Beard maintenance is an unavoidable step in the journey to having a sweet beard. Those dudes walking around town with perfectly straight and full yeards (beard grown for a year or more) didn’t just sit back and grow. No, beards are finicky creatures, and like a veggie patch or a good woman they need tending too, looking after, they need love and attention.
An important part of this is washing your beard. Beards accumulate the world. They are sponges. Whether it’s food, beer, cigarette smoke from you or others, beards suck in dirt, dust and debris and lock them within their curls. If unwashed you will be left on Tuesday morning at work wondering why your beard still smells like the weekend.
While brushing is an effective measure to flush the life out of your beard and redistribute your natural oils, now and again your beard needs a full treatment. Shampooing your beard not only removes dirt but when done properly it also stops itchiness and makes it softer, healthier, cleaner and refreshes the skin beneath.
The biggest mistake in beard maintenance is people who use head shampoo for beards. Hair health, quality and strength are all based on pH balance. Hair that is pH 4.5 – 5 is balanced and the ideal level for peak beard. Shampoos for head hair are much higher in acidity and will dry your beard out and make it more abrasive.
A good beard shampoo will be set at the right pH level and be good for both your face and beard. They are designed to clean your face and beard while retaining your beard’s natural oils and keeping your face moisturized. They will also condition your beard which will keep it soft and leave your face feeling refreshed.
How to Clean
Wet your beard with warm water – too hot and it will dry your skin out, too cold and it won’t open your pores and dirt will be left trapped beneath your skin. Gently massage the shampoo throughout your beard. Really get your fingers deep into your hair so that they cover it in all directions and down to the root, and make sure to massage it into your face to keep the skin clean and well hydrated.
NB: If you have a new beard, scrub a little harder as it will stimulate the follicles and help your beard to grow.
Rinse well. Move your beard in all directions making sure to get all the shampoo out and leave it fresh.
Once out of the shower, dry your beard thoroughly. Daub a towel gently as beard hair is fragile when wet. If you have a bigger beard you can use a hairdryer, but just make sure it is set super low.
A wise man once told me that the four pillars of a happy life are sex, food, breathing and cleanliness. Now you have mastered cleanliness it is time to use your awesome beard and start practicing the others. - Miles Bouchard