Everything About Beard: The History, Grooming Routine and Styles

Beard-styles
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A man’s face is as versatile as a woman’s, only the defining features vary. While a woman can use make-up to highlight an area of her face that she wants emphasized, like her eyes, lips, or brows, a man does not have the luxury of doing the same without facing some slight social stigma. 

He must then resort to other methods of elevating his aesthetic. Facial hair can be included in your everyday grooming routine easily and is not that much of a hassle.

A beard can make or break a look – since facial hair takes up more than 50% of the face, the beard or moustache can be overwhelming to grow out, but the end result is always fascinating.

Men tend to care less about their hair and skin than they should. The myth that men have stronger or tougher skin and hair is improbable as this depends solely on genetics and personal care. 

This article will show you the ins and outs of growing a beard, and caring for it right. What it comes down to is the correct compartmentalization of the time it will take for you to go from one style of facial hair to another. Let’s get started!

A Brief Beard History 

History of Beard
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What is the original purpose of a beard? – Early man needed his beard to keep him warm. The animalistic Neanderthal let his beard grow out and used it as a mane to scare away animals and potential predators. 

In the evolutionary phase of man, beard hair helped to filter out the dust and dirt which would have accumulated in his mouth. Now, with no need for warmth or intimidation, men associate beards with machismo and style.

Oldest Beard Styles in History:

  • Lore led people in the earlier times to view persons with extremely long beards as wise beings – case in point, the legendary wizard Merlin.
  • The Mesopotamians were known to style their beards in curls, and perms.
  • Assyrians allegedly coloured their beards black. Persian settlers were known by their distinctive orange beards.
  • In Greece, as is represented by the various sculptures of the era, beards were kept curled and left to hang. This went on until the great king Alexander realized that his soldiers’ beards posed an occupational hazard while fighting, and he ordered them all to be cleanly shaven.
  • Romans also preferred using razors to shave their faces as early as 616 BCE.
  • Even Princes and Kings of England sported big mustaches and ridiculous pompadours until, again, this was outlawed by William, the first.
  • In the 1600’s an artist by the name Sir Anthony Vandyke invented the Vandyke beard, which included portraits of aristocratic men with pointy beards. This pushed on the use of wax to style beards, using a comb or brush to guide the hair.

So, clearly all the beard styles you flaunt lately date back to many centuries. Since then, various beard styles have popped up. Movie stars are the latest influence to many men. 

Beard Styles According to Face Shapes

As a man looking to grow a beard, you need to carefully pick out a few styles that you think will suit you. 

Keep in mind the shape of your face, jawline, nose and other features while choosing the best beard style for your face. A good way to check what beard would look best on you, pick celebrities that bear semblance to you.

Here are the different face shapes usually found in men:

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Let’s see in detail, what beard styles suit best for different face shapes.

1. Oblong or Rectangular Face Shape

Celebrities with this face shape: Celebrities like Idris Elba, Ben Affleck, Tom Cruise, Jake Gyllenhaal are known to have oblong faces.

Features:

  • Longer face
  • Wide jaw
  • Squared chin

Suitable Beard Styles:

  • Mutton Chops around the cheeks. 
  • Circle Beard and Horseshoe Moustache like Hulk Hogan. 
  • Chin Curtain, descending downwards with an extended goatee.

2. Oval Face Shape

Celebrities with this face shape: Adam Levine, Ryan Gosling, Will Smith, Enrique Eglasias have oval faces, with tapering chins.

Features:

  • Wider Cheekbones
  • Narrow jaw
  • Rounded jawline

Suitable Beard Styles:

  • Goatee, kept cropped to the chin area only.
  • Lower Lip and Chin Strap which divide the face vertically
  • Full Circular Beard which is kept close to the neck
  • Extended Goatee, descending to the Adam’s apple

3. Round Face Shape

Celebrities with this face shape: Zach Effron, Justin Timberlake, Sebastian Stan, Leonardo DiCaprio have round faces.

Features:

  • Wider Jawline
  • Medium cheekbones
  • Short Chin

Suitable Beard Styles:

  • Soul Patch – i.e. a strip of hair from the lower lip to the chin
  • Chin Straps
  • Goatees

4. Square Face Shape

Celebrities with this face shape: David Beckham

Features:

  • Squared up jaw

Suitable Beard Styles:

  • Balbo Beards
  • Goatee and Moustache
  • Chinstrap

5. Diamond Face Shape

Celebrities with this face shape: Robert Pattinson, Johnny Depp, Elijah Wood

Features:

  • Widened around the cheekbones
  • Narrow Forehead
  • Jawline and forehead symmetry

Suitable Beard Styles:

  • Full beard 
  • Chin Straps
  • Balbo Beard

6. Triangular Face Shape

Celebrities with this face shape: Keith Urban, Sacha Baron Cohn

Features:

  • Prominent Chin
  • Larger jawline than cheekbones

Suitable Beard Styles:

  • Anchor beards
  • Van Dyke Beard 
  • Old Dutch 
  • Petite Goatee

7. Heart Face Shape

Celebrities with this face shape: Joseph Gordon Levitt, Nick Jonas

Features:

  • Wider forehead
  • Narrow chin
  • Inverted triangle

Suitable Beard Styles:

  • Light or heavy stubble
  • Rounded beards with clean edges

How to Grow a Beard?

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How Long Does it Take to Grow a Beard?

On an average men experience up to 1.25 cm of hair growth on their faces per month. This statistic shows that even for the best of us, it will take necessarily one month for a beard to grow out.

Also, many factors affect hair growth such as dietary and lifestyle choices and exposure to pollutants.

Hair has a life cycle which lasts for about 6-7 years. There are three cycles that every hair goes through when growing. These are:

  • Anagen – the growing phase lasting 7 years
  • Catagen – a transitory phase where active hair growth stops
  • Telogen– the period after three weeks of catagen, where the hair dies, and sheds.

All the hair on your face is in different phases of these cycles. This means that to get an even growth you will have to take some measures. This can mean making changes in the physical factors which affect growth.

Tips for Growing Your Beard

Here are some ways and grooming tips from our side to help you grow your beard in a healthy way swiftly.

1. Face Care

Caring for the skin on your face is very important in order to allow some healthy environment for your facial hair to grow. Inculcating a simple facial grooming routine in your daily schedule should be a priority. This schedule should include:

2. Cleaning and Exfoliating

Use a cleanser to gently cleanse your skin once a day. Then, use a face wash that is specifically designed for men and wash with warm water. Exfoliate using natural materials like coarse sugar and honey packs, or sugar, fruit pulp and rock salt packs.

3. Managing Ingrowth

Ingrowth can crop up on the face due to incorrect shaving techniques or skin anomaly. Use the exfoliating agent to get rid of this.

4. Body Care

Along with taking care of your skin, you must nourish your body from the inside out. Hair which grows out of a healthy body looks more natural and thicker in density. Take the following steps to caring for your body to encourage hair growth.

Rest Well – Try to get a minimum of 6-8 hours of sleep. This is so that the dead or damaged skin cells can be replaced. Skin is likely to look more lifeless when you are lacking sleep.

Exercise – Exercising regularly causes the body to get rid of the toxins through sweating. This helps in the impurities below the surface of the face to exit the skin making it healthier for hair to grow.

Destress – A stressful body cannot sustain hair growth and causes loss of hair.

5. Nourishment

Sometimes the nutrition we get naturally is not enough and must be supplemented.

Vitamins and Supplements – To aid in hair growth, one is advised to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Vitamin B1, B6, and B12 and E are scientifically proven to help in hair growth. Increasing your protein intake by eating more meats, eggs, and fish has also proven to do the same.

6. No Shaving

The general rule of growing out a beard is to not shave – At all, at least for the first 4 weeks.

In the phases of hair growth on your face, you will often come to days where shaving off the residue of hair left will seem necessary. However, you must resist this urge and continue to care for your skin and hair to let it grow.

Shaving Does not Make the Beard Grow Faster – The notion that shaving often makes the hair grow faster is a myth and should not be paid heed to. If you intend to grow out your beard to more than a stubble, give it one month. If the aim is to have a medium length beard, two to three months should be appropriate; and for a long beard, a commitment of four months and up is necessary.

Set Goals – The best way to ensure that you do not shave it off is to set style goals for yourself. Prepare a list of styles which you would like to try at different phases of your beard’s growth. Use this as an opportunity to explore your personal style.

7. Use a Beard oil

The best way to counter stiff hair is to make good use of beard oil. Beard oil is specially made to tone down the stiffness in beard hair and helps soften them to tameable condition. 

For itchy skin, moisturise the skin often, using hydrocortisone creams on the direction of your physician. Non medicated options to relieve itchiness of the skin when growing a beard are coconut oil, calamine lotions etc.

How to Trim Your Beard?

How to trim beard
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Often, people trim their beards after washing. This may be preferable when trying to shave off the beard completely, but to simply trim a beard which is growing, you are advised to keep the beard dry for accuracy. Trimming dry beards provides more grounded reflections of how the look will finally manifest.

What You Need:

  • Comb – A thin toothed comb is best for beards.
  • Trimmer – Invest in a trimmer which comes with guards of different settings.
  • Razor – Use a sharp razor to avoid nicks and cuts.
  • Shaving Cream and Brush
  • Beard Oil/Serum – Invest in a beard oil or serum. This is a styling necessity, as well as a nutritional supplement to the beard.

Step-by-Step Process of Trimming:

1. Comb and Detangle

The first step is to comb through the beard with the thin toothed comb and untangle all knots. Start from the tail end of the beard and move upwards, untangling the knots as you go along. An untangled beard will be easier to trim, as the comb will also guide the hair to make the lengths even.

1. Trimmer

Use the trimmer first, to even out the lengths of hair on your face. Put on the guard sized 3-4 if you want to keep the hair on your beard longer. Remember, the smaller setting on the guard, the smaller the length will be when you trim. It is better to trim less than what you intended than to trim more.

Once the trimming is done, use the comb to comb out any loose hairs and remember to trim the sideburns as well.

2. Fading the Outer Lines

 If you are satisfied with the trimming, use the razor and shaving cream to shave your cheeks and neck in order to make even lines along the edges of the beard.

Use the shaving cream to make a barrier between the hair to be shaven and your beard. Use this as a guiding line, and shave along it, avoiding hasty strokes. When this is done, you should be left with a trimmed beard with clean edges and lines along the face.

3. Moustache

Using a precision scissor, cut along the lip line. Cut the hair lengths which exceed that line for a neat look.

You can also use a scissor to get any odd hair which is sticking out to achieve the look you want. This is easy when the hair is dry and makes for a neater and fresher finish.

4. Wash and Moisturise

Once you are done styling your beard, use warm water to wash your beard with beard shampoo, and conditioner. Then, pat dry and moisturise with beard oil.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I make my beard look good?

*Here are some of the ways to give your beard a healthy look:
*Use beard oil or beard oil regularly.
*Grow your beard for 4 weeks before you trim it.
*Invest in a good beard brush.
*Care for your facial skin.

2. How do you tame a frizzy beard?

You need to wash your beard regularly with a mild cleanser meant specifically for men. Use a beard conditioner and also beard oil regularly. Comb your beard only when it is dry.

3. How can I take care of my beard naturally?

Do not invest in harmful products like beard straighteners. Do not use harsh shampoos and creams for your beard. Also, avoid shaving your beard too frequently. 

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