To some people a beard is nothing more than a facial feature, but to others it is the ultimate form of self-expression. Even at a first glance it is easy to differentiate between a beard that is result of careful grooming and that which stems from simply not shaving.
In other words, growing a true manly beard takes time, knowledge and no small amount of patience. Coincidently, these values are something that a real man is supposed to possess, which is why manscaping stands as a symbol of manliness.
So far, we talked about the commitment needed to grow a beard, but the most important thing about it is the upkeep. This means washing your beard regularly, trimming it whenever possible and using a wide array of quality products.
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as an ultimate tip for skin care, since there are numerous variables to take into consideration. Amongst them, the two most important are your skin and hair type as well as the climate conditions. Because of this, you need to pay special attention during the winter period and here are few tips that may help you out.
Identify your Skin Type
The first thing you want to do is try to identify your skin and hair type. This will help determine how often you are supposed to wash your beard and what kind of products you should apply. You can start by washing your face until it is completely free of oils and dirt so that the test can discover what your skin is like in its default state.
Still, you don’t want to over wash it either. After this, wait for at least half an hour (full hour ideally). Next thing you should do is try to dab your face (preferably with a tissue) especially around your nose and forehead.
According to this test, your skin can fall under one of four categories. If it flakes or you notice small pores then your skin is dry. If you see a moderate to large amount of grease on the tissue it falls under oily. The other two categories are more or less the combination of the two aforementioned.
The absence of either means you have normal skin while the presence of both means you have combination. The latter one is by far the most common skin type there is. Naturally, nothing here is in absolute and the degree of dryness and oiliness depends on various things.
Facewash is a Must
While most people use shampoo to groom their beards, this is usually not the safest choice. You see, shampoo removes natural oils from your beard. Sure, to those with extremely oily skin, this doesn’t seem like a bad thing, but keep in mind that these oils have their function as well.
By coating the hair, they protect it from outside factors, so during the winter they are more important than ever. The best way to approach this situation is to use facewash as an alternative.
This will help keep your skin and facial hair as close to its regular state as possible, while still maintaining its hygiene. A clear and undeniable win-win scenario would be if you use a natural vitamin c serum, for skin protection and rejuvenation.
Oiling Your Hair
Needless to say, after every shower or facewash it would be wise to oil your beard. Still, as we already discussed, not everyone’s beard responds to this in the same way. While some people like oils with a strong scent, this is not recommended for those with a bit more sensitive skin.
For them, the safest course of action would be to stick to the fragrance free oils which aren’t that hard to come by. Ideally, you would oil your beard three times a day, but for some people even once a day is more than enough. The best indicator of this should be your personal experience.
Another vital step that a lot of men tend to skip entirely is humidifying your beard. Humidity is one of the greatest hazards for your skin and your beard during cold winters. The easiest way to do so is with a simple humidifier. Moreover, this has a positive effect on your circulation which further stimulates beard growth.
Combing and Brushing
Even though brushing and combing your beard are recommended all year round, it is crucial that you keep doing so during the winter. For this, you will need an adequate comb or brush. When it comes to combing, you can choose from several materials available.
Stylistically, most men prefer wood over plastic but the appearance of the comb is not the only difference that the material makes. For example, wood soaks oil from your previous combing better than metal or plastic, which can make a small difference in the amount of grease in your facial hair.
As for the brushes, a lot of people make a mistake believing that any brush would do. Hair brush and beard brush are not the same thing and the sooner you realize this the better.
Cover Your Beard
During some particularly icy winters, it might be for the best if you cover your beard with a scarf. The last thing you want is for your beard to get wet from snow or ice. Although having an icy beard may look awesome and completely fit in with the overall spirit of the holiday season, its effects on the health of your facial hair can be quite devastating.
You see, when combined, the moisture and low temperature can leave your hair quite brittle, which means that it can be prone to breaking. Seeing how beard alone has the ability to make your winter significantly both warmer and overall safer, when combined with a nice scarf, the effects of this can double.
A truly epic beard cannot just grow overnight. It requires a serious investment both financially and effort-wise. Furthermore, it requires you to be well informed since taking wrong advice may cause a serious setback in your endeavors.
Finally, there is no ultimate recipe for winter beard care. An advice that works for one person may be completely useless for someone else. This is why, it is vital that you know the needs of your own beard.
Author Bio: Peter is a men's grooming writer at The Beard Mag and High Street Gent, living between Brisbane and London. Beside writing he worked as a menswear fashion stylist for many fashion events around UK & Europe. Follow Peter on Twitter for more grooming tips.