Growing a beard is something most teenagers and men try to do at some point in their lives. Nowadays, a beard is making a comeback in terms of style and popularity, and growing a nice beard can certainly enhance your overall appearance as well as add some mystery to your style and personality. The only problem? The awkward beard stage.
What is The Awkward Beard Stage?
The Awkward beard stage is the timeframe early on in a man’s beard-growing journey where the beard hairs are long enough not to be considered stubble, but too short to fill out the appearance of the actual beard. Essentially, it’s the in-between timeframe of growing a beard that makes the beard appear unfinished and, well…awkward.
The awkward beard stage usually occurs about 2 weeks after the man stops shaving and decides to grow out his beard. The awkward beard stage itself can last up to 2-3 weeks, depending on the amount of hair growth and how severe potential patches in the beard may be.
You can usually tell a beard is in the awkward growth stage by looking for a few clear signs:
- Unconnected Mustache and Beard: Usually a tell-tale sign that the mustache hasn’t had a chance to grow long enough to connect the signs.
- Patchy Sides: Once again, a patchy beard is usually one that has gone past the stubble stage and is approaching full-beard territory but hasn’t quite reached that point.
- Itchy Beards: This one might be a bit confusing. Although there are reasons that anyone’s beard, full or not, can be itchy, a beard in the awkward growth stage tends to be itchy for a few reasons. The first being that the man is unused to the feeling of hair on his face. The second being that as beard hairs grow, they tend to curve inward and poke the skin with the end of the hair strand. This is more common with curly beards, but can happen with any beard as long as the hair strands are long enough.
So, if you decided to recently start growing your beard and have noticed any of the following issues, buckle up because we’re about to talk about how you can mitigate or resolve these issues and manage the awkward beard stage more effectively!
How To Avoid The Awkward Beard Stage
There are 3 main ways to avoid the symptoms and effects of the awkward beard stage. These tips should overall help you mitigate the signs of the awkward beard stage, or help make you and your beard more comfortable in the process so you can get through this stage without much trouble.
Tip 1: Avoid Trimming To Soon
Trimming your beard during the awkward growth face should generally be avoided. But why? Well, unless you are dead set on a beard style that you’re aiming for, chances are you won’t know which styles your specific beard can pull off yet. For example, a man who has trouble growing hair that connects his mustache to his beard may give up too soon on the full-bearded look and, instead, opt for a goatee look. This would be difficult to know until the beard hair has had a chance to grow for at least 1 month before determining if a full beard is even possible yet.
Trimming too soon is also very common because men who enter the awkward beard growth stage tend not to recognize that this is a normal and unavoidable process for every man. There is nothing unusual about you if you feel like your beard growth is awkward, so don’t shave it yet! Give it time and avoid taking drastic action for right now. Later on, once the hair grows well enough, you’ll be able to take a better look at your beards potential before making the decision to keep or cut.
Tip 2: Avoid The Itchiness
Itchiness is one of the main reasons people give up on growing beards in the first place, and coincidentally, is one of the main symptoms of the awkward beard stage, when men tend to be the most disappointed in their beards and give up growing them. itchiness comes about for a few reasons.
Firstly, itchiness can be the sign of a dry beard. This occurs no matter how long or well-established your beard is, and is very easily remedied with some high-quality beard oil or beard balm. Opt for a beard oil or beard balm with natural ingredients, which absorbs quickly, and is on the light-medium side for a more pleasant first beard oil experience.
Secondly, itchiness occurs because, during the awkward beard growth stage, the hairs are just long enough to begin curling over themselves or grow downwards as opposed to outwards. This means that there is much more potential for the hairs to point back in and poke the skin with the end of the hair strand. The remedy for this is simple, use a dedicated beard comb or brush and comb/brush your beard consistently. This helps pull out hairs that can potentially become ingrown in your beard, and helps give the hairs some direction. Then, use a beard softening and hydrating product like oil or balm to soften the hairs and make them less likely to cause irritation from becoming overly dry and stiff.
Tip 3: Be Patient
I wish it was easy to say “be patient” to the person who feels they are suffering from an awkward beard, because trust me, I know how exhausting and disappointing that feeling can be. However, I can guarantee that you’ll be better off leaving the beard alone for at least a month before making the decision to keep or cut. This way, you’d actually get a better sense of your beards potential, and have the opportunity to exit the awkward stage before taking drastic action or giving up on your ability to grow the beard you want.
However, if you feel you absolutely cannot stand the awkward stage, and you must have relief from this strange beard-growth phenomenon, there is a little trick I can let you in on. This trick will lengthen the amount of time it takes for your beard to grow, but it will keep the beard looking good the whole way through.
Here’s the trick: Simply trim (don’t shave) the longer beard hairs to match the shortest ones. For example, if your mustache grows more slowly than your beard, then consistently trim your beard to match the length of your mustache, but leave the ‘stache alone. This helps your beard look much more even during the growth cycle.
Over time, your mustache will grow as well and you can continue trimming your beard to match. After a while, you’ll have a full beard while avoiding the awkward stage in which one part of your beard grows faster and longer than another part.
Hopefully, these tips have helped you either avoid or manage the awkward beard growth stage with relative ease! Remember, the awkward beard growth stage is absolutely natural, and every man deals with it while growing their beards. Having the right products, patience, and technique for getting through the awkward stage, as outlined in this guide, is the best way to deal with any disappointment that growing a beard will cause. And at the end, you’ll have a beard you can be proud of!
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