I get it; I understand why you keep shaving off your beard.
You think it looks bad, with each pose in the mirror twisting it to look worse and worse. Mom and Dad keep teasing you about it and it itches like crazy. You try product after product, yet it never seems to fill in. Sure, you hate your scruff and so you buzz it off; I mean with all of those reasons, how could you not?
Having a beard as a teenager is obviously hard, there’s no doubt about it. When you’re young, your facial hair isn’t filled in all the way and there’s often a lot of patches. Plus, there’s a good chance you’re not used to the itchiness and painful dryness of your skin. People will always make fun of you for your beard, and that’s something that follows into adulthood (whether that bothers you or not).
Anywho, I’m writing this article now as a letter of sympathy towards all of the beard-littled boys and chinstrapping children of our school for the primary purpose of, well, encouraging them to grow out their beard and accept its beauty. Of course, there are always teens who can grow out a beard yet choose not to out of preference, but it’s important that teens who shave their beard out of shame and confusion know that there are ways to succeed in their beard-growth adventure.
I myself have always been hairy; I’ve sprouted facial hair since before my freshman year, yet I never really gave myself (or, my beard,) the time to sprout and grow my facial hair out. That was until the summer after my Junior year, where I took a chance and grew out my first beard.
And that’s the first point of advice…you need to take a chance! You can’t force any judgement upon your facial hair if you don’t grow it out in the first place. Beards and facial hair in general is definitely a commitment, with the average beard taking about 2-3 months before it’s filled in enough to be considered full; it’s no mystery as to why so many teens give up. A patchy teenage beard doesn’t help, as it can take a lot longer for the facial hair to actually fill in since there’s more space on the skin to cover. Nonetheless, you’ve got to give it a chance or you’ll get nothing out of it at all.
Once you actually settle on attempting to grow out your facial hair, you’ll need to do some research. Everyone’s hair is different, and no matter your hair type or race your beard hair will always grow differently from your head hair (which can lead to a lot of confusion.) It’s important that you know when and how to wash, style and trim your beard in accordance with your personal facial hair needs.
Beardbrand is a company with amazing customer service and interaction that offers free advice for beard growth and health through their web articles and Youtube videos. Of course, they always try to fit in a way to advertise their beard grooming products (which are nice, though I’m not sponsored by them,) yet the information they offer is valuable and inspiring nonetheless. They’re a good place to start when it comes to beard research.
After that, you’re really just in for the long haul. The best way to put it is, just take care of your beard and let it grow out; after doing research on styles, you should have an idea of what you want, should you want anything at all.
I do have five personal tips from my own beard journey though as a 17 year old, using my month and a half old beard for reference.
1.) Make sure you don’t overwash
People will tell you the same thing about your head hair. You don’t want to wash your beard too often or else you’ll drain it of oils that’ll keep your beard and your skin healthy. Keeping some of those oils in is also important because it’ll make your beard look a bit thicker and filled in as the hair sticks together and strengthens. There’s no definite answer for how often to wash your beard as it’s obviously different per everyone’s needs. A general rule of thumb is: If you have a coarse beard, wash it once or twice a week; if you have a soft beard, you can wash it a little bit more often. If you’re athletic or work a dirty/sweaty job, that might add on to the amount of times you have to wash your beard. Also, always wash up if you have food stuck in your beard.
2.) Don’t touch it!
Prodding at, let alone trimming your beard before the first three months of growth (with some exceptions) is one of the worst things you can do to it. When you touch your beard you get all of your hand germs and oils in there which can be bad for facial hair and skin health. Also, you can undo its natural curvature and flow and thus cause a bunch of flyaways, making it less thick. Not worth it, just let it rest on your face.
3.) Try out different styles
Okay, this one is both obvious and not so obvious. Let’s say that after all of your hard work in trying to fight off the temptation to shave, you decide that you really can’t handle whatever amount of facial hair you’re growing in. It’s a fair choice, I can’t stop you. What you should consider, however, is instead of shaving off your beard completely you should opt for a different style instead. No one ever said you needed to look like a bear-man; feel free to try out a goatee or previously mentioned chinstrap. You never know what’ll look good on you until you try it out.
4.) Make sure your head hair fits with your beard
Should you decide to grow out your beard, it’s important to make sure your head hair at least somewhat flows with the length of your beard. With the sole exception of the bald / full beard look, it’s crucial that you keep your head hair in par lengthwise with your beard, your beard preferably being slightly shorter in length than your head hair. This might sound unimportant, but it’s something to be weary of when it comes to your personal style and the blended look between your head hair, your face and your beard.
5.) Have some confidence!
We all have bad beard days, you can’t let it drag you down! When we let ourselves suffer because of the fault in our beards, we let our confidence crumble. Don’t let one rude comment or bad flyaway hair drag down your moxy. Your beard is probably beautiful as long as you take care of it, and thus you should be proud of it.
So that’s my advice when it comes to growing out and maintaining a beard as a teen. Some other tidbits to know are: Remember to shave out a good neckline and never do a soul patch.
Have a great day, hopefully I’ll see you around with a serious chin-pillow in a few odd months.