Congratulations! The world needs more beardy people! (I don’t say men as not to discriminate. There are some ladies out there with some fairly luxurious growths). You may be growing one to impress the women, because you’re too lazy to shave, because you want to feel manly, or because you’re just plain bored, but remember, growing a beard is a privilege, not a right. Follow the rules, and you will have facial fuzz to be proud of. Flaunt the rules and you may find yourself being shaved in your sleep. You have been warned.
Beware the itchies
This is the first hurdle for anyone who wants to cultivate any sort of face-warmer. We’ve all gotten lazy from time to time and not shaved for a few days. We’ve admired how rugged we’ve looked with our stubble, like those dashing action movie stars. Then a full week passes, and it begins.
That’s right, leave it a week, and the newly-sprouted hairs rubbing against your previously unmolested skin will cause most people itching the likes of which they’ve never felt, akin to running ten miles in tight jeans and woollen boxer shorts. You will want to peel your face off (Or, gasp, shave), but you MUST resist the urge to scratch, no matter how potent it is. The key here is to moisturise. I know lads, there’s a lot of you out there who think that it’s only for girls and homosexuals, but it’s a perfectly macho thing to use, especially when the alternative is gouging furrows in your skin. Rub some in twice daily and it should be clean-sailing.
Be prepared to look like a hobo for a while
You’ve gotten to about two-three weeks into the beard-growing process, and you’re noticing you’re looking a bit scruffy. This is normal, as it will be growing in all different ways to begin with and at different speeds, with little patches taking a while to fill in. This is normal, and it will become more uniform with trimming, bringing us neatly onto...
Trim your beard
After a couple of months, unless you’re intentionally going for the man-of-the-mountains look, you‘ll need to start trimming your beard regularly, lest it starts attacking random people in the street. This doesn’t need to be a huge task; A £10 beard-trimmer run over the face once a week will keep things in check, and apart from using a razor for the odd errant hair, this should be all the maintenance you need. During this point, please resist the urge to cut funny patterns into your beard, if not for your own integrity, but for the benefit of humanity as a whole. If you’re too lazy/clumsy to start hacking at your own face with trimmers, most barbers will do some light manscaping for you for a few quid, thus eliminating the likelihood of slipping and turning your beard into a landing strip.
Don’t drop food in your beard
You are not Mr Twit. You are not saving it for later. Moving on.
Wash it good
Just because hair is now covering most of your lower face does not give you the excuse not to clean it. Beard hair is still hair, so slap some cheap conditioner in to keep it soft. Don’t forget, the main lamentation of women against beardy men is that it sandpapers her face during smooching. I condition mine, and I’ve not had this complaint once! Don’t deny yourself some smooching for the sake of a couple of minutes with Head and Shoulders. Another thing is that if you don’t clean your beard, you will start to get an oily build-up, and you WILL get spots, and because you don’t notice them, they will grow to epic proportions hidden under your muttonchops. This is generally a Bad Thing™, so don’t let it happen to you!
Congratulations, you’re now the proud owner of a well-cultivated beard! Look after it, and it will look after you!
Written by a beardy wench.