Chances are that if you’re reading this, you are pondering your facial hair, or lack thereof, during the annual challenge known as No-Shave November, or Movember. Maybe you want to grow a beard, experiment with your first mustache or simply maintain the facial hair you already have. While some bearded guys take their facial hair for granted, what do you need to know if you’ve always been clean-shaven? To help guys wondering how to grow a beard, we put together a beard guide for No Shave November that will help you make smart decisions about your beard and how to maintain it during the impending cold months.
There is no set path to growing a beard. Mostly due to genetics, growing a beard is a practice of patience and good hygiene. As Ananda Tuyes, master barber and esthetician from Baxter Finley Barber & Shop in West Hollywood told us, products matter when growing a beard — just not the ones marketed for beard growth.
“There aren’t any products that will grow your beard, but if you want a fuller beard, you can promote hair growth by stimulating the hair follicle through exfoliation [facial scrub] and also keeping the area clean — a clean environment is a healthy environment and a healthy environment promotes balance and growth,” Tuyes said.
We put together a list of tips that will help your beard flourish during No Shave November. We’ll go over the grooming tools you should use, what products actually help you grow a beard, and the best practices to adopt for a healthy, well-kempt beard.
What Is No-Shave November and Movember?
Before we dive into tips on how to grow a beard for the first time, we want to recognize the organizations that made the entire concept of No Shave November famous in the first place. Movember and No-Shave November are actually two different organizations with similar goals — to promote men’s health through an annual facial hair challenge.
Movember is a group that challenges guys to commit to growing a mustache to help raise awareness for men’s health issues. You can sign up to participate and learn more by visiting their website.
Likewise, No-Shave November is an advocacy event and “month-long journey during which participants forgo shaving and grooming in order to evoke conversation and raise cancer awareness.” Head to No-Shave November to sign up and learn more.
These groups promote important men’s health issues such as mental health, suicide, testicular cancer and prostate cancer.
How To Grow a Beard & Mustache: Step-By-Step Instructions
Step 1. If you’re looking to grow a beard, stop shaving. No, we’re serious. That’s the entirety of step one.
Often, guys rely on friends, relatives or social media to learn how to grow a long, healthy beard. It is a common myth that shaving off your beard will make it grow back faster or fuller. Like we said previously, growing a beard takes time and commitment. Don’t rush to cut off your beard because it’s not showing quick results.
Tuyes says that it can from 4-6 weeks to see growth when taking the necessary, specific steps necessary for your beard.
Step 2. Trim your beard as often as needed.
Don’t get us wrong, you shouldn’t completely ambush your beard and cut it down to the subble, but you still have to trim it to keep it healthy. Trimming is an important part of the hair growth process. Trimming your beard can be the difference between a sloppy beard and compliments everywhere you go, so whether you want to keep a certain length or just get rid of flyaway hairs, keep those scissors at the ready.
Keep in mind regular paper scissors won’t cut it. You need scissors designed to cut hair.
For longer and fuller beards, you’ll need an electric beard trimmer.
“This is completely up to the individual,” Tuyes said. “Hair grows a little bit each day hence the ‘5 o’clock shadow’, so trim it when you don’t like the way it’s looking. For a fuller-looking beard, sharpen/clean-up the lines on the edges. It’s an optical illusion since the hairs look longer next to the smooth skin.”
There are several tools you can use to trim your beard yourself:
The Bevel Trimmer is perfect for men with afro-textures. This trimmer is rechargeable, cordless and has 360-degree non-slip handling. The blades on this trimmer repel dirt, oil, and build-up to prevent irritation. It’s perfect for those little trims needed to keep your beard maintained and healthy.
BaBylissPRO Outlining Trimmer
The BaBylissPro Outlining Trimmer is perfect for those with straighter hair textures. This trimmer has an exposed t-blade that has 360 views. BaBylissPRO’s Trimmer will help you trim your beard with style.
Philips Norelco OneBlade Hybrid Electric Trimmer and Shave
The Philips Norelco Hybrid Electric Trimmer and Shaver get close enough for a fine shave and also trims your beard. The replaceable OneBlade lasts for four months. This device is also rechargeable and can be used wet or dry.
Step 3. The right style can make you more attractive (not saying that you already aren’t).
A great beard makes your face more symmetrical and helps to improve your attractiveness overall. The beard should help create an oval shape. If you have a more square-shaped face, then growing your beard longer will help. If you have more of a slender face, then growing your beard bushier will help. Tuyes recommends that you get this done professionally.
“If you don’t know what style of beard you want or what would look good on you, do some research and take photos of styles you like,” Tuyes said. “Then bring it to your barber, and they will customize the look for you based on your facial structure. You can then follow their direction at home for maintenance between barbershop visits.”
We’ve previously written about our favorite mustache styles, and there’s no wrong way to style a beard in 2020 — as long as you put the bare minimum effort into maintaining it and cleaning it. No one likes a sloppy beard.
Step 4. Beware ‘Beard Growth’ Products. Stick to Scrubs and Beard Oil.
When it comes to products, we are typically told to slather on beard balms, priming oils, beard oils, and hope that these products will work. This is not the best way to approach beard growth. It’s important to tend to the skin underneath your beard, as Tuyes stated above. Exfoliators and light beard oils should be the two main products that you use on your beard.
“There are no miracle beard growing products. Save your money on the scams and just invest in good skincare and a lightweight beard oil [one that is non-comedogenic/pore-clogging],” Tuyes said. “If you clog the pores, you risk suffocating the hair follicle, which can slow/inhibit hair growth.”
Baxter of California Facial Scrub
We’re big fans of this facial scrub from Baxter of California. It uses natural ingredients like cornmeal and walnut shell powder to exfoliate your skin and prevent ingrown hairs.
Brickell Renewing Face Scrub for Men
Brickell Renewing Face Scrub is perfect for exfoliating. This exfoliator comes packed with jojoba beads, vitamin e, aloe vera, avocado butter, coffee extract, and pumice. What’s more, this product is vegan and doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals.
M3 Naturals Activated Charcoal Scrub Exfoliator
This exfoliator from M3 Naturals features activated charcoal, which helps to minimize your pores. The M3 Naturals Activated Charcoal exfoliator also helps with skin blemishes. Also, it helps with polishing your skin and detoxifying unwanted dirt, toxins and bacteria from your pores.
Bevel Beard Oil
Coming from Bevel, the company that specializes in Afro-textures, this is a great lightweight beard oil option. It helps to prevent frizz, dryness and breakage. This oil’s formula leaves your beard feeling healthy without the greasy residue other beard oils can have.
The Gentlemen’s Premium Beard Oil
The Gentlemen’s Premium Beard Oil features coconut oil, sunflower seed oil, argan oil, jojoba oil and vitamin E, which all help to moisturize the beard. It is fragrance-free, which is a plus for those with sensitive skin. Also, this beard oil aids in removing beard dandruff and itch– and it strengthens the beard follicles.
Step 5. Don’t stress about the growth (or lack thereof).
Stressing about the pace of your beard growth won’t help it grow. It’s best to let it (your beard) do its thing, and you help your beard along the way. Reducing your stress and anxiety levels will help your beard grow as well. Also, it’s important that you eat enough nutritious food so that your hair, in general, is nourished. Overall, don’t just take care of your beard; take care of yourself as a whole.
Your beard will grow in its own time. So if you’re stressing about how to grow a beard, take some pressure off of yourself. Facial hair is supposed to be fun!
And for all the guys participating in facial hair challenges, Happy No-Shave November!