I grew my first beard about 3 years ago when my 2nd son, Ben, was born. What started out as laziness, and not shaving for a couple of weeks, turned into a mission (obsession?) to try and see if I actually COULD grow a beard worth keeping!
I'd always kind of assumed I couldn't as my beard, cheeks in particular, had always been patchy, sparse and slow growing!
Once again my first thought was 'let's see what the all knowing and all seeing' google has to say on the matter!! After a bit of browsing and finding (of all things!) beard forums and clubs, I quickly realised that a lot of guys have doubts over there beard growing potential. And there is like a whole support network on the internet for guys who want to try growing a beard but don't really know how to go about doing it (or if they should).
(Oh, and Keanu Reeves, I mean really, his beard is patchtatsic! If he can go out in public with a beard like that; and still look good, then I can give it a try!)
So after a while of browsing I discovered JeffF's Beard Board, a forum which seemed interesting and supportive with lots of guys growing beards - small beards, HUGE beards and every kind of beard in between! This all led to me coming up with my beard growing guide! (Bullet pointed list time!)
Grow for 3 months - It takes a MINIMUM of 3 months to start growing a proper beard. Growing a beard is a marathon not a sprint.
Carve a neck line - By carving a carefully positioned neck line (and keeping the upper cheeks clear of hair) the beard will appear more purposeful. No hobo's or tramps here!
48 Hour Timeout - If any doubts set in and shaving is imminent, pause, wait 48 hours and see if you feel the same way.
Look smart - Dress smartly and take care of your head hair. By maintaining your overall standards of dress and grooming the scruffy stages of growing a beard will not be as obvious.
Keep image changes to a minimum - Don't change your hair style or buy a sports car - There's no mid life crisis here!!
Avoid mirrors - Lets be honest, it's gonna look crap for a while - so avoid doubts by avoiding looking at it!!
So there we have my recipe for beard growing success! Now to test it out on myself.....
The first few weeks of growing were very tough! It looked rough and it looked scruffy. But I plowed on and managed to avoid any trimming mistakes. To be fair we were pretty busy with a new born and a toddler, I wouldn't have had time to shave if I had wanted too! I probably didn't stick too well to the dress smartly and keep hair tidy rule (new born remember!) but for special events and nights out etc I scrubbed up pretty well! Having my own product range also helped immeasurably here! By keeping the hair and skin healthy and soft I was already onto a winner!
3 months quickly turned to 3 years!! I've gradually moulded my beard into one that I feel best suits me. I've learnt how to trim and shape it myself (with plenty of mistakes and inadvertent hair loss!) and how best to style it into the shape I want. That all sounds like hard work - and I guess at times it is, but generally if it is trimmed and shaped well the rest just falls into place on a daily basis. And one trim every month or so sure beats shaving every day!
I suppose the beard kind of fits 'me' now. I'm a father, a husband and responsible for a lot of things both at home and at work. The beard makes me look older (and I guess I am older now; I certainly feel it!) My reflection in the mirror fits who I am and how I feel about myself now - particular in the mornings when it looks ragged and a little crazy!!
So that's my beard growing story and plan for bearded success! If you want to find out more about growing and maintaining a beard then don't hesitate to contact me via any of the contact details or social media outlets linked on this website.
Growing a beard is NOT easy and is something that teaches patience and self awareness. That's why most bearded guys will give a slight nod and smile of recognition to each other, they know that they have each faced adversity and over come it!!!!. But never forget 'with great beard comes great responsibility'!!
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