Growing a beard is one thing; maintaining ones beard is another. Unless the wearer (or grower) wants to look like the guitarist of a 1970s rock n’roll band (quite possibly a one hit wonder rather than one with any longevity) then it is imperative to set some ground rules down first.
Adopting the bearded look will of course draw attention; maybe not so much once it is fully grown – to the length and style one desires; but when it is in that in-between stage – that is once it has gone past the 24 hr. shadow. It almost puts one chin-first in the arena with the office gossip circulating faster than a strain of Australian flu (“has he been dumped”? “Could he not pay the rent”? Have you checked around his desk for the contents of his apartment”?)
Without unwittingly being on the receiving end of such hysteria, it is important to set goals; just as one would when signing up for the gym. What is the look you are going for? A quick surf on Instagram could be good for starters to find a look that could work for you; then take it from there. Are you a Romanov or a refined hipster? A ‘James Middleton’ or ‘Charles B. Middleton’ (this character actor fashioned a rather spectacular pointed beard for his role of Ming the Merciless in the 1930s film serial, ‘Flash Gordon’. It was by far his most famous role. Thousands of gentlemen copied him).
Once you are happy with your chosen pin-up; then all one can do is ‘let it grow’. A word of advice though – depending of ferocity of ones growth; maybe opt for the Christmas holiday or another opportune moment to throw caution to the wind. If one has an important meeting with the CEO or client deal to clinch; best to keep it clean. I would advise against growing a beard on the whim of a summer vacation; just in case it doesn’t work out or the boss isn’t happy. Nothing worse than tan-lines; especially across ones face!
Tame The Beast
Leaping from a clean shave to a full-on beard does come with a few lessons to learn. Firstly; it will itch… a lot. However, depending on the strength of your beard; the temptation to scratch the hell out of your face will ease. I would suggest that after a good two-three weeks, a trip to ones barber is a cool order to have your facial hair smoothed over. Your barber – and if he or she are anything like our trusted team at Truefitt & Hill – then they should be able to advise on the right shape beard to suit your face shape.
Keeping a beard is just as important as keeping a well-moisturised clean shaven face; perhaps even more so. One of the biggest problems men with beards face is a dose of ‘beardruff’; the same a dandruff, when the skins starts to turn dry and flake, causing particles of dry skin to bubble up to the surface and erupt over ones chest like an exploded snow globe (winter or summer; freezing December to flaming August; it doesn’t matter the time of the year).
A good facial wash and beard oil treatment is therefore an essential kit for any well descending gentleman. Just make sure you invest in the right treatment; a quick wash with an anti-dandruff shampoo won’t cut the mustard.