'Be'ard awesome

Wondering how to tame your facial hair? Shahnaz Husain offers a few tips on grooming your beard

Beard hair is coarser than the hair on your head.

While flaunting a beard is considered sexy by many, it’s highly necessary to groom it regularly, otherwise, it just ends up looking unkempt! There are many things you can do to keep your beard well-groomed. Here are some suggestions:

Clean & clear

One of the first aspects of grooming a beard is keeping it clean. Like your hair, your beard also collects dirt, impurities and pollutants. Choose a mild shampoo to wash your beard and use less shampoo. It is best to dilute it with a little bit of water first. If your beard is short and well-trimmed, go for a face wash to keep it clean. A gel-based product may also suit your beard.

The product you use should contain herbal ingredients that are mild and safe and yet, help to cleanse and condition your beard. In fact, this would help to prevent dryness in winter. So, it is best to opt for a mild, herbal face wash, shower gel or shampoo. After washing, rinse thoroughly with water. Avoid blow drying your beard as this may cause dryness.

Conditioning is vital

Beard hair is coarser than the hair on your head. Therefore, it may need conditioning to make it look well-groomed and neat. This is vital for long beards. Use a few drops of leave-in conditioner or hair serum to condition the beard. Your beard will also need regular trimming to deal with stray hairs. Use a wide-tooth comb to detangle your beard hair. Use a clipper to trim the beard. You may need to shave the underside of the beard to keep it neat.

Beardcare products

In the market today, there are many ‘beardcare’ products, from comb sets for beards and moustaches, to beard washes, shampoos, moisturisers and gels. Fragrant after-shave lotions or colognes can also be used to groom your beard. Beard oils, gels and moisturising creams are the latest products to hit the beardcare shelves.

Apart from products, there are facials that nourish both your skin and hair. in particular, go in for warm oil therapy to nourish your beard hair and keep it soft. Note that the direction of growth is taken into account while massaging the face for men with beards.

There can be problems like dandruff or psoriasis even with beard hair for which professional care and specialised products are recommended. Treatments are also available to problems of scanty growth of beard, which can be due to a hormonal problem. For this, consult an endocrinologist. Treatments such as male replacement hormone therapy are available, too. Another problem that can affect your beard is alopecia, which leads to loss of hair. For this also, consult a dermatologist or trichologist.

Quick tips:

• Trim the beard when it is dry because when it’s wet, it becomes longer and has more elasticity. So, you’ll end up trimming the beard much shorter than desired.

• Rinse and wash your beard hair well, especially after shampoo or the use of gels and waxes, to prevent flaking or pore clogging.

• A styling gel or mousse can be used to deal with curly beard hair, making it smoother and straighter.

Style it right

One of the latest and most popular trends is the ‘Balbo’ style. It suits men with a narrow chin. It is a style that is shaped. The beard is allowed to grow for about a month or more until it is quite full. A shaped moustache is also part of the style. Razors are used to shape the style, taking off hair from the sides of the face.

Trends suggest that the full beard style will become popular. Obviously, this look can be sported by a man who has a good growth of facial hair. The hair is allowed to grow for at least six weeks and then styled by shaving a part of the inner cheek area and near the hairline, near the top of the ear. The stubble continues to be popular, especially among younger men. It does not need much shaping and can be cared quite easily. It also suits most face shapes.

(The author is a beauty expert)

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