If you are a first-time beardsman who doesn’t know what it takes to grow a beard, this guide is for you. In this, we will discuss some of the most common issues men face when they first start growing a beard.
A beard is harmonious; it is natural. Many a man sees himself wearing a long flowing beard like those get-stuff-done, take-no-crap, manliest of manly men have done throughout history. Growing a beard takes patience though; it takes a lot more than putting away your razor and trimmer.
Naturally, I will also discuss the solutions to those problems. So read on…
Common Problems Men Face When First Growing a Beard
There are many reasons why you’d want to grow a beard:
- Your girlfriend likes it
- You want a change
- To hide acne marks
- You wish to protect your skin from the elements
- For religious or cultural reasons
- You hate shaving
- Because it is awesome!
Based on these reasons, you can choose your beard style. In any case, a good beard style needs time and efforts. There are many different styles to choose from today.
If you do not want a full beard, you can always go for a goatee, a French Beard or other minimalist styles. However, many of these styles are known to require extra care and special grooming. The best thing to do is talk to a stylist who can suggest a style that is easy to maintain, suits your lifestyle and looks good on you.
Impatience is your beard’s number one enemy. They say that a beard is not measured in length but in the number of months one takes to grow it. So keep the trimmer and razor away. Your skin might be extremely itchy in the beginning but that does not mean you should give up.
You can also start by setting goals as follows:
- I will not shave for 1 month
- I will not shave for 3 months and soon…..
Once you achieve these goals, you will get a clear idea about the length and style. The key is to set achievable goals and fulfill them one step at a time.
3. Having an Itchy Beard
The itchy phase of beard growth is the number one reason why most men shave off their beard.
In this phase, you need to diligently use beard products. These include beard oils and beard balms. Both these products help moisturize the beard and also keep the skin supple and soft. Many also stimulate hair growth and allow your beard to grow faster.
Beard oils also protect the skin against extreme temperatures and restore the skin’s natural protective lipid barrier to prevent moisture loss.
You must also use a weekly deep conditioner (also known as leave-in conditioner) which is a moisturizing beard oil blend that keeps the skin and hair soft. Look for great DIY beard oil recipes I have discussed on this site.
The use of once-a-week exfoliant reduces clogged hair follicles and gently removes dead skin cells that prevent the beard from growing normally. Exfoliating beard products also keep the stubble softer and kissable.
Avoid all kinds of cleansers, toners or soaps with harsh ingredients like alcohol as they can dry out the beard causing even more itchiness.
A beard growing in patches is another common reason why people shave it off within the first few weeks. A patchy beard could indicate ringworm and other infections, dandruff, inadequate nutrition etc.
The best thing to do is to continue using beard oils. Simply massage the oil twice a day into the beard.
Also use a good beard shampoo daily. Look for one that is mild and contains lactic acid or other moisturizing agents.
I cannot stress enough the importance of proper nutrition when growing a beard. Eat a healthy diet consisting of lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts.
Also, take a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement. Beard needs minerals like iron, zinc, biotin and proteins. If your diet is not balanced, a supplement can help you complete these needs.
Beard dandruff can be an unsightly and annoying condition. It is embarrassing enough seeing flakes on your scalp; now you have to deal with flakes in your cheeks as well.
A good beard shampoo should eliminate this problem.
Massage the shampoo into the beard and wash off.
After shampooing you must use a conditioner. A good beard conditioner will re-seal and replenish lost moisture and make your beard shine with health.
For hair loss, you must take vitamins and eat a healthy diet as described above. If this doesn’t help, rule out other factors like hormonal imbalance, stress, or fungal or bacterial skin infections.
6. Having Ingrown Hair and Razor Bumps
This is a common issue that African American men face. Razor bumps and ingrown hair occur when the beard hair is curly and turns inwards into the skin. These problems can easily escalate causing infections which need antibiotics.
Use a mild cleanser in gentle circular motion and follow up with a massage using a soft wash cloth.
Always use a good shaving cream when shaving the cheeks and other areas where you do not want facial hair.
Do shave with the grain and not against it.
Change your razor blades frequently.
Massage beard oil into the skin after shaving. If the issue persists, see a dermatologist.
Dealing with people’s reactions is another problem men face whilst growing a beard for the first time. Your friends and family members might try talking you out of growing a beard. Haters will hate but you simply cannot make everyone happy. It is best to talk to your family and friends beforehand and bring them on board. If needed, use the “It is my body, I’ll do whatever I please with it” argument.
Growing a beard is a wonderful experience, one that every man must try at least once in a lifetime. If, after trying for a few months, you feel that growing a beard isn’t for you, then feel free to shave it off. Make sure to keep an open mind though!
What problems have you faced while growing out your beard? Share you experience in the comments below!