Primp Daddy: Five Steps to a Perfect Beard
Having a beard doesn't make you a daddy (case in point), but being a daddy definitely makes having a beard look so much better. Maybe it's the way the ability to grow full-blown facial hair instantly separates the men from the boys. Or the way a man's willingness to sprout some stubble tells us he isn't afraid to make a statement. Or that part of the reason a beard looks so right on a mature man is because he's earned the right to wear it. Oh, heck, maybe we just have a thing for lumberjacks. The point is, we love guys with beards—the thicker and fuller the better!—and with fall right around the corner, we expect to be seeing a lot more of them in the coming months. But there's a fine line between looking honorably hirsute and hair-raisingly horrifying. Whether you're starting from scratch, growing it out, or are already a world-class whisker man, we've compiled five awesome products and few insider tips to help keep your hairy mug in check and looking hot.
Step 1: Trim
Looking like a rugged wilderness man might be the goal, but that doesn't mean looking like you stepped out of The Call of the Wild. Keeping your facial hair even and well-groomed starts with having the proper trimming and sculpting tools, whether it be scissors, a straight razor, or an electric clipper. We love this Milano All-In-One model from Panasonic, which features 19 different length options, a unique 45-degree angled blade, and a waterproof construction that allows water to flush through the head for easy clean-up. Tip: Always start with a hot towel to open the pores, shave "with the grain," and finish with a few splashes of cold water. This keeps ingrown hairs, redness, and nicks in check. And remember, take your time! This is your face, not the Indy 500. Panasonic Milano All-In-One Trimmer, $70. Available at Amazon.com.
Step 2: Touch It Up
We love grizzly guys with some gray hairs, but if you're not into them, there is a simple way to conceal them that doesn't involve messing with a box of Just for Men (don't do it!). Try a non-permanent touch-up product like this brush-on beard and mustache color from Blackbeard for Men. It's easy to apply, lasts all day, won't run, and contains no harsh chemicals or dyes. In just a few swipes, you'll be saying goodbye to grays. Tip: Picking the right hair color isn't a matching game. Go with a color that's two shades lighter than your natural color. For example, if you have black hair, choose a dark brown. This will give you a more natural look and help you avoid the dreaded "Sharpie marker" look. Formula X BlackBeard For Men, $9.95. Available at BlackBeardForMen.com.
Step 3: Keep it Clean
Believe it or not, not all hair is created equal. Facial hair is more delicate and sensitive than the hair on your head, so washing it with ordinary shampoo (or even worse, bar soap) can wreak havoc on your beard. Use a specially formulated beard wash to effectively remove dirt, build-up, and those pesky crumbs that stuck around from last night's nacho fiesta. We like this Daily Beard Cleanser from Mister Beard Wash, which leaves your beard and skin looking cleaner and healthier, thanks to a blend of botanical extracts that dissolve and remove impurities without overdrying. Mister Beard Wash Daily Beard Cleanser, $16. Available at MisterBeardWash.com.
Step 4: Oil Up!
One of the biggest complaints beard sporters (or those growing one out) have is the itchiness that can accompany them. Say so long to scratching with Mr. Natty Presents Frank's Beard Elixir, an all-natural beard oil that conditions your face forest using a blend of all-natural ingredients—including vetiver, patchouli, juniper berry, pine, bergamot, peach kernel, and grapeseed oil—to leave it silky smooth and smelling fresh. Tip: If you're acne prone, steer clear of beard oils that contain jojoba oil, which can clog pores. Mr. Natty Presents Frank's Beard Elixir, $12.75. Available at Birchbox.com.
Step 5: Keep It Neat
Nobody's attracted to a scraggly beard except little kids sitting on Santa's lap. Surprise your beard with a gift of its own and pick up a styling product specifically designed for it, like Williamsburg Classic Beard Balm from Brooklyn Grooming. Manufactured in New York City's beard-booming borough of Brooklyn, this tiny tin is packed with a mineral-rich grooming wax that weighs down fly-aways between trims, softens the feel of your whiskers, and even act as a styling pomade for your facial fuzz, all the while sealing in moisture and giving your beard a glossy clarity and noticeable sheen. Brooklyn Grooming Williamsburg Classic Beard Balm, $26. Available at BrooklynGrooming.com.
What's your beard style? Are you down with the facial fuzz? Sound off in the comments section below.