So, you Think you can Grow a Beard?
Growing a beard is both a leap and crawl of faith. You'll be making a new statement about yourself. That's the leap. That statement is going to take its time. Hence, "the crawl." You'll probably go through an awkward stage. You may hate what you see in the mirror one morning, grab a razor and jump ship before that beard has a chance to really grow in. Don't. What you'll need is patience and a plan. While we can't help you with the patience thing, we can help you with a plan. Below are three tips that will help you accept your outer appearance while cultivating your beard, as well as three health guidelines to help that beard along.
Get a Haircut
You'll be facing yourself in the mirror a lot when you're growing your beard in. Making sure that you're properly groomed with well-styled hair is one way to offset the scruff on your face that leaves you looking a little "hobo chic." Once your beard grows in, you might decide that a new hairstyle is in order. Cross that bridge when you get to it. For now, keep it neat. You'll thank yourself.
Step up the Wardrobe
That vintage sweatshirt that looked very "yacht club cool" when you were clean-shaven will only add to the unkempt factor of a growing beard. Put it aside for a while and break out the button-downs. Women will tell you that there is something very sexy about the dichotomy of a well-dressed guy with a beard. While your growing beard is going through its "awkward stage," balance your lookout with more collared shirts, cable knit sweaters, or maybe even a tie. You'll turn fewer heads at the office and more heads on the sidewalk.
Taking photos once a week will help you keep track of your progress and give you a better idea of the shape your evolving facial hair wants to take. Like all good "before/after" photo series, keep it consistent. Make sure the lighting and location are the same each week.
Water the Lawn
Have you ever seeded a new lawn? Growing a beard is kind of the same thing. Think of your beard like grass seedlings. It will need lots of water to get started. If you're like most people, you probably don't drink enough water. Keep track of your consumption here with this handy online daily water intake calculator. And remember that coffee, tea, beer, and cocktails all dehydrate. So, make sure to have a water "spacer" in-between your day - and nighttime beverages of choice.
Feed the Facial Hair Food Chain
To produce hair, which is mostly made up of keratin (a protein-rich in amino acids), your body will need the right fuel - PROTEIN. Make sure your diet has plenty of eggs, fish, lean meats, and poultry. If you're a vegetarian, load up on beans and legumes, oatmeal, and wheat germ. Natural supplements like Vitamins, C, E, B6, B12, and flaxseed oil are also very helpful in assisting holistic beard growth.
Skip the Sugar
Sugar spikes your insulin and can cause your hair to become brittle and break off. Worse than that, excess sugar causes your testosterone levels to drop big time. But an even worse side effect from prolonged exposure to too much sugar is a high buildup of fat from all of those calories, which will produce estrogen. Lay off the sugary sodas, and that includes sports drinks!
Use Beard Oil
It's your first beard. Treat it like a baby. Nourishment, hydration, why wait until it fully grows in?