WARNING: this post is not meant to destroy your beard dreams or to discourage the audience!
There are different possible solutions to many problems related to beards!
Remember: PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE and KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!
Let’s be honest mates, growing a beard is not easy at all and sometimes you may end up thinking “Bloody hell! Why am I wasting my time and energies? I am going to shave as soon as possible!”
It’s a long way to the top if you wanna grow a rock and roll beard and adversities are always around the corner, since the beginning of your amazing journey.
Being a person involved in sport I don’t like giving up, so that’s why I think it is really important to know different aspects and scenarios you might have to face. When you know what you have to challenge, then you know what to do and you will not run towards the shiny blades of your razor!
I experienced few beard problems in the past years and I for this reason I decided to create this post, listing down some of the most common problems you should know. Of course this is just a quick overview and not a specific and scientific paper but I hope it may represent a starting point and a interesting reading for both beginner baby faces and experienced bearded pirates!
I still remember the chat I had with Maurizio (my barber in Italy), when I took the big decision and I was litterally going crazy because of this common problem. I met him for a normal hair cut and I just asked him “Why is this beard so itchy?“.
He listed different reasons and here I will share with you what we talked about!
Firstly, when you stop shaving, the beard hair (thicker than the head ones) will increase their length and will create many contacts with your skin (unusual situation for the epidermis).
This is also connected with shaving dynamics. A freshly cut hair is strong and vigorous: this stiffness leads to “definitely-non-soft” contacts with skin. In addition to this, normal shaving blades will cut the hair with a precise angle on the final termination generating a sharp edge. Hair will touch and penetrate the superficial layers of your skin during the initial moments of their growth and they will acts like small needles…very annoying situation!
The situation might also get worse (I can imagine your desperation but keep reading 🙂 ) in case of dry skin. There are many factors that can lead to this condition (also known as xerosis):
- weather: usually dry skin is typical during winter
- hot temparature of water when showering of washing your face
- use of aggressive washing products with bad ingredients and questionble chemical properties (pH, just to name one)
- particular skin deseases
- heating (central heating, wood stoves
- specific sport conditions: the most important exaple is represented by the chlorinated swimming pools
Itchiness represent the main reason why men decide to stop growing their beard.
Of course the entity of the problem varies from one person to another and it is not possible to know how long it will last: some of my friends can’t actually growth a beard because this itchiness was going on for weeks, getting worse and leading to bad skin irritations and complications like infections.
I love dark coloured t-shirts and clothes and believe me, there is nothing worse than beard dundruff (especially when you have to be perfect for special occasions! Yeah, your partner doesn’t like a “snowy” beard!)
Doing a quick research you can find that the main well-known causes of dundruff are:
- stress (I experienced and realised that my beard tend to be more falky when I am particulary stressed at work)
- cold temperatures
- specific medical conditions
- a particular yeast
Dundruff could sometimes represent the final stage of a more complex skin irritation called seborrheic dermatitis. The causes of this particular condition are not well defined and there reasons of its development may be various: genetic factors, auto-immune reactions, fungal infections, homonal displacement, etc. It’s obvious that this condition might also lead to redness, increased itchiness and allergies.
Some types of dermatitis require the use of specific medical treatments instead of cosmetic products (e.g. the fungal or hormonal ones).
A really common cause of redness and dundruff is the use of harsh (usually cheap) products containing specific irritating agents (e.g. alcohol).
In this case the use of specific cosmetic with a higher quality grade represents an easy and efficient solution to overtake the problem.
The thick beard hair, especially in the early days of your “berd project”, appeard coarser than the scalp: you are in front of the mirror and the only thing you can see are thick, rigid, unflexible hair pointing in all possible directions. Then you try to bend them all in the same direction and this is just making verything worse.
d) Empty spaces
I know you will never believe my words but I have a perfect cirle on the neck where you can’t find a single hair! I know this might sound like a joke but I am more than serious when I writing I actually have a prefect Giotto’s signature under my chin.
Patchy beards are quite common and sometimes are really annoying and disappointing: you’d like to grow a huge viking beard but you can understand the only result you can obtain is an unregular wolf changing his fur on your face (such a bad comparison! Sorry!).
e) Unregular shape
You can grow a thick viking beard (and the patchy guy is hating you) but after a little bit you realise that half of it is growing faster than the other half. Then you decide to have a closer look and you can see that the upper level of your beard on the righ cheek is different when compared with the left side… What the hell is going on? The more you look at it and the more you find differences in shape, length, etc.
It’s normal: beard hair grow differently in various areas!
Human body is not symmetrical and so it is your beard!
f) Where is my beard?
You are 26 years old and you don’t have a single hair on your chin or cheeks. Well it’s rare situation but you know, nothing is impossible.
It’s a frustrating situation but let’s try to find some advantages
- You don’t have to spend money for specific products and you will also keep far from beard products addiction.
- If you don’t like beards, well this is the perfect situation! You don’t have to shave and you will avoid cuts, shaving irritations and bleeding.
- You will have in both cases free time (no shaving / no beard grooming routine) that you can spend sleeping a bit more in the morning!
Probably I am missing some other hurdles but, as you can see, there are many reasons why a man could get angry and easily irritable when managing his beard (so make sure he will always feel loved!). 😀
As I wrote above, all this problems have solutions and can be overtaken with specific beard grooming techniques and products (except the pathological ones).
Have you experienced any of these problems? Do you have questions about my experience? Have you got further informations about a specific one?
Well, feel free to contact me or just comment this post and I will be more than happy to have a chat about these important aspects!
In the next post I will try to go through the different products I am using, showing how they could help you to destroy these scary monsters…
So throw away that depressed and scared face into a brave one, ready to go through the amazing (not for your wallet) world of beard oils, beard balms, scissors, beard shampoo and many other items!