Growing A Beard
Growing a beard is easy. That being said, there are several issues and complications that go along with it. In this post I will address the most common issues people run into when growing a beard. This will be the first in a series of posts on healthy beard growth and maintenance.
You may have trouble picking a beard style. There are several online sites that provide ideas and advice on choosing a beard style. Regardless of what style of beard you choose, it is usually best to let your facial hair grow out for four weeks before shaving. This allows you to get a good look at your facial hair, see how it grows and make a good decision on which direction to go with your beard.
Your beard will most likely itch during the first three weeks or so. Don't panic. This is a normal part of the beard growing process. You can use Beard Oil to help reduce the itching. Make sure you use a beard oil containing Jojoba and Argan oils like The Mod Cabin's Gunbarrel Beard Oil. Jojoba and Argan strengthen and moisturize your beard and promote beard growth, as well as moisturize the skin under your beard and help prevent itching. Once your beard passes the awkward stage between stubble and beard, the irritation should go away. The key is to be patient. The itching will pass.
After you've given your facial hair a few weeks to grow out, you will be in a much better position to choose a beard style. You may have thought you wanted a full beard, but after four weeks you realize that while you have great sideburns, the facial hair on your chin is thin and patchy. In which case you may want to go with mutton chops. The bottom line is you won't know what type of beard style suits you best until you get a good look at how your facial hair grows.
A lot of people ask me how to get their beard to grow faster. There are a lot of products on the market that promise to promote beard growth. Unfortunately, there are no super secret short cuts that will allow you to grow a Grizzly Adams beard in three days. The most important thing, and this is true whether you want to grow a beard, get bigger muscles or increase your endurance, is to DRINK MORE WATER. The Institute of Medicine has determined that roughly 3 liters of water (around 13 cups of fluids) a day is adequate for the average adult male. That is a just a general guideline however.
Factors such as exercise, climate and health conditions affect how much water you need on a daily basis. Fortunately, food is also a source of hydration. Many fruits & vegetables, such as tomatoes and watermelons, are more than 90% water by weight. Eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables will go a long way towards stimulating beard growth.
There are a lot of supplements that market themselves as beard growth aids. Most of these are simply multivitamins. I have experimented with a few of these and have found none to work better than a raw food dietary supplement. I personally use Raw ONE For Men, but any good multivitamin will do. Adding an Omega 3 supplement can be beneficial as well. I use Carlson Cod Liver Oil Soft Gels, but there are plenty of good Omega 3 supplements on the market that will do just fine. I do not recommend spending your money on vitamins that claim to be specifically formulated for beard growth, as they usually are more expensive and contain less vitamins than a normal multivitamin.
Protein is a part of beard growth. But don't worry. You don't need to eat a pound of raw meat or drink raw eggs every morning to get enough protein. If you eat a healthy, balanced diet you should get enough protein to stimulate healthy beard growth. If you are vegetarian or vegan, you can still get enough protein to grow a healthy beard. Just make sure to get plenty of protein; green vegetables, almond milk, quinoa, lentils and sprouted grain bread are all solid sources of protein for people on vegetarian or vegan diets. In fact, even if you are not on a vegetarian or vegan diet, I highly recommend eating these foods for both beard growth and their overall nutritional value.
Quinoa Patty, Leafy Greens, & Lentils
Once your beard gets some length, you will want to keep it clean and moisturized. Whatever you do, do not wash your beard with synthetic soaps or shampoos as they will end up doing more damage to your facial hair than good, and can cause skin irritation and even eczema flare ups. When it comes to soaps and shampoos for beards, the basic rule is the simpler the better.
If you have the proper soap, you shouldn't need shampoo or shaving creams or gels. The right natural soap is the best shaving cream, shampoo and conditioner you can get.
I used to buy natural soaps at natural food stores and farmers markets. These are usually a good bet. The key is to READ THE INGRIDIENTS. Olive oil, coconut oil, castor bean oil and sodium hydroxide are all signs of a good soap. If you see any of the following ingredients listed DO NOT BUY: imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl, ethylparaben, methyl, propyl, butyl , propylene glycol, sodium dodecyl sulfate, stearalkonium chloride, triethanolamine. 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. As much as I liked the soaps I bought at natural food markets, I found that nothing can compare to our all natural Birch Tar Soap. It is extremely mild and birch tar is a natural remedy for eczema and psoriasis. You can also make your own homemade soap. In my experience a well done hand made soap is far superior than a name brand grocery store soap.
You'll want to make sure to keep your beard properly moisturized. A beard oil containing Jojoba and Argan will moisturize and strengthen your beard, promote beard growth and help keep the skin under your beard healthy. The Mod Cabin's Gunbarrel Beard Oil contains all those ingredients plus cedar and fir needle essential oils to give you that just-took-a-walk-through-a-forest-at-10,000-feet-elevation feel.
This should be enough to get you started on your own personal beard journey. This is the first in a series of beard care posts. Next time we will talk about trimming and shaping your beard. In the meantime if you have any questions feel free to ask them here, and follow us on Instagram and facebook to keep up to date on all our new products, specials and blog posts.