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NATURAL GROOMING PRODUCTS FOR THE NATURAL MAN | All natural beard conditioners, hand made soaps & shampoos, and the finest quality old-world combs & brushes. Our products are mildly scented with high quality essential oils. No artificial fragrance oils are used in any of our products.

Care & Feeding of Your Beard

Me!Hi!  I'm Matt. That's me there to the left. I've been growing my beard for over 25 years now, and during that time I've kept it short and I've kept it long.  Short beards are easy. Just slide your preferred guard number on your beard trimmer, remember to oil the blades, and have at it every two weeks or so.  A little beard oil every day will help to keep the short hairs from being too prickly, and keep your skin moisturized.  But longer beards require a little more daily grooming.  Unless you are going for that "John the Baptist" hermit-in-the-desert look, you ought to be taking care of your beard.  And let's face it -- unless you are an actual desert hermit, that's not really a desirable look.  Even Jesus said not to neglect your appearance, "but put oil on your head and wash your face" (Mt 6:16-17).  Your face is what people think about when they think of you.  It's what they look at when they talk with you.  So let's make it presentable, shall we?

Your beard is part of you.  It grows from your body, so to have a healthy beard, it helps to have a healthy body.  This means taking care of yourself.  Eat well.  Exercise regularly.  Take your vitamins.  Avoid stress.  Also remember that everyone's beard grows differently.  A lot depends on genetics.  So don't waste time comparing your beard to someone else's.  Learn to love your beard, and follow the basic beard care regimen below to help your beard be the best it can be!

First thing, keep it clean.  While it's good to wash your beard with water each day in the shower, you probably don't need to shampoo it every day.  Most commonly available commercial soaps and shampoos will strip the natural oil from the hair, leaving it dry and brittle.  That's because most of these products are not truly soaps, but chemical detergents made with ingredients like ammonium lauryl sulfate, ammonim laureth sulfate and cocamidopropyl betaine.  Higher end organic soaps and shampoos, and many hand crafted soaps (such as the ones we make at St. Kilda) will be better for your hair, so use those if you can.  These are true soaps, not detergents, and so are much more gentle on your hair, beard and skin.  

After you've towel dried your beard, it will be still damp but not soaking wet.  This is the best time to apply a beard oil or beard balm.  Both of these products soften the hair of your beard, help prevent split ends and fly-away hairs, and also help prevent dry skin beneath the beard.  Beard oil moisturizes while beard balm will moisturize and coat the hair.  To apply, get a little bit of the oil or balm in the palm of your hand.  How much depends on the length of your beard, and how dry your beard is.  If you are unsure, start with less than you think you might need.  You can always add more if you need it.  Start with about a dime sized amount and adjust from there (I need about twice that much for my beard).  If using beard oil, just coat the fingers of both your hands with the oil.  If you are using balm, you'll need to melt the balm by rubbing it vigorously between the palms of both hands.
Now apply the oil or balm to your beard.  Remember, the product is to treat the skin as well as the hair, so don't just apply to the surface.  Using your fingers, reach all the way in to the skin and really work the product into the whole beard.  Be sure to get under the beard, along the sides, and don't forget your moustache.  Once your beard is well oiled, you can apply anything left on your hands to your scalp or any other areas of dry skin you might have.
Your beard should now look like a well moisturized mess.  Time for the comb and/or brush.  Let me stress here how nice it is to have a good quality comb or brush for your beard.  I spent most of my adult life using a cheap black plastic comb that I picked up somewhere for free.  I didn't realize how much difference a quality comb would make until I bought a Kent comb.  Most combs are injected molded, which is why they are so cheap.  It's a fast, cheap process that unfortunately leaves irregularities and seams in the final comb.  The teeth in Kent combs are saw cut and polished smooth.  The teeth are also equally spaced.  This means the comb passes through your hair like butter and leaves your hair much neater than a cheaper comb.  Sure a Kent comb will cost you more than a cheap drug-store comb, but it will be worth every penny.  So invest in a good comb, you won't regret it.You want to comb your beard out so that it's neat and tangle free.  Combing also helps to distribute the oils evenly through the hair.  I usually comb the front of my beard first, then comb under the beard (which is where I find most tangles occur), and finally comb the front of the beard again.  If you hit a tangle, don't yank it out, but gently work it free.  Many men, including myself, like to finish off the whole process with a light surface brushing with a boar's hair brush, which also helps to evenly distribute the oils.  (Note for you men with short beards -- even if you don't need to comb your beard, a boar's hair brush will still help to evenly distribute the oils).Your beard should feel soft and have a healthy appearance.  It might look a bit shiny at first when the oils are newly applied, but they should soak in after a little while.  The point is for your beard to be moisturized, not greasy.  If your bead feels oily midway through the day, you are applying too much! 

How frequently you apply beard oil, and how much you use, is up to you and your beard.  Some men just need to use it a couple of times a week.  I use it every day, which seems to be the most common application schedule.  If your beard is feeling especially dry, you might want to apply a little more beard oil later in the day, but I would think that would be a rare "as you need it" occurrence. 
Try not to stroke your beard too much.  I know.  It's hard.  Your beard is awesome.  You want to touch it.  Who wouldn't?  But try not to overdo it.  It's bad for your beard and negates all that combing you did to make it look nice and neat.  So hands off, ok?  (Note: I totally do not follow my own advice in this regard.  Beard stroking is one of my major pass-times.  So I also carry a comb with me to undo the damage I might do during the day.)
So that's what I do.  Your daily grooming routine may be (and probably will be) a bit different.  Adjust it to your needs, but take care of your beard!  Your face will thank you!


"We shall wear the beard after the example of Christ and our first saints, since it is something manly, natural, severe, despised and austere."

-The Capuchin Constitutions of 1536