I would be willing to bet money that the majority of guys going into “No-shave November” or “Movember” each year have a secret desire to start a beard and keep it for good. Why then, you ask, do the majority of guys shave off their fledgling beards at the earliest opportunity? I think it all comes down to knowledge.
Most guys truly believe that they are in some way unable to grow a beard. In fact, if you are reading this right now, there is a good chance that you yourself feel this way for one reason or another. Perhaps it grows in patchy, itches like crazy, or seems to grow as if in zero gravity. Whatever the case may be, let me walk you through some simple concepts and techniques that will not only help you get through No-Shave November, but might even get you to the point where you keep the Beard for good.
1 - Your Beard is going to look cool for about 2 weeks.
That’s it. After that it goes through about 4 weeks of looking awful, and then slowly starts to fill in and look like a “real Beard”. This alone kills more Beards than fire eating each year (look it up, it’s gotta be somewhere…). You need to see this as a long term thing, and one month is definitely NOT long term. One month won't even get you through the first stage of Beard Growth.
2 - Your Beard is your Beard
It isn’t going to look the way you want it to, and even if it did look like the guy that you work with or see somewhere online it wouldn’t look the same on you anyway. Beard envy leads only to Beard disappointment. The key to a great Beard in the long run is focusing on what is good about your Beard and maximizing that.
3 - You always see things wrong with your Beard that other people don’t.
It sounds funny, but it is totally true. don’t believe me? Talk to just about any guy this Movember and the first thing out of their mouth is generally a gripe about some unnoticeable Beard feature. “I wish it was straighter” “It’s uneven” “It has different colors”. This is always followed by you straining to see just what the hell he is talking about, and often not seeing it. You always notice the shortcomings of your own Beard much more than someone else's’. The truth is, nobody cares - and nobody notices the little nuances that we dwell on.
4 - Trimming will not help you, and normally makes your Beard look much worse this early on.
Realistically, a guy shouldn’t even think about trimming for the first 2 or three months. Yes, I know - you are different, special. I agree that you are the equivilent of a majestic and manly snowflake, but seriously you are not different here. I will say that cleaning up the edges of the Beard is fine, especially if you have concerns about your employer or significant other.
That said, not more than a quarter of an inch. You seriously need to trust me here. Next time you see a guy with a short beard that “just doesn’t look right...” take a look at the cheek and neck lines - they are probably waaaaay off and look goofy as a result. Don’t be that guy.
5 - Growing a Beard shouldn’t be miserable.
Yes, if you shave with a razor it might itch a little for a day or so. You may get some bumps on your skin as the hair grows back through. If you mean business, get some Beard Oil. Mine is the best (of course), but even a good high quality carrier oil is better than nothing.
The first thing I ever tried was plain coconut oil, which re-solidified in my Beard when I went out into the Montana winter air (not a great look). A good oil helps control itch, prevent ingrown hairs, and eliminate beardruff - all things you really don’t want to have. This should get you off to the races, and with any luck pushing through Mowvember and into “Decembeard” and beyond.
I will add that 6-8 weeks is the true benchmark, so if you really want to see if you have what it takes, give it at least half of December too. Check out this other post I wrote for a solid idea of what growing a beard is actually like. Because I want to see you grow a massive Beard, Im giving you a discount all month long.