Growing a beard is essentially a right of passion for men. Just as the lion has his bold, flowing mane, men enjoy showing off their healthy, masculine beards. For some, growing and maintaining a beard are a bit more difficult than others. If you’re one of those men, here are some tips on proper beard care.
Healthy beard tips and tricks
1. Keep your beard clean
While this may seem obvious, some men underestimate the importance of a clean beard. Similar to the hair on your scalp, it needs regular cleaning to remain healthy. Another misconception is that you can use any soap to clean beard hair. Just as you wouldn’t use acne facial wash on your body, don’t use full body soap on your beard.
There are a variety of companies that make beard-specific shampoo and conditioner to keep your facial hair in great condition. You should also consider investing in a beard disinfectant to keep your beard clean in-between washes. Disinfectants are convenient if you spill food, get sweaty, or get mucus from a sneeze into your beard and don’t have time for a deep clean. Therefore, carry your beard disinfectant with you whenever possible.
In addition to washing and conditioning your beard, it’s important to keep it moisturized. Using a quality beard oil minimizes dry patches and dandruff. Beard oil also keeps beard hair soft. It’s recommended to choose beard products with an enjoyable scent. If you must smell products all day, it’s easier when it’s enjoyable.
2. Practice healthy grooming techniques
There’s nothing more attractive than a well-groomed beard. Even if you’re not a professional barber, it’s possible to make your beard look great. For a good-looking beard, you’ll need grooming tools, including:
- Beard brushes, which keep your hairs in place as well as distribute oil. In addition to oil distribution, brushing helps exfoliate the skin underneath your beard hair. If you have a shorter beard or stubble growing in, brush less frequently to avoid skin irritation.
- Beard combs, which minimize breakage and snagging. Purchase a tapered-teeth beard comb for an easier comb. If you do experience snags, comb them gently to avoid pain.
- Trimming scissors, which are great for trimming and shaping your beard. You can also use an electric grooming trimmer. Using grooming trimmers with multiple attachments minimizes accidents.
3. Nourish your beard from the inside-out
As the saying goes, you are what you eat. Therefore, you must watch what you eat to maintain a healthy beard. Eating healthy foods benefits your beard hair just as it benefits your scalp hair. Incorporating these foods in your diet help grow a shinier, healthier beard.
Eating foods with protein helps promote hair thickness and growth. Protein also increases your body’s testosterone levels, which improves overall beard health. Lack of protein leads to dry, brittle beard hair, which makes it also more prone to breakage.
To increase protein intake, add lean meats, poultry, dairy, and seafood to your diet. On average, you need 56 grams of protein daily.
Consuming foods with a high zinc content prevents premature graying and also keeps beard hair strong. Maintaining healthy zinc levels also boosts testosterone levels. Eating beef, lentils, pumpkin, and spinach help you get enough zinc for beard growth. Professionals suggest 11 milligrams of zinc everyday.
Your beard health may suffer based on lack of iron. Iron produces hemoglobin, which is necessary to transport oxygen throughout the body. Iron helps repair damaged cells and aid growth, which is great if your beard is thinning. Iron-rich foods include beans, dark leafy greens, and whole grains. Consume around eight grams of iron every day for optimal beard health.
Maintaining a healthy beard is important, especially if you don’t plan on shaving it anytime soon. By making sure it’s properly cleaned, moisturized, and groomed, your beard will flourish. In addition to outer maintenance, be sure to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. You’ll also need to stay hydrated by drinking water every day.
While it may seem tedious, following these steps will ensure your beard grows healthy and strong. For severe beard or underlying skin issues, speak to a barber or dermatologist for further assistance.