Guy Files: How To Grow (And Groom) Your Beard
Lets face it, fellas: Metrosexual is out, lumbersexual is in. In the past few years, many men have ditched their razors and clean shaves in an effort to embark on the path to bearded perfection. Some of the sexiest men alive have embraced the trend, including Justin Timberlake, Ryan Reynolds and George Clooney, just to name a few.
For educational purposes, I am going to highlight the manliest bearded stud of them all: Ricki Hall. Not everyone knows Ricki Hall by name, but most of us know his photos. He has had an incredibly successful male modeling career, for which he gives all the credit to his beard. Ricki has modeled for iconic brands like Diesel and Paul Smith, walked for hundreds of European designers, and most recently launched his own line of beard oil and mustache wax with British brand Captain Fawcett. Few men will match the wonderfully whiskered supermodel status that Ricki has, but we can certainly try.
Here are some tips to get you started:
Let it Grow: The first step to growing a beard is to leave it alone. You need to ignore it for at least a month before attempting to shape it. The biggest mistake men make is trying to groom it as it grows. Patience will pay off! Let it get to a decent fullness, and then call up your trusted barber to help shape it perfectly the first time.
Itch Like Crazy: Brace yourself; its going to itch. Your face needs time to adapt to your longer stubble. In the first month of growth, expect the unavoidable need to scratch. Trust me, the discomfort is worth the wait. Eventually, the annoying sensation will subside and you’ll be well on your way to bearded greatness.
Keep it Neat: Less is more when shaping your whiskers. It’s easy to take off a little too much, ruining the shape of your beard and possibly ending in a total beard fail. A beard should live on your chin, not your cheeks or Adam’s apple. Keep the edges clean. Trim your beard like you would trim a hedge. Focus on the hairs that stick out from your beard’s silhouette. Don’t worry much about the bulk.
Keep it Clean: You are growing hair on your face that could be longer than the hair on your head (if you’re lucky). You need to shampoo and condition it just like the rest of the hair on your head. Although “beard shampoos” exist, essentially there is no difference between them and regular shampoos. Most beards are pretty coarse, so try a sulfate-free moisturizing shampoo and oil-rich conditioner. I prefer Bumble and Bumble‘s Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil shampoo and conditioner.
Keep it Cozy: Unless you want your mate to complain about the scratchiness of your scruff, you should oil it to keep it soft. You need a few drops at time to keep your beard healthy and happy. As an added bonus, it can make you smell amazing. There are some local awesome options: Try Maven‘s Conditioning Beard Oil, or Notch‘s Hipster Beard Oil.
Josh Nichols is a 14-year industry veteran who is a nationally recognized expert in hair styling. A St. Louis native, Josh attended Current Trends Academy and went on to become a top revenue stylist at the award-winning American Image Salon in Chesterfield. Josh opened his first salon—Josh Nichols Studio—in 2010. He has since expanded his services, added employees and relocated to Clayton, renaming his salon KINK Salon in 2012. His latest project, Notch, a men’s barbershop concept, opened August of 2014 in The Grove.