So now you are out of the military. You are free from the oppression of military grooming standards. I think it is high time you grow a beard. Why? Because you can. However, there is more to just growing a beard then just to stop shaving. With Badass Veteran Beards come responsibility. Just like Motorpool Mondays, you need to perform some Preventative Maintenance Checks and Services (PMCS). Now, if only you could find the Dash Ten (-10) or user manual for a beard. Snap! You remember, The Beard Struggle has got your back and you race to the website.
How to Grow a Badass Beard
The First step to maintaining a Badass Veteran beard, worthy of reverence, is to actually grow one (a beard that is). This part would seem simple enough, right? Wrong! Battle, just like any mission in the military, good reconnaissance will ensure you are prepared for the war to come. You should approach your face like everything else in the military, you will Plan, Prepare, Analyze, Execute, and Review the task at hand, ensuring you have a good LZ (Landing Zone) for those Veteran Sprouts to SP (Starting Point) from.
5 Veteran Beard ROE (Rules of Engagement)
Rules of Engagement or ROE is the way the military engages any adversary. Adhering to a good ROE will get you far in this endeavor. Those ROE are:
- Soften your face by conditioning it with balms and face conditioners
- Conditioning your face is paramount to avoiding beard itch. You do not have to endure the maddening that is Beard Itch. Additionally, this will become a daily ritual in beard maintenance, so start early and start your regiment right. One of the issues with shaving is that it is the perfect way to create a razor-sharp edge, to those beard hairs that is. So How do you dull those blades we call hair? You need to soften the hair to make it do as it is told and grow like the weed it is. Not to mention, beard balms and butters are chalked full of nutrients that were designed to promote beard growth. So, you are really doing your beard and your sanity a favor by investing in these products. I use my balm every morning to maintain my beard and rid my beard of the “Bed-beard” that I get.
- Shine your face or lubricate your skin every morning to ensure it does not dry out
- Exfoliate your face once to twice a week when you first start growing out that face fuzz to break the thin layer of skin that can keep some of those hairs from reaching the extraction point.
- Shine or lubricate your face every night. This will ensure your face does not dry out and cause skin irritation.
- Wash you face daily. This will provide a good clean surface for your beard to grow and will minimize the chance of clogged pores and ingrown hairs.
- It is important to note that cleansing your face daily to two times daily will help to rid your face of dead skin cells, oil and dirt. This will give your face a good foundation and will help those little hairs push up like dandelions in July. Additionally, exfoliating your face at least once a week will allow those stubborn stubbles to break through uninhibited. Please note, Dermatologists recommend to not exceed exfoliating your face more than twice a week.
Testosterone Grows Beards
Now I know I preach this a lot about how diet and exercise will help you grow a good beard. Well, that is because it is a tried and true method for ensuring you are doing everything you can to make your beard the best it can be. It is important to note that Indirectly, testosterone will help grow your beard. I have discussed in previous articles that this is mainly due to testosterone and Dihydrotestosterone or DHT. DHT is what kick-starts your journey from boyhood to manhood. It is this androgen hormone that tells your face to start growing hair. It is no secret that the healthier you are the better your body is at a myriad of things to include cell regeneration and stronger hair follicles. As such, going to the gym and working out at least three times a week will boost your testosterone, shed fat and promote 5AR to convert Testosterone to DHT, thus your beard will grow. As such, you should be hitting that GYM to ensure you a getting plenty of testosterone produced.
Keep It Trimmed
Now this will vary from beard to beard. However regardless how often you will need to catch and trim those strays. You will now notice as your beard is getting longer that some hair will seem to grow like a weed. While other hairs seem to match the rest of your face. Ignoring these strays will make it look more and more unkempt. So, plan a visit to your barber.
Trimming it Yourself
If you are like most of my Battle Buddies, you are going to want to do everything yourself. You spent a majority of your Military life doing everything everybody else’s way. Now you are going to do you, on your time. That is okay, you can. However, if you plan to cut your beard yourself, spend the time to look up a lot of beard trimming videos and articles. You took the time to grow that masterpiece so take the time to investigate grooming it. Remember, this is your only -10 you will find. A few tips to follow when self-grooming are:
- Take your Time
- Style Fist then cut
- Do not cut it wet.
- If you make a mistake, WALK AWAY