Growing and keeping a beard is a point of pride. It’s the ultimate flash of stern masculinity. When you see someone with a full, luscious, glorious beard, you think: “that’s impressive” But for anyone that’s had a tremendous mound of fur on their face, it’s known to be unruly. The thing has a mind of its own sometimes. Because of this, beards have to be trimmed, maintained, and kept pristine. Having some control over the beast will do you good. If you have yet to venture into beard maintenance, here are 6 products you need to have on hand.
1. Beard Oil
If you’re going to start anywhere, start with beard oil. The whole point of this is to soften and tame the scraggly parts of your beard. You know which parts: the ones that point in a weird direction for some strange reason. With a good quality beard oil, you can finally get that wayward section back in line with the rest of the pack. No more random strands going up and every which way. No more lopsided shapes and unruly segments. It surely brings everything back to where it is supposed to be: right in line with your jaw. From there, you can do with it as you please.
A beard brush may be something new to most people. A lot of us men tend to be a bit more frugal, and a beard brush seems out of the question. It is worth it. It’s like having a special brush for leather boots: often overlooked until we finally use it. It’s glorious. Using a regular brush is like using a meat cleaver for peeling potatoes. It’s a blunt tool. The beard brush, on the other hand, is the perfect tool for the job. Having the ability to maneuver around your beard makes all the difference. You can always try and finger comb your way to a good look, but with the brush? You’ll feel like a doctor with that kind of tool.
If you’re going to go with the beard brush and oil, you might as well treat your beard right in the shower. Beard shampoo does a better job of cleaning and conditioning your beard than any soap out there. A lot of those frizzy and scraggly looking stands are because you’re drying it out with regular soaps. Beards need to retain a certain amount of oil to stay hygienic and manageable. The whole point is to keep it all-natural without the bugs and grime. Getting rid of all the oil makes for some strange beard behavior. Cover your bases. Use the shampoo.
A beard trimmer is still a necessity, even if you’re growing it out. Why? Because neckbeards and those hairs that start crawling under your ear, trying to connect with your scalp, are gross. Keeping the areas around your beard clean while maintaining the prime central areas is the key to giving your beard a well-manicured look. Otherwise, it just does whatever it wants. Remember, you’re in control.
Beard balm is for the next level groomer. It’s for the person who has the vision and attention to detail to shape and mold their beard into a work of art. Beard balm allows you to shape and mold your beard. Ever seen those wonderfully molded and crafted beard shapes? Those are done with beard balm. How you go about choosing the beard balm is up to you. Some like the greasy feel, as it gives your beard a more pliable and single shape. Others prefer a non-greasy version of the same kind of product. It may not cooperate as much, but there’s less residue to eventually wash off. Also, there’s the whole “natural products” movement that the less-greasy options tend to abide by. If that’s a consideration while shopping, opt for less greasy.
6. Straight Razor
If you’re going to shave, at least give your beard the respect that it deserves. Don’t cut it down with some rechargeable electric shaver. Get intimate with it. Use a straight razor. If you’ve never used a straight razor, it’s advisable to practice a little bit before jumping in on a big shave. But any way you cut it, using a straight razor will always be infinitely cooler than any kind of “5 blades” product with some nonsensical name.
The idea of doing anything to it may seem a bit off. There’s a majestic quality to an untamed beard. It’s wild and free, like the ads in men’s magazines. But giving it the attention it needs will make sure you keep. Healthy, growing, and good-looking beard.