(Amirali Mahmoudi / unsplash)
For men, growing a beard is a rite of passage that marks their final shift from adolescence to a fully grown adult. Each beard is completely unique to the man growing it, as the color, shape, and texture vary widely.
We’re not here to tell you what style of beard to have–we love them all. But we can share some tips for making your unique beard as handsome as possible.
1) For the love of all things holy, trim it!
This is the rookie mistake of many men growing a beard for the first time. Growing a beard is slightly more nuanced than simply not shaving. You should still use trimmers or a razor to keep a nice edge on your beard. Not only does this make your beard look neater, but shaping the edges of your beard can highlight or diminish your face’s natural features. The edge of your beard can make your jawline or cheekbones more defined, making you look like a rugged explorer, rather than Steven Spielberg.
2) Keep it clean
Underneath your beard is your skin. In case you slept through all of puberty, the skin on your face produces massive amounts of oils. Combined with dust, dead skin cells, sweat, and whatever grime you pick up during a workday, it can get pretty gnarly beneath that facial hair. If you don’t wash your beard, you’re going to get dandruff, itchiness, and foul odors developing on your face. While you won’t notice the funk, your romantic partner certainly will.
Avoid giving her a facefull of sweaty, greasy, beard and try washing your beard regularly with shampoo, just like your scalp hair. While some shampoos, like Packer’s Pine Tar Shampoo, are gentle enough for use on the face, others aren’t. 5-in-1 Dude Shampoos are probably not a great fit for the delicate skin on your face. If that’s what you use, junk it and find a gentle shampoo for sensitive skin like Packer’s Pine or a product specifically made for beard use.
Lots of beard wearers find that their facial hair gets dry and brittle. Prevent this by incorporating a beard oil or beard balm to seal in moisture, soften your beard, and make it a little more manageable. A good moisturizing product like this has the added benefit of keeping flaky, dry skin or beard dandruff at bay. Many also carry a scent that you can use to define your masculine musk. While we obviously favor the smoky, woodsy scent of pine tar (which is great for beating dandruff), other scents like sandalwood, tea tree, etc. can give you an identifiable scent that lingers.
4) Find a style that fits
Every individual can look great with a beard, but not every beard style will look great on every person. People with lots of patchy hair might not look their best with a full, mountain man style beard. Wide, round faces may not benefit from a chin strap. A good style will combine the hair you have with a look that highlights and defines your natural features. People with round faces may try to find angular styles to define their jaw and cheek bones. In contrast, people with long or sharp features may try and soften their features with rounded edges and fuller looks.
5) Trim your mustache.
The often neglected mustache is placed at the center of the beard and makes the difference between a chic, handsome beard and an untamed thicket. Your mustache shouldn’t be a soup strainer, so keep it trimmed above your mouth at minimum. Some styles might allow you to keep the mustache long enough that it partially covers the upper edge of your top lip. Other styles, especially shorter styles, should have your lip completely exposed as you trim. While old school guys trim with a comb and scissors, we find that a dedicated pair of trimmers gives the best control and best lines.
6) Buy a better comb
We don’t recommend products without reason, and when it comes to beards, a good comb makes a huge difference. For most people, the coarse and wavy texture of their beard necessitates a wide tooth comb. While a thin, fine tooth comb can be used by some, most men find that they tangle their beard and pull too tightly, which leads to the comb getting caught, the sensation of pain, and a beard that doesn’t look any better. A wide tooth comb can move more effectively through the hair texture while still detangling it.
Combing right out of the shower will make it easiest and least painful, plus it’s a good time to apply beard oil and comb it through to keep your beard luxuriously soft.
7) Get professional help for looking great
While most day-to-day maintenance can be done at home with a regular set of trimmers, professional trims are an invaluable way to look your best. Go to a trained barber or stylist and let them give you a trim, line your edges up, and make your beard look as suave as possible.
You can also talk with them about strategies for keeping your beard maintained at home, which will make you look better between appointments. Professionals can be especially helpful before a big event, when their tools and knowledge will help you look picture ready.
If you’re looking to keep your beard (and the rest of your body) clean and fresh, Packer’s Pine is ready to bless your body with the gentle scent and feel of pine tar soap. Pine tar soap has been in use for more than 150 years and will leave your skin feeling clean, healthy, and smelling like a pine forest. Its natural ingredients are a great choice for sensitive skin and the toughest men. Elevate your skincare with a soap that’s pure as the pines since 1869!