Since time immemorial, beards are the image of suave. However, it can also have its “bad hair days”.
Beyond vanity, growing a beard is most men’s way of boosting their masculinity. From short stubble up to a lush length, beards are sometimes guys’ obsession; the same a woman will fancy her long hair. Like the hair on the scalp, this facial growth can also become manageable, frizzy, and dry if not groomed well. A beard straightener product can be used here, but there are a lot more that lies beneath that thick pile of facial strands.
Men grow beards for a variety of reasons. Some to add more elements to their face while others take the effort to boost their sexual appeal. Whatever that is, every beard should be maintained with the same care as the crowning glory. But it’s not just about the length; it’s also a matter of quality.
Beards can be very appealing, but it can also be a saboteur of your face. A frizzy, curly, and uncombed facial mane looks dirty and rough. Not to mention the plethora of skin problem beneath that hair, leaving the cluttered mess on your face won’t do you any good. You need to have a routine to follow.
Don’t just spare the razor, go another mile by keeping that beard soft and straight.
Why you should maintain a well-kept beard
Symmetry says it all
Your facial hair will grow at a different pace, which means one side could be longer while the other is a bit short. This isn’t a nice look and it will only make you appear like a rugged and dirty dude. If you want to achieve a suave facial mane, you should keep an eye on symmetry. This beard straightener method is something you can only achieve through regular trimming and maintenance.
Symmetry is the reason why a lot of guys spend tireless hours in front of the mirror, snipping tiny excesses of hair.
Heightened sexual appeal
Of all the major benefits of having a beard, increasing your sex appeal is on top of the list. If you’re single and prepping yourself to be more attractive, you shouldn’t forget your beard. Keeping it straight and soft is a guaranteed way to catch women’s stares. A study by Nigel Barber even found out that men will tap on their sexually-selected traits when they want to date and get married. If you’re also that type of person, you now have a good reason to include your beard in the maintenance department. (Trivia: a nice beard will also improve your sex life!)
Protection from health problems
Did you know that a well-groomed beard can protect you against throat infection and asthma attacks? Since the hair near your nose is dense, it will trap allergens, dust, and airborne bacteria that will trigger all these health issues. This protection becomes even more extensive if you extend the beard with a mustache. It will also be your shield against harmful rays that can make your facial skin wrinkly and leathery. A study in the University of Southern Queensland found out that growing a beard can decrease the risk of cancer. You see, your beard isn’t just a chunk of aesthetic hair!
If you’re usually a subject of ridicule due to your “less” masculine appearance, growing and maintaining a beard will be your comeback. A New York study concluded that men who have well-kept beards received 55% more compliments than those who haven’t. About 41% of these men also find themselves more comfortable when they have this manly mane.
Other people find bearded men to be masculine, mature, and tough. But that is if you keep it well and keep it straight and smooth look using a beard straightener. So if you’re lacking a bit with self-esteem, try growing a beard and maintaining it.
Ironic, right? Beards will make you look mature, but it will also make you younger. The reason is that the beard shields your face from the harm of direct sunlight, dirt, and irritation. This means that your face will look younger once you decided to shave. Some men tend to cut a few years off their face when they grow a beard. Who knows, you might also be the same. Just make sure that you keep it the right way; otherwise, it will work the other way around.
Prevent skin irritation
Are you prone to acne and beard dandruff? It’s possibly due to you neglected facial hair. Beards can shield against dirt, but forget to wash it well and the grime will soon penetrate the skin. The result would be an acne breakout and a horrendous case of dandruff. This combination is annoying and it will sabotage your beard straightener efforts.
It’s true that growing a beard saves you from nicks and cuts of shaving. However, it’s still important that you put enough attention to beard hygiene to dodge other skin irritations.
Tips to keep it straight
Wash it right
Aside from the daily exposure to dust and sunlight, your beard is also in direct contact with the food you eat. Tiny pieces of your favorite burrito may find its way on your beard, and since you’re busy devouring the treat, you won’t notice the falling bits. You also touch your beard a lot of times during the day (something like a badass guy thinking of his next sinister move). Unless you wash your hands each hour, you’re putting more grime on your facial hair.
It’s important that you wash your beard with a special shampoo. Don’t use your hair shampoo or your body soap. There’s a specific product for this one.
Comb it well
Like your hair on top, your beard needs regular combing to stay in place and develop a straight look. Combing your beard, especially if it’s frizzy, isn’t like grazing a dog’s coat during the shedding season. You have to be gentle and follow a proper direction to keep it straight. When you encounter a snag, don’t pull into it. Use your clean hand to untangle it and then slowly pass the comb through. Slow is the way to go when performing this beard straightener method to avoid hurting the skin and developing more snags.
Always think of your beard as a pair of leather boots. After wearing it out all day under the intense heat and dirt, what are you supposed to do? Do you just live in sitting in the corner all covered with grimes and the leather cracking up? Nope, you apply a special balm to keep it in optimal condition. The same goes for your beard. Using a special moisturizer or oil will replenish the lost moisture after a day’s exposure to sunlight and other irritants. However, apply the moisturizer only after you wash your beard. You wouldn’t want to lock in the dirt.
If you’re trying to achieve more length, trimming would be a crazy idea. But beard enthusiasts recommend that at least once in a while, trim a tiny bit of your beard to keep it symmetrical. Like what I said earlier, the beard will grow in different speed all over your chin and cheeks. If you just wait for it to grow an optimal length before doing the maintenance job, you’re going to deal with a frizzy and dirty-looking chunk of hair.
Don’t be afraid of the scissors. Besides, you just have to snip a little length off the beard.
Easy on the hot iron
If you have a pesky, curly beard, the first beard straightener idea might be to glide a hot iron into it. This works for the scalp hair, but rarely on facial ones. Too much heat can damage the beard and cause it to be more dried and frizzy. Yes, it will go straight after an ironing session, but it would be too rough to massage or touch.
Don’t get me wrong, there are hot irons made specifically for the beard. But as much as you can, limit using this straightening tool. Pack up on oils and balms instead to compensate with the lacking straightening effect.
Train the beard
The moment your stubble grow into a full-length beard, make sure that you’ve “led the way”. Training the beard to go the desired direction will prevent unmanageable strands. You can do this by habitually massaging your beard using your hands or combing it to the proper direction. It’s the same way as to how you train the new parting on your scalp. The more you comb and style it to your desired look, the more that the hair will adjust to the direction. For unkept and long beards, this will take some time.
Prepare for humidity
If you’re a southerner, one of the main things you have to deal with is the humidity. A very hot climate can make your beard look like a tough wire. If not kept well, it will start to curl and dry up which will result in a variety of more problems. If your beard straightener products don’t work, you might end up shaving it all in the end.
Some of the beards guys we know recommend that you apply a touch of hairspray on your beard before you bask in the sun. It will give a nice hold to your mane, keeping straight despite the weather.
Beard straightening essentials
Beard shampoo and conditioner
Like what’s said earlier, your beard is different from your scalp hair. Therefore, you should use a dedicated shampoo to keep it smooth and straight. Usually, these beard straightener shampoos are packed with moisturizing oils and substances while gently removing the dirt. The conditioner, meanwhile, is necessary to keep the softness of the beard and to prevent snags that are hard to get over with.
This may sound vain, but it’s actually needed especially for very frizzy beards. Regular shampoos can be abrasive. Just ask yourself this: is it normal for you to apply regular shampoo on your face? If not, then you have enough reason to buy one for your beard.
If there’s one product that took the beard world in storm, it would be the beard oil. It’s the extra hydration for your beard that makes it look shiny and well-groomed. This is all part of the moisturization process and even more crucial if you’re living in a place with a constantly hot climate. Beard oil is also used to cure snags for easier combing not to mention being a beard straightener.
Usually, beard oils are musky and can be a combination of many essential oils like sandalwood, cedarwood, jojoba, and dozens more. Always look for one that suits your skin type to avoid any allergies.
Beard wax or balm
Why use a beard balm if you already have beard oil? This is a common question, believe me, and I’ll give you a very easy answer. Beard oil is for moisturizing, beard balm or wax is for styling. Yet, beard balm can be an all-in-one product which means you can ditch your oil if you’re not a fan of liquid regimens. Beard waxes and balms give a nice hold on the beard without making it too stiff or greasy, a common concern for oil-users.
A lot of companies, barbershops, and stores have banked on this product so much that you’ll never find it hard to purchase your supply.
If you plan to grow that excess length of hair, it’s a no-brainer that it has to be combed. But you simply can’t use just any other comb. Regular plastic combs are made from factory mold stamping machines which mean it has lots of tiny rough edges. Using it on your beard will make it more coarse and damaged. This is the reason why wooden combs are the best bet. The teeth of this comb are made bigger and the edges are fine even for the most sensitive beards.
Now, are you ready to adopt a new beard straightener regimen?