Unless you’re a reclusive wild Yeti man who hides in the mountains his entire life, sporting a beard means caring for it regularly. During COVID many bros went gone down the Yeti path and neglected grooming their beard because they figured they had nowhere to go and nobody to see.
But, if you don’t groom, you can end up looking like Chewbacca’s redneck cousin. When you neglect beard grooming, that's actually when you need it the most - even if you're going for a rough around the edges type vibe.
Grooming a beard properly isn’t difficult. It just requires a little learning and practice. We urge you not to leave it until you have an important date or job interview. If you do that, you won’t hone your skills and could end up making disastrous mistakes that can’t be fixed before the big event, causing you to panic and do the unthinkable - shave it all off. YIKES!
In this blog, we'll cover the most common beard grooming mistakes. You might be surprised how many there are and how easy they are to make. We’ll walk you through them so you can avoid the Wookiee look and instead be a smooth, suave bearded Jedi bringing peace and order to the galaxy.
In the first few weeks of growth, it’s common for a new beard to have some bare patches (especially on the cheeks) and also to feel itchy due to flaky beardruff. Some bros might even develop nasty beard acne – that is if they don’t have a proper cleaning and grooming routine.
Of course, the biggest grooming mistake you can make is to get frustrated and shave it off, just before things really get good.
Patience, young Padawan learner! A beard is a work of patience, not impulse. You must give it time and training for it to reach its full potential. Even the patchiest beard will fill out – in the fullness of time.
Sure, that’s one way to grow a beard. But avoiding maintenance altogether is a huge beard grooming mistake.
You need to nurture those hairs – and your skin along the way – not only so your face furr becomes respectable, but also so it feels comfortable.
After 6-8 weeks, you’re likely ready for a first foray into trimming, shaping and sculpting – at least if you want your beard to look good and avoid the shaggy Wookiee thing. If you leave it untamed, it can get pretty strange looking with hairs poking out at all different lengths and angles. So snip those stray flyaways and encourage them to grow the way you want through regular washing, oiling, and brushing.
By the way, it’s an old wives’ tale that trimming a beard will make it look thinner and straggly. When in doubt, check with your barber and leave the razor alone!
Like a lightsaber in untrained hands, some guys reach for the trimmer way too early in their bearded life. Please… wait at least six weeks before attempting trimming. Otherwise, you’re basically neutering your beard and killing its chances of blossoming into a thing of glory.
Yes, this is a beard grooming mistake. Just because your facial hair is being unleashed doesn’t mean you should neglect your head hair. A wild, greasy-looking top mop combined with a newly sprouting beard can make you look like you’ve given up on yourself.
Your beard will look more striking, intentional and sexy if you keep your topside clean, shiny, shapely, and well coiffed.
Dude, just because you’ve decided to look rugged doesn’t mean you can skimp on hygiene. Not washing your beard and face regularly is a huge rookie mistake. Clean facial hair looks healthier, has fewer split ends, and is easier to coax to grow in the direction you want.
Notice I said face as well. At all stages of growing a beard, you simply must keep the hairs and the skin beneath in pristine condition. While it’s essential to clean away dust, crumbs, food residue and other nasties that get caught in the hairs, the key to cleanliness lies in the roots. Properly washing your skin and pores contributes greatly to a healthy, inviting beard. Meanwhile, not looking after the skin below will invite dryness, itching, flaking, irritation, acne, and even ingrown hairs.
So, wash your beard three times a week with a dedicated beard wash. Really rub it in down to the roots. Do not use regular shampoo - it’s for the top of your noggin, where hair and skin are different. Using regular shampoo on your beard can dry out your facial skin, cause flaking beardruff and even unpleasant stinging, while your beard hairs will become dry and brittle from the chemicals stripping away their essential oils.
Using a beard moisturizer will give your skin the royal treatment and cut down the itching and flaking as well.
Washing your beard three times a week is plenty. But if you’re extra concerned, or you’re regularly in a dusty outdoor setting for work, rinse it with plain water morning and night.
Many new beardsmen figure beard oil is just some marketing hustle and skip it, mistakenly thinking it will make their beards greasy and clog their pores. Major beard grooming mistake!
Beard oil is like the Force… you simply can’t be a Beard Jedi without it. Use it daily at all stages of your beard’s development, even in the early weeks. Here’s why…
Many beardsmen shave some part of their necks, usually for neatness and comfort. But if you shave right up to your jawline and chin, what’s the point of having a beard at all? It simply looks strange and out of proportion to sport a thick beard on your jaw and cheeks while your neck is as bare as a boiled potato.
It’s on your neck that a beard really develops bulk. If you want a thick, full beard, let it grow down to around your Adam’s apple and across that level on both sides. It’s much easier to grow your neck hair and trim a little at a time than to cut off too much and look weird while you wait for it to grow again.
Even if your plan is to just have a goatee, the best approach is to let the entire beard grow thickly before reaching for the trimmer. It’s much harder to get a perfectly manicured lawn if you mow the edges before it’s grown out thickly and lushly everywhere. Better to let the entire lawn develop and then trim a little at a time in order to give it perfectly sculpted edges. Here's some great info on trimming up your beard neckline.
As we mentioned earlier, beard oil is as much for your skin as it is for your whiskers. A beard can draw some of your face’s natural oils away from the skin. That’s why it’s essential to know how to apply beard oil correctly. In other words, don’t just rub it into the hairs.
After a good shower and some towel drying, while your pores are still open from the steam, rub a few drops into your hands, then massage thoroughly right down to the roots of your beard hairs. Ensure it really gets into the pores. Applying beard oil right will help avoid beardruff and will care for the hair follicles, while also hydrating your whiskers.
Then brush your beard…
Brushing is a vital part of beard grooming and care. It has many benefits:
But don’t just use any old brush. And don’t use a comb – major rookie beard grooming mistake! The wrong tool will get caught in tangles and tug painfully.
Your brush simply must be made from wild boar bristles, which are an ideal combo of stiff and gentle that won’t get tangled and won’t scratch or irritate your face.
So, your beard is developing nicely to the point that you want to prune the wild bush a tad. The key word is tad. Take a very cautious approach so you don’t hack off too much in a landscaping frenzy and look like a half-nude doormat.
Here are the golden rules for avoiding over-trimming:
When a beard gets longer, it can easily become frizzy and make you look like you joined ZZ Top. Of course, you may like that look, but many dudes don’t. This is where beard balm comes in. With a combination of butters, essential oils and a little bees wax, beard balm will help guide your whiskers in the direction and shape you want while also being a moisturizing conditioner.
A beard balm is truly an essential weapon in a beardsman’s arsenal. It works perfectly in tandem with a wild boar hair brush. Just be sure the balm’s ingredients are organic where possible and are free from damaging silicon and alcohol.
Hair typically grows more sparsely and unevenly on the upper parts of your cheeks, which can be unsightly and annoying. It makes sense to want to trim and shave them into sharp lines. But it’s oh so easy to unintentionally trim one cheek lower than the other. Then the typical reaction is to trim the higher side again, which risks making it into the new lower side. This then spirals out of control and before you know it, you’ve made a bad situation much worse and ended up with a chinstrap beard.
There are three ways to avoid this beard grooming mistake...
We’re not talking about a mustache that naturally grows thinner or shorter than the beard. We’re referring to cutting the mo back too much.
It’s your call, of course. But an over-trimmed mustache combined with a thick beard is a look that only a select few will appreciate.
If you must tend to your mo, we recommend gently trimming along the upper lip line, so that all the hairs come down to the same level and stay out of your mouth.
This really is a rookie mistake for beard grooming. You might think a hair dryer is a quick solution when you’re in a rush after showering, but the heat is deadly to your beard. While it works fine for head hair, it will damage facial hairs, making them dry and brittle. If you absolutely must use a hair dryer, use it only on the cool setting.
Then there are straightening irons. Stay miles away from these, even ones marketed as being for beards. It is so, so easy to damage your whiskers with the direct heat, to the point of weakening them, frizzing them, or even burning/melting them.
So there you have it, friend… the rookie Wookiee beard grooming mistakes that you need to avoid. Take it from experienced bros that committing these sins won’t be the end of the galaxy, but they could easily spell the end of your bearding pleasure… or even your beard itself!
We beg you to follow our tips so you can retain your swagger and confidence, while staying well clear of the temptations of the Dark Side. May your career as a Jedi Beardmaster be long and fruitful!
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Joe Typhoon Summer
November 23, 2022
Great advise. I am 55 and have decided to grow a beard. A ‘late life’ crisis. LOL I appreciate the information herein. Thank you beard men!