting will take a toll on your skin, leaving it dry and sometimes a little flaky. Combat this problem by using a good moisturizer after you’re done shaving. L’Oreal Me Hydra Turbo Boost Moisturiser is a great choice, and has vitamin C and a Pro-Phosphore additive that will help liven up skin and encourage healthy cell activity.
Following these steps will help you shave, trim, and sculpt your new beard in the right way, and will help keep problems to a minimum. There are still a few common shaving mistakes that you should avoid, however.
One very common shaving mistake is shaving your entire neck. Some men believe this gives them a more chiselled look, but trust us, it only works for certain people. Most men shouldn’t shave their entire necks, just the lower portion. You should, however, trim the upper area to ensure that things don’t get too messy.
Another common shaving mistake is to deal with ingrown hairs like you would a pimple, and pick or squeeze them. Don’t do this. Don’t do this for pimples either, actually. The dirt and bacteria that are present on your fingers or under your nails may cause an infection, and then things will be much worse than before.
This same kind of dirt and grime can actually be spread around your face while you’re applying shaving gel, oil, or soap as well. To avoid spreading around dirt and bacteria from your hands, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before shaving. You can also use a shaving brush to apply shave soap, gel, or oil. We offer the Pure Badger Shaving Brush, which is made completely from dark, soft badger hair, and the Best Badger Shaving Brush, which is made with even finer and more gentle badger hair. Both these brushes will allow you to apply shaving cream, soap, or oil without spreading dirt or bacteria from your hands to your face.
If you follow these steps and avoid these common mistakes you’ll be well on your way to caring for your beard properly. Remember to try to trim and maintain your beard in a similar way to that of your role model so you get the look and style that you want. Here are a few tips for trimming your beard to get the best results.
• Set your trimmer on a high setting and go over your entire beard. This will help keep it at an even length. If you’re not sure what setting to use, start with level 3 and work your way to the perfect length.
• Do more trimming around the edges of your beard. This will produce a natural fade effect, which you can get by setting to your trimmer to closer settings and then going over the outer edges of your beard.
• Deal with any stray hairs. These stray hairs can be annoying and can seem ubiquitous at times, so if you’re getting frustrated set your trimmer on a close setting and just buzz them. The most common areas for these kinds of stray hairs are the sides of your face or, more often, your neck.
After a few weeks of following this procedure and sculpting your beard into the shape and length that you want you’ll have the look that so many men are trying to get. Your partner and those around you will love it, but most importantly, you’ll love your beard.
Even after all of this, though, you will need to take care of your beard and face by continuing to keep up with the maintenance. It’s an ongoing process. You should also us sunscreen when you go out during hot, sunny months. Your facial skin will be sensitive to the sun, especially after shaving, so take care of it. There are zinc products that can be used as a sunscreen for your bearded area and the places around it. The products are designed to be easy to put on and invisible, so you won’t have to worry about any annoying white residue.
Don’t feel bad about using a fake tanner to help get that summer glow you were looking for either. The sunscreen may keep you white, but a self-tanner is healthier. You can also use hair repairing cream to make your beard a little less scratchy, and a few scented cologne spritzes to ensure that you smell great no matter what products you’re using to maintain your beard and your skin.
A few more products that may help you with proper beard maintenance, especially when it comes to shaving, trimming, and sculpting, are our Gillette Shaving Gel 71g 6 Pack and our Shave Soap and Pure Shaving brush pack. Our Gillette Shaving Gel Pack contains six cans of Gillette Shaving Gel, all of which have three very effective lubricants. The large amount of shave gel also means that you won’t have to go to the store for more anytime soon. It’s convenient and affordable. Our Shave Soap and Pure Shaving brush pack, on the other hand, is a combination of shave soap and a badger hair shave brush. The brush is soft and effective, and the shave soap will help keep your skin clean and youthful looking. You can even choose which scent of soap you prefer: almond, sage, or sandalwood.
All of these items are very useful when it comes to shaving and maintaining your new beard. They can become a little cumbersome, though, especially if you don’t have a high quality case that can organize all your tools. Because of this, at malebox we also offer a Morrissey Bathroom Toiletry Wash Bag and a Black Lambskin Leather Gladstone Wash Bag. Both of these bags are made from high quality materials and come in a sleek black colour. They exude a sense of style and have numerous pockets to help organize your shaving tools. The Morrissey Bathroom Toiletry Wash Bag has a more structured look for those who want something very organised, while the Black Lambstone Leather Gladstone Wash Bag has a fashionable, distressed, and pliable look.
Keep your items organized, follow the shaving steps and trimming tips above, and stay focused on your role model’s look. These are the pillars of proper beard maintenance, and with the rage around growing a beard, these days they’re absolutely essential.
All in all, growing a beard can be an easy way to change up your look. Maybe you’ve been clean-shaven for years and it’s getting a little boring, or maybe you’re just tired of shaving. Adding a little stubble or a well-trimmed beard can shake things up a little bit. Just remember that even when you’re growing out some stubble or a beard, you’ll still need to maintain it and ensure it looks good. And even if the maintenance routine seems a little daunting at first, you’ll soon find that it’s simpler and easier than it seems, and well worth it. Those powerhouse stars we mentioned certainly keep up with their beard maintenance routines.
If you follow your proper beard maintenance routine as well you’ll end up with a new, attractive, and very fashionable look. How do you look after your beard? Feel free to share your comments below!