You have thought about it. You want to do it. Now its time to finally do it! GROW YOUR BEARD. Most people think "why do I need to read about how to grow a beard? Don't you just stop shaving?" To put it bluntly, yes, you do stop shaving for the most part. But, there are a few aspects some people do not take into account.
1. Beards take time. The average beard grows one-half inch per month. Most men require three to five weeks before you can truly understand how your beard will take shape. What does this mean? DO NOT trim/shape your beard prior to the three-week mark. I recommend waiting at least four weeks before shaping. If you trim too soon, your beard could become lopsided. If after two weeks you do not have an epic beard, STAY THE COURSE. Many men get frustrated and quit too soon. Give it at least a month.
There is one caveat: Your beard should never connect with your chest hair. Trim that wildebeest. When first growing a beard I let it creep halfway down my neck and then draw the line. Both beards and chest hair are independent signs of masculinity. Combining them does not make you more of a man. It makes you the Missing Link.
2. It will itch. Accept that reality, but do not fully accept it. Beard itch is one of the primary reasons I started stubble & ‘stache, and our flagship product does an excellent job of reducing it. A premium beard oil can also help. Regardless of itch, stay strong. You can read more about why beards itch here.
3. Time to shape up. After the waiting period, take a good, long look in the mirror and decide what you want your beard to look like. Do you want to go ZZ Top style? Are you more of a short beard guy? Or, do you prefer the stubble look? All are fine. What matters is that you select the look you feel most comfortable with. Once you see how your beard grows, you can start shaping. If you are going ZZ Top, trim your neck and let the rest run wild. If you are not sure what to do, visit a trained beard barber.
4. If you can, go to a quality barber who trims beards. They will show your beard the same respect they show your glorious mane. Before you set foot in the barbershop, educate yourself on what to ask. You can learn more about that here.
Our faces have a multitude of indentations, protrusions and other natural forms that makes even trimming difficult. Your barber will trim the beard where it needs to be trimmed and leave alone those areas where it does not. At the end of service, your beard (and face) will be a shining example of symmetry.
If a barber is not an option, get yourself a good beard trimmer, preferably one with metal guards. Start big. You can always trim more, but you will have to wait to grow it back. After the initial trim, look for areas that might need to be trimmed more. The goal is symmetry. Take your time. If your beard is too long for guards, you will need to freehand with the clippers. In these situations, I prefer to use scissors as they leave a cleaner cut.5. How far should I let my beard grow down my neck? I like to end my beard about a half-inch below my jawline. Rule of thumb: If keeping your beard short, when you smile your beard should never pull above your jawline. If it does, you have stopped your beard short. Let the whiskers further down your neck grow. Depending on beard length, fade your beard as it grows down your neck. If you are going long, keep the length uniform.
Beard Care: Use a daily beard conditioner and face moisturizer or beard oil. This will keep your beard soft and shiny while reducing itch, split ends and “beard-druff” all while promoting healthy skin. Apply twice a day after washing your face and beard. If you use beard oil, ensure you moisturizer the rest of your face with a quality facial moisturizer.
When it's time to wash your beard, use a wash specially formulated for your face and beard. If that is not an option, use shampoo on your beard. Normal face wash can strip needed oils resulting in a dry, coarse beard.