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There comes a time in every man’s life when they think about growing a beard.

Some will give up almost straight away. Some will carry on until the bitter end, (or until their girlfriend tells them to shave it off anyway.)

But it’s not as easy as it seems. Growing a beard does have its ups and downs and with so many different products out there, you’re probably not sure where to start.

Here are the points that you’ll need to know, when growing a beard for the first time.

Stay patient

The one thing about beards is that they grow in different ways and also, at different speeds.

For every guy whose beard reappears straight after shaving, (or seems to!) there are plenty that struggle in the early stages.

One of the main concerns is patchiness. Many will feel that the gaps won’t ever fill in and they’re destined to not have a beard that they can be proud of.

Well you can forget that. It’s one of the many beard myths that are peddled by people with very little experience in the subject.

My advice is simple. Grow it for at least 3 months and then assess the situation. You should notice that the patches start to fill in as the hairs get longer and begin to drop downwards. The main thing is, don’t get disheartened!

Choose your style

Whether your beard is patchy or bushy, there are plenty of other facial hair styles that you can try. The main problem is trying to pick one!

Realistically though, genetics will dictate the type of beard that you can grow. If you’re still patchy on the sides then maybe a goatee is the best option. Or if you have strong sideburns and a weak moustache area, than mutton chops might be your best bet. If you can pull this look off, you have my full respect!

If you can’t decide then just stick with the full beard. You don’t want to be in a situation where you decide to shave it off for a goatee, only to then realise that you don’t like that style after all.

Prepare for a trim

So by now you should have a reasonably long beard, have a decent idea of whether it looks good or not and know what style you want.

Next you should consider tidying it up with a trim. Unless of course, you’re going for the long and wild look! Nothing wrong with that I must say.

If you do want to tidy it up, then you have a big decision to make. Maybe the biggest one of your life.

OK I might be exaggerating a little. But you do need to decide whether you trust yourself to trim your beard or want to leave it to a barber.

Both have their advantages. Doing it yourself is certainly cheaper, but riskier if you don’t know what you’re doing. A barber trim is obviously done by a professional, but there is always a danger that they might trim off more than you wanted them too.

I have tried both. For a beginner, I would certainly consider going to a barber first. Once they have shaped your beard, it will be much easier for you to maintain it yourself in the future.

Invest in some high quality products

A major part of ensuring that your beard looks its best is choosing the right products.

This can seem a bit overwhelming to a newcomer. Below is a quick overview of the key beard products that I recommend that you invest in:

  • Beard oil – My ultimate guide goes into much more detail, but in short, this will be your main weapon against the dreaded beard itch. Look out for oil that contains 100% natural ingredients.

  • Beard wash – Beard dandruff is a big problem for bearded folk. Like using shampoo in your hair, beard wash can help eradicate dry skin under your facial hair.

  • Beard balm – A great product for softening your beard, it also has the added benefit of allowing you to style your beard and keep any stray hairs at bay.

  • Beard comb – If you have a curly beard like mine, a comb is a lifesaver. It gets rid of any knots easily and allows you to style your beard as you wish.

  • Beard scissors – Perfect for trimming away those stray hairs that just won’t stay down.

If you fancy being a bit more adventurous with your beard, you could always try some beard glitter!

By day Niall Sullivan is a Digital Marketer but his real passion is blogging….and beards! He developed a passion for writing at school and during his time at university studying journalism in 2007. Check out his blog at www.niallsullivan.co.uk for lots of beard tips.

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