Welcome to class, gentlemenly dudes.
No Shave November is upon us, and unfortunately, my guide would have been more useful a month or so ago. Regardless, I hope you enjoy this short guide to beard growing.
Let me start off with my personal journey along the way to full beardom. When I was a wee lad, I would watch my father shave. Mind you, he could grow a pretty solid mustache, but not too great of a beard (at least I’ve never seen him with even the semblance of one). Around middle school age we all knew things were starting to change. My hair began to grow in different places and it was just one of those things. I guess the best way to put this is to phrase it as: my mom didn’t want to admit I was growing up. So, they didn’t push me to shave my face, because once you start, you don’t stop. For the rest of ever. One day my sister was laughing and I asked her, “What are you laughing at?” “HA, you’re a wolf boy.” “What??” It just confused me – why would she call me that, I’m not hairy? I run to the mirror and basically my virgin sideburns, blonde wisps of angel hair, were very noticeable. That was it, nothing TOO funny, but I had had enough. So I told my parents get that shaving cream and the blade. It’s time.
In high school, I would grow a goatee/soul patch, just because I could and my friends couldn’t. Come my senior year, I earn the role of a king in the choir Christmas dinner and decide to begin to grow the beard. I had no idea what would happen, I had never really let it go (can’t hold it back anymore) and just grow on its own untamed.
Somewhere in the recess of my mind, I told myself I had to believe in this beard. That it would be glorious and everyone would love it. I literally thought about my beard growing. And by the time December arrived, the dude on my face was magnificent – for a 17 year old. In all it’s ginger glory, which on another note – threw me off. I guess I’m a strawberry blonde, but I digress.
Since that time, my face has been clean shaven for a job, but outside of that, basically bad ass. I’ve tried different styles such as the “Franz Josef” while in Germany, the “Seoul Patch” on a trip to South Korea, the “Fu Manchu” in China, and the “Castro Beard”/”Guevara Goatee” while in Cuba. I’ve done handle bars, stripes, half on half off. It’s fun to see what you can do with it.
Now, onto the lesson.
I have my own philosophy on beard growing. My biggest rule is no product goes into my beard unless I am in the shower.
The Primary – The most important thing for you to do is believe in your beard. You are about to bring another entity into this world and you must believe with every fiber of your soul that this will be an everlasting love. Develop a mantra for your growing period. Stroke your face as if you have your lucious dude already sitting there. Begin to run through fields of wild flowers, drive with the windows down, play classical music, so that when the dude comes to full term, he is intelligent and cultured. As I mentioned above with the different styles, it’s important you show your beard you can have a fun time, and that you always have his back. You do NOT want crustache/pube beard. You need to take the necessary steps to ensure your beard develops as a dude and not a bro.
The Grooming – As you embark upon your beard journey, I highly recommend you train your face. A concept that women use to elongate their lucious locks is cutting of the dead ends. On a girl’s head of hair, it’s much easier to find where the hair dies. For us dudes, well, the hair is going to be much shorter. Begin by shaving your face with a razor. I use(d) Nivea aftershave lotion. Wait a day or so, shave again. Wait 3 days shave again. Wait 5 days shave again.
By this point, hopefully, you will see more hair on your face. You can try to continue this ‘clean shave’ method, or you can switch to the electric trimmer if you are having some good progress. If you switch to the trimmer, you don’t want to clean shave, you want stubble. With the trimmer, your goal is to cut the very, teeny tiny end of the hairs off so as to let it continue to grow.
The Cleaning – People constantly ask me, “Do you shampoo that thing?” And the answer will always be, “Uh…yeah, why wouldn’t I? I condition it, too.” Invest in your favorite shampoo, and find a lovely conditioner you think your beard will love. They say rinse, wash, repeat. And that’s what I do. I wash my hair and beard with shampoo twice, then condition it and I let the conditioner sit in for several minutes. The most key part of this is the conditioner. It keeps it soft so when the ladyfolk grope your dude, it makes their knees weak and you and beard can swoop them up before they hit the ground. During the winter, skin tends to get more dry. Beards do too, so to counter this, post-shower I like to leave my beard dripping for as long as I can stand it. While you may think it will be funny to go outside in freezing temperatures with a wet beard, I promise you your beard will NOT like it. Honestly, I believe the most useful information on this page is to believe in your beard and to actually, CONSCIOUSLY think “I am growing a beard” “There is a beard growing on my face” “I cannot wait for this beard to arrive”. Think about the hair growing out of your face. Meditate on it. Listen to your favorite music and think, “Wow, this would be so much better if I had a beard to enjoy it with.”
If you are one who wants to try out different products and things, just make sure you know what is in it before putting it on your beard. Generally, you want to stick to all natural ingredients (as with most things these days).
I hope you have enjoyed this short anecdote/beard loving guide.
Peace, love and more dudes, with beards!