ILL-FITS: How Do I Take Care of My Beard?
As Hypebeast’s readership continues to grow, so does the size of our inbox. From props and complaints, to line sheets, aspiring brands and PR companies, we are constantly getting hit up by many of our loyal readers for various reasons. We’re making a conscious effort to respond to all of you guys and with the help of our contributing editor and native New Yorker, Robert Marshall, we’re creating a new op-ed installment titled ‘ILL-FITS.’ Primarily intended to answer the messages from all of you style advice seekers, Robert Marshall will tackle one of your questions and we’ll post it up here for you to contribute to the discussion.
Although anxious to face winter with my first, likely poor rendition of a beard, I’m worried about the newfound responsibilities I’m welcoming into my life. Consequently, how do I ensure my beard lives a glorious life, free from knots, dandruff, cookie crumbs and most of all, hate from the fairer sex?
First and foremost, on behalf of all my bearded brethren we welcome you to our storied fraternity – an alliance of the manliest of men bounded by their love for red meats, woodworking, and the almighty fur de la face. I’m glad you posed this question as many first-time beard farmers carry a false fallacy that continual grooming is unnecessary. To say it kindly, these sissies got the game twisted like WC.
Before embarking on this rite of passage, take the time to add a few items to your Dopp kit:
- a reliable electric trimmer; comb; facial scrub; moisturizer
- a portrait of Grizzly Adams
- wall-mounted mirror for that tough to see neckline.
Having completed your first task, the stage of beard cultivation is simple: leave it alone and let it marinate atop that stark mug of yours. Give it a few weeks to a month before trimming around the neckline, allowing it to flourish as much as possible. This provides an early glimpse to what your fully-grown beard will resemble making it easier to properly landscape. During this stage you may experience some minor fiend-like itching, particularly around the neck. Don’t trip though, simply man up, grab a tub of whale oil or lotion – whichever is accessible – and apply daily.
After giving your beard the necessary time to mature into its burly richness, we now move onto the fine art of beard sculpting. And although we strongly advise leaving it up to an experienced barber we respect a man with the dedication and ingenuity to DIY. Subsequently, this ancient art form will require a patient mind, keen eye, and a glass of bourbon to master. In your journey just be mindful of two common faults:
First, never hack off too much from the jump as there’s no do-overs in beard carving.
Secondly, many beard-growers will attempt to look thinner by mistakenly approaching their neckline too aggressively by shaving right up to the chin. It unfortunately does the opposite, instead resembling a double chin for someone with the slightest weight problem.
Lastly, as a beard collects unwanted woodchips and small forest rodents, your biggest foes will be ingrown hairs, pimples, and the unfortunate beardruff. These intrusive photo blemishes can result from a number of malpractices, however the remedy is simple as long as it becomes an integral part of your daily routine. Start with regularly using your new facial scrub to exfoliate, removing any dry skin. Then continue on by using your scalp’s shampoo and/or conditioner to thoroughly cleanse and moisturize. Once compete, pat dry, apply facial lotion and comb out those wavy locks.
Feel free to share your routine and/or product recommendations below. Stay Ill!
Photography: Youngjun Koo/Hypebeast