Below are a few of the most common issues when growing a beard. If you've never grown a beard before then you may start getting fed up with it due to the symptoms that occur during the process. You don't need to be discouraged as now there is a whole industry that has a range of products that are designed to combat the various issues.
Problem: Dry & Course Beard Hairs
You'll notice, as you grow your beard out, that the hairs on your face are not quite the same as the hairs on your head. A beard hair is typically thicker than the hairs of the head, and the cells from which they grow tend to secrete less oil. The oil that is secreted is known as sebum oil and is produced by the sebaceous gland. This sebum oil usually coats the hair and makes it waterproof and by doing so keeps it healthy and protects it from the elements and helps to stop it drying out. The fact that your beard isn't quite as good as doing this as the hairs on your head contribute to your beard feeling more coarse than you may want, overall your beard may not feel soft to touch but rough and somewhat uncomfortable (and to the others that come into contact with your beard.)
The first solution is to apply Beard Oil into your facial hair. By doing so you are introducing some much needed essential oils that will help to nourish, hydrate and repair the hairs of your beard. By applying this on a daily basis will ensure that your beard remains soft and healthy, it will feel much more pleasant to the touch and should irritate you and others less.
For a guide on how to best apply Beard Oil, click here
The second (and cheaper) solution to keeping your beard from drying out and feeling rough is to ensure that you brush/comb it out correctly and frequently. By brushing or combing your beard you help to coat the sebum oil that is naturally secreted across the length of each beard hair. This way you a providing a natural coating of oil for your beard that will help to stop it from drying out, and keep it softer.
Believe it or not, there is a correct way to comb your beard out. If you want to read the full guide on how to do so then click here to read more.
Problem: Itchy Skin
One of the biggest complaints of people when growing a beard is that they get very frustrated with the constant itching that comes with growing a beard. The worst is at the early stages when the beard is just starting to take over your face but it is still new. The feeling of having a beard is new and your skin is not used to the constant friction of the beard hairs rubbing against you face, and this can lead to a very itchy situation! The worst thing is that there seems to be no escape from it, you have just gone through an itchy day and are looking forward to collapsing in your bed and having a rest, but wait! The real issue is that laying on your pillow with a beard leads to even more itching and discomfort.
The real culprit of an itchy beard is dry skin. The skin dries out and becomes irritated and then you need to scratch it, which leads to it becoming more irritated and inflamed.
The solution is take take action to ensure that your beard doesn't stay too itchy by hydrating the skin underneath. This means using a selection of high quality products to combat the issue, and to do it on a daily basis!
The first thing you will need to start using is beard oil. Beard oil comes in many different flavoured blends, but the important fact is that beard oil contains many natural ingredients that help to soothe, repair and hydrate the skin underneath your beard (as well as the beard hairs themselves).
The second product that will help your itching is by using beard conditioner. Beard conditioner contains shea butter which does a brilliant job of soothing skin.
Problem: Moustache Is In The Way And Annoying
When growing out your beard you will begin to realise that some parts of your beard are more annoying than others. The main culprit is the moustache! This is because the rest of your beard will get longer and grow downwards past your chin and cheeks, but your moustache will grow longer and hang right over your top lip! This can make many daily tasks such as eating and brushing your teeth very annoying. If you don't do something about it then you will end up getting hairs in your mouth/food and getting residue of meals in your moustache (especially if you're eating soup).
The solution to this issue is to trim your moustache back to a point where is is not long enough to trail over your lip, if you do this then the hairs will not be in the way and you can eat, drink, kiss and do whatever you want without your moustache getting in the way (while still keeping it looking great!)
You will need to do this with a high quality pair of moustache scissors and make sure that you keep up the habit on a regular basis to maintain your moustache at constant length. Although you will never have a magnificently long moustache you will not be bothered by it on a daily basis.
You may not want to trim your moustache, you may instead want to keep it long because you prefer the style, if so then you should opt for this second solution. The second solution is to keep letting your moustache grow without trimming it. Yes, it will get in the way, at first. However if you train the moustache to grow along your lip and not over it then you will find that it will bother you less and less.
You will need to use a little bit of moustache wax (to see how to apply it, click here) once the moustache wax has been applied then you will use the wax to fix the hairs in place. By doing this daily then you will train the hairs to naturally lay across your lip instead of over it. In time the hairs will get long enough that they can be held in position and will not droop over you lip at all, result!
Problem: Beard Is Patchy/Thin In Areas
Beards come in all different shapes and sizes and colours, and unless you've grown a beard before you never really know how it is going to turn out. Many people have beards that match their hair colour and seem to blend perfectly together, others have a beard that contrasts the colour of their hair. Another thing to point out is that the hairs of your beard grow differently depending on the part of your face, some people will find that their beard hairs grow best of their moustache, others will find that their cheeks are the most thick and full.
The problem with this is that it means that when you try to grow a full beard you will find that the beard will look uneven and patchy in the areas that the hairs don't grow as thickly. The result will be that the beard is patchy and uneven. Instead of shaving off your beard due to disappointment there are steps that you can take to help make your beard look its best and fullest.
The solution is this, you will need to grow your beard out for many months, eventually the beard hairs will be long enough that they will start to grow over the more patchy areas and cover them somewhat (a bit like a comb over for your beard). It may not be a complete solution but you will find that once your beard is long enough it will not look so patchy and will, infact look like a full and complete beard.
The other solution is to trim and shape the beard into a style that doesn't rely on the weaker parts of your beard. If you have a thin moustache then you can trim it down and grow out your chin and cheeks as the main features of your beard. If you have a solid moustache but weaker hairs on the cheeks then you can grow your moustache out fully and make that the centrepice of your beard.
If you want to read our guide on how to trim your beard properly then click here to read more.
Problem: Beard Is Dirty & Unclean
Until you grow a beard yourself you never fully realise how much they affect your day to day life. When you do then you will realise how often a beard clashes with your daily tasks, such as eating. People love to eat, usually 3 times a day or more (including snacks) and every single time you do so you will have to navigate the food itself through the obstacle course that is your facial hair and into your mouth. As careful as you are there will always be a certain amount of food that drops into your beard. Therefore over the course of the day there will be a build up of crumbs that settle in the beard, and sauces and grease that coat the hair follicles, this will result in a gradual smell emanating from your beard as the food particles grow old and a stale. As you'd expect this isn't an ideal situation and is pretty gross...
Another problem is that you may find that your beard starts to build up with dandruff, this is due to your skin drying out and the cells themselves starting to shed. Usually they would fall away from your face over the course of the day, but if you have a beard then it will act as a sort of net and trap them, as they build up they become visible and it doesn't look too appealing.
The very best solution is too strip away the food particles and dandruff, leaving your beard clean and fresh! The way to do this is to use a good quality Beard Shampoo next time you have a shower. The shampoo will remove and food particles, dandruff, grease and and other dirty particles and shouldn't be in your beard. It will also leave your beard smelling nice and feeling fresh, it will also help to leave your beard hairs feeling softer.
Doing this on a daily basis will help to ensure that your beard stays clean and never gets too messy. The best time to use it is to do so at the end of each day to remove the build up that has occured throughout the course of the day.
So there you have it! If you find any of the symptoms a problem then you know what to do to help relieve the issues and carry on with your beard growth journey.