The truth? There’s no right or wrong way to grow a beard, so it shouldn’t feel like an intimidating process. However, for beard enthusiasts and beard-growing beginners alike, know that growing A+ facial hair does require some upkeep. If you want to be able to rock a beard—and, more importantly, not be driven mad by itching—then you’re going to have to be an active, rather than a passive, participant. And, yes, even if you’re sticking with shorter beard styles, many of the same rules apply.
From beard trimmers to beard oils, here’s everything you need to know about growing a beard, plus tips and tricks for keeping both your face and rugged fuzz in tip-top condition.
Beard grooming 101: Know your face
You don’t choose facial hair; it chooses you. Before you decide to grow a beard—even if it’s short—it’s important to know which beard styles will flatter your face shape. That means making a plan and figuring out if the look you want works with the head you’ve got, because how you trim your beard is based on your face shape.
Beard grooming 101: Shave down
Calling all first-time beardsmen. Before you get to the hairy business of growing a beard, it’s important to start with a level playing field. Starting at clean-shaven allows for healthy and consistent growth and forms the foundation upon which your future beard will be built. At this stage, grooming is all about lubrication and hydration (you want to make sure that your skin is in solid shape before you cover it up with hair), so a top-notch shaving cream to help reduce any irritation as you drag a metal razor across your face is a must. The hero shaving cream to add to your shaving kit? Infused with cedarwood essential oil, L’Oréal Paris BarberClub Shaving Cream works to soften and nourish your skin. More importantly, it creates a layer of protection between your razor and your skin to minimize the risk of redness, razor burn and cuts and can be used all over your face. Post shave, apply L’Oréal Paris BarberClub Repairing Aftershave all of your freshly shorn face to nourish and soothe your skin.
Beard grooming 101: Be patient
How to grow a beard? Before you set off on your inaugural shave-free adventure, it’s important to keep in mind that the biggest obstacle between you and a good-looking beard is time. Growing dapper facial hair takes patience; there’s really no shortcut to it. Beard hairs typically grow out thick, scraggly and at different rates. So during the growing process, you’ll likely notice more thickness in certain spots earlier on, which may tempt you to scratch, rub or shave the whole mess off. Time to flex that willpower of yours, though, and let Mother Nature do her thing. On average, it takes about four to six weeks to see the complete bearded picture, so resist busting out the beard trimmer until you can see the real potential of your facial hair’s fullness.
Beard grooming 101: Trim once it grows
When your hair growth starts to resemble an actual beard, it’s time to take charge. Having a beard trimmer in your grooming kit to tame and define your neck and cheek lines is key to obtaining a nice, even look. These areas give your beard its shape, and when shaving those perimeters, there’s one simple hack you can follow: Take two fingers and place them above your Adam’s apple. Begin trimming an imaginary “U” shape from behind both ears and from either side of your jaw and meet in the middle at this point on your neck. Everything below your fingers can be shaven, while anything above should stay put.
Beard grooming 101: Nourish
Lazy beard maintenance can lead to dry, irritated skin, split ends and dandruff. That’s right: Just like with your scalp, the skin under your beard can fall victim to unsightly flakes. So moisturizing and treating your beard is essential for a well-groomed look. The best way to a soft, flake-free beard is by incorporating beard oils like L’Oréal Paris BarberClub Face & Beard Oil into your grooming kit. This conditioning beard oil helps to lock in moisture and maintain a proper balance with your skin so that it doesn’t get too dry. Bonus: Good beard oils will add a bit of sheen, plus leave your scruff smelling fresh.