The beard. Centrepiece of hipster culture. Call it a statement, a symbol of rugged charm. Call it anything but facial hair. There’s no denying a good beard on the right face looks stunning and is—quite rightly—an enviable piece of personal property.
Unlike the latest hairstyle, though, achieving an enviable beard takes time. It’s not like a lawn you can let grow wild and occasionally mow when you please. Like anything worth growing, there’s more to it. If it’s a quest you’re keen to embark upon, you’re in the right place.
Here’s our guide to growing a thick, luscious, head-turning beard.
First, make sure you can grow a beard
This is the sometimes-cruel, always-necessary first step. There’s no point trying to grow a thick and luscious beard if you’re unable to in the first place. If you’ve never tried to grow a beard, that’s okay. The best way to test the waters is to clean shave, then leave your face for a few days. This will give stubble time to sprout. After a week, you’ll either have consistent stubble or patches.
If it’s the former, happy days—your beard journey has officially begun. If it’s the latter, you’ve got a little more work on your hands. That doesn’t mean you can’t raise your hipster credibility, but you may have to settle for something a little more trimmed. If you buy beard oil you’ll enhance the quality whatever stage you’re at, as it will keep your wiry hairs smooth and conditioned, and is proven to enhance beard growth when used often.
Good nutrition is key
Genes play the greatest role in your ability to grow a beard, followed by nutrition. If you want people to describe your beard as luscious, you have to look after yourself. Eating well, exercising, getting the right amount of sleep…these are the invisible angels that grant Insta-worthy beards.
If you already live a healthy life, keep it up. If you’re new to this hipster beard malarkey, make sure you load up on those leafy greens, oily fishes, vitamins and nuts. Trust us, your beard will be eternally thankful. And so will the rest of your body, so there’s an added bonus not to forget about.
Invest in quality moisturiser
A clean beard is a healthy beard, but it will do everything in its power to stay dirty. Like a dog that relishes a good splash in the mud, your beard will try to collect anything in proximity. Crumbs, dirt, small protein-rich insects, it doesn’t mind. It’s actually trying to protect you, so that all those small “unfavourables” don’t end up on your skin or in your mouth. But that doesn’t mean it can’t become unsightly if left unattended for too long.
The remedy: wash daily. And remember the power of moisturising. When you’re keeping the skin around the beard supple and free from irritation, and frequently conditioning your beard, the extra effort makes a huge difference in the long run. You’ll stop your beard from growing brittle, and keep the skin underneath and around it smooth and hydrated.
Learn to trim, learn to shape
If you’re content with growing a lumberjack beard, simply kick back and let nature do its thing. If you want a hipster beard, the passive life won’t cut it – but someone else has to. You need to play an active role in its creation. To do this, you need to master the art of grooming.
From investing in high-quality grooming tools to learning the best trimming techniques, you must shape your beard regularly if you want it to maintain a vibrant, healthy look. If you already identify as a budding hipster, consider this another step you get to indulge in towards complete transformation.
Stress affects…your beard?
Of course, living a stress-free life is easier said than done. However, a healthier beard is one more thing in a long list of natural benefits that add up from being less stressed. The more stress you endure each day, the more it will impact the quality and growth rate of your beard. Like you may find the hair on your head starting to thin or recede when times get particularly tough, so you might find the same pattern on your beard too.
Try to incorporate relaxing or enjoyable activities like meditation or hobbies into your daily routine, as these help break the rhythm of work and help your mind recharge. Like a healthy diet, these activities work their magic behind the scenes. Even though you may not see an immediate, direct correlation between your stress levels and your hipster finesse, they’re all interconnected.
Trust your barber
Even if you become a bonafide beard trimmer overnight, there’ll still be occasions when you need a professional’s steady hand. There’s no denying that barbers hold vast amounts of wisdom where a beard is concerned, so why not tap into that well of information? A quality barber can fix just about any beard malfunction, often faster than you can get your mitts around a pair of tiny scissors.
Even if you feel you have a good grasp of this beard-growing business, it’s still beneficial to visit your local barber now and then. Think of them as great editors, who can help your beard be the best it can be.
In the end, growing a beard is often a trial-and-error affair, so don’t be downhearted if it doesn’t become a thick, luscious statement on the first attempt. Patience will carry you far with beards, so keep at it. Much like growing a luscious garden, it’s all about regular, tender care. If you can do that, you’ll find yourself turning heads and stopping traffic in no time.