The easiest thing about getting a beard is the growing of it, those blissful weeks without shaving, the watching and waiting as the hair on your chin grow longer, richer and fuller. As this happens, your sense of well-being flourishes as well as filling you with a warming glow - especially around your chin.
There are some problems with growing a beard though. There are ingrown hairs and the inevitable itch, but once those subside, the biggest problem of all is getting food and other object caught in your hairy pride and joy.
Here’s some advice on keeping your facial hair free of debris from our beard expert Dr Allan Peterkin*:
Your beard should be washed regularly, as frequently as you wash your hair. The same products used on your scalp hair may be used to wash and condition your beard, although these should be of a mild formula to reduce the risk of irritation and excessive drying. Products designed specifically for facial hair are available.
If beard dandruff is a problem, regular dandruff shampoo, slightly diluted, may help.
Using a sparing amount of shampoo, massage your beard, working up a generous lather. Massaging your skin will loosen debris, skin flakes, and oils, and tone your skin.
Rinse thoroughly, ensuring all soap residue has washed away. Inadequate rinsing will, promote, itching, flaking, and matting. If desired, apply conditioner and rinse well.
Pat your beard dry with a towel.
Once completely dry, comb your beard in the direction of growth using a wide-toothed comb. Gently work out tangle, and then follow with a more vigorous brushing using a good quality hairbrush with sparse, firm bristles. Wet hair will stretch and pull, and it is not advisable to comb a damp beard”.
Another way to keep your beard free of everyday bits and bobs is to keep the beard nice and neat with a Philips StyleShaver. This shaver has a special trimmer attachment that is great for keeping unruly facial hair in order.
* Reprinted with permission from the book The Bearded Gentleman: The Style Guide to Shaving Face by Allan Peterkin and Nick Burns (Arsenal Pulp Press)