You might think that growing a beard is simply a matter of throwing out your razor and waiting. After awhile, you’ll grow a big, manly beard, and women will be falling all over you. You’ll get that promotion at work. You’ll be fighting bears with nothing but your fists.
Unfortunately, that’s the ideal preached by many so-called manly men these days. There’s just one problem – it’s a load of rubbish.
If you’re serious about growing a beard, you need to be serious about making it look amazing, too. Otherwise, a beard is not a benefit, but a giant negative distraction that will have others questioning your attention to detail and grooming habits.
In order to give yourself a chance at the best beard possible, you need to invest in a beard grooming kit.
So, what goes into a great grooming kit for your facial hair? Glad you asked. Read on!
1. A Versatile Beard Trimmer
Unless you are one of the few men who can get away with a non-trimmed full beard, you are likely going to want to invest in a good quality beard trimmer.
Most men prefer a short or medium length beard, typically under 1 inch long, which is easily maintained by most clippers these days.
And even for guys who prefer length, many face shapes require that you trim and fade your beard in certain ways.
For example, you may want to give the appearance of a taller face, so you’d let your chin hairs grow longer, and start trimming as you got further up your face, basically fading the beard into your haircut.
The Philips Norelco QT4070 7300 is one of the best, and includes lots of length options, from 1 mm all the way up to 18 mm.
2. A Conditioning Beard Balm
When it comes to the actual grooming of your beard, this is an absolute must. If you do nothing else, put in some beard balm every day.
This is basically a concoction of essential oils, carrier oils, plus a mixture of things like shea butter and beeswax.
The oils work together to moisturize, condition, and nourish your beard. This helps the hairs remain strong and healthy, adding to their shine and generally non-frizzy appearance.
The beeswax helps to lock the moisture into the hair, which enhance the benefits of the oils. Plus, the wax gives you a really nice and natural ability to style your beard, which is great both for your ZZ Top style beard, and for the short business beard that suffers from fly-away hairs and frizz.
We prefer the Virtu Beard Balm from Liberty Premium Grooming Co.
3. A Conditioning Beard Oil
In some cases, this is interchangeable with the beard balm, but to ensure you’re covered in all eventualities, your beard kit should include both.
This can be useful for the first few days of beard growth, to help stop beard itch and beardruff, but is useful for conditioning any beard, if you do not want the styling ability a balm gives you.
In fact, if you’ve got a beard of decent length, you can apply this first, to ensure a nice coating over the entirety of your beard, and then apply a top coat of beard balm for the styling benefits.
Except for the butters and waxes, the ingredients will be very similar to beard balm, consisting of natural carrier oils and essential oils.
A lot of this depends on what scent you like, but Beardbrand makes a lot of good quality oils.
4. Mustache Wax
If you don’t currently use mustache wax, and you have any annoyance whatsoever when it comes to your mustache, you’ll thank me when you get some.
This is great for large mustaches especially, that need something to help them stay put, or at least stay out of your mouth.
Didn’t Spiderman’s uncle say that “with great mustache comes great responsibility”? Pretty sure that’s the quote. Or maybe it was Peter Griffin.
Don’t shirk your responsibility by leaving things to chance – get a mustache wax!
These are usually made with the same ingredients as a beard balm, but they’re much heavier on the wax component.
You’ll still get a nice nourishing condition, so you’re not neglecting your mustache hairs, but the wax will allow you to keep your mustache pointing in the direction you want it to.
Even for the “run of the mill” style mustaches, like what you’d image a “cop mustache” to look like, wax can help to keep everything looking very clean and trim. Without it, you can get a fly away here and there. With it, your ‘stache will be exactly where you want it to be.
Both Fisticuffs and Can You Handlebar produce nice mustache waxes. Don’t be afraid to experiment, try each one, and choose the one with the right amount of wax for your needs.
5. Beard Comb
Alright, time to step it up from the conditioning aspect of beard grooming.
One of the best decisions you can do is kick it up a notch with a comb and with our #6 item, a beard brush. They certainly work together, but let’s start with combs.
First of all, stop using drugstore plastic combs. They are killing your beard.
The way they’re made is typically through injection molding, which necessarily leaves each product with microscopic jagged edges, which can create friction and fray your hairs. Basically, combing becomes hazardous, not helpful!
Move immediately to a nice quality wooden comb, or our personal favorite, a comb made by Kent.
They’re made from solid pieces of high quality plastic, and they are HAND-CARVED. Each tooth is cut and sanded by a human to ensure there are no jagged edges.
Use your comb both to help you style, and to help you apply balm or oil. It will help distribute the oils and keep things looking pretty stylish.
6. Beard Brush
Like a comb, a brush will help you style and distribute oils.
Unlike a comb, it’s really good at getting all the hairs to stay in one place and go the same direction.
A comb has a certain amount of space between each tooth, obviously, but with a brush, the bristles are packed closer together. Therefore it’s going to grab a larger cross section of hairs and pull them all in the same direction with each stroke.
A full routine might include applying oil, combing it through your entire beard, applying balm, and then brushing it all through into your desired shape and style.
You absolutely must opt for a natural bristle brush, nothing plastic that will cause friction and harm the hairs.
Boar bristle is a great choice. We dig the beard brush by Liberty Premium Grooming Co. They guarantee it’s real boar bristle (lab tested), and it is a seriously manly tool.
You might think this is a luxury that you don’t really need.
Well, for some with very short beards, perhaps not.
But if you’ve got any length whatsoever, a trimmer is sometimes too much tool for the job.
In a lot of cases, you want to get in there a couple times a week, or even once per week, and literally trim individual hairs that are giving you trouble.
Between trims or cuts, you can take a few minutes at the mirror to trim away 10, maybe 20 hairs that are out of place, growing at a different pace to the others, sticking up the wrong way, etc.
This is one of the best ways to keep your beard looking tight and clean ALL the time, not just after a full on trim and grooming session.
It’s the little things that count, and keeping up with this sort of attention to detail doesn’t go unnoticed by your peers, bosses, and potential mates.
The Utopia Shears here come in 3 sizes so you can choose your preference. They’re a great value make a world of difference compared to using whatever random scissors you have lying around your house.
A great beard doesn’t happen by accident.
It takes a man’s commitment to his appearance and grooming habits.
A large part of those grooming habits can be undertaken by the tools we recommend to make your beard grooming kit complete:
- Beard Trimmer
- Beard Balm
- Beard Oil
- Mustache Wax
- Beard Comb
- Beard Brush
Get these tools and you’ll be lightyears ahead of most other bearded guys!