Growing your first beard is a journey in itself. “All I have to do is not shave, how hard can it be?” you might say, but beard growing is not for the faint of heart, and you’ll need a strong will to keep yourself away from the razor once the going gets tough.
Luckily we’re here to give you some pointers, guiding you down the road of success and all the way to massive beard town, population: your face.
Before you begin your hairy quest there are a few things you need to bear in mind. In order to do this correctly it’s going to take you about 2 months. That’s a long time, so if you aren’t on board after that revelation then you know where the door is…still here? Good. Don’t set your expectations too high for the first month or so, if you’re seeing patchy growth (which you will unless you’re seriously blessed) then don’t be disheartened, it will fill out as the hair becomes longer. Got it? Then let’s proceed.
Congratulations, you’ve decided to grow a glorious beard. This is the first milestone on your journey so give yourself a high five and a pat on the back. If you’re used to being clean shaven then this week is going to be pretty weird for you. Your face will probably itch a bit toward the end of the week but resist the urge to scratch and use a moisturiser or oil to keep the hairs soft.
Keep moisturising and don’t worry too much about the itching, it will settle down soon. Your face is no doubt beginning to look a little unkempt and patchy by now but resist the urge to trim any hairs back. For the first few weeks you need to just leave it be and let it do its thing.
This week is probably going to be your toughest but you’ve made it this far so don’t give up now. The itch should be subsiding by now but you’ll no doubt be looking pretty scruffy. At this point you can shave a neckline if you choose to. At least that way it will be obvious to people that you’re actually growing a beard and haven’t just given up on your grooming. To carve a good neckline use your Adam’s apple as a guide. Starting in the middle with your razor just above it, carefully shave downwards, removing any hairs below. Once you’ve established your middle point you can gradually work outwards to each side, finishing just below your earlobes.
Well done! You’re halfway to looking like a Viking. By now your beard should be starting to take shape and your patchy areas should be beginning to fill in. Even if they’re not, don’t despair. Everybody is different and it may just be that your hair naturally grows a bit slower. Some guys can have decent coverage in a few days, others take weeks or even months – it’s all just down to genetics.
Nearly there, you can start trimming off some of those stray hairs now, and if you didn’t carve a neckline out earlier in the process then you should definitely be doing it at this point. If your facial hair tends to grow quite far up your cheeks then you can carve out your cheek lines now too. To achieve a good cheek line simply use your cheekbones as a guide and shave off any hair growing above them. Try to create a clean curved line which runs from the edge of your sideburn at the top of your ear, down to your moustache.
A round of applause is in order you’ve completed your quest and are now the proud owner of a glorious beard. You can now feel free to shape your beard into any shape your heart desires. You’ve battled through the itchy phase, the patchy phase and the “oh my god I look ridiculous, maybe I should just shave it off” phase. People said you couldn’t do it and you proved them wrong so rejoice and delight it unleashing a roar of bearded laughter in the faces of the naysayers.
Remember to keep using your beard oil to keep the hair glossy and soft. Trim regularly to keep stray hairs at bay, and above all else, wear it proudly. For more advice on looking good, check out our Grooming section.