Tips for Bearding

Shadow BeardOver the years I’ve had a variety of facial hair styles (and for the last nine years a very patient and gracious wife). I’ve gone from sideburns, to mutton chops, to several varieties of goatee (like the Guru and Goat Pharaoh). But, my favorite has been the full beard. There is just something special about a beard choosing a face.

As seasons change, you might be considering the comforts of a beard over the hassles of a scarf for those brisk autumnal days. Perhaps you’re preparing for that great festival of fall known as “No Shave November.” Or, maybe you’re like me and simply feel  it’s time for your face to be well equipped with a fully grown beard. Whatever your reasons for bearding, I thought I’d share some helpful tips to help fill out your facial hair.

1. Endure the Scruff: In my opinion, this is the hardest stage of growing a beard, much more so than the fabled “itchy phase.” While every face is different, for me the scruff comes around a week a half into bearding. This stage is so difficult because when anyone looks at your mane-to-be, it just looks like you haven’t shaved in a while, as opposed to being obvious you’re growing a beard. People may think, “Wow, something must be wrong, he’s really letting himself go.” But look again, I’m wearing clean clothes, my hair is how I typically keep it, something more is growing here. My dog didn’t run away, my manhood blossomed. You’ll be tempted to shave and “clean up” you look. But don’t give in my friends! Look past to scruff and envision the full, well-groomed facial ornament that awaits you on the other side, and endure. IMPORTANT: this stage will be exaggerated if you are growing in from some existing facial hair (like a goatee) to a full beard.

2. Choose Your Style: The order here is important. I find it best to grow your full beard before choosing the style that best fits you (or your situation). Why? You need to know what you have to work with. You may think all you can grow is a goatee when a full “Spurgeon” could be your’s. Remember, not all beards or faces are the same; the best way to wear your beard is as it naturally suits your face (to paraphrase Spurgeon).

3. Careful With That Trimmer: At some point, most of us will have to trim our beards. The important thing to remember here: trim longer than you think your should at first, and go from there. You can always trim a little shorter, but if you start off too short there is no going back. You could easily find yourself unintentionally back in the scruff.

There you have it, my three tips for growing a beard. For more bearded fun, check out Bearded Gospel Men. May the whiskers be always in your favor. Happy bearding!


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