So, you have made the decision to grow a lock down beard. Some call it the corona beard or the ISO beard. Whatever tickles your fancy! Your boss is not going to be hovering over your shoulder and you don’t have to wear that suit to the desk in your spare room. It’s really the perfect time to grow out your beard.
You are now about 3 to 5 weeks of self-isolation and semi lockdown. If you are growing out that beard, it’s going to give you some challenges. That’s ok though, in this article we want to share with you our top 10 tips on how to care for your beard whilst in lock down and working from home.
1. Give it time
The first few weeks of having a beard the best thing to do is just let it grow and see what you have got to work with. Some guys can grow a magnificent beard in days to weeks, however if your anything like me, it will take a few months to really see the true potential of the beard. Regardless of how long it takes, we all go through the same awkward "in between" phase where it's not clear whether you're lazy bum who just forgot to shave, or a true beardsman.
Patience is key. It's also pretty easy right now. When it comes to a pandemic driven lockdown, time is on your side. Within a month or two you should start to have a beard that is filling out and looking good. You just need the will power to get through the awkward phase.
2. Manage the itch
In addition to getting over the awkward phase, you also need to get over the itch. When you are in those first few weeks of growth, that sh*t is going to get itchy as F*@$! This is because the tips of your beard hairs were shaved relatively recently and have sharp edges to them. Thankfully, as time goes by those edges will taper out & the itch will disappear.
In the meantime there are a couple of things you can do to combat the itch. First and foremost is the application of beard oil. Beard oil will help to soften the hair, making it less scratchy. It will also provide a thin layer of lubrication between the skin and beard, reducing the friction that causes itch. As the hair gets longer you can also brush the beard a couple of times a day to help knock down those sharp edges. A military brush made of boar bristle or nylon is a popular choice for this.
3. Wash it, and wash it regularly
When you have a beard, things will get caught in it, all the time and especially after each meal. This is the only downside to having a beard. After each meal we suggest you wipe it down with a napkin or a wet cloth. Cause you’re at home, you can do the wet cloth option, otherwise a napkin will suffice.
Also, when you are having a shower, use a gentle specially formulated shampoo and conditioner (you can use the one we sell at shop here) to make sure that your beard and face are clean.
When your beard grows out for the first time, those hairs maybe all twisty and curly. To help them not get stuck back into the face hair causing irritations and ingrown hairs and even beard pimples, we recommend that you exfoliate your face. This can be done with a product or with a beard brush (we have a few options on the website) generally when you are washing your beard in the shower.
5. Get your involved in the beard community
Growing your beard is a fun journey. By the end of it, you may very well look like a different person. While everyone is bored at home this might be something you want to share with friends and family on social media.
In addition, there are many beard communities online that would be happy to share knowledge, beardspo and stories with you, to help you along the way. For example, the Bearded Villains are a world wide community with chapters in most States & Territories. Just search bearded villains on Instagram or Facebook to find a group in your area.
6. If you have a salt and pepper beard, should you dye it?
The advantage of being in lockdown and growing a beard is that if you have a salt and pepper beard (those greys are coming through), do you decide to keep the greys or cover them? If you don’t want anyone to know that you dye your beard, doing it now is like the perfect crime. There are specialised beard dyes that you can dabble in, or other options include eyebrow dye or normal hair dye.
A couple of words of warning though. Firstly, please use caution when applying these dyes to your face where exposure to the skin, eyes & mouth is possible. The bleaches in these products can burn like the eye of Sauron so you'll want to avoid getting them near your precious bits. Second, as the beard grows out over time it will become obvious you've dyed it. The only way around this is to keep dying it (lest you get rid of it altogether). In other words, once you start, you might not be able to stop.
The other thing to be aware of is that a salt & pepper (or even totally grey) beard tells the world you're a man whose lapped the sun a few times. You're wiser, more experienced & probably have more resources than the average Joe. You've gotta wonder, is that something you want to cover up?
7. Post a pic on your socials and tag us in for social love
Although this is technically not a tip, if you are reading this post and would prefer to share your journey with us, please take a pic and tag us in your social post (Instagram @milkmanaustralia Facebook @milkmanaustralia)
8. Educated yourself before you wreck yourself
If you are wanting to attempt to groom your own beard at home while in lock down, you need to know your limits. Only you will know them and be prepared to go through the learning curve. There are loads of YouTube videos to help you with trimming, styling and deciding what style to settle on for the day.
9. Trimming your beard and neckline
Once the beard has been growing for a while, it's going to start looking a little scrubby.
There are going to be a number of stray hairs that you will need to snip back into line, and the shape will need to match your face shape. All we can say is measure twice, cut once. If you do make a mistake, its ok, it will grow back. To make the job easier, try brushing the beard upwards so the hairs stick out from your face. This will make it easier to see hairs that are clearly longer than the rest. Give them the snip where needed.
Besides this, the biggest thing you can do is to "line up" your beard using a cut throat straight razor or a double edge safety razor. The idea here is to shave the peach fuzz hair high up on your cheek lines and low down on your neck. Making these lines look crisp and neat will give the appearance of a fuller, thicker beard.
If you want to check out how the professionals do it, check out our YouTube channel here.
10. A better diet will lead to a healthier life and better beard growing ju ju
Being in lock down doesn’t suit everyone. The introverts might be in heaven while the extroverts are in hell. Regardless, no matter what side of the spectrum you're on, it's pretty well established that an active social life improves your overall health and longevity. Unfortunately, in the midst of the craziness around the Covid-19 response, there have been laws & recommendations made by government that may act as a double-edged sword on this issue.
For example, although measures like social distancing & isolation may help reduce the spread of a virus, they can have a very detrimental effect on people's social lives. In the short term, this might be something worth doing, but as time wears on, negative health impacts of these measures may become evident. To help minimise the negative effects of social isolation on your health, try to keep in touch with friends and family as best you can via phone, Skype, email, social media etc.
Perhaps not surprisingly some of the basic things you can do for immune system health, also improve testosterone levels to support a big healthy beard. In short, they include vitamin D (ideally from some daily exposure to the outdoors), zinc, vitamin C, solid sleep & exercise.
Stay safe guys, we are here for you.
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