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Whether you are a seasoned beard professional, and you’ve spent years grooming your facial hair to perfection, or you are a novice pogonologist, there are certain things you should and shouldn’t be doing to take care of your best feature. With beard maintenance a serious must, we take you through the basic do’s and don'ts to the perfect beard, sharing our tips for simple styling, and how to easily save time in the morning. 

Do wash your beard

Milkman beard shampoo

Have heard about the scientific study that found faecal bacteria in swabs taken from beard hair? Although studies like these have been used to demonise beards in the media (as if they were supported by giant razor/shave companies), it is true that the beard can be a warm moist place for unwanted microbes. Not to mention all the nooks & crannies for grime to get stuck in.

No matter what stage of growth your beard is at, you should be cleaning it regularly. Your beard will trap the natural oils & gunk from your face, as well as the build-up from the environment, so it is important to use a beard cleanser. A good beard cleanser should also make your beard smell amazing, look healthy & feel soft.

Don’t use hair products

Should you choose a cleanser especially formulated for beards? Not necessarily. But remember, for many guys beard skin doesn't produce as much oil as scalp skin. Hair shampoos could be too harsh, causing your skin to get irritated & dry. These shampoos tend to contain aggressive soaps that are designed to strip away oils & hair styling products. 

A beard cleanser with low levels of soap & high levels of conditioning ingredients will give you the best results. Beard hair is almost twice as thick as head hair so they can take a good dose of conditioning agents during a wash. For convenience, a beard 2 in 1 shampoo & conditioner will save you time & money over buying a separate shampoo & conditioner for the same result.

Do trim your beard

Milkman Ambassador Jason @macgalleon

There's a fine line between looking hipster, or looking homeless. A clean, well-groomed beard shows the world that you're a man with his act together. Even if you are planning to grow your beard long, trimming your beard hair will keep it healthy and stylish. As we know, an unkempt beard won’t go over well with the bosses at work or your next potential client. Regular trips to the barber, or a specific beard trimmer are the easiest & surest ways to keep things in check.

The more you spend on a trimmer, the more likely it is you will get a clean, even result. The Wahl stainless beard trimmer & the VS Sassoon Beard Designer both do great work. To keep your home life relationships in check, we recommend using a beard apron to stop the beard hairs flying all over the sink. 

To speed up your morning routine, trim your beard the night before and simply wash before work. Before trimming the beard remember to brush the hairs straight so you can achieve a neat, even cut. Make sure the neck & cheek lines are clean. A high contrast line between where the beard ends & your skin begins will make the beard look denser & healthier. The ultimate way to do this is with a cut throat razor or a double edge safety razor. By having only one blade, you can get very predictable, straight lines without accidentally going too far.

Don’t squeeze your ingrown hairs 

While it may be tempting to tweezer an in-grown hair in your beard, or around the trimmed line of neck and cheeks, picking it will only lead to infection. By removing the hair, you are exposing the follicle to bacteria, which can become quickly infected and even potentially lead to scarring on the face. The temptation might be real, but usually, an in-grown hair will resolve itself if left alone. 

As always prevention is better than cure. If you suffer from in-grown hairs, regular cleaning & exfoliating with a light brush to remove dead skin build up can help. 

Do brush your beard

Brushing your beard once a day is best, no matter how long your beard is. Brushing has many advantages for both health and styling; brushing helps you train your beard into the style you want, as well as help disperse any products, like beard oil, evenly through the hair. And yes, you can get dandruff in your beard, so brushing will help remove this quickly.

The most popular beard brushes tend to be constructed with boar bristle. This type of bristle is static-free & gentle on the beard hair. Nylon bristles are typically cheaper but can also do the job. Wood combs & some plastic combs can also work well at styling & detangling the hair without tearing or damaging it. Metal combs however can be problematic, especially around the edges where hair can grab & be torn as the comb is pulled along. 

What are your top tips?

Did we miss any do's or don'ts that you think we should have covered? Why not comment down below & we will add them to the post so we can help as many beardsmen as possible. Until next time, keep it #freshbetweentheears.

Other articles that might interest you:

1.  Facial hair styles - How to achieve and maintain them

2.  The importance of trimming your beard

3.  How to deal with beard itch

4.  How to trim sculpt and shape your beard

5.  How to use a cut throat razor

6.  Get the perfect shave with shave oil

7.  Why Shave?

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