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Proper care of a beard is something largely neglected in the lives of men. Although the beard may have a certain attractive unkemptness, a scraggle-beard or forest of dandruff do not. Here are a few simple steps to taking care of your beard and, hopefully, keep you looking a little more like a man and a little less like a college freshman during November.
1. Trim your beard to the length that you desire. It is helpful to trim in multiple different directions to make sure you've gotten all of those stray hairs.
2. Decide if you want to still have areas that you shave. Even though you are growing a beard, not all men can pull off the "Neck-Beard the Pirate" look. Trim up the boundaries to the point that your beard frames your face well and shave often. Being completely unshaven, untrimmed, and unwashed is one look. Being completely shave, trimmed, and washed is another completely different look. In between just looks lazy.
- Make sure you comb your beard down so that the hair line you shave is consistent no matter which way the wind may blow.
3. Keep it clean. Washing your beard is critical. Believe it or not, people can see the massive zit your pizza left beneath those whiskers on Tuesday. Wash your face thoroughly with soap and water every morning and every night. You don't need anything too strong, but just something to cut through the oils that have built up. Make sure you also dry your face thoroughly. Have a clean towel and get as much of the water rung out of that mane as possible.
4. When your face is dry, apply a bit of aftershave (according to the instructions) to the freshly shaven areas. Get something nice, but don't go for overpowering scents. Real men smell great just by being men and light, manly smells help a lot, such as cedar, juniper (good gin), orange, sandalwood, tobacco, and birch. Odds are, the fewer the ingredients the better. Stay away from weird chemicals. If you can't pronounce it, you probably don't want it. You're wanting something that will sterilize, something that is astringent (will tighten your pores), and something that will moisturize. Razor burn lining a nice beard is a turn off.
- Studies have proven that women love the smell of men doing manly things.
5. Apply a few drops of beard oil to the skin and work it out slowly into the rest of your beard. Contrary to popular belief, oiling your beard is not just for wimps. Great men have been doing it for millennia. A good beard oil will keep your whisker ends from becoming tiny razor wires and will condition it to continue growing strong.
- A good beard oil will also keep you from getting a blizzard of beard dandruff. There's nothing that will kill your "I feel like a man!" vibe than looking down and seeing your chest covered in a million white flakes.
- Good beard oil will also keep your beard and face from getting as oily.
6. Decide if you need, or want, to wax it. However, this step doesn't mean "wax" as a means of hair removal. Wax is especially helpful for men who want longer mustache hair, but don't want it to creepily curl under their lip. A small bit of wax will keep that hair going in the right direction and add shape to longer, wilder beards.
7. Maintain your beard. Repeat all of these steps as necessary, but make steps three and five a part of your daily routine.