For centuries, men with facial hair have been deemed attractive and dominant. Just as lions with large manes, or peacocks with excessive plumage, were viewed as more suitable mates, so it has been with human males for many years.
While it may no longer be true that bearded gents are the most masculine, it has become evident that beards have been making a comeback; especially amongst the hipster crowd. Included here are a few things to know about growing a beard before you get started on enhancing your own “plumage”.
Endure the Awkward
If no-shave November has taught us anything, it is that not everyone is equipped to grow a full beard. But if you are truly committed to this endeavor you will need to endure the awkward period of “growing out” that comes with a beard. It may be itchy and uncomfortable, but if you cave and shave, you will have to begin all over again. Fortunately, most men will be able to accomplish a nice beard if they give it enough time and let it fill in.
Itch is Normal
The first two weeks of growing out a beard can be excessively itchy and uncomfortable. Many men feel that the initial beard growth period is like sprouting a baby cactus on their face and will cave for the smooth silkiness of a razor. This can be a time of discomfort for both you and your significant other, but the hairs will soften over time.
There are a few great ways to ease the itch during your growing out period. Consider giving your beard a comb down daily to soothe the skin and keep all hairs growing in the same direction. As always, keep your face clean and consider soothing the skin with hot rags or creams.
Maintenance is Key
Just like any other body hair, beards can get a little grungy if not taken care of. Excess dirt, grease and grime buildup in beard hair can result in itch and odor. Be sure to wash your beard on a daily basis with soap and water. If you find this process dries out your skin too much and results in flaking and itching, find a special beard cleanser to use.
Save the Style
Messy beards can be far less attractive than smooth-faced men, but well-kept beards can certainly earn brownie points in any crowd (with the exception of Mormon universities). With the thousands of different beard styles available today, you should have no problem discovering your unique spin on facial hair. The key is to find a style that fits your lifestyle, whether that be high-maintenance beard animals or a simple brush out in the morning.