Person leaning forward to check out their beard up close in a mirror 1
Eloisa Ramos/Stocksy United

Long or short, sparse or bushy — the length and thickness of your beard may not matter as much as you think, when it comes to maintenance. Beards of all shapes and sizes require some maintenance for optimal appearance and health.

That said, the amount of maintenance you’ll need to do to will depend on your #BEARDGOALS. Other important factors include the speed of your hair growth and texture, which varies from person to person thanks to genetics, age, and overall health.

“There are 12 essential do’s and don’ts for maintaining a healthy whiskers.”

It might go without saying that nobody wants a dirty beard. Still, unless you expose your whiskers to a lot of dust or dirt, or you find them especially sticky or messy after a spill, you don’t need to wash your beard daily.

Washing your beard 2 or 3 times per week and maintaining other good grooming habits, like regular brushing, can keep your beard clean, according to Dr. Anna Chacon, a board certified dermatologist.

Chacon also recommends practicing good hand hygiene as part of keeping your beard clean and healthy. The cleaner your hands when you touch your beard, the less grime and germs you pass onto your face hair.

The game is called gentle when it comes to beard washing.

Go easy on your skin and beard.

  • A beard wash or a hair wash is recommended.
  • “It’s better to avoid washing your beard too frequently.”
  • avoiding scrubbing

Washing too much, or too roughly, can cause your beard and the skin under it to dry out, which can lead to itching and irritation.

Let your skin type guide you when it comes to beard care.

How to determine your skin type.

If you have oily skin, you might wash your beard and face more frequently, but less frequently.

It also helps to keep your skin type in mind when choosing products. For example, if you have sensitive skin, you might opt for fragrance-free products. If you’re prone to acne, you might avoid beard oil — and other oil-based skin products, for that matter.

Maintaining a healthy beard can be done with moisturizing. A beard that is dry will feel rough. It might become harder to manage and have a dull appearance.

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends moisturizing even if you have oily skin or acne — your skin will thank you for it.

How to keep your skin hydrated? Depending on your skin type, you can choose between beard oil, beard conditioner, or beard moisturizer.

Let your skin type guide you

The AAD has some recommendations.

  • using beard oil if you have normal to dry skin
  • If you have a bad complexion, use a beard conditioner.
  • using a noncomedogenic, fragrance-free moisturizer if you have sensitive skin

These products can all help hydrate beard hair and the skin underneath it, leading to healthier skin and a softer beard.

If you have a long, bushy, Gandalf-esque beard, you will benefit from regular trimming.

Pruning helps you.

  • Your beard shape and length should be maintained.
  • Keep your beard healthy by sticking on split ends.
  • Keep your mustache clean.

A lot of beard-having people prefer to keep their beard above their lip, which requires regular trimming.

Otherwise, how often you trim your beard and how much you take off depends on how fast your hair grows and where you are in the growing process. As a general rule of thumb, trim your beard roughly every 4 weeks if you’re trying to grow it out. If you want to maintain your length, aim to trim every 7 to 10 days.

If you need some guidance on shaping and trimming, you can get a professional beard trim and follow the lines at home.

Your facial hair is growing past your neckline.

“Most barbers say that the neckline is roughly two fingers above the Adam’s apple if you have one, or the underside of your face if you don’t.”

If you want to grow out your beard, shaving below the neckline is an important part of the process.

Pamper the sensitive skin in this area by applying shaving cream, gel, or oil and then shaving with the grain, not against it. Always use a sharp blade to minimize irritation and ingrown hairs.

If you plan to keep a beard for a long time, you may want to invest in some quality tools.

“You don’t have to break the bank to maintain your beard. There is no need to purchase every beard tool on the market.”

Stock your kit

A beard grooming kit can help you maintain a beard.

  • A pair of clippers.
  • Sharp scissors for detailing.
  • A beard comb is used for styling.
  • A beard brush is used to style a beard.
  • Replacement blades and razors.

Proper care of your grooming tools helps keep them in good working order and prevents the build up of hair, dead skin cells, andbacteria.

The best way to go is to follow the care instructions. You can also keep in mind the general tips.

  • Before storing, rinse and dry razors.
  • Change razor blades every 5 to 7 shaves or whenever the blade appears dull or damaged.
  • After using your clippers, brush off excess hair.
  • Before storing beard combs and brushes, shake off excess water, rinse beard combs and brushes, and allow to air dry completely.
  • Remove damaged or rusty razors.
  • You should store your tools in a dry place.

Beards are a big business and you have a lot of choices when it comes to beard care.

Here is a list of the most commonly used beard products.

  • Beard soap, beard shampoo, or beard wash. Designed specifically for beard washing and with facial skin in mind, these products are typically gentler than soaps, shampoos, and washes made for the body.
  • Beard oil. Beard oil helps moisturize and soften your beard, which can particularly benefit stubbly or short beards.
  • Beard balm. Growing a longer beard? You can swap out oil for a beard balm. The thicker, waxier texture of balm acts almost like a leave-in conditioner to shape and tame longer, bushier, or curly beards.
  • Mustache wax. If you want to have some fun with the shape of your ‘stache, mustache wax can help you achieve and hold it. It helps smooth down bushy stragglers, too.

Less is always more when applying beard products.

Too much product can weigh your whiskers down and give them a greasy feel and appearance. What’s more, overusing any skin care product could potentially clog your pores and contribute to breakouts and irritation.

“It is always best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the product label.”

You will want to care for your body both inside and out to lay the foundation for a beard.

These tips can help you keep your body and beard healthy:

Infections can be caused by cuts and irritation that can be caused by shaving and grooming. Chacon recommends checking the skin under your beard for cuts and sores.

It never hurts to pay attention to other skin concerns, like irritation orAcne, while you are at it. If you catch potential issues early on, you can adjust your grooming routine and products accordingly.

Are you committed to the beard life? A little maintenance can help you grow a beard and keep it healthy.

There is no one correct way to maintain a beard, so you can experiment to find a beard care routine that works for you.

“A Canadian writer and author named Arida Santos- Longhurst has written extensively on all things health and lifestyle for more than a decade. She can be found frolicking around her beach town with her husband and dogs in tow or trying to master the stand-up paddle board when she isn’t holed up in her writing shed.”