Mr Mark Jessen

Five Tips for Growing the Best Beard Ever | Man of Many

Like all beautiful forms of art, a great beard starts with a blank canvas. Looking at your stubble after a five-day bender and thinking ‘let’s see how far I can take it’ isn’t doing you any favours – start with a proper shave (a safety razor in hot water with a quality shaving cream is best, or for extra points, go to a barber and get a straight razor shave). Remember to go with the grain to avoid split hair ends – ingrown hairs will render your beard off to a terrible start and the irritation will be hard to relieve once you’ve started growing it out properly.

Step One: Despite The Irony, Shave.

Shaving with a razor will ensure happy follicles, which means a happy beard. Once you’re fresh-faced, be sure to use an exfoliating face wash. Exfoliants remove dead skin cells and clear the pores of nasty toxins, opening up the follicles and allowing the healthiest hair growth possible. This is advisable throughout the life-span of your beard, but particularly at the start, when avoiding redness and patchy growth is key to not looking like a teenager trying to pass off as 18 in a liquor store, at least for the first few weeks.

Step Two: Exfoliate & Wash

Once you’ve started growing your new beard, the hardest second stage is knowing when to give it its first trim. Most people dick this up and go too hard too soon – so here’s the best way to do it. That first day you look in the mirror and think it’s time to give the edges a snip? It’s not. Wait two weeks after that first moment of hirsute reflection before even thinking about touching the scissors. When you do go for the trim, comb your beard upwards with a clean comb and use super sharp hairdressing scissors to snip any unruly offshoots, and to shape the sides slightly (you want all roads to lead to your chin, not out in every which way). Remember that once you brush your beard back down it will sit flatter against your cheeks, so don’t take too much off just yet – if you want to trim more you can, but once it’s off it’s off, so go slow.

Step Three: Trim

After your first trim, it’s probably about the right time to start looking at beard oil. While adding oil to your face may seem counter-intuitive, and contradictory to exfoliating in the first instance, it’s actually an important ingredient in the beard recipe. Beard hairs are thicker and coarser than the hairs you grow up top. This makes them wiry and generally not-so-straight, which in turn hinders the overall length. Adding a beard oil will help soften the hairs, add a consistent, healthy shine and stop them from becoming too brittle and falling out. Beard oil also stops ‘beardruff’ – the dry, flaky skin that can occur at the roots of your new beard when traditional moisturisers don’t make their way to the face.

Step Four: Oil Up

One more thing you might notice around this point, as both your whiskers and list of admirers gain length, is the colour. Beards often grow in a lighter shade to up top, and have a habit of greying in certain parts more quickly than others, leaving you with an inconsistent look. Whether you’re wanting to even out a few ginger sprouts or cover up patches of grey, Just for Men’s Moustache and Beard dye is your solution.

Step Five: Don’t be Afraid to Tint

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