Beardism 101

Time for a long-overdue personal blog update. As ever, the topics I chose to discuss are entirely random. I can almost guarantee the spelling and punctuation will be amateurish at best.

All Things Beard-ish


Recently I’ve been asked, on three separate occasions, my advice about beards. In each case, once I got over the initial shock that anyone considered me even remotely expert on anything, I dutifully answered the questions to the best of my ability. These terribly manly encounters made me ponder facial hair in all its hirsute glory. I look like Sasquatch on a good day so here, without any further pointless waffling, is my guide to all things beardy.

Points to consider before growing a beard

  • Contrary to what you might have heard it is not the lazy man’s get out clause to avoid shaving. Turns out cultivating a beard takes as much time, if not more, than being clean-shaven.
  • Are you a patient soul? Giving yourself over to the lords of the gruff is not quick. Even if you’re naturally hairy (*holds up hand*) the process takes time. My advice is sit back and enjoy.
  • There will be a point where you experience the dreaded itch. It is going to happen. You cannot avoid it. I’d imagine a whole lot of potentially epic beards fall by the wayside at this point. Don’t give up, keep going!! As with all things the itchiness will soon pass. You just need to power through.

So, you’re growing a beard…


  • In my experience, facial hair is profoundly different to the hair on the top of your head. Do not expect it to behave in the same way. For example, the hair on my chin is far more wavy than the hair on the top of my noggin.

  • Find your style – This is the fun part, you get to experiment. It doesn’t matter if you’re going for pirate, Viking, gunslinger, wizard (my current style of choice), Amish carpenter or 18th century Russian Orthodox rabbi just enjoy yourself. I could wang on about how some people think different shaped faces lend themselves better to specific styles but I think that is a load of old tosh. If you are going to rock a beard, OWN IT! To hell with what anyone else thinks.


  • I’ve spoken to different beardists about this one and the jury is still out. The best way to look after your face based security blanket is entirely up to you.
  • Try to get into a routine. I normally wash my beard a couple of times a week using a beard shampoo. Other days it just gets a rinse while I am in the shower. There is something wonderfully soothing about a good old clean.
  • The one thing I am not going to do in this post is recommend one brand of beard products over another. There are tons to chose from. Find the ones you like. The various oils, lotions and potions I’ve tried do tend to make my bristles a little softer and, usually for around twenty seconds every morning, smell absolutely amazing. It’s a nice process, I always feel like I am pampering myself. It’s a pleasant why to start any day.
  • Too blow dry or not to blow dry? – Once again I have heard conflicting opinions about this. Most mornings when I get out of the shower, after applying my product of choice, I do blow dry my beard so I can give it a brush. My only advice is use a cool setting so the hair doesn’t get too damaged.
  • Go to a barbers once in a while – After having a full beard for quite a few years I finally plucked up the courage to go and see a barber*. I really should have done it so much sooner. My local barber enjoys a natter and is licensed so will happily provide a bottle of beer during a trim. Its all terribly civilised. The most important thing I’ve learned is that a good barber will be able to tidy up your facial topiary without diminishing your impressive growth.
  • I’ll admit I did spend a little cash to get a quality boar’s hair brush. Trust me, its worth it. Giving the old beard a good brush from time to time is an absolute joy. It reduces a condition I like to call “Kinky Beard” quite dramatically.
  • A word of caution, you may need to modify your eating behaviour. Going full Hagrid has meant I’ve had to pay more attention when putting things like soup in my mouth. Dairy products are also a group that you need to watch out for. You do not want an errant crumb of cheese or a splash of milk find its way into the depths of your face maze. The stink of stale foodstuffs under your nose all day ain’t much fun.

General Tips

  • Get a cat or dog so you came blame them when you shed hair. You will definitely shed.
  • Choose your hat wisely.

I appreciate beards aren’t for everyone but I just thought I would offer a little advice. Chances are I’m stuck with this for life now. My better half thinks I look like Peter Griffin when I am without it so the face rug stays.

Till next time ya filthy animals!

Pablo Beard-cake

*I was genuinely concerned I would be mocked for poor beard maintenance.

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