by Brian A. Hampton /

beardology chart

Along with the endless list of fall trends arising among men, there is one in particular that continues to resurface throughout history, proving to be more than a trend, but rather a true statement of one’s personal style, self-expression and character – The Beard. In the ancient world, the beard played a cultural role as a symbol of one’s wisdom, status, maturity, dignity or societal positioning. On the other hand, the beard has been thought of as symbolic of one’s insubordination to the law and would get you taxed. According to Alexander the Great, it should be removed to eliminate an easy and painful target for the enemy during battle.

Fast forward to modern culture, men all over the world are proudly sporting the beard simply to add a certain pizzazz to their overall look and style. Celebrities such as Bradley Cooper, Idris Elba, Hugh Jackman, Antonio Banderas, Taye Diggs, along with a bunch of NBA/NFL personalities, have all been seen bearded and dapper in major fashion shoots and red carpeted events. The point is, if you want to grow a beard or at least attempt it, go for it! Here are 5 things to keep in mind before taking the plunge that will prove useful:

1.     First of all, it’s important to mention that not everyone can grow a beard. The decision to join “the beardgang” must also be weighed based on genetics. The question as to whether your facial hair can grown in the direction of a beard is one that can only be determined through the course of time and patience. If it grows spotty and refuses to connect, then just be honest with yourself and in the words of Frozen’s Elsa, “Let it Go!”

2.     Be committed. It is recommended to allow a good 3 to 4 weeks to go without shaving when initially growing out your beard. This process can be grueling at first and you may even feel like giving up after the first week or two. The idea is to persevere in order to allow your follicles the appropriate time to come out. Resist the temptation to shape or trim your beard until you’ve allowed sufficient time for it to grow first.

3.     Invest in a quality beard clipper or razor. Since this is a major step in your facial hair journey, you want to be sure not to use a cheap product when trimming or shaping up your beard. Be sure to get one that offers various length controls and trim guards. Or, for the most precise beard shaping, just liberate yourself by letting your barber do it when you get your next cut. For me personally, it’s just less stressful. After all, the science behind shaping, trimming and lining your beard can end in disaster if not done right.  

4.     To maintain a healthy beard, its important to treat your beard like the rest of your hair. On occasion, be sure to exfoliate when washing your face as well as utilizing a shampoo or conditioning soap on the face, which will also condition the beard. The worse feeling is having an itchy beard due to dry, scaly skin. It is also recommended to invest in a bottle of beard oil to keep the beard looking shiny and to moisturize the skin underneath the beard. Additionally, it is ideal to comb or brush your beard frequently to train it to grow in the right direction and to adequately disperse the conditioning agent you use throughout the entire beard.

5.     Wear your beard boldly! After going through all of these steps, why not wear it with pride and honor? Dress up your new face with the right outfit and stun the crowd. If you feel good about it, make sure that you dress the part.