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18 Things You Need To Know About Your Beard

Get grooming.

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And you should always give your beard the care and attention it deserves.

We asked the expert groomers at Murdock for their tips:

1. It takes about three months to grow a beard.

Rebecca Hendin/ BuzzFeed

Here's a timeline of what you can expect to see:

At the end of week one, you'll have some light stubble. Don't try to trim it until at least week three.

Around week three, you should visit a barber and consult with them about the kind of beard you'd like to grow. They can help you shape the beard, and advise where to trim in the interim. It's a good idea to repeat appointments every four weeks with the same barber – that way you can build a relationship.

By week six, you should see the basis of a beard forming. By week 12, you're there!

How should you care for your burgeoning beard? Rory Hazell, senior creative barber at Murdock London, tells BuzzFeed Life:

"Do nothing other than wash and comb until the third week of growth or as long as you can get away with until it becomes too much (the longer the better). Three months would generally be considered the average time for a significant growth to be seen."

2. Beards don't run in families.

ABC/ Modern Family

It's a myth that beards run in families, or are linked to the baldness gene. Beard growth depends on how your body processes testosterone during puberty.

Richard Ross, professor of endocrinology at the University of Sheffield, tells BuzzFeed Life:

"The development of secondary sexual characteristics in men including beard growth is dependent on the rise in testosterone at puberty in men."

However, the thickness of your beard may have something to do with your genetics: "The thickness of the beard is more related to how the hair follicles respond rather than the level of testosterone. This response is presumed to be genetically determined although the genes have not been identified."

Post-puberty, other factors can affect your beard growth too. Men who have diminished testosterone due to an orchidectomy (removal of both or one of the testicles) may experience their facial hair reducing over time, Ross says. Equally, women who are treated with testosterone will experience a growth in facial hair.

3. Shaving won't help you grow a beard.

Royal Tenenbaums

Ignore this myth. Shaving more frequently will give you the effect of hair growth, but there won't be an increase in growth.

"When hair is cut or shaved, the end of the hair becomes flat," Hazell says. "This gives the hair a shinier appearance, making regrowth more prominent.

"You also remove the white hairs or 'baby hairs', meaning the coarser, thicker stubble isn't dulled by them. So shaving will only give the appearance of a thicker regrowth rather than there actually being more beard."


4. What does beard oil do?

Beard oil is best for a thick beard with length. It will make your beard look shiny and well-maintained. You only need to use a little bit – about a 5p-piece amount. To use it, you coat the surface of the beard and bring the oil to the ends.

Meanwhile, beard moisturiser is a more everyday product, and prevents beard dandruff. It'll nourish the hair and help your skin in the itchy early stages of growing a beard.

5. "I want to grow a beard but my partner thinks it's too scratchy."

Ask your partner to bear with it. Initially it will be scratchy, but as it gets longer it will be less coarse.

"It's only going to get softer as it gets longer," Hazell says. "The ends of the hair become smoothed as they get older as opposed to when they are first cut (which creates a sharp, scratchy edge).

In order to keep your partner on board, Hazell advises to "involve them in the growing process and find a length and scented beard maintenance products that work for both of you".

6. How do I find a beard to suit my face shape?

Rebecca Hendin/ BuzzFeed

A beard should enhance your features, so aim for a beard that is the opposite of your face shape. Ie if you have a narrow face, avoid a pointy beard. If you have a square face, avoid a low beard.

"When in the latter stages of growing a beard only then should you look to start creating a shape," Hazell says. "If you would like to change the shape consult your barber for advice before home maintenance as they will be able to give you a professional perspective and help you to find the shape that suits you.

"As a general rule of thumb you should look to shape the beard the opposite to your face shape. If your face is narrower don't go pointy, [and] if it's square go for a narrower beard. Beards should be used to create a more flattering appearance and manipulate the face shape."

7. Should I buy special beard shampoo?

Lynzy Billing / BuzzFeed

Yes! You should invest in beard shampoo for a couple of reasons. Firstly, a special beard shampoo will be formualted especially for the skin on your face. Also, as beard hairs are thicker than the hair on your head, a specially formulated beard shampoo can really penetrate them and clean them.

You only need to use beard conditioner if you have a full beard with a real shape (like our model later in this piece). The hairs at the end of a full beard will be really old and can benefit from conditioning. Again, the hairs are coarser than those on your head, so beard conditioner (which has a dense, tar-like consistency) will be better than regular conditioner.


You can totally maintain your own beard.

We'll walk you through how to trim your own beard, but a barber can help with more detailed shaping and upkeep.

8. Here are the tools you'll need to shape your own beard:

Lynzy Billing / BuzzFeed

A beard brush (top left) or a wide-tooth comb (bottom left), a mini-trimmer (far right), and scissors (you know what scissors look like).

If you can, opt for a mini-trimmer rather than clippers. The mini-trimmer will give you more control and you'll be better able to see what you're doing.

9. Firstly, brush your beard.

Brush through your beard first, using either a beard brush or a wide-tooth comb. Brush the hair down firmly. Don't pull it taut. Try not to have too much tension – just let it sit naturally.

If you pull it taut while you're cutting it, then the beard will spring back shorter when you're finished trimming. If you can, choose a wide-tooth comb, as it will help to ease out the little hairs and show where imperfections lie.

10. The first step is to neaten the outline.

Lynzy Billing / BuzzFeed

You're looking for any hairs around the neck that deviate from the main beard. A handy tip is to hold a finger horizontally above your Adam's apple (above). This is where the bottom of your beard line should start.

Don't go up to this line when trimming yourself – keep a couple of millimetres shy of it. Otherwise you might cut it wonkily.


12. Remember to take lots of breaks.

Anchorman/ Paramount Pictures

Set up a couple of mirrors so that you can see your profile. Remember that you can only see what you're doing from one angle. Take your time. Don't attempt anything drastic. Maintenance should be as minimal as possible.

13. Use clippers above a comb to trim your cheeks.

This is a safety tip and a practical tip too. It stops you from cutting the beard too short, and also stops you from hurting yourself.

When trimming your sideburns, use the tip of the comb with the mini-trimmer, too.


15. Top tip! If you want to style your moustache like this gent, and you have a beard:

Shave a little line at the corner of the mouth (diagonal to the edge of your top lip). This will give you the freedom to style your moustache without excess hairs spoiling the line.

17. What kind of grooming routine should I have?

You should aim to trim your beard once a week, and wash it 2/3 times a week.

In terms of products, the best thing to do is buy a set (including oil and moisturiser) and figure out the rotation that suits you the best. For example, our model in this piece uses beard oil every day, but not moisturiser.

18. And remember, never shave your beard off at the end of the summer.

Unless you're into beard-shaped tan lines.