Winter beards keep you warmer, but come with their own particular set of instructions. Consider this your complete guide to winter beard care.
When the mercury starts to dip and the icy wind begin to blow, it can be very tempting to grow a winter beard. However, it is a fine line between polished, distinguished-looking bearded gent and wildman returning to society from his years spent on the mountain, foraging for twigs and berries. The funny thing about growing a beard during the colder months is that while it can definitely serve to keep your neck and chin nice and toasty, it does require extra care and maintenance to stay looking polished. So, if you want to keep your winter beard from being regularly described as “unkempt,” follow these three basic guidelines: Keep it Clean, Keep it Dry, and Keep it Moisturized.
1. Keep it Clean
This may seem like a bit of a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many men either don’t think about washing their beard, or never learned how to do it properly. Your winter beard faces the same major challenge as your hair and skin: dryness. It becomes that much more important to be sure that we are not stripping out additional oils during your steamy morning shower. There are two easy ways to make sure that doesn’t happen:
- Use a beard wash. While it can be tempting to simply lather up with whatever bottle you happen to have sitting around, using a wash specially crafted for facial hair helps to preserve your natural skin and hair oils, which locks in moisture.
- Condition your beard. That’s right. Before you move onto lathering up the rest of you, take a small amount of hair conditioner and spread it evenly over your facial hair. This will ensure that your soap doesn’t run off into your beard—negating all of the positive effects of your beard wash—and will also help to protect against moisture-sucking steam from your shower. Bonus: a well-conditioned beard is an easier beard to style.
2. Keep it Dry
Once you’re out of the shower, you will want to use your first beard care product: beard butter. This type of product typically comes in a puck and is somewhere between an oil and a balm. It traps the moisture inside your post-shower beard and keeps it in your hair follicles, where it belongs. Keep a wooden beard comb handy to make sure that the product gets evenly distributed throughout your chin sweater.
Now, you will be tempted to skip this next step, but it’s the most important one for keeping your facial hair looking neat and clean: you’re going to blow dry your beard.
That’s right. Get yourself a nice vented hair brush (if you have a thick, coarse beard) or a round brush (if your beard is more on the fine or thin side) and a good hair dryer.
Plug that styling tool in and keep it on a high heat, low airflow setting. Start by brushing/blowing the hair straight up against your face to smooth out the hair and keep it from tangling. Then point the dryer downwards and begin to brush/blow your beard into your desired shape.
3. Keep it Moisturized
Now that you have a neat, tamed winter beard to keep your neck and face nice and warm, you are going to want to make sure you give it one final layer of protection, before sending it out into the elements. This is where a good beard oil comes into play. Take a small amount of high-quality beard oil, rub it between your hands to warm it, and spread it evenly over your beard and mustache. If you want to be extra thorough, you can run your beard comb through one more time to ensure even distribution. Every beard oil is typically made up of its own proprietary blend of emollients and will help to seal the hair cuticle and trap in moisture.
The more often you use beard oil, the softer and easier to groom your winter beard will become.
Following these three steps may not guarantee you an epic winter beard that matches the likes of Gandalf, Santa, or James Harden, but it will keep yours from toeing the “Sasquatch” facial hair line. If you want to reap the benefits of a warmer neck and chin while still keeping your professional look on point, be sure to take proper care of your winter beard and don’t skip on the trims!
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