It’s official. You’ve finally taken the leap into real manhood by letting your face mane flow. In doing so, there’s no question that your decision to stop shaving has made you stronger, more attractive, and more distinguished. But, of course, as that Spider-Guy comic book character or whatever was told that one time by his cousin Ben, with great power comes great responsibeardity.
Sure, you’ve successfully fought the good fight against all of the problems that stem from pre-growth and stubble, but with the battle over, the real war for your beard has just begun. After growing an awesome beard, plenty of men still go on to face issues with their chin whiskers that need to be confronted before it’s too late. That said, we’ve come up with some solutions to the eight most common beard problems, and how to take action before your magnificent muzzle mop is lost forever.
1. BEARD ITCH
We’ve all been there. At least once in our beards’ lives, each and every one of us have been knuckle deep in facial hair, tearing our chins, cheeks, and necks raw just to stop an ungodly itch. Of course, this tactic only brings temporary relief. As soon as you think you’ve stopped it, the irritating tingle returns worse than before, threatening the fertility your facial follicles’ foundations.
Fortunately, the most helpful and simple solution is with proper cleansing. It’s important to keep your beard clean by shampooing and conditioning it with products specifically made for beards every other day. Wash vigorously with warm water, dig deep with your fingertips to stimulate your face’s skin, and rinse thoroughly, making sure to dry your beard completely so as to avoid further skin irritation. Afterwards, moisturize it with a few drops of some beard oil and conditioner to work with the oils that your body already secretes naturally.
2. BRITTLE BEARD
Much like a fuzzy snowflake, every beard is unique. With that being the case, each have their strengths and weaknesses depending on the wearer. While some folks grow naturally thick and luscious locks on their faces, others may have trouble with brittle beard hair. No matter if it’s worn as a French Fork, an Old Dutch, or in a classic short boxed style, if your face fur is fragile, it’s important to rejuvenate it to full health.
By giving your facial strands a little tender loving care with beard balms, hair growth oils, and conditioners, there’s no reason your face mane can’t come back with a fury. Plus, a daily intake of Biotin – that is, a vitamin H supplement – could make it entirely possible for your whiskers to become more potent than ever, but the hard data on it as a remedy is still inconsistent. Even so, if the main problem is really just broken strands and split ends, maintaining your beard with a bi-weekly trimming could work wonders to promoting more muscular growth.
3. BEARD DANDRUFF
It’s a safe bet to make, but most guys probably didn’t decide to grow a beard just so they could start farming dead skin flakes on their faces. As it happens, dandruff isn’t just a problem that affects the scalp, but it also crops up on the cheek, chin, and neck once a beard is fully formed. While medical professionals are still studying what exactly causes beard dandruff – better known as “beardruff” – whether it’s cold weather, stress, a yeast called Pityrosporum ovale living on human skin, or a mixture of all three, it’s a problem that needs to be quelled sooner rather than later.
Although shaving can stop dandruff, doing so also compromises your skin and lifestyle in myriad other ways. It would be like shaving your head to get rid of dandruff when there are a plethora of remedies available. That said, there’s no need to go to such extremes when you can use a well-crafted beard oil, medicated shampoo like Selsun Blue (for serious cases), or wash with a deep, cleansing conditioner to supplement the natural oils from your body to keep your follicles hydrated.
4. PATCHY BEARD
As previously mentioned, not all beards are the same. For every Ernest Hemingway type, there’s always a James Franco out there for counterbalance. Both looks are certainly commendable, especially since the most important thing is that you’ve decided to grow a beard in the first place. However, as far as beard thickness goes, those in the latter camp would gladly trade their scruff in a heartbeat to have Papa Bear’s bristles. Thankfully, there are a couple of ways for those with patchy beards to turn their wispy willows into mighty maples.
In truth, the problem stems from one’s genetic makeup, so there’s really no overall miracle cure. Sometimes you’ve just got to work with what you’ve got. Nevertheless, consistent brushing and combing – both with and against the grain – can make a beard appear lusher and fuller, while the practice has also been rumored to stimulate follicle growth on the skin if done regularly enough. Furthermore, the growth cream known as minoxidil has been known to force dormant follicles to bear fruit, but it’s important to note the possible side effects of the product. Nevertheless, as is the case with most body maintenance, the best course of action is a well-balanced diet with exercise to help foster healthy beard growth.
5. BEARD SMELL
We all have our own particular scent, so it should come as no surprise that our beards do as well. However, improper grooming can lead to foul stenches, so it’s necessary to practice proper hygiene. Stinky facial hair gives the Brotherhood of the Beard a bad name, and there’s no excuse for sullying a fellow gentleman’s reputation due to your negligence.
Facial hair traps unwanted oils, dirts, microbes, and bacteria, which can be beneficial to one’s overall health, but it’s essential to refresh it with a washing every now and again. Regular soap and shampoo can help flush out all of the aforementioned filth and mask unpleasant smells, but they don’t fully neutralize a musty scent. In order to completely eliminate unsavory odors, beardsmen would do well to order and use unscented beard oil to positively boost your own body’s olfactory flavors.
6. WILD BEARD
Some beards are born to be wild, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be tamed. Whether it’s a few stray hairs here and there, or some kind of full-fledged monster living on your face, there are definitely ways to master the beast. Bearing this in mind, it’s necessary to recognize the best type of beard for the shape of your face. Not everyone can pull off a Moses-level mane, so realistically shaping your facial hair to accentuate your jawline is essential.
After your beard’s grown out to a nice, long uniform length that compliments your face, make sure to brush and comb it downward daily to train the hairs’ growth to flow in the proper direction. Should there be any wanton strands, either get up close and personal with a pair of hand scissors to snip those bad boys off, or trim them away with some guarded shears. Of course, the most important step is shaping your beard with pomades and essential oils, but don’t drown your man moss in the product. Generously apply such products for shaping and outlining, but show some restraint. If you’re still mid-growth, though, join our beard club to keep up with the latest tips on the matter.
7. BEARD KINK
Oh what tangled beards we weave! Obviously, the thicker the beard, the harder it is to manage and eliminate knots and kinks. Therefore, should a man’s facial fleece be more robust, then it’s usually indicative of curlier and coarser locks. Thankfully, there are a few easy remedies to combat the problem of beard kink before it gets too gnarled and twisted.
Since this problem is akin to having a wild, unmanageable beard, some of the same tips apply here. Brush and comb your facial hair regularly and diligently, especially when its wet. Don’t allow your beard to dry, and then shrink up into tightly curled coils. Doing this makes your beard get knotted up and can cause matted growth, lopsided pains that need evening, as well as an overall unkempt look. Also, whether pre and post-grooming, ensure more readily independent strands with beard balms and oils.
8. SLOW BEARD GROWTH
Be patient, Padawan. Growing an epic, awe-inspiring beard takes time, attention, and care. There’s no easy path to greatness. However, following all of the steps to defeat the problems prior to this one ought to have at least allowed you some extra headway into growing a bigger, more beautiful beard even quicker than usual.
Really, the best way to nurture and develop speedier and more prodigious growth is with conditioning by way of brushing and combing, as well as with balms, oils, and organic products. Moreover, it’s not a bad idea to use creams and moisturizers with eucalyptus as an ingredient, while also incorporating vitamins A, B (particularly B1, B6, and B12), C, E, and more proteins into your diet. You can exfoliate and massage your skin for better results too, making sure to search for and remove ingrown hairs. Finally, with the addition of plenty of water, fruits and veggies, exercise, and a good night’s rest, you ought to start seeing faster beard growth soon enough.
There they are, gentlemen. Those were the eight most common problems with beards, and if you heed the advice, then you may even go on to have a work of art on your face that’s better than Monet’s. Just like with any piece of artwork, though, a beard must be cultivated with care.