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No shave November: Beard maintenance

When major events disrupt a society’s daily routine, people tend to choose to try something new in their lives. Due to COVID-19, many men have decided to try growing a beard. No shave November is coming up. Some men have been discouraged from growing a beard because they didn’t expect the routine would need to be established with their facial hair. 

When starting a beard, some men may experience a stage of hair growth that brings uncomfortable itchiness. This stage only lasts a couple weeks and, at most, a month. After a month, the focus should be on thickness over length. A long, thinly-grown beard often looks scraggly and easily unkempt. For someone starting out fresh, it may take a few months before a reasonable thickness of facial hair is achieved before growing for length can begin. 

Developing a proper hygiene routine for a beard is highly essential, or else the beard will look horrible. Shampooing a beard should only be done once or twice a week, to maintain a supply of the natural oil from the face pores. The beard should be conditioned either every day or every other day to help keep the beard moisturized. Once the beard has passed the scruff stage, it is important to purchase beard oil to keep the beard extra moisturized and shaped. When looking for beard oil, try to find a brand with natural ingredients. Usually, jojoba and almond as base oils with a choice scent from an essential oil are the best ingredients to look for. As with food, if there are unpronounceable ingredients listed, stay away. 

After gaining some length, curly beard hairs like to stick out and do not want to be combed down or stay. When this happens, buying either beard balm or beard butter helps keep the hairs in a specified shape. If the beard still will not cooperate, blow-drying the beard will help get the beard in shape. If the beard is short enough, a curly beard can be a good look, but it may begin looking scraggly after several inches of length. 

Trimming the beard consistently is a good practice to maintain. Probably once every week, a few hairs will grow faster than the rest, and trimming them to the same length will help keep the beard in uniform shape. Despite the constant temptation, touching one’s beard must be kept to a minimum. When touching a beard, softly stroke with the inside of the hand. Refrain from separating segments of the beard or individual strands of hair. Doing that repeatedly will cause hairs to be plucked out, which can cause beard thinning.

Growing a beard takes a great deal of patience and more work than one might think. A poorly kept beard looks far worse than a 5 o’ clock shadow. If you are wanting to try something new in your own life, like growing a beard, make sure to do your research.