Beards have always shown up around the colder months as a built-in face warmer but lately they've become more and more fashionable. While new styling and grooming techniques are judging men on their facial hair, I'm here to help you take care of it.
Beard vs. Hair
Facial hair has never been just a fashion statement. Beards and mustaches alike are actually a great way to deal with harsher weather. They block UV rays
for less wrinkles. There's also a correlation between less bacteria and beards
, though it's unclear if that's because the beard helps keep bacteria from reaching you or if it's because shaving creates minor abrasions in the skin that bacteria can get into easier.
Whatever your reason for growing a beard, taking care of it can be important. Beard hair is related to your hormones. It's why you can only grow a beard after puberty and why you can still have facial hair even when you're balding. Because of its relationship with testosterone, beard hair can be vastly different than scalp hair. Fine, straight head hair doesn't mean the same for a beard. Beards can be and often are thicker, rougher and kinked for a more unruly growth pattern.
Facial and scalp skin is also different. The skin on your scalp is much less sensitive than the skin on your face so even a gentle hair shampoo could dry out your face. The good news is that it's pretty easy to get the right stuff for your beard.
Taking care of a beard isn't all that hard. Whether you're just trying to survive the winter or thinking of going long-term, try these steps to keep your face looking and feeling healthy.
Daily cleansing. While it's a no-brainer, you'd be surprised what scientists have found in beards. Touching your beard with unclean hands is a great way to trap bacteria and dirt on your face. Daily cleansing keeps your follicles clean and your pores clear. Use a mild cleanser meant for the face so you don't dry it out. Beard Oil. This is great for the itchy stage of beard growing. Use beard oil like a leave-in conditioner after washing to trap moisture against the skin and soften the hair growing. For best results, look for jojoba or argan-based oils. Once your beard grows you can move on to beard balm or stick to the oil. Some prefer the oil for longer-length beard because it easier to comb through. Beard Balm. Like the oil, this acts as a leave-in conditioner but the texture is a great styling and shaping tool as well. Once your beard has some volume, beard balm is an all-in-one way to shape your beard, moisturize your skin and soften the hairs. Avoid synthetic ingredients like petroleum that you'll need to wash out before bed. Instead, go with beeswax and shea butter.
A Stiff Brush. For really unruly beards, try a stiff bristled brush to keep the hair in order. It might feel harsh if you ever use it on your head (tip: don't) but for beard hair, it's perfect for those tougher follicles. There are also combs available for longer beards that need more than just surface maintenance.
Trim. Chopping off parts of your beard may feel counter-productive to growing a thick one but taming fly-aways and trimming the edges can really help keep your beard looking neat. It'll also help keep food from sticking when falling into the nest. While trimming, run a comb or brush through to pull out any loose or dead hairs that can cause extra itching.
Keep your facial hair in check this winter and feel the difference in texture. If you do decide to take the shave, look for some of our natural shaving products
to help you get a clean look. Let us know any tips and tricks you have on our Facebook
and we'll see you soon for more health news. Live healthy, everyone!