Let’s face it (an empty face void of any hair), you wake up in the morning feeling like something is missing. You stare at your reflection in the mirror wondering what it is. You go about your day and find yourself being just another face in the crowd. What’s wrong? What’s missing?
A Beard! A magnificent man mane. Glorious locks of facial hair. The realization that you and your face aren’t living up to the potential of manliness that could be achieved. That you’re denying eons of evolution that have crafted in our genetics the most beautiful and satisfying part on manliness. Facial hair. A beard.
If you’re a clean shaven baby-faced man who’s ready to take the next steps to manhood, I’ll show you the steps to growing a beard and giving yourself the greatest gift you can give yourself.
Pick A Style
There’s a load of styles to choose from when deciding to grow out a beard. If you missed it, read my previous post on the best beard styles for men.
I’d suggest starting out with a full beard. The kind of beard that takes over your whole face. The kind of beard that shouts man from the mountain tops whilst holding a chainsaw and bare knuckle fighting off a bear. From a full beard you can transition to any of the other beard styles near seamlessly. It’ll also be an opportunity to find out how your hair grows and any potential issues you’ll have growing out your facial hair. Anything from patchy growth to bare spots.
Understanding how your facial hair grows is a big step in the direction of sporting a beard that not only upgrades your man card to wood, but helps you figure out the best look that aligns with your genetics and personal preference.
Starting Out With Stubble
The first step to growing out a beard is to stop shaving. Yeah. Throw that razor out. Take out your air rifle or .22 and explode your shaving cream cans. Quit shaving. Razor + Beard = baby face man. Depending on your genes this phase of growing a beard will take a week or two. Don’t rush it. Be patient.
Once the stubble begins to reach the non-stubble phase and your man whiskers give birth to baby man hairs…it’s going to itch. You’ve had a face more barren than the Sahara desert for so long, your skin will fight back.
There’s a few things you can do at this point of the beard grow out process. This is a great time to start the grooming habits needed for a great beard. This means washing your beard every morning with warm water. After washing your baby beard and patting it dry, apply some beard oil. The beard oil is going to help soften the hairs and keep them looking great and shiny. The beard oil will also help to moisturize your skin which in turn will alleviate the irritation of itchy baby man hairs.
The Short and Medium Beard
The next step in the beard growing process is where you’ll really be able to tell what kind of beard you’ll be able to grow. You should notice if your facial hairs are coming in even or patchy. Perhaps you have sections of beard that grow faster that other areas. On my own face, my front beard (the part of your beard growing on and under your chin) grows faster than the side beard. I’ve also got a small hairless patch right on the bottom of my chin. You’ve got options here. When your beard gets longer, it may hide some patchy or slow growth areas. Only time and good grooming habits will tell.
This phase of beard growth is also when your face goes from bouncy baby boy to hormonal crazy teenager. It’s that much closer to redeeming yourself from the years you took a razor to the face, castrating your manliness.
Keep up the grooming habits. Daily morning wash and application of a high quality beard oil. This is a good opportunity to try out different beard oils that work best for you and your hair. You’ll also need to start brushing your beard at this point. I’d recommend starting out with a boars hair beard brush. Real boars hair. Not that fake nylon stuff. You owe your beard for the years you cut it off your face.
Trimming the Cheek and Neck Lines
Depending on the look you’re going for and your place of employment, you may need to start trimming the cheek and neck lines of your beard. For me, my neck line doesn’t need a lot of maintenance. My check lines need a shave every couple of weeks to keep my beard looking kempt.
If there is no pressure from a spouse/partner and no pressure from your job, go ahead and leave the neck and cheek lines growing. The hair typically grows slower in these locations and given the chance to grow, you may have more options for a more full beard look.
If you do need to do a little trimming, use a razor and carefully shave across the length of your cheek line. Go against the grain and take a little off at a time. Like I said, cheek line hair grows slower than the rest of your beard. If you take too much off, it’ll take a bit for it to catch back up.
For the neck line, you need to be careful here. I’d recommend watching some YouTube videos on trimming the neck line. Essentially what you’ll find is that you don’t want to shave anything above your Adam’s Apple. This will depend on the style of beard you’re going for. In my case, I sport a full beard and it’s length hides any unsightly (if any part of beard can be considered unsightly) neck line weirdness.
Going For A Full Beard
All right. You’ve got a decent man bush on your face, you can call yourself a man again. Now is the deciding point on whether you want to go the full beard route or pick a style that’s a little different. Maybe your place of employment is strict about personal appearance and you need to carry on with a short or medium beard. That is perfectly alright. If you’re happy with your face hair, then by all means, skip the full beard step.
If, however, you’ve got the aching to really make the other men around you feel the full extent of beard envy…then keep that beard a growin’. A full beard is awesome (speaking from personal experience here) and where you’ll reap the most benefits of growing a beard. In short, your sex appeal, your level of manliness, confidence, and general awesomeness go up.
Keep up on the beard grooming. The daily rinse and application of oil. A good brushing with either just a boars hair brush or a combination of different brushes (I use two different brushes). Any patchiness or weird spots should be workable at this point. An occasional trimming will help the slow growing areas of your beard catch up to the rest of it.
In short…you’ve got an awesome beard.
You’ve Got A Beard
Congratulations! You stopped shaving and let your body do the most natural thing a man’s body can do…grow a beard. By now, you should be receiving complements and shoulder punches for the awesome growth of hair on your face. You’ll walk around with the confidence of a real man knowing that if you come across a bear in the woods…it’ll run off with its tail between its legs once it gets a good look of you. And if it doesn’t run, you’ll wrestle it and you’ll win. That’s awesome.
When you wake up in the morning now, staring at your reflection in the mirror, it won’t be like staring across the Arctic tundra wondering what the point is or what is missing. Instead, you’ll be basking in the glory of your beard.
Here’s to beards!