Have you finally decided to jump on the facial hair bandwagon and grow a beard for the first time? If so, you have an exciting wealth of possible shapes and styles ahead of you. But there’s quite a wait between deciding to grow a beard and actually having that beard. So, what’s involved? And what can you do to make growing your first beard as successful as possible? Read on to find out!
Decide on your style
It’s always good to have a goal to work towards, so why not invest some time upfront in deciding on what kind of beard you’re aiming for? You have a range of options to choose from. Would a carefully shaped goatee or a subtle soul patch suit you best? Or perhaps a carefully shaped and sculpted hipster beard? If you fancy growing a longer beard, your options range from a bushy lumberjack style to a full-on biker beard.
You can, of course, change from one to another over the course of your beardy adventures, but it’s good to have an initial style in mind so that you can begin to shape your facial hair the right way as it starts to grow. If you’re looking for pointers on which styles will particularly suit the shape of your face, then the All Things Hair guide has some good tips to get you started.
If you’re looking for inspiration, then there’s an increasing array of bearded celebrities and sportsmen out there to give you some ideas. Beard trends to change with time. 2020, for example, has seen a surge in biker beards, perhaps helped along by local lockdowns and some tough times getting a barbershop appointment!
Before you start
Growing a beard isn’t a quick process. The average beard grows at a rate of 0.27 mm per 24 hours, so you’re going to need to give it some time if you want to look like a member of ZZ Top.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t invest plenty of time (and money, we should caution) in growing your first beard. All manner of products claim to encourage beard growth, so it’s worth reading some reviews and deciding which lotions and potions you’re going to use to help your facial hair to reach its full potential.
As well as products, many beard-growers swear by vitamin supplements. B-12, biotin and niacin should all help to strengthen and condition the hairs on your face, while vitamins A and C may also give your beard-growing efforts a boost.
The other investment you’ll need to make is in a beard care kit. A comb and a decent pair of scissors will help you to keep things orderly as your new beard flourishes. You may find you need a beard trimmer a little further down the line as well.
Nurture your stubble
Armed with products, vitamins and supplements, it’s time to nurture that stubble. Now, it’s important to be realistic here. It’s going to take about five days before you have even a 1 mm of growth, so don’t expect instant results. Patience is definitely a virtue you’ll be calling on during the first few weeks of growing facial hair.
One thing you can do though, almost from the outset, is to start defining your beard’s outer limit by shaving your neck and cheek lines. Doing so helps to keep your beard-growing efforts as neat as possible while also providing you with an exciting glimpse of what’s to come.
When it comes to nurturing your new stubbly face, bear in mind that beards don’t always grow evenly at first. It shouldn’t take long, but you might need to push through a bit of a patchy growth period initially. Stick with it though and soon enough you’ll have more even growth to work with.
Learn to trim
Your beard is unlikely to grow obligingly into the style you want. You’re going to have to tame those hairs with scissors as they grow in order to help your style start to flourish.
Learning to trim your beard doesn’t take long. Start off slowly and focus on the longest hairs first. Some people prefer to use scissors while other swear by beard trimmers, so experiment and find out what works best for you.
If you’re a first-time beard grower then you won’t have experienced beard itch before. Lucky you!
Beard itch is where the growing hairs draw moisture up and away from the skin, meaning you’ll need to get moisture back into it in order to avoid your face itching and possibly flaking too. Nice.
Thankfully, it’s not too tough to combat beard itch. Opt for beard-specific shampoos and conditioners to soften and strengthen your facial hair. Then use a lightweight moisturizer or beard oil to help soften and hydrate both your beard and the skin beneath it. Some beard oils are said to promote beard growth too, so could be a double win.
Brush your beard
The final, essential part of growing your first beard successfully is to brush it regularly. Doing so encourages your hairs to grow in the right direction, as well as keeping your beard looking neater as it gets longer.
You can experiment with styling products as well, to apply as part of the brushing process. There are various options available that suit a wide range of budgets. A decent pomade is a solid choice for starters. The combination of oils and butter will help your beard to soften and shine, while the beeswax will keep it in shape.
Growing your first beard can be an exciting but also challenging process, as you get to grips with how to care for your facial hair and the skin beneath it, as well as keeping your growth well-trimmed while working towards your desire style. Be patient and accept that, while growing a beard is long process, it’s one that you can enjoy along the way, whether your ultimate goal is a goatee or a castaway-style mass of beard.