Your beard is unique. No one who has ever lived, or who ever will live, will have a beard like yours. Our job at The Mod Cabin is not to tell you what style of beard you should have. Our job is to help you bring out your beard’s awesomeness. All of our beard care products are designed to help you keep your beard healthy and moisturized so your beard can reach its full potential. What your beard’s potential is is up to you.
If you are looking for advice on how to start growing a beard I recommend our Growing a Beard how-to guide.
Beard Kit: What You’ll Need
If you are looking to grow and maintain an awesome beard, you will need a beard kit. Your beard kit should contain everything you need to keep your beard healthy, moisturized and looking awesome. Your beard tool kit should consist of the following:
- Beard Oil
- Omega 3 Supplement
- Multi-Vitamin with Vitamins A, B1, B6, B12, C, Biotin, Niacin and Zinc
- Natural Soap
- Natural Boars Hair Brush
- Beard Balm
Regardless of whether your beard is straight or curly, groomed or wild, you will need to keep your beard moisturized. A dry beard will get brittle, causing your facial hair to break. A well moisturized beard will be much more durable and healthy than a dry, brittle beard. Because of this, beard oil is an essential part of your beard kit. But not just any beard oil will do. A good beard oil should do three things; moisturize the skin under your beard and remove dead skin cells, strengthen and condition your beard, and promote beard growth. We recommend coconut oil for moisturizing the skin under your beard, and removing dead skin cells. For conditioning and strengthening your beard and promoting beard growth, we recommend the combination of argan oil and jojoba. Grapeseed oil is also a good moisturizer, but grapeseed oil lacks the tocopherols such as Vitamin E that Jojoba and Argan contains so grapeseed oil tends to become rancid quickly unlike Jojoba or Argan. The Mod Cabin’s Beard Oils all contain Argan, Jojoba and Coconut oil.
Vitamins, Minerals, and Water
You know the old saying you are what you eat? The same goes for your beard. if you want a healthy, great looking beard you will want to make sure to eat properly and get the right vitamins. There is evidence that Vitamins A, B1, B6, C, Biotin, Niacin, Zinc, and Omega 3′s promote beard growth. If possible, it is always best to get these vitamins in the food you eat. Eating a well balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables and fish is important. You may want to invest in a good multivitamin and Omega 3 supplement. Not all Omega 3 supplements are created equal. According to Michael P. Lange, OD, CNS, its best to get Omega-3 manufactured in Norway such as Carlson Labs Omega-3 Fish Oil. Omega-3 supplements come in both liquid and pill form. I personally prefer the liquid form. I add 1 teaspoon of Carlson Lab Omega-3 fish oil to an eight ounce glass of water along with some Effer-C effervescent vitamin mix. I find the effervescent properties of Effer-C blend well with the Omega-3 oil. If you would rather take your omega-3 and vitamins in pill or capsule form, we recommend Omega-3 capsules along with a food based multivitamin with plenty of A & B vitamins like Do Vitamins VitaBeard. VitaBeard contains plenty of B vitamins and Biotin, and they also carry a solid omega-3 supplement as well. But you may be able to find an equally good supplement for less at a natural food store. Just make sure the multivitamin you choose contains Vitamins A, B1, B6, B12, C, Biotin, Niacin, and Zinc. Don’t underestimate the importance of staying hydrated either. Your beard wont grow much if you are constantly dehydrated. Make sure to drink plenty of water. According to The Institute of Medicine, 3 liters (about 13 cups) is an adequate water intake for most men. In addition, I would drink at least one 16oz serving of water for every cup of coffee or can of soda you drink.
Next in your beard kit is soap. Yes, soap. No one likes a stinky beard. The right soap can keep your beard clean and healthy and can also be used as a shaving soap if and when you decide to shave. Never buy mainstream shaving cream, gel or soap from a grocery store. These products will strip your beard of oils, causing it to get brittle and they may irritate your skin.
It’s important to note that the majority of cleansing products sold in stores under the name soap are not soaps at all. They are more accurately described as synthetic chemical detergents containing synthetic fragrance oils and dyes. Most common store bought “soaps” contain some or all of the following ingredients; imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl, ethylparaben, methyl, propyl, butyl , propylene glycol, sodium dodecyl sulfate, stearalkonium chloride, triethanolamine as well as synthetic fragrance oils. These ingredients are all high in toxicity and are the main reason so many people suffer from skin related problems like eczema and psoriasis today.
When it comes to soap, the basic rule is the simpler the better. You want a natural soap with a handful of ingredients like The Mod Cabin’s Birch Tar Soap. Our Birch Tar Soap is handmade using the Hot Process method. We find this is the best way to get a good, mild soap without losing the benefits of the essential oils. Some people make soap with Melt and Pour bases. While these soaps are better than some store bought soaps, they usually contain ingredients like Sorbitan oleate which is derived from alcohol sorbitol and has been linked to cancer. But fear not! You can tell the difference between a truly natural hot processed soap from a cheap melt and pour soap just by looking at it. A hot processed soap will have a rougher look like the soap below on the left. Melt and Pour soaps have a smoother, sometimes rubbery and transparent look to them like the soap on the right.
Natural Bristle Brush
A boar bristle brush (or badger bristle brush) is essential. Anyone who has tried to brush their beard with a plastic comb or brush knows what I am talking about. A plastic or metal brush will roughly pull at tangles in your beard causing breakage. But a boar bristle brush will move smoothly through your facial hair without tugging. Depending on what you are going for, a boar bristle brush can also help straighten out your beard. It will also help distribute your beard oil and balm evenly throughout your facial hair. There is no need to spend a lot of money on a boar bristle brush. You can find one for under ten dollars at Sally Beauty Supply. If you don’t have a Sally’s Beauty Supply near you, you should be able to find a perfectly fine boar bristle brush at a drug store or grocery store with a hair care section.
Last but not least, you will need some beard balm.
Once you have some solid growth, you will need something to lock in moisture and help shape your beard. This is where beard balm comes into play. And just like beard oils, not all beard balms are created equal. A good beard balm should contain moisturizers like jojoba and argan, AND sealants such as shea or beeswax. The Mod Cabin’s Backwoods Beard Balm contains Jojoba and Argan moisturizers as well as Shea Butter and Beeswax sealants. Shea butter and Beeswax are sealants, meaning they seal in moisture. But if you just add shea butter and beeswax without a moisturizer you will end up with a dry, brittle beard prone to breakage. That’s why any beard balm worth its salt should have moisturizers and sealant. You want to avoid any beard balms with sealants like shea or beeswax that don’t contain any moisturizers like coconut oil, argan or jojoba. But proper moisturizers coupled with the right sealants will lock in moisture and provide hold for shaping your beard and promote beard growth.
Everyone’s beard is different, but generally speaking it is best to apply beard balm after you get out of the shower, when your beard is still damp. Scrape about a dime sized amount of beard balm out with the back of your fingernail, rub together in your hands and apply evenly through your beard. Then use your boar bristle brush to distribute the balm throughout your beard. This will be all that’s necessary for straight beards. If you want to accentuate the curl in your beard, scrunch your beard hair in your fists. This will help it appear fuller and curlier. The balm should provide enough hold to shape your beard. Later in the day, or before bed, you can apply beard oil to give your beard an extra shot of moisturizing power.
Every person’s beard is unique, but the information contained here should be all you need to get you started on your personal beard journey. Beard on!