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Tips for growing a beard

Be a man and grow a beard.
Be a man and grow a beard.
Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images

A man will never truly feel like a man until he has grown a beard. Beards aren't for everyone, of course; but if you are thinking about growing a beard, there are a few important considerations that you should keep in mind.

First, you must decide if the bearded look is right for you. Regardless of your body type, a beard will make you look heavier and make your face look rounder. A full beard will make you look about ten to fifteen pounds heavier. This is an important thing to keep in mind if you are very self-conscious. Another thing to remember is that until your beard has grown to a sufficient length, it will itch like crazy. So, if you want to look like you've gone on the all Klondike Bar diet while feeling like a swarm of army ants are camped out on your face, a beard just might be right for you.

Still thinking about growing a beard? Well, there is more to it than to simply stop shaving. First, be sure that you can even grow a beard in the first place. Many people who attempt to grow a beard discover that there are some areas of the face where hair simply will not grow. This is a matter of genetics. Start your bead by growing a week's worth of stubble. Check closely in the mirror to make sure that the hair is coming in evenly. Once you've determined that there are no patches where hair won't grow, it is time to do some manscaping.

Manscaping is a term which applies to the grooming of facial hair. The first step of manscaping is to determine the border. In other words, you must determine how far under the chin you want your beard to grow, how wide you want the sideburns to be, and other shape-related considerations. Some people prefer a full beard where no edging is needed. Edging can be done with a razor or clippers, and is done in order to refine the shape of the beardline. Some people prefer narrow beards (a beard design commonly known as a "chinstrap") which will require regular edging.

Beard length is the final consideration. Some men prefer to trim their beards with scissors, while others prefer to use a set of clippers with an attachment. Most retail stores sell beard trimmers, which are a small set of clippers with an adjustable attachment that will allow you to trim the beard to the desired length. Whether your goal is to have a long flowing beard or a close-cropped beard, it is always a good idea to trim it regularly. This will ensure an even length all the way around.

Caring for a beard is no different than caring for any other type of hair. A beard should be kept clean, and can be washed with a mild soap or shampoo. Some men even apply conditioner to their beards in order to keep the hair soft, since facial hair can be quite coarse and wiry.