First of all, congratulations! If you’re reading this, that means you’ve decided to take a leap of faith into the gloriousness of growing your very own beard. Us bearded folk welcome you to the community, as we frolic together in unison with our facial forests blowing graciously in the wind. (We hope you got a good visual from that.)
Anyway, let’s get down to business. You may be thinking that growing a beard is pretty simple and all you have to do is let nature take its course. But, there are some additional steps that you can take to encourage the growing process. While genetics, age, and testosterone all play a huge role in your bearded journey, it’s patience and motivation that will prepare you for serious whisker potential.
This is clearly the most crucial step to start growing your love curls. Many men fail right at the start before the hairs even reach a centimeter long, and we understand why. It’s itchy, it looks weird and disheveled and you’ll probably feel like it’s not meeting your expectations. The process is just like growing up when you hit that ugly looking stage at around 10 years old. You are not alone in this growth phase and if you are a tempted to shave, resist the urge! The irritation that you are experiencing will likely be over by the end of week two.
One way to stay motivated is to come up with a game plan right from the start. You should browse the internet to see different styles that are out there and find one that is best for your face shape. Here’s a list of some popular styles out there. Once you’ve chosen your bearded route, keep your eye on the prize with perseverance.
Think of your beard as your baby. It has to be cleaned, fed and loved in order to survive. “How do I feed my beard?”, you ask. Simple: beard oil. It’s essentially nutrient-rich food for your beard and skin. Beard oil helps eliminate the itchiness that you’ll experience from growth and it will promote smoother stronger hairs.
You’ll want to invest in a beard oil that is made up of high-quality essential oils. We suggest doing a little research on essential and carrier oils. By understanding the benefits of these ingredients and the different properties, you’ll have a better grip on which product is best for you. For example, we use eucalyptus in our growth oil because it is known to aid in hair growth, stimulate blood circulation and invigorates hair follicles. It is also an antiseptic, so it rids your skin of any bacteria or infections and provides an ideal environment for hair growth.
You can apply beard oil when your hair is slightly damp from a hot shower. By doing this, your pores and hair follicles will be fully open from the steam of the hot water and will soak up all the nutrients in the oil. Beard oil can also be applied to dry hair if you prefer it. Use it daily for conditioning or for smoothing frizz and styling purposes.
Just like a baby, you should be washing your newborn beard with a gentle cleanser. Don’t worry, there isn’t poop bacteria in there like past researchers have claimed. But, we bet there’s probably beer foam, pizza crust remnants, and cookie crumbs. Use beard shampoos or cleansers a few times a week to get rid of snack leftovers or any other bacteria hiding in your mane. Notice we said BEARD shampoos. That’s because you will dry your beard out by using a regular shampoo meant for scalp and head hair. Beard shampoos have the proper emollients and oils to keep the hair from becoming brittle. By keeping it clean, you’ll make it smell good, feel nice and look lustrous.
It’s time to groom and maintain. If you’re into the wild, unkempt, hipster-looking beard than by all means, go for it. We like to keep our beards at Ritual looking prim and proper. So, to keep it neat, you’ll want to seek a barbershop that specializes in beard trimming. You can trim it yourself, but be careful not to cut the hairs that you are trying to grow and make sure you’re using the right tools. A razor can be used to clean up the patchy edges and then you can really start to shape your beard.
Next, you’ll want to invest in a quality beard brush. The best ones are made of natural boar bristles because they do wonders for your beard hair. The boar bristle is firm enough to really get into the hair but soft enough that it doesn’t damage or feel uncomfortable. The bristles smooth and polish the hair cuticle, keeping your beard from getting frizzy and tangled. You can also use it to start training your hairs to go the direction you want. You should probably pat yourself on the back too, since you’ve made it this far on the path to bearded greatness!
Believe it or not, you can actually eat your way to having a silky, luscious beard. Whatever you put inside of your body directly reflects the condition of your hair and skin. Here are a few things you can add to your diet:
PROTEIN: You should try to maintain a diet that is rich in protein, which converts to amino acids and contributes to the keratin production needed for your beard. Consider loading up your meals with fish, poultry, eggs, rice, beans and lean meats.
VITAMIN C & E: These vitamins promote the production of sebum, which is an oil naturally produced by our bodies. Sebum moisturizes the hair, making it look lush and thick. You can find these vitamins in beard oils, but consider also eating foods such as green peppers, broccoli, citrus fruits, peanut butter, spinach, leafy greens and sunflower seeds.
B VITAMINS: This goes together with protein, as it helps your body process it so it can be used to build new skin cells and hair. It also reduces stress, prevents graying and prevents hair loss. Fish, eggs, nuts, whole grains and oatmeal are chock-full of B vitamins.
OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS: This helps makeup the cell membrane, which allows necessary nutrients in and out of the hair and skin cells. Fatty Acids help promote hair growth and prevent dry, itchy, brittle hair. Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Now that you’ve gotten the rundown on how to properly grow a majestic beard, it’s time to get started. With a little bit of patience and TLC, you’ll have the face fuzz of your dreams. Best of luck, bearded brother!