The beard game has changed. There was a time when growing and keeping a beard was a symbol of rebellion. Men grew gnarly beards to lash back and in terms of upkeep or grooming? …pretty much null. Alas, it is no longer 1965. We see beards of all shapes and styles everywhere and, what’s more, we see beards welcomed in professional settings – but, you’ve got to keep your beard tight and it has to be done right.
You remember growing your beard? That wasn’t so hard to do after all; however, where most men fall short is they don’t keep up with the maintenance it takes to have a truly righteous beard. If you are scratching your beard now thinking ‘Man, I have let my beard go,’ fear not; changes can be made, the steps are easy and the products are priced right. In my opinion there are two critical changes that most men need to make in their beard grooming that will give them the beard they were after when they started growing one. But first, let me educate you on what has your beard looking not so hot these days.
Put simply, your beard is lacking moisture. Your beard naturally makes its own moisture so that it can grow and flourish then, over time, this moisture is diminished through day to day living and the harsh chemicals in standard soaps (here’s a bit of the science behind what’s happening with your beard). The simplest way to explain it is that standard soaps, bar soaps, shampoos… these regular drug store products dry the skin beneath your beard so your beard is craving a pick-me-up for the good moisture you’ve dried out (yep, your beard is in a drought). There are two key ingredients that can fix this: carrier oils and essential oils. These are found in various beard care products from specialty beard soaps to fine beard balms. Carrier oils are the root, with jojoba oil being the benchmark; they help moisturize the skin beneath your beard to help mitigate dry skin and flaking. The essential oils are the kicker that promote growth and have little added benefits (for instance, peppermint oil is a natural antimicrobial). So these are the key players in rebuilding that exhausted beard back to health.
Ok so I promised two simple changes to get your bear back on track and I’ve got them: wash and oil. Let me elaborate.
As I alluded to before, standard soaps are doing more damage than they are helping and this is because the chemicals in these soaps dry the skin beneath your beard way too much. These days there are soaps made specifically for beard care because they include all natural products and essential oils to jump start new moisturizing. I recommend Sea Captain Beard Co.’s Artic Chill Beard and Body Soap for a number of reasons. First off, it contains peppermint oil which is one of the most versatile essential oils and washes with a fresh minty cool. Secondly, this soap is priced awesome at $5.99 for a 3.5oz bar and it is simply cooler (pun intended) than the bar soap sitting in your shower now – seriously, click the link, it just a bar of soap but it is a work of art. Lastly, it is good for beard and body – you can wash all over with it and enjoy the beard benefits as well. It is recommended that you wash your beard every few days but most guys wash every other day. Step one down.
Step two, and this one is what will set your beard apart: oiling. Proper washing will loosen up that dry skin and rejuvenate your own natural moisture… but remember, you’ve been slacking and that beard needs a jolt of life. Beard oil is a must and should be applied daily, so I’m recommending Sea Captain’s ‘Walk The Plank’ Beard Oil. This oil is ideal because it has that world renowned jojoba oil at its base with other great ingredients that feed moisture like hemp seed oil, apricot kernel oil and vitamin E (also a pretty lovely, manly scent). You only need about a dime size drop rubbed as evenly as you can throughout your beard so it’s a quick step you can do right over the sink as a part of your usual morning ritual. Beard oil is the bigger part of this equation because it not only fixes dead beards from the root up, it gives a healthy looking shine that you beard has been missing. One side note: isn’t you beard feeling a little heavy and coarse? This, as you expected, it due to the lack of moisture because your tangled up beard hair is more dense. The beard oil will step in and loosen this up in no time so you’ll be carrying around a light, neater beard (worse case scenario to an unkempt beard is that you may experience beardruff).
To me those are the biggest parts: change up your wash and oil daily… not that hard, huh? Once you get the basics down you can upgrade to a balm and start getting more creative.
Balms are used for styling, but unlike many hair care products, a good balm like Seas The Day is made of all natural products that actually continues the nurturing rather than hindering it with chemicals. Seas The Day has great ingredients like mango butter and Texas Cedarwood essential oil so the moisturizing process doesn’t stop and you can style your beard without drying it out. Oh and, surprise, surprise, it smells great because of that ever so helpful essential oil (for a broader breakdown of beard balms).
If you are completely new to grooming, I recommend a starter kit because there are some savings opposed to buying individual product. Try the Captain’s Beard Box -- you’ll get some shave soap, some oil and a balm for when you are ready to get into styling. Then when you are ready to re-up you can just buy individual products or re-order the kit.
Written by Guest Blogger - Shawn Burns from www.toolsofmen.com