You really can't just grow a beard. Like the hair on your head, beards require maintenance: washing, trimming, conditioning, and yes, even brushing. To keep your beard looking (and smelling) good, you're going to have to put in some work.
So to prepare you for that impressive beard you've been itching—possibly literally—to grow out, here's everything you need to know about keeping it in tip-top shape.
- Plain soap can dry out the beard hair. Fortunately, there are plenty of great beard-specific shampoos out there that use special botanicals to help soften the hair and keep it from getting dried out. Just make sure that whatever you, use you like the smell of, since it's right there under your nose.
- Keeping your beard soft is the key to not wanting to shave it all off. A dry scratchy beard will be unbearable, and the way to avoid that is to use a beard conditioner. A good conditioner will moisturize your beard, and it will keep it healthy—two important factors in maintaining face comfort. A conditioner also has the added benefit of working almost like a styling gel, so you can keep that thing tame and not look like you just rolled in from eight years of living alone in the woods.
- Oil it. While a conditioner does soften your beard, a good beard oil will soften it even further, plus has the added advantage of warding off the dreaded beard dandruff.
- Beards can get pretty gross—all that food, sweating, sneezing, etc. So while washing it is essential, a good added measure is an antibacterial beard balm. Something that further helps soften, but also kills all of the little microscopic critters that might be lurking there.
- Keep your beard from getting tangled and unruly by brushing it everyday with a beard brush. It'll also help spread the beard oil you're using (as well as your natural face oils) to keep your beard as healthy as possible.
- You need to occasionally trim it. Beard hair doesn't always grow evenly, plus, as it grows out, you're going to want to give it a little bit of shape. This is best done with a quality beard trimmer—one with a selection of attachments that you can use to keep from accidentally carving out giant bald spots if (or when) your hand slips.
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