Whether you’re new to growing a beard, or you’ve been growing one for years, we’re all prone to making beard grooming mistakes. Some trim too frequently, while others don’t trim frequently enough. Some don’t use the right products, while others just aren’t using beard grooming products enough to make a difference.
Bottom line, we’ve all made a beard growing mistake at one time or another. We wanted to help you avoid some common beard grooming mistakes. Here are 10 beard grooming mistakes that you must absolutely avoid.
1. Skipping the Beard Oil
Of all the beard grooming supplies, beard oil might just be the most important. It does so many important things for your skin and your beard.
Beard oil moisturizes the skin (eliminating that pesky itchiness). It seals in moisture to prevent split ends and give your beard a healthy sheen. It softens the hair. And it freshens your beard. Yet, despite all these numerous benefits, many beard-wearing dudes just forget to apply it. And that can cause numerous problems.
Split ends, beard itch, dandruff, wiry hair, and beard stink are all problems you can avoid with beard oil. Bottom line, if there’s one mistake you don't want to make, it’s this. Don’t forget the beard oil!
Pro Tip: A dab of beard oil should be part of your daily beard grooming routine. Work it into your beard after a shower to moisturize and freshen.
2. Trimming a Wet Beard
You’ve just hopped out of the shower, and you’re in a hurry. Better rush to get that trim finished, right?
Actually, that’s a bad idea! Water straightens your beard hair, which, in turn, makes it longer. So if you rush the trim without properly drying your beard, you risk lopping off more than you had planned.
3. Expecting Your Beard to Grow Fast
For first-time beard growers, patience is a virtue. You don’t know how fast your beard will grow, or if it will start out patchy before filling in. The best approach is to wait and see.
Here’s a rule of thumb: Beards grow about a half-inch per month. (Of course, genetics play a major role. You might grow one a lot faster.) For a full beard, that means you’re looking at 2-3 months of growth.
In other words, before throwing in the towel and going back to clean-shaven, be patient. Expect to grow for about two months. This will give you a clear idea of how you’ll look with a beard.
Read More: Explore ideas, tips and tricks for growing a fuller beard in our guide, “How to Grow a Thicker Beard.”
4. Letting Your Beard Grow Wild
Just because you need to wait two months for a full beard, doesn’t mean you shouldn't trim your beard for two months. In fact, without a weekly trim, your beard will start to look messy, unbalanced, and unkempt.
Here's why: Your beard doesn’t come in all at once. Different areas grow at different rates. For example, your mustache might lag behind the rest of your beard.
Trimming those longer areas will help you blend them with the shorter, patchier areas. Plus, you’ll give your beard a more uniform length, which instantly makes your beard look cleaner (like you didn’t just forget to shave).
Read More: Want to learn how to properly trim your beard? Read our guide, “How to Trim Your Beard.”
5. Never Brushing Your Beard
A beard brush might not seem necessary. But regular brushing does a few important things for your beard. For starters, it helps train the individual hairs to grow in the same direction. That makes your beard look cleaner and longer. Plus, beard brushing also helps to make the hair softer and more manageable.
Not to mention, a brush is an important grooming tool. You use it to prep your beard for a trim, or you might use it to work beard balm and oil into the hair.
In short, it’s not a tool you should go without. Fortunately, you don’t have to do much. At a minimum, plan to brush your beard every time you wash it (e.g. 2-3 times per week).
6. Falling for Beard Growing Myths
There are tons of common beard growing myths out there. A few include "shaving makes your beard thicker" and "growing a beard is all genes."
Most of the time, these myths are flat wrong. They’re old wives’ tales. And far too often, people believe these myths and never grow a beard because of them.
So just do it! Grow your beard for two months. That’s the only way to know how you’ll look with one, how thick it will be, and the maintenance that will be required. In other words, before you think, “I’ll always have a patchy beard,” give it a few months, and forget any myths you’ve heard.
7. Screwing Up the Neckline
The “neckline” of your beard – the bottom edge – adds shape to your beard and gives it a clean, kempt look. The right neckline will give your beard a fuller, thicker appearance, for example.
But there’s a right and wrong way to set the neckline.
Too often guys follow their jawline. The beard stops at the bottom of the face. In actuality, the neckline for a full beard should wrap underneath the chin to about an inch above the Adam’s apple.
Pro Tip: Measure two fingers up from your Adam’s apple. This is where your beard should end. Then, make a U shape from this point for a great-looking neckline.
8. Never Using Beard Shampoo
A lot of guys that grow beards think regular shampoo will be just fine. But there’s a big problem with that strategy. Regular shampoo is designed to strip oil away from the scalp. That’s great for eliminating greasy hair, but on the face, that just won't work.
Regular shampoo will dry out our skin and pull too much oil out of the hair. Your beard will be drier, coarser and itchier as a result. So, use beard wash (and read our blog “What is Beard Shampoo?” to learn why). Most beard washes are formulated with essential and natural oils to deliver moisture to your beard.
Pro Tip: Don’t wash too frequently. Over doing it will dry out the skin on your face. In most cases, 2-3 times per week is sufficient.
9. Trimming the Mustache Too Short
Unless you’re going for the leprechaun look (or another beard style that doesn’t include a mustache), be sure you aren’t going too short.
Taking too much off your mustache leaves your beard looking unbalanced. Fortunately, trimming a mustache isn’t too difficult. Just follow these steps:
- Step 1: Use a stiff bristle beard comb and comb your mustache away from your face.
- Step 2: Trim for shape along the bottom and sides with barber scissors.
- Step 3: Use the comb as a guide for length. Comb through your mustache, leaving the length you want to cut off on the outside of the comb.
- Step 4: Trim along the outside of the comb for a perfectly even mustache.
10. Nuking Your Beard with a Blow Drier
You’re in a rush in the morning, and you want to dry your beard quickly. So, you grab your blow dryer and put it on the highest setting. That’s never a good strategy!
The high heat will quickly dry out your beard (faster than it would the hair on your scalp). And you’ll be left with the problems of an overly dry beard, like itchiness, dandruff and split ends.
Instead, stick with a cooler setting to protect your beard!