Want a better beard? Of course you do. Achieving great facial hair one of the hottest trends in grooming for guys right now. And the craze shows no sign of slowing down — not even for these balmier summer months.
If facial hair is your M.O. at the moment, make sure you’re among the guys with great beards by following some expert tips and advice from a few good men who know how to best maximize your hirsuteness. These industry pros have six ways to keep your face at its most handsome.
1. Stay moisturized
Moisturizing daily with the right type of products is key. This will not only keep your beard in tip-top shape but also nourish the skin underneath, so you can maintain a healthy face. But with an embarrassment of “moisturizing” products on store shelves and online, how do you choose the right one? Sometimes the best thing you can do is keep it simple, at least according to barber Kevin Kellett of Frank’s Chop Shop in New York City. “In my opinion, you can’t go better than coconut oil. It’s natural, it smells good, washes out, and adds all the nutrients that you would need,” he told Men’s Fitness.
2. Soften the stubble
If you’re a newbie on the beard scene and are just growing out your scruff — or if you simply prefer the sexy stubble look — then it’s imperative that you scrap the sandpaper effect. Stubble can be a source of scraping, redness, and unwanted soreness, not to mention a huge turnoff for your significant other. Relieve all of that with a beard softener, says Beardbrand founder Eric Bandholz. A product like the Beardbrand Softener is gentle enough for the face yet tough enough to tame curly, coarse beard hair. Plus, it’s silicone free and won’t build up on the skin over time.
3. Keep stray hairs in line
A good rule of thumb when it comes to facial hair: Don’t let the beard rule your face! Unruly hair that grows outside your preferred beard shape can compromise the beard of your dreams, says Keston Muijs and Jeremy Muijs, founders of Grown Alchemist. It’s important to keep stray hairs in check by revisiting the razor — and selecting a good shave gel. The Grown Alchemist shave gel is “formulated to soften and lift the hair follicle to provide maximum glide for a close and comfortable shave. It also works to protect the skin from irritation and razor burn leaving skin supple, smooth, and soothed,” they say.
4. Keep it clean
Bacteria can be found everywhere — including your beard. Good hygiene is essential, especially for the hirsute among you. Dr. Joel Schlessinger, Board Certified Dermatologist and RealSelf advisor, advises that men avoid touching their beards whenever possible as germs easily transfer from the hands to the face. Additionally, a mild cleanser that’s designed for both face and beard is essential. “Regular face washes can strip your beard of its natural oils, drying out the hair,” says Dr. Schlessinger. Go for a product like the Jack Black All-Over Wash for Face, Hair & Body, which he says is “a great all-in-one wash that doesn’t strip the skin and hair of its natural moisture.” For those especially concerned about beard bacteria, Dr. Schlessinger recommends washing your beard with CLn Shampoo, which effectively kills germs.
5. See a barber
We know you’re all about the DIY when it comes to growing and maintaining your facial hair. It’s a source of pride, after all, that you can primp your own beard. And it’s a money-saver, as well. But all men can benefit from the investment of a regular check-in with a good barber, Kellett told Men’s Fitness. That barber shop visit can properly sculpt and shape up your bearded masterpiece so that it fits the angles of your face the best and makes your daily beard maintenance much easier. And, make sure to get your hair trimmed while you’re at it!
6. Mind the gaps
Some men are genetically gifted with the ability to grow full, long beards that are completely filled in. But, many guys struggle with patchy spots that can compromise their facial hair goals. To remedy this, David Pirrotta, longtime beauty expert and founder of David Pirrotta Brand Management, suggests starting with a product to stimulate hair growth before opting for a more intense hair transplant. “Targeting poor micro-circulation, follicle aging, and follicle atrophy, the Procapil ingredient in SACHAJUAN’s Hair Control Treatment absorbs into the hair strands and the surface to improve its overall quality and condition, which in turn creates a healthier environment for hair growth,” he says.