We, the bearded few, often make a fatal mistake when growing our beards. We assume it's all about a hands-off approach. Stop cutting and trimming and shaving – and, as if by magic, your beard will grow. There's some truth to the notion, but it's not the whole truth.
Indeed, seeing luxurious, thick, nourished beards is as much about avoiding bad beard growth habits as it is putting down the razor.
It's hard to avoid some of these bad habits. Try a few of them, and you'll find yourself locked in a negative cycle – they are called habits, after all. At worst, these actions can cause patchy spots, split ends, dry and brittle hairs, itchiness, and much more.
It doesn't have to be this way.
Avoid these bad beard growth habits, and you'll cultivate a beard to be proud of. Here are six beard bad habits to cut out:
1 Pulling or stroking your beard
Picking, pulling, stroking, twizzling – we've all done it. While wisely stroking your beard every now and again is unlikely to cause any harm, doing so too often can lead to hair loss and bald spots.
That's right! Think about it – every stroke, pull, or twizzle gradually eases the hair out of the follicles. Eventually, you'll pull the individual hairs out, even if you're doing so gently and slowly.
We lose hair every day; it's not a big deal. But when pulling or stroking becomes a bad habit, when you do so unconsciously, that's what results in a bald spot.
Here's how to stop touching your beard: You'll need to establish new habits – try to give your hands something else to do, e.g., hand grippers, fidget spinners, or get a friend to create a beard stroke dollar jar.
2 Not using beard oil
Unmoisturized beards lead to two things: brittle hairs and dry skin. If your skin is dry, it will lead to itchiness, and itchiness, in turn, leads to slower growth. Meanwhile, hydrating the hair with a high-quality beard oil will result in a glossier, more luxurious-looking beard.
Oh, and you'll also avoid the dreaded "beardruff" – who wants dead skin flakes clogging up their beards?
You'll want to apply beard oil daily for the best effects.
3 Using hair shampoo for your beard
Follow the label! Hair shampoo is not suitable for beards because the type of hair on your face isn't the same as on your head.
Hair shampoos are designed to work on the scalp, which is far more resilient than your facial skin. That's where beard shampoos come in.
Beard shampoos are formulated with natural essential oils and other key ingredients. Being milder and more nourishing means, you won't strip the natural oils for your hair. Rather, you'll nurture and soften your beard, keeping the itch and beardruff at bay.
There's also a tendency to either over-wash or wash so infrequently as to be negligible. Consider washing your beard once or twice a week.
4 Going wild and wooly
Beards are a little like Goldilocks's porridge – too much care is a bad habit, and too little is neglect. Abandoning your beard to grow wild and wooly is perhaps the biggest beard growth sin. Why bother? No one likes to see a messy, bramble of knotted beard hairs.
Create a morning routine of brushing, combing, and oiling to protect and enhance your beard growth. It really shouldn't take more than five minutes, but it'll make a world of difference.
5 Failing to brush your beard
Beards should be brushed every morning as you sip your coffee. It's not just about the brush; it's the brush itself.
Never use a hairbrush on your face. Beard brushes, made from an array of bristles, aren't just there to remove the knots from your beard. They also distribute the beard oil and get down into the beard to remove dust and dead skin cells (even yesterday's crumbs).
Try our impeccable beard brushes and combs – they're designed with beards in mind. And they'll never damage your beard or harm your skin.
6 Avoiding vitamins essential for beard growth
You should eat a healthy diet as part of your beard growth routine. That means consuming the vitamins and minerals critical for beard growth: vitamins A, C, E, and B1. Alongside these vitamins, you'll also want a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish like salmon and sardines.
Trust us – you'll notice a difference.