Growing out your beard can feel like a daunting task especially if you're starting with a clean shaven face. As someone who's gone from bare faced to full bushy beard and then back to a more moderate length and style, I've had a chance to pick up a few tips for how to grow a beard without looking like a madman.
Don't Stop Shaving
My first tip and most important tip is to keep up your grooming routine. Just because you're letting things grow out does not mean it's ok to just let your facial hair go wild. Make sure that you are shaving daily to prevent looking unkempt.
Keep your neck clean. Imagine a string from ear to ear that runs under your chin flush against your neck- that's the southern border. No hair should remain below this line.
Keep your cheeks clean. Depending on the way your hair grows you may need to find the northern border for your beard too. Clean up sparse and patchy hair on your cheeks. Determine what point to shave to and make sure you're symmetrical and balanced.
Maintain a shape. Use an electric trimmer to keep your beard shape tidy. Trim and blend your sideburns down to the length of your hair. Keep a longer rather than wider profile and make sure your beard shape accentuates your jaw line rather than eliminates it.
Keep it Clean & Soft
If you're at the beginning of your beard journey one of the first things that you're going to notice is how itchy it feels. There's no way to get around it, your beard is going to feel itchy. Coarse facial hair takes some time to get used to but you can make it more bearable with a little maintenance.
Wash Your beard regularly. You need to wash your beard just like you would wash your hair with one exception- Don't over do it! Washing too frequently can result in sensitivity, dandruff, and itchiness. The same thing goes for not washing enough. You can stick to our guide on how to wash your facial hair for a more comprehensive approach.
Keep your beard hydrated. You can also add a beard oil or conditioner to your routine if your find your beard feels too coarse and itchy. If you figure out a good washing schedule then you may find this step unnecessary. But if you have thicker or grey hair, you might be a candidate for a hydration boost.
Have Realistic Goals
The last thing to consider when growing out a beard is to be realistic. Not everyone can have a great big mountain man beard. You can't change your genetics. Have realistic expectations and make sure whatever you do that it looks good.