Making the Decision to Grow a Beard

Beard 101:

Admittedly, I am a beginner when it comes to growing a beard. This is not so much a how to as it is a journey through my experience actually growing out my beard. I have read tons of articles online and  I geared myself up for the long haul. I am determined to grow a decent size beard. There is a lot to learn on the subject but I wanted to share how I got to where I am and share my experience with those who may think you can’t grow a beard. Have faith fellow gents, it CAN happen.

Before Photo:

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Act 1: Commit

Growing a beard is a conscious choice and lifestyle that you have to commit to. Once you decide to start there is no going back. Can’t stand the itch and shave everything right away? That is the camp that I fell into since I could grow facial hair. It always grew in patchy and uneven and I decided that it just wasn’t in my genes. That is a possibility although uncommon. What I didn’t stop to consider was how I treated the skin under my beard and how my shaving habits prohibited beard growth. As someone who uses a straight edge to shave every other day, I didn’t give my follicles a chance to do their thing. My number one piece of advice to start this is you have to COMMIT!

Act 2: Nurture

I started growing my beard on December 31st, right around the time I wrote my article on using a straight edge razor. I shaved for my gig on New Years Eve and went about business as normal. For days I left my beard go unattended, no shaving, no trimming, nothing. Eventually it got to the point where I usually shave everything off but I read through Chris’ article on beard balms and decided that if I was going to grow a beard, now was the time. So I made the purchase of beard balm and started the journey. After using the balm something amazing happened. My beard no longer itched all the time. My beard was softer and my wife actually liked it! With the itching gone I could see the goal ahead as something I might actually be able to achieve. In addition to using the beard balm, I also started to use conditioner on my beard. Shampooing my beard everyday made it dry and brittle. By using conditioner my beard hairs softened up and my beard definitely started taking the beard balm better. My buddy Joc offered to let me try beard oil for the first time last week and I am very pleased with the results of using beard oil as well. You have to find the right combination of products that works for you. I use beard oil to help promote growth and I use beard balm when I want to promote growth and to groom my beard. My number two piece of advice is to NURTURE your beard with beard balm or beard oil throughout weeks 2-4.

Act 3: Stay Classy

After about week 3 things started to look pretty patchy and rough which is why I normally give up. As a teacher and performer I have to look well kept! Another big piece of advice I read over and over online is  to not shave too early. That being said I have to keep a clean neckline so all I did was shave from the point where my chin meets my neck down. Keeping that clean shaven reduced the itch and also kept my face presentable. I am ending week 3 now and one of the other items I grabbed in order to make the beard a reality was to grab a beard brush to keep the hairs growing in the direction I want. My third piece  of advice is to STAY CLASSY and keep it presentable!

Act 4: Exercise and Healthy Diet

Growing a beard requires good physical health for your whole body. As a music teacher I spend most of my days moving around on my feet as well as all kinds of movement activities with my students. I could be more active but I really do feel like while I don’t hit the gym or lift weights at home I am not in bad shape. I also get a really good work out with my band every time we play a show. By the end of the night I have worked up a good sweat and feel like I hit the gym!

On the diet side of things, ever since I met my wife she has helped me to lead a healthier lifestyle with my food choices. I have more energy and I feel like a more positive person. She is pretty great!

My fourth piece of advice is to lead a healthy lifestyle by getting a good amount of EXERCISE and having a HEALTHY DIET.

Act 5: Make it a Habit

As I reach week 4 and the end of the first time I have let my beard grow for more than a month I am excited to share my results with you. It is not an easy journey but I have received several compliments on my beard and it gives me something to look forward to each and every day. I commit to taking care of my beard every morning and every night and the results are highly satisfying! My final piece of advice for other beginners trying to grow a beard is to MAKE IT A HABIT!

Here are my results after 22 days of beard dedication!

after

I look forward to posting updates about my journey. If you have beard tips or have stories to share please feel free to sound off below!

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