Growing and maintaining a healthy beard is an honorable passion that requires time, commitment, and wisdom. You may have the most luxurious hair in town, but if you take care of your facial hair the same way you take care of the hair on your scalp, your mane most certainly won’t share the fame. That’s why you need things like a proper beard wash as well as the know-how and other products to fully cultivate facial hair that gets noticed.
1. Why You Should Use Beard Wash
If you go too long without using beard wash, you will inevitably get lots of oil and grease in your beard. However, not all washes and shampoos are created equal, and not all hair products are necessarily good for your facial hair.
At the root of every hair follicle is a tiny gland called the sebaceous gland. These vital little things produce oil but not very much. It is thus vital that you choose a beard wash that preserves the oil balance of your facial hair, which in turn sustains its moisture.
2. Shampoo Is Not Good For Your Mane, But Beard Wash Is
If you use the same shampoo for your scalp as you do your facial hair, now would be a good time to stop. Shampoo is meant for your scalp, not your face, and there is a difference between each that you should appreciate.
Shampoo that’s made for your scalp is designed to thoroughly cleanse it of grime, dirt, dead skin cells, and, most importantly, excess oil. To put it simply, it’s stronger than beard wash. The balance of sebum oil in your facial hair is vital to maintaining its health and moisture, and removing too much of it will make your mane brittle and frail.
In addition to destroying your mane, shampoo will make the skin under your beard begin to itch. You also put your facial hair at risk for dandruff if your skin gets so dry it begins to flake. You may begin to feel irritation and discomfort. Over time, the hair on your face will lose its structural integrity, resulting in split ends and breakages. The damage may be difficult to reverse, and if it becomes impossible to repair, you may even be forced to shave your beard off completely and start over.
3. Your Mane Needs Frequent Washes, So Use Beard Wash To Cleanse It
While you should have a routine of using beard wash, how often you wash your mane depends on habits and lifestyle. Washing your facial hair two or three times a week may be sufficient if your beard isn’t typically exposed to elements that would dirty it, such as sweat, grease, and food particles. Other people may require daily washes, and some may require two washes a day if their facial hair is constantly subjected to elements that make it dirty and grimy. If you exercise a lot, your beard will be drenched in sweat, and this needs to be washed off.
While you don’t want to wash your beard so often that it dries out or becomes itchy, you also don’t want a build-up of bacteria that can cause facial hair and skin problems.
4. Beard Wash Requires Follow-Up
Using beard wash alone is not sufficient to get the healthiest mane possible. You’ll want to use other products, too.
Beard softener will, well, help your beard stay soft. It should be able to lock in moisture and keep your facial hair well-hydrated. This will keep your mane both looking and feeling its best. Beard softener is typically applied right after rinsing out your beard wash.
There is no shortage of other products you can try depending on your needs. If you’re especially interested in growing your facial hair both quickly and thickly, you can use supplements or serums that promote hair development. You could try a tool called a derma roller that enhances your skin and solidifies your mane. If your facial hair is thick, you may benefit from a beard brush.
Equally vital to owning a mane is beard oil. This will maintain the strength and moisture of your hair fibers. Some beard oils can also promote healthy growth because dry or brittle hair inhibits this. Speaking of beard oil…
5. Beard Oil + Beard Wash = Strong Mane
Beard oil is a very common product used to keep facial hair nourished. When you use beard wash, you’re also taking away natural oils from your mane that need to be replenished. Beard oil, typically applied just after washing, accomplishes exactly that. It will keep your facial hair healthy from the root out, and you will both look and feel better if your mane is properly nurtured.
6. Use Beard Wash and Eat Healthily
Beard growth can be enhanced with a healthy diet, particularly diets high in protein. Here are some kinds of foods that encourage hair growth:
- Eggs: Rich in protein and a natural source of biotin
- Liver: Full of iron and biotin
- Sweet potato: Has beta-carotene, which is converted to Vitamin A and leads to greater cell growth in facial hair
- Spinach: Packed with protein, magnesium, potassium, iron, and calcium, all of which are great for a healthy mane
- Oysters: Loaded with zinc. A lack of zinc leads to hair loss.
7. Exercise and Use Beard Wash
While beard wash is key to a healthy mane, know that there is a link between healthy facial hair growth and exercise, which can improve your blood circulation, stimulate your hair receptors, and increase hormones that promote hair production. This is especially true if you’re weight training. Training your body promotes a rise in testosterone and DHT, which are male hormones, both of which are necessary for beard growth. In addition, the more muscle you have, the better your testosterone levels.
However, not all exercises increase testosterone and DHT. Endurance exercises such as long-distance running or cycling are known to decrease testosterone. This is because endurance training produces high amounts of the stress hormone cortisol, which inhibits testosterone growth. This only applies to workouts that last longer than 30 minutes, so if you like to go for relatively brief runs, it won’t affect your testosterone.
Ideally, you’ll want to work out in the afternoon, which is associated with higher testosterone levels than working out at other times of the day. Remember to rinse out the accumulated sweat with beard wash.
8. Sleep Well, Use Beard Wash
Though it’s mostly a myth that your beard will grow faster as you sleep, good sleep indeed enhances facial hair production while bad sleep discourages it. Testosterone is released throughout the body during sleep, so not sleeping slows down your mane from fully developing.
There’s scientific research to back this up. According to government officials at the NIH, men deprived of sleep for 48 hours experienced a 19% reduction in beard growth. This is because a lack of sleep restricts the production of DHT. Beard wash is great, but it won’t maintain hair health on its own.
9. Trim Your Facial Hair After Using Beard Wash
If you’ve been growing your facial hair and it looks unkempt, messy, or uneven, remember to be patient. Many people experience “pube beard” if they’re not properly trimming their mane because beard hairs grow at an uneven rate, causing some to grow faster and thicker than others. To fix this, just keep your facial hair evenly trimmed. Over time, your facial hair will grow out completely, and all your hairs will be more or less at an even length.
10. How To Grow an Attractive Mane (Besides Using Beard Wash)
The average man grows facial hair at a half-inch per month, and it takes between two and four months to grow a full-fledged beard. While you can still enjoy using your beard wash, don’t get discouraged if you’re not happy with your mane after just a few weeks. Growing a beard takes time and care, and there are ways to help ensure you grow healthy facial hair of which you can be proud.
You Don’t Have To Worry About Itchiness…Usually
You'll need to tolerate a bit of itchiness when you’re first starting: It’s perfectly normal for your beard to itch when you start developing it. Be wary if your facial hair’s already developed and it starts itching, though, as itchiness may also be a sign of infection (or it just might be dry; have you been following the tips in this guide?).
There are some other common causes of itchiness that you should be aware of. Psoriasis and eczema are skin conditions that can typically cause this symptom. Ingrown hairs are also a possible culprit. In any instance, if you keep your mane clean with beard wash, you’re less likely to experience itchiness.
Act (And Grow) Your Age
For most people, your beard growth will be most prolific between the ages of 25 and 35. Anything outside of that range is going to make your facial hair grow slower. Don’t think you’re weird if there was that one guy in middle school who had dazzling facial hair, as this is far from the norm.
Manage Your Stress
It’s not just a cliché when people who are under chronic stress complain about their hair falling out: There is a link between stress and hair loss. High amounts of stress can cause your white blood cells to attack hair follicles, resulting in a halting of hair growth or even hair loss. However, this condition only lasts as long as the stress does; once your stress is back under control, your hair growth should return normally. If you have a high-stress lifestyle, it might make sense to practice stress relief (besides using beard wash).
If you smoke and you need another reason to quit, the link between hair loss and smoking is it. Cigarette smoke has a cascade of negative effects on your skin and hair, none of which are good for growing a beard.
Sometimes, It’s Just Genetics
No matter how well you take care of your mane with beard wash and stimulate its growth via any other means, genetics are going to play a big factor in how your experience growing facial hair plays out. If no one in your family has a spectacular beard, you might not be able to look like a facial hair model, regardless of what else you do.
Likewise, even if your dad or your brother has a mane worthy of envy, that doesn’t necessarily mean you will, too. If you don’t catch the 50% of the DNA responsible for their facial hair, it might just not be in the cards for you.
11. Lesser-Known Benefits of Having a Beard
Beards can do more than just look good. There are some lesser-known reasons to own facial hair that you might not even have considered.
Facial hair, like nose hair, can trap pollutants before you inhale them. The larger your beard, the better the protection (all the more reason to wash your mane with a proper beard wash regularly).
If you’re not using a razor, you have less risk of facial blemishes. Razors can spread bacteria or irritate the skin, causing acne, razor rash, and folliculitis.
Beards have built-in sun protection. 95% of UV rays are blocked by facial hair. This means you’re less likely to show signs of aging because of skin damage caused by the sun.
Grow Facial Hair and Care For It, Starting With Beard Wash
There’s little reason not to at least try to cultivate a beard at least once in your life. They have health benefits, they can be very attractive, and they’re fun to care for. If you want to care for your facial hair properly, follow the tips in this guide and be sure you have top-notch tools to work with, beginning with a beard wash that won’t dry out your skin or your facial hair.
At Wild Willies, we have all the tips and products you need to build a healthy and happy mane you can be proud of. Take a look at what we offer, wash your beard properly, and contact us for more information.