Yes, it’s technically still summer. But believe it or not, now is the time to begin prepping for No-Shave November. Having a thick, well-groomed beard takes work, and the sooner you get the process started, the better. Beards need the same kind of love that the hair on your head gets. So, how can you help your beard not only survive but thrive during the fall season? This guide will set you up with everything you need to get it right.
Prepare the Skin
Behind every good beard is good skin, and maintaining a solid skincare regimen creates a strong foundation for beard growth. “Having a good facial routine is a must to ensure pores are not clogged,” says Angelo Ruscetta, a master barber in Atlanta. “Good blood flow also delivers nutrients to each hair follicle.” He suggests following a routine that incorporates the rules of cleanse, exfoliate and hydrate for the skin and beard.
Exfoliate as Needed
Exfoliating is a pivotal step to ensure overall beard health. In fact, exfoliation can clear dead skin cells that lead to dandruff later on. It can also assist with getting rid of ingrown hairs and making dull skin more radiant. Exfoliating products, such as the Anthony Ingrown Hair Treatment or manual exfoliating brushes, are tools you’ll certainly want in your arsenal.
Wash It Away
Washing a beard regularly is critical for the cleanliness of the hair (and the skin beneath it). Beards can be washed with regular hair shampoos, but if that is too drying, use a gentler face wash. Suffering from beard dandruff? Look into using specialty beard shampoos like Jack Black Beard Wash. The best dandruff shampoos will likely contain some of these ingredients: pyrithione zinc, coal tar, selenium sulfide, and tea tree oil. Whatever you use, make sure it’s rinsed off fully so the residue doesn’t dry your beard!
During the autumn months, daily shampooing will be too drying and probably cause more harm than good. Shampooing just a few times a week is ideal. Sticking to lukewarm water will also help prevent the hair from over-drying and becoming too wiry.
Moisturize … or Else
Maintaining a good beard largely depends on keeping it well moisturized. Alastin Ultra Nourishing Moisturizer, Senté Dermal Repair Cream, and ZO Skin Health Hydrating Creme are some excellent options. Rehydrating the beard hair will also aid in preventing serious dryness come autumn. “Dry skin and facial hair is the main reason for beard itch,” Ruscetta says. For shorter beards, he has this key tip: “Water-based lotions are better than an oil base. They absorb faster and do not clog pores.” For people with extremely thick or long beards, a beard balm or beard oil could also be a stellar hydration option.
Comb It Out
Combing helps to better distribute oils throughout the beard, which increases moisture retention at the beard’s ends. That, in turn, helps retain length—essential if your goal is growing a beard as long as possible. This process also helps prevent beard hair from getting knotted up and tangled. So unless you’re going for that dreadlocked beard look, you’ll have to make detangling a mainstay for your beard-care routine.
Other Helpful Tips
Use a humidifier or incorporate steam into your routine to maintain a strong moisture balance for your beard. Keep it protected with a little coverage during those particularly chilly autumn nights. And lastly, don’t be shy about giving your beard the TLC it deserves. The more you invest in its proper maintenance, the more it will give back to you. Prepare for your most epic No-Shave November yet.