Sure, you were 100 percent committed to the No Shave November challenge on Nov. 1. But now you can’t eat a hot dog without getting mustard in your facial hair, and you want to give up.
We feel your pain (trust us, beard burn isn’t fun for us girls either)! Whether you’re just growing a Movember mustache or completely giving up your razor for 30 days, Beardbrand founder Eric Bandholz has solutions to all those unexpected issues (like dandruff on your face). Not only can you grow a longer ‘stache, but he’s also resolving the most common #beardproblems ahead. Who knows, once you get to December you could decide to make this a 365-day challenge and grow a “yeard.”
Every Time You Kiss Her, She Gets a Rash
Discreet hickeys on your girlfriend’s neck are kind of cute. Beard burn all over her jaw is not. During the first week of growing out your beard, exfoliation is key. “When you shave, it creates little points on the end of your hair,” said Bandholz. A bar like the Beardbrand Soft Goat Stubble & Beard Softener ($12) will help you sand down any rough edges, leaving your skin (and hers) supersmooth.
Your Mustache Just Won’t Grow
On average facial hair grows about half an inch per month. If you’re getting any less than that there are a few things you can do to reach your full growth potential. “If you want a fast-growing beard, the thing that you need to do is boost your natural testosterone,” Bandholz said. “So that means lifting weights, eating meals that are high in protein, taking vitamins like biotin and fish oil, and lowering stress.”
Your Mustache Droops Into Your Mouth
Just like you train your body for a marathon, you have to train your mustache to grow away from your mouth. Use a mustache wax ($7) to hold the hair in place. Apply the product to the strands, warm your ‘stache up with a blow dryer, then lock it in with a blast of cool air. It’s totally acceptable to ask for your girlfriend’s help when operating such a complex hot tool.
You’re Getting Beard Bumps (aka Acne)
This might sound counterintuitive, but applying natural oils to your beard can actually help prevent pimples. “A lot of guys worry that if they put beard oil on their face it’s going to make their face really greasy and make them get acne,” Bandholz said. “It’s going to wash out or replace the dirty oils on your skin with fresh clean oil from beard oil.”
Your Beard Is Starting to Look Stringy
You know how women are always complaining about split ends? Well, you can get beard breakage, too! “Trimming doesn’t necessarily make a beard healthier, but it does get rid of the dead ends, and it will make it look nicer and fuller at the bottom.” A quick snip could be the difference between looking like Rick Ross over Billy Goat Gruff. To maintain length and thickness, trim less than a half an inch a month.
Your Mustache Is Hoarding Food
Sorry, it’s just time you say so long to hot dogs and ribs. If you can’t sip it through a straw or eat it with a fork, it’s going to make a sticky mess that you’ll be picking out of your facial hair for days. “Bagels you have to turn upside down if you put cream cheese on it,” Bandholz said. “But ultimately if you’re going to have a mustache, you’re going to get food in there, so just carry a lot of napkins.”
Your Beard Is Coming in Sparse
Bandholz recommends putting your scissors away for at least a month to reach your full growth potential. But we understand that’s not feasible if you’re working in corporate America. “If they’re going to tighten it up, just focus on the cheek lines and the neck,” he explains. “Trim the neck right above the Adam’s apple vs. near the chin.”
You’ve Got Beard Flakes
Food isn’t the only thing that can get caught in the scruff. Dry skin can also lead to flakes and dandruff. The solution: upgrade your cleansing routine. “Your face is more sensitive than your scalp, so when you use these shampoos every day, it’s really going to dry out the skin and cause dandruff,” Bandholz said. To keep the flakes at bay, reduce the number of times you shampoo to once a week. You can also shop more face-friendly bar soaps ($25) with all-natural ingredients. Generic body bars can be packed with preservatives that cause skin irritation, too.
Your Beard Feels Like Wiry Sandpaper
“If you’re washing your beard with any kind of soap, I would not leave the shower without putting a conditioner on it first,” Bandholz said. Or better yet, just use the conditioner as a cleanser. Bandholz recommends using a product that is silicone-free.