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    18 Things You Need To Know About Your Beard

    Get grooming.

    by ,
    Rebecca Hendin

    Beards are great!

    Sony Music / Via

    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?

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

    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.

    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.

    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.

    11. Next, freehand the sides.

    Lynzy Billing / BuzzFeed
    Lynzy Billing / BuzzFeed

    Brush it out again as above, and trim anything that lies away from the actual shape. Tidy up the hairs on the neck and cheeks.

    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.

    Lynzy Billing / BuzzFeed
    Lynzy Billing / BuzzFeed

    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.

    14. Don't forget your moustache!

    Lynzy Billing / BuzzFeed

    Brush the moustache to the side and use a small pair of scissors to trim. You want to trim the hairs that go straight down on to the lips.

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

    16. What if you don't have a beard?

    If you just have a moustache, you should trim it every eight weeks. If you're trying anything ambitious, then you should check in with your barber.

    17. What kind of grooming routine should I have?

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

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