This article will show you the best way to grow a beard from scratch, using the 12 week challenge. It is a step-by-step beginner’s guide using a simple 3-stage process. The guide will show you what to avoid when growing a beard, as well providing tips that will help you style and shape your beard as you go. It starts with the one month grow.
Stage 1: One Month Growth
You want a beard, you have just finished your last shave and you’re looking at a completely bare-faced excuse of a man. What do you do?
You start by growing your beard for one month.
This is probably the hardest phase of beard growth, as well as the most uncontrollable. I want you to just let your facial hair grow for 1 month solid, no trimming! During this time you will discover the rate of growth your hair follicles produce, which will show you your bearded potential.
Unfortunately not everyone can grow a successful bodied beard but there is only one way to find out – just let it grow. It will look rugged at the beginning, you may get comments, and it will agitate you, but after this phase it gets good.
I first grew mine when I started travelling. No one knew who I was, no one knew what a looked like so growing a beard was normal because no one knew me otherwise. If you have a length of time where you’ll be away from your home, this is a great opportunity to get growing.
2 week Itch
Around the 2 weeks period you will most likely get the 2 week itch. When you shave, the cut can leave the tips of your facial hair quite sharp. As time goes your hair can curl and hit sections of your skin which leads to the dreaded itchy phase, the worst part of growing a beard.
I find it doesn’t last long and to be fair you can get through it easily enough, it’s not the end of the world but it can cause a lot of irritation and discomfort. There are some measures you can take to keep it on an even keel.
– Use beard oil
I would recommend using a good quality beard oil. It will condition your beard leaving it soft and healthy. It will also moisturise and hydrate the skin under your facial hair, eliminating beard dandruff thus avoiding any skin irritations. Be sparing though! Only use maybe 5 pence coin sized drop worth of Beard Oil.. you really don’t need a lot, it goes a long way, and it will just help make it a bit more bearable.
– Avoid alcohol
Say what? No, don’t worry, I mean avoid using any products with a high alcohol content on your beard. This will dry out the skin, which will then increase the chance of itching, so avoid moisturisers with any alcohol content and go for the organic choices to achieve the best results.
Both these steps will keep the facial hair and skin healthy, and will help getting through the dreaded itch phase. During these first couple of weeks, make sure to keep your environment of growth natural to get the best results, and you get past the itch phase you will have turned a big corner.
Stage 2: One month clean up
After the 1st month phase I would recommend giving it a good groom. At this point you might have a rugged facial piece on the go – giving it a good cut around the neck line for more structure could be good.
When trimming, aim not to cut too high on the neck line – some people advise 2 fingers from your Adam’s apple. Alternatively just look in the mirror and aim to cut where your neck meets your jaw – this is the ideal location to cut for the neck line.
You may also have a few rebellious hairs on the moustache. Only use scissors for the moustache and cut using your comb for a guide.
I find that the mustache hairs can grow a little too low and irritate my upper lip. If you have the same problem, comb your moustache down so that the hair length is even, and cut the excess hair along the lip line. This should give a nice, even shape to your moustache.
NOTE: don’t cut when your beard when it is wet! It will give the hairs more weight allowing them to drop a bit lower from their natural position. If you cut during this time you could remove too much – always cut when dry.
Other than this clean up I would avoid trimming or cutting. You are still very early in the growth process; it may look patchy or even thin in areas, but just remember that 4 weeks is a drop in the ocean and only the start to growing a beard. The next section is when you really start seeing results and success in your bearded adventure.
Stage 3: The 12-Week Challenge
The 12-week challenge is the true test and will give you an idea on what your facial hair is capable of. During this phase just cut any stray hairs but I would avoid any big trims or cuts and just let the beast grow!
Some people find that after the 8-week period, you have the start to a successful beard. Your beard will start doing different and maybe unexpected things. It won’t grow seven heads or look like Medusa, but you may find uneven colouring, wavy hairs, straight sections, little patches; whatever the change, embrace your beard for what it is and just let it do what it needs to do.
No-one wants to be the same, and any individual features that your beard shows is a blessing and should be respected. The beard is a symbol to you and your manhood so take it for what it is and enjoy it.
The 12-week cycle is ideal. This gives a chance for the slower growing hairs to finally come through and grow. Different follicles on the face creates facial hair at different times so this time period will give you the chance to grow a thick, evenly distributed coverage.
It also gives time for the character of your facial hair to come to light – the little changes I mentioned before can really come to play during this time which will ultimately give you a better picture of the quality of beard growth.
This time frame will give you an idea of what style is best suited to your beard. It will also show you the styles you can’t get away with when growing a beard so just use this as a learning period and discover what your beard can really do. That’s the best advice anyone can give on
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