If you're here looking to up your beard grooming game, we'll assume you already know what a beard is. And it's probable that you've heard of the concept of beard grooming. Just in case: it's the same idea as when you groom a horse, only in this context it applies to the hair on your face.
What Does Beard Grooming Mean?
Beard grooming covers everything from shaving, cutting, trimming, and shaping, right through to washing, conditioning, styling and maintenance. It's all the things you need to do to keep your beard looking (and smelling) great.
Although many men now wear beards, not as many are up with their beard care. Putting together the right grooming kit will give you a head start. If you are new to beard maintenance, here is Australian barber Tim's essential guide to taking care of your beard, including the best grooming kit to arm yourself with.
How Do You Groom A Beard?
First, put together your grooming kit. Beards respond best to natural ingredients, so I've chosen beard products that reflect this. Here's a few basic grooming products you'll need:
- Beard Oil (ideally containing all-natural essential oils)
- Beard Balm
- Beard Wash
- Beard Scissors
- Clippers or Beard Trimmer
- Beard Brush or Beard Comb
Wash and Soften
Before we start with any grooming, it's important to wash and soften your beard. Beard care is essential for good grooming. Not only does facial hair grow unevenly, dry hair has a tendency to do what it wants, exacerbating the problem. So you'll never be able to get an even trim if your beard isn't conditioned and hydrated. That's why you need the best beard shampoo available. Of course, washing your beard should be a regular occurrence anyway, if you want to keep it in shape and importantly, smelling great. So invest in a decent beard shampoo and apply before each and every time you will be working on your facial hair.
Dry, and brush against the grain
One of the best beard grooming tips, but not that well known. Once you've washed your beard, dry thoroughly using a towel. Use a beard comb or beard brush first to smooth out any knots by brushing with the grain of your beard. Before you trim though, run your beard brush or beard comb upwards against the grain of your facial hair, so that the hairs are standing on end.
Watch the trimmer guard
Now you're ready to start actually cutting some facial hair. Make sure you get the clipper length right: most beard trimmers come with either a movable guard or detachable fittings, and so try and line this up against your facial hair to see how much you'll be removing. It's always better to start at the longest length possible, which removes the least amount of hair. You can always take more off but you'll have a hell of a time trying to glue it all back on.
Once you've trimmed, use your beard brush to brush down and evaluate. Once you've found the best beard length and you're happy with the trim, you'll need a good pair of grooming scissors to remove any straggling hairs.
Work the Moustache
The Moustache requires special attention. Shave your moustache using the clippers horizontally to avoid the teeth going up your nostrils. The exact way you'll cut it will be down to your style, and unfortunately, I don't have anything like the space I need to cover how to cut in every style of moustache. Personally, I recommend whatever you do, you cut the line so there's no overhang across your mouth, but that's just me. Some guys prefer a little grow over, but you'll know what's best for you.
If you are cutting it short, you'll need a good pair of scissors. And if you like to twizzle, a good, natural mustache wax is a must.
Apply Oil and Balm
It's time for the beard products. Beard oil, beard balm, or both should be part of your grooming kit. Oil has the added plus of moisturising the skin beneath your beard, as well as the beard itself, and acts as a conditioner. Whereas balm can be used to style, nourish the beard and lock in the moisture. Keeping both in your grooming kit means you're 100% covered.
Balm also protects against the elements, so if you're outdoors a lot it's a great idea. As balm dries onto the beard, it gives you more control over styling too, which is perfect if you're attempting a look that goes against your beards nature.
See our post on how to apply beard oil and balm for more details.
What Are The Best Beard Grooming Products?
So, there's the process, but to pull it off you're going to need the best beard products. To groom correctly you can't really cut corners, so below I've put together a list of some of the best grooming products for your grooming kit, all made from natural ingredients, to keep your beard in shape.
1. The Bearded Chap Original Beard Oil
Buy a quality beard oil. 3-6 drops every day. Massage very well into beard and skin for about 30 seconds. Beard oil is a hyper intensive moisturizer for the skin and beard that hydrates the skin and keeps your beard hair healthy and soft. It also acts as a conditioner for your beard. A high quality Beard Oil should not be greasy and should absorb quickly into your skin and beard. (Be careful not to use too much or you can still get greasy from over saturation of oil content in the skin). Your skin can get very dry and flakey under your beard due to a variety of factors, we call it "Beardfuff", which leaves you looking scruffy and constantly scratching.
A quality beard oil will also ensure that the beard hair you do have is as healthy as possible which helps stop your beard from becoming brittle and snapping off. Choosing products that contain essential oils will also help nourish your beard.
2. The Bearded Chap Original Beard Balm
Use a beard balm. While beard oil is a moisturizer for your face and beard, beard balm is the styling product for beards. You don't need to use too much. Depending on the size of your beard, e.g. for a short corporate beard no longer than 2cm long, half a thumbnail will do. Rub it into your hands to melt and get an even coverage. Then apply to your beard by smoothing down and style. (Don't rub into your skin as balms usually contain waxes than can block your pores and cause pimples.) The scent should be subtle and something you like. Tip: It's a styling product, not a cologne.
3. The Bearded Chap Moustache Wax
Top of the list of grooming products for those who wish to style their moustache for a more regal look or help train a full moustache out of your mouth. The Bearded Chap's moustache wax has a medium hold with a natural look. Use the size of a garden pea.
Split in half and roll between your fingers to warm up. Then apply firmly and comb through the moustache. Add more until desired style is acquired.
4. The Bearded Chap Rugged Original Beard Wash
One of the best beard products in The Bearded Chap range is, in my opinion, the beard wash. It smells great, cleanses your skin and beard. Washes away the dirt and grime from your day, without drying out, adding loads of moisture. It will make your beard like rabbit fur. My wife loves the feel of my beard after I've used this beard shampoo! And that's always a good thing:-)
5. The Bearded Chap Brawny Beard Soap
If you travel a lot, add this to your grooming kit. The Bearded Chap Original Beard Soap is a great alternate to the wash if you're travelling due to its small size and has the same effect, while being a bit lighter on your wallet too :-)
6. The Bearded Chap Traditional Pomade
OK, not technically a beard product, but there's no point going to all this effort if your hair's a mess. Bearded Chap's Traditional Pomade is formulated from natural ingredients, and is perfect for a classic style to suit your beard.
7. The Bearded Chap Beard Grooming Kits
Not only does this make a makes a great gift (ladies), these are the three beard essentials that you can't go without. So it makes sense to put them in one box. Whether it's for you or the man in your life, the Bearded Chap's beard grooming kits are one great leap for (bearded) mankind. And all 100% natural ingredients too. For my money, this is the best grooming kit for the man in your life.
8. Dovo Moustache & Beard Scissors: Stainless Steel
As great as trimmers can be, there's a level of control and nuance you just can't achieve with clippers alone. If you've ever seen your barber finish your facial hair with a pair of scissors, this is exactly why. Straggling hairs can be eliminated, and subtle changes in shape cut in where clippers cannot or will not go. If you want to keep your moustache in shape, there is no other way.
But not any old scissors will do: and although hair scissors might just about do it, a pair that were designed with your beard in mind are of course better. These Dovo Moustache and Beard Scissors are some of the best grooming scissors on the market: great cutting, designed to be used on beards, and of such a high quality that they could last you a lifetime.
Should I Trim My Beard While Growing It?
Yes, you can trim your beard as you grow it. In fact, this should help you grow it more evenly. Be careful with the guard on your clippers, or just cut economically if you use scissors, as you could be waiting forever otherwise.
Whether or not you trim your beard before or after showering is up to you, but you should always wash your beard before trimming or cutting. Check out our guide with more beard growth tips for a thick beard.
What Is The Best Beard Kit?
This depends on the length of your beard and your tastes, but there is something for you in Bearded Chap's range of beard grooming kits. Choose from Beard Oil + Beard Wash, Beard Oil + Beard Balm, or all three in the Trilogy Beard Kit.
What Can I Use To Keep My Beard Soft?
Beard oil is perfect for keeping your beard soft, applied daily. But beard balm will also help by nourishing your beard, although your beard may feel a little less soft once it's applied. If you're out in the elements though, the protection it provides will help keep your beard soft longer term. Most importantly, washing your beard regularly will help keep it healthy and prevent it from drying out. You can read more about what beard oil really is here.
How Can I Take Care Of My Beard Naturally?
As I've said, IMHO the best products are natural. Taking care of your beard naturally is easy with Bearded Chaps range - that's why I recommend it so highly. Their products are made from 100% natural ingredients, meaning they contain no allergens or irritants, and instead are packed full of all the things your beard needs to stay healthy.
If you're interested in keeping it natural, the Bearded Chap Beard Wash, Beard Balm and Beard Oil are all 100% natural.
How Can I Keep My Beard Well Groomed?
Regular washing, trimming, beard balm, beard oil, and a little acquired skill will keep you and your beard looking great. Choosing the best beard care grooming products will also go a long way. If you follow the tips above and pack your grooming kit with high quality products, keeping your beard in shape is relatively easy.
If you want to take your beard to the next level I recommend using The Bearded Chap's range of products. Don't expect people to take your beard seriously until you take your beard grooming regime and products seriously.
Enjoy Gents.Tim Dodd is one of our Australian Brand Educators for The Bearded Chap. Starting his barbering career in the UK 27 years ago he has run and owned successful barber shops in the UK and Australia.
Apart from being extremely talented at his craft, and highly respected in the industry around the world, one of Tim's traits that he is known for is his humble attitude to learning and honing his craft and thirst for excellence in the barber industry. He holds his customers at the centre of his craft, as he believes that the most important thing in barbering is you, the person sitting in the chair.