THE JOURNEY TO A BETTER BEARD
Growing a beard is a journey that few men ever complete. The path itself is full of peaks and valleys, awkward stages, and sometimes even criticism from others. However, in the end, the determined beardsmen that successfully complete this journey and reach their goals will be rewarded with the satisfaction and pride that comes with sporting a well groomed, beard.
For men currently in the growth stage, or thinking about starting a beard for the first time, there are things that need to be considered. Growing a long beard is a commitment; it’s going to take a lot of time. We're talking a year or more (depending on how long you’d like to go).
The first step is to try to minimize any obstacles you may encounter down the road that might force you off the tracks.For instance, if you’ve just begun a new job search, there is the potential for complications regarding company dress code and such. (Man Tip #1: if you’re unemployed and have to choose between keeping your beard, or landing a new job to put food in your mouth or a roof over your head…lose the beard). Another common obstacle is external pressure or negative comments from people close to you, like family and friends. Unless they’re fond of facial hair, expect to receive a fair share of criticism along the way. Talk to them before you start your journey; explain your desire to grow a beard and ask for their support. Otherwise, if you’re easily offended by every negative comment, then perhaps growing a beard should be left to the men. (Man Tip #2: Stop giving a shit about other people’s approval and just be happy with yourself.)
So, if you’ve come up with a plan, and are ready to commit the necessary time, you’re ready to begin your trek to bearded greatness.
THE IMPORTANCE OF TRIMMING
Around a month or two into the growth journey, you will likely have a full, but still fairly short beard. Right around this time is when you should start thinking about a trim...you heard me right. Even if you’re going for a full grown wizard beard, you’ll need to trim it up from time to time. "TRIMMING YOU SAY?"....Yes. Just hear me out. To get the best looking and healthiest beard you can possibly grow, you need to take this crucial step.
You’re probably asking yourself “what in the hell is this guy talking about?” I'm not talking about taking any significant length off your beard. I’m simply talking about taking a pair of scissors and getting rid of split ends. Now would also be a great time to trim up your mustache as well. It’s usually around this time that the mustache begins to curl down over your upper lip; many guys don’t like to have their stache get in the way while eating. Patience and a steady hand can help keep the mustache under control and looking sharp.
SCISSORS, TRIMMERS, or BOTH?
As the growth process continues and your beard matures, you should begin to consider shaping your beard. Reach for the trimmers or your favorite beard scissors, and try tapering your sideburns. Shorter, tapered sideburns will add some structure to your face and give your beard a cleaner, more styled look. Of course, if you prefer more bulk on the sides, skip the tapering and just trim off the split ends to keep the beard healthy.
When you have significant length to your beard, or are satisfied with the overall length, you’ll still need to perform regular maintenance trimming on occasion to keep your beard looking sharp.
An easy tip for trimming split ends and taking care of random fly-away hairs is to use a beard trimmer. Attach the long trimmer guard, and trim downward, following the shape of your beard.
SYMMETRY IS BEST
Different areas of your beard grow at different rates. So, it's important to maintain symmetry along the way. If one side happens to look longer or more dense(full) than the other, consider trimming the longer side back a bit. This should give the shorter side a chance to catch up. Of course, some of us just have uneven beards. If that’s the case with your beard, embrace it, or learn to work with it. After all, it’s your beard; do what makes you happy
Regardless of where you are in your beard growth journey, never be afraid do a little trimming here and there. Many beardsmen will tell you “just let it grow.” I’m here to tell you that regular trimming will lead to a healthier, better looking beard, and sometimes faster beard growth.
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