Every man should grow a sizeable beard at least once. Why? Well, because you can! And when (not if) you do, beware of these 7 common beard growing mistakes…
I. Washing it too often. Or too little.
Do you drink exactly 8 glasses of water a day, every day? No, you drink however much water your body needs, indicated by thirst. The same goes for washing your beard as well—there is no set schedule for washing the chin curtain. Ideally, you should wash the beard only when you feel it needs a wash. At times, external factors such as climate, pollution, etc may require you to wash it more often than usual, but try not to overdo it. Washing your beard with shampoo should be reserved for alternate days, minimum.
II. Using regular haircare products.
Speaking of shampoo, make sure any product you use on your beard is specially formulated for it. Do not make the mistake of using regular shampoos, conditioners, and oils on your beard; they are designed for the hair on your head and are not great for facial hair. From follicle count and coarseness to the skin that lies beneath, there are many differences to take into account when comparing head hair to beards and moustaches. Use beardwashes and other products actually developed for facial hair if you truly want to take good care of your beard.
III. Not combing it enough.
Most men comb their beards far too less than they should. Simply running your fingers through your beard does not come close to having the same effect as running a wooden wide-tooth comb through it. Even after washing your beard, there might be particles stuck in it that can only be combed out. Besides, combing is also great for the health of the beard—it disperses oil evenly and stimulates the follicles as well as the skin underneath. Ideally, comb your beard after every wash, and once before you head to bed.
IV. Not trimming the ends.
Just because you want your beard to grow long does not mean you should keep the trimming scissors away from it. In fact, trimming is a critical part of ensuring that your beard turns out to be as healthy and luxuriant as possible. It may seem counterintuitive on the surface, but the benefits of trimming the beard are indisputable. For starters, trimming gets rid of split ends, which is not only good for the health of the hair follicles but also ensures you keep looking sharp. Have a beard that grows in patches? The trim strategically to level your beard as much as possible and give it a fuller look. Of course, trimming also means less knots and tangles to deal with when you’re combing.
V. Picking at it instead of stroking it.
You cannot deny that stroking your beard makes thinking or pondering over a matter appear far smarter than what it probably is. As you grow a beard, stroking it will become (subconsciously) a habit, and this is where the problem begins. Most guys don’t stroke their beard; they pick at it. This is bad news for the beard since picking will cause beard follicles to break. Keep at it and the loss of hair in a partcluar section of your beard—where one ou pick most often—will become quite noticeable. Learn to stroke your beard gently and without pinching the hair follicles between your fingers.
VI. Letting it grow wild.
When it comes to big beards, there is a fine line between looking like a lumberjack and a homeless person. The biggest beards you’ll see, even the ones that can earn you a nickname like Grizzly Adams, aren’t unkempt and left to grow wild—there is a method behind the follicle madness. From shaping and styling to blending and trimming strays, a lot of effort goes into maintaining those beards. Letting your beard grow wild will only result in a beard that is unmanageable, especially in the later stages, and will make you look more destitute than debonair.
VII. Being impatient.
It is said that patience is a virtue. This is so very true when talking about growing beards. Most people know they can’t grow a beard overnight, or even within a week, and yet all this patience and understanding starts disappearing usually around the one-month mark. Frustration creeps in and this can cause you to do dumb things, like shaving off your beard or paying for hack products that promise a thick, full beard in a fortnight. Impatience will bring you nothing but misery. Once you have accepted the fact that you’re in for the long haul, a slow-growing beard doesn’t seem as problematic anymore. Just do yourself a favour and don’t compare the growth rate to someone else’s; the rate at which their beard grows could be drastically different from your own.