Many men across the globe grow beards for a variety of different reasons. Whether a beard is grown for status, to show masculinity and strength, or as a personal statement, our beards become part of who we are! It should come as no surprise then when I say that it is important to keep our beards healthy and happy by avoiding these 5 common beard killers!
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Beard Killer #1: Scratching/Pulling Your Beard
We all love and envy the sophisticated and classy look of a gentleman who pensively tugs at their beard while they think. In fact, most people with beards do this. It becomes an easily ingrained habit as you grow a beard to touch and pull on it, even without realizing that you are doing so. But touching your beard too roughly or scratching too harshly can be a costly habit as well.
Constantly putting your beard under the stress of pulling and scratching does 2 main things. 1) it loosens the hair from the follicle, meaning that there is a possibility that you pull the beard hair out, or that it falls out prematurely. 2) Your hands steal some moisture and oils away from your beard that keeps the beard hydrated, meaning it will likely dry out sooner than normal. Both of these issues are beard killers, but can be easily resolved.
Now, here’s how you can solve these issues! First of all, if your beard is itchy and causes you to scratch, which in turn damages your beard, then chances are high that your beard is very dry. Dry beards that have been stripped of oils are symptoms of dry skin, which can flake, become red or irritated, or cause breakouts. Investing in some high-quality beard balm or beard oil should alleviate this issue and keep you from having to scratch your beard as often.
Beard Killer #2: Using Scalp Shampoo On Your Beard
You may be wondering why you can’t use scalp shampoo on your beard. After all, it’s all just hair, right? Well…kind of.
It turns out, using shampoos and conditioners affects more than just the hair but also the skin underneath. Our scalps tend to have more resilient and tougher skin than our faces do, so scalp care products often contain some harsher chemicals and additives that you normally wouldn’t find in beard shampoo or moisturizers, hence why these are beard killers.
Using standard scalp shampoo and conditioner on your beard will likely dry out your beard and skin far too much, I’m speaking from experience here. The chemicals that strip away the essential oils your beard needs are simply too strong in scalp shampoo.
To avoid this issue, look for beard-centric shampoos, conditioners, balms, and oils. These products will not only keep your beard properly moisturized but will take care of the sensitive skin underneath also.
Beard Killer #3: Trimming a Wet Beard
With most of our modern electric shavers and razors being water-resistant, there has been a huge surge in the popularity of trimming a wet or drenched beard. Although it may not sound like a big deal, trimming a soaking wet beard may be damaging to your beard in an interesting way that you might not expect.
Trimming a wet beard won’t hurt the quality of your beard or skin (unless you forget to wash and moisturize afterward). However, trimming a wet beard may damage your beard’s overall style and look. But why?
When hair gets wet, the hair soaks up the moisture and appears darker and straighter than it normally would. This is great news for a hairstylist who knows how the hair will behave when it dries, but to us who are trimming our beards, things get a little more difficult.
When you trim a wet beard, the beard tends to come out shorter and a bit misshapen as it dries. This happens because moisture collects and straightens out the hair, thus the hair appears longer when it is wet as opposed to when it is dry. When we trim our wet beards, we actually end up trimming more hair than we initially expect due to the difference in length between wet and dry beards.
The same goes for the texture of the beard. Wet beards will appear straighter than dry beards. When you trim a wet beard to fit a different style, the beard is inevitably going to reassume its original shape as it dries. This means you won’t get an accurate depiction of what your finished beard will look like.
Beard Killer #4: Washing Your Beard Too Much (Or Too Little)
You’ve probably heard the common saying that there can be “too much of a good thing”. This saying is supposed to remind us that good things can become bad without moderation. This is especially true when it comes to washing your beard as well.
Wash your beard too much and you could be putting your beard hair and skin under undue stress, potentially leading to balding or patchy areas in your beard as well as dryness and flakes. But, on the other hand, wash your beard too little and your beard could become sensitive, flaky, and/or irritated. The key is balance, and it changes with every person, hence why this is one of the beard killers!
Generally, the rule goes like this: If you have more oily skin, you’ll have to wash more frequently (up to 3 times a week is recommended). If you have dryer skin, you’ll want to wash less frequently (1-2 times/week), but consistently keep up with applying moisture to your beard.
Beard Killer #5: Messy Necklines
Your beard’s general shape consists of 3 main “lines” as we call them. These are 1) the neckline, 2) the cheek line, and 3) the mustache line. The most crucial of these is the neckline.
Your beard’s neckline is what gives your beard most of its noticeable definition and “clean-cut” look. Put simply, cleaning up your neckline can make an overgrown and wild beard immediately appear more tame and professional. When your neckline isn’t sharp, or if it appears as a gradient between your full beard and the skin on your neck, it’s not a good look.
So here’s a helpful tip: Whenever you are in a rush and can only trim part of your beard, the easiest, quickest, way to look more “polished” is to simply trim the neckline if nothing else.
With these tips, you can stop unknowingly damaging your beard with the beard killers mentioned above and start loving it instead!
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