For many, growing a beard can be a source of more anxiety than you might think. Am I growing in patches? Am I keeping it clean? Is there food stuck in there? When will it be long enough to braid?
The list goes on.
For me, one of the biggest reliefs that I experienced along the beard growing journey was when I was able to put those minor worries and comparisons aside, and let my beard do it's thing.
The realization that, like everything else about me, my beard was unique and going to grow its own way, meant that a lot of those sources of anxiety didn't bother me nearly as much. This gave me some clarity on the things that actually seemed to make a difference for my own beard, and the way that I liked to wear it.
Here we go - the biggest mistakes that I had to get over to let my beard be it's best.
1. Don't compare too much.
This was probably the biggest item on the list. For the first year or so of growing a beard, I was almost obsessed with things like how fast my beard was growing, and how thick it was, because I was comparing myself against other people, many of whom had been growing and caring for their beard long before I had even sprouted the first hairs above my lip. This constant comparison, much of it negative, really affected my motivation to continue growing.
While looking around online can be a great way to get inspiration (and read blogs like this!), I've also found it can be a huge drain. It's also important to develop your own sense of style and confidence, instead of always chasing looks and goals that others put out for you. Curate a look that works well for you, and complements what you have going on.
2. Don't worry about the length and thickness.
I know that this is a common fear - that you are somehow not up to growing a beard because it's not bushy and thick in a couple weeks.
The thing about growing beards, is that it takes a lot of time. While you may be able to grow a 5 o'clock shadow every day, the road to growing a full beard is a long one.
One of the most common bits of advice that I would give to people at the events we do is to give their beard a month before making any big decisions like cutting it all off (or going for muttonchops..)
While this may seem like a bit long of a period to wait, I've found that any shorter really doesn't give you beard a chance to make many changes. Say, that you're not happy with how your beard is filling in on your cheeks. Most guys would wait maybe 2 weeks before grabbing the trimmers and removing the whole affair.
But this really is not enough time - giving your beard a bit more time to fill in and get longer will give you a much better idea of what might lay ahead, especially when your beard is still short (before 12 months, usually)
3. Get a grooming regimen that works for you.
I know, that you know, that grooming is important is caring for your beard, and keeping it comfortable on your face. I would add that finding a combination of products that you're actually able to work into your daily regimen is critical as well.
For example, I find that I have no issues with adding products to my regimen if they meet a few key criteria:
- It should be easy to apply (I don't want to use cotton swabs, etc.)
- It should feel effective
- The entire regimen shouldn't take more than 5-10 minutes daily
By keeping these in mind, I was able to navigate the wide array of products out there, to find the combination that worked. In the end, it was also the beginning of Peregrine's original beard care lineup, back in 2015 - a simple combination of a conditioning Beard Soap, a Beard Oil and a Beard Balm.
I hope that this was helpful for those of you out there with questions on the best way to avoid mistakes while growing out your beard. In short, it's important to keep a handle on the reality of your own beard and genetics, and make the best of it.
So go forth, and grow the beard that I know you can!
Thanks for reading
-Tyler at Peregrine