We asked Mark Gaye, a serial entrepreneur, digital marketing expert, master barber and a notorious bearded bandit to bless us with his beard care knowledge. Whether you are a proud beard wearer yourself or own a barber shop and want to get deeper into the arts of grooming, we have just the tips for you!
With a great beard comes great responsibility. Growing a beard can be the most freedom-inciting act that allows you to showcase your inner Gandalf and let everyone know just how manly you are without having to say anything. With all the added man points gained to the wielder, beards are great and can turn a boy into a man in quick succession. However, the age-old question still remains – is having a beard low maintenance, and what routine is required to maintain one (if any)?
To the beardless onlookers, growing a beard may seem as easy as stopping shaving, and that you only have to trim your beard every second full moon. As a bearded bandit, I can confirm that having a beard requires surprisingly more maintenance than just clean shaving. Of course, grooming is a preferential scenario, bespoke to each individual, and you can let your beard grow wild and wonderful, allowing it to roam free until you have to tuck it into your trousers or trip over it. But I feel those beardy brothers are few and far between, as most prefer to go for a shorter to mid-length beard, which gives a rugged yet tidy look. These are the beards that perhaps require the most attention and pruning.
What is this pruning you speak of, oh great bearded one? Let’s talk about entry-level maintenance. But first, let’s just clarify something – there is no beard blueprint and each person’s genetics essentially determines what type of beard one can establish. Besides beard transplants (yes it’s a thing), I personally have seen no evidence of miracle beard formulations, pills, potions or lotions that can spring a beard up overnight. So unless you go down the beard transplant route, we have to play ball on the field we have been given.
With that in mind, let’s get back to pruning. Let’s say you have an established beard, maybe a month or two old. Not quite a Dumbledore or Gandalf beard, but more of a Jason Mamoa, Aquaman-esque beard. To maintain this from a holder’s perspective we suggest the following tooling:
- Trimming bib (essential to avoid fights with spouses/partners/unbearded folk)
- Small trimmers with adjustable attachments
- Small Scissors
- Assorted combs and brushes (thin tooth comb, thick tooth comb, small paddle brush)
Let’s walk through a basic self-grooming experience and learn how to trim, style and groom a beard the easy way!
Table of Contents
Attach the beard bib to the front-facing mirror and secure it to your neck to catch all falling beard debris.
Take the small trimmers and use the longest attachment possible, then trial your first beard adjustment. When you find the correct length for the body of the beard – start shearing that sheep!
Once you have established the correct length, using the adjustable trimmers again begin reducing the length of your beard working from the bottom to the top of your ear. Change your attachment to a shorter length with each inch you move closer to the top of the ear and into the head hair. Doing this will give a graduated/faded appearance and make for a more tapered look.
Fine-tune your beard using small scissors to remove loose hairs that are sticking out.
Last but not least, a steady hand is required! Remove the attachment from the trimmer and adjust your beard lines on the top of the cheeks and at the bottom of your neck. Don’t rush the process, this lineup acts as a boundary for your beard to grow in and one rushed swipe here has ruined many beards.
So if you’re into self-grooming, then the above mentioned 5-step guide will help you maintain your look and keep your beautiful beard from turning into face fungus! Personally, I like the professional experience of getting my beard groomed, sitting down and letting someone with proven hands adjust my beard bush into a finely trimmed and tailored hedge.
Beard grooming products can be a lucrative business for barbershops and you’ll find that guys who are into beards, aren’t afraid of splurging on the right care kit. Being informed on hair products and equipment is an area that can drastically increase revenue when done alongside good grooming and sales dialogue.
For professionals who are exploring this area further, here is a list of products and services to consider:
We can’t fight nature, but it sure doesn’t stop us from trying. It’s common for facial hair to be a completely different colour from the hair on the top of a person’s head. Personally, I want to make sure that the carpets match the curtains, so I like to dye my beard the same colour as my head hair. I urge professionals who use colour to patch test where they have time and to use ammonia-free products. Facial skin can be sensitive, so exercise professional care where possible. If you are unsure about the colour, you can also perform a strand test. A strand test is the removal of a small sample amount of hair, applying the colour, allowing it to work and then testing the result against the original colour to see if it’s a match.
Growing a beard is like growing a crop – you want to build a healthy environment and maintain it. If the environment gets too dry it can strangle the growth of the plant or weaken it. The same can be said for beards – the underlying skin can become dry and/or irritated, and the hair can sometimes tangle or become tough and oily. Using a beard wash or beard shampoo can help revitalize the hair, create a good bed for the beard to grow in, while also removing dry skin, stopping itching and irritation along the way. Most beard shampoos also have a hair softener built-in which helps with shaping and grooming the beard.
Beard oils are great to give a shine to your beard hair and can be used to lightly shape the beard.
Beard balm is a harder compound that is used for longer beards to give them more definition and shape. Its harder makeup means that the product is first worked into the hands and then applied to the beard to give structure, and can be finessed into place with a brush and comb combo.
The final piece to the puzzle, with hipster moustaches still floating around. The moustache is perhaps the strongest hair growth area on the face and is often the wiriest and hardest to control area if it’s let to grow wild. Moustache wax is the kryptonite to unruly moustache hair as its hard wax formulation can be used to tease the hair into the finest of points and neatest positions.
Beards are here to stay, and whether you’re a professional beard blender or a new beard boomer, you’re going to need to get yourself some software to find a proven beard pro who knows what they are doing, and for that, I recommend using Booksy. Booksy is the worlds #1 booking app that ranks its merchants by most high-level reviews and allows its barbers to showcase their work. It makes it easy for clients to find good barbers to book in with and to preview their work, services, products and pricing, with just a few clicks.