Bearded men can be forgiven for thinking facial hair would expedite their skincare routine. After all, a face half covered only requires half the maintenance, right? Nice try.
While a beard is synonymous with a rugged appearance, that isn’t licence for neglect. The key to a well-groomed man-mane is daily upkeep, which extends further than the odd bit of shampoo and into these seven essential additions to your bathroom cabinet.
If you’re just growing out your bum-fluff with hopes of developing a thick, lustrous beard, you’ve got to get past the itching stage and the ingrown hairs that come with it. Exfoliating to encourage natural skin cell turnover is the best way to keep both at bay.
Packed with a powerful 10 per cent glycolic acid, Peter Thomas Roth’s Max Complexion Correction Pads work to gently remove dead skin and minimise excess sebum. This prevents breakouts so you avoid the teenage dirtbag look while the beard is growing.
Peter Thomas Roth Max Complexion Correction Pads, available at Amazon, priced £26.95.
Shampooing your beard is as important as washing your hair. Neglect to wash and moisturise, and your face fuzz will not only smell bad, it will desposit beardruff (which is a thing) all over your shirt and quite possibly your lunch.
Don’t assume soap or body wash will suffice; these will strip your beard of the glossy natural oils you want to maintain. Use something like Bulldog’s Original 2in1 Beard Shampoo and Conditioner two to three times a week; it’s a mild formula fortified with essential oils for full lumbersexual sheen.
Bulldog Original 2in1 Beard Shampoo and Conditioner, available at Superdrug, priced £3.99.
Bedhead may give a fuss-free appearance to your hair, but an oddly shaped beard can distort the shape of your face. A comb is a necessity for taming any mane longer than stubble.
You want something robust that won’t snap in the face of coarse frizz, but not a harsh brush that’ll aggravate the skin beneath. This sturdy comb from Tom Ford has wide-set teeth, better for tackling a thick, bristly beard. Comb through before using beard oil or balm to detangle, then again afterwards to shape and ensure an even spread of product.
Tom Ford Beard Comb, available at Harrods, priced £30.
Unless you want to look like a troubled Vietnam vet, clear straggly stays and splitting ends from your beard’s edges. Regular trims are as important for the hair on your chin as the hair on your head.
Braun’s BT3040 trimmer allows for precision on both long and short beards. With 39 length settings, it will see you through your beard’s infancy, right through to the full Gandalf (though it really shouldn’t go that far). The trimmer comes with two combs and a separate razor for the perfect edges. Magic.
Braun BT3040 Beard Trimmer With Razor, available at Argos, priced £32.99.
If you’re keeping your upper lip not just stiff but stylish, it should look more Johnny Depp than Ron Burgundy. A pocket-sized moustache kit is useful for both beard and moustache grooming.
As a minimum, it should contain a pair of sharp scissors to trim unruly hairs. This kit also comes complete with a small moustache comb and wax. Stay classy.
Men’s Society Moustache Kit, available at Liberty London, priced £18.
Beard oil is essential for several reasons: firstly, to pump the hair with much-needed moisture and slick down the cuticles to minimise frizz, but also to make sure the skin beneath gets some TLC.
A fine beard deserves fine beard oil and Penhaligons offers a light and fast-absorbing option. Packed with sunflower and grapeseed oil it softens the beard while moisturising your skin. Plus it smells so good you’ll never want to be clean-shaven again.
Penhaligons Sartorial Beard Oil, available at Penhaligons, priced £48.
The longer a beard gets, the more hold it requires. Beard balms nourish the hair while giving it a firmer finish – ideal for styling. If you’re using one in conjunction with oil, apply a minimal amount, mostly on the outside of your beard. Alternatively, use the oil overnight and the balm during the day to avoid product overload.
Percy Nobleman’s small beard wax means you can style your beard on the go. A little goes a long way, it’s made with natural ingredients and is friendly on the wallet. No chin scratching required on this one.
Percy Nobleman Gentleman’s Styling Wax, available at Percynobleman, priced £12.99.