Beard Maintenance Basics Part 2: Tools of the Trade

This is a guest post from David Ford of Mad Man Essentials.  You can find Part 1 here.

In the last article about beard maintenance we talked about the proper products to use on your beard.  In this article we want to discuss the tools you use to shape and maintain your look in concert with those products.

If you’re new to the beard scene you might think that itchiness is just part of having a beard.  But that’s not the case.  The itchiness is the result of these hairs becoming long enough to start poking and scratching at the skin on your face.  Once you have a proper grooming routine down, this isn’t going to be a problem.

Start with Scissors

For the occasional stray hair, regular scissors will do the job. But those scissors are ultimately designed to cut things that are relatively easy to cut. Unlike the hair on your head, beard hair is coarser and thicker, and it has a tendency to “walkout” (escape the cutting edge of regular shears).  Here I would recommend a pair of small scissors with a micro-serrated edge, which will actually grip the hairs in place so they can be more accurately cut. 

Beard Trimmers

A beard trimmer is an excellent tool for maintaining your beard between trips to the barbershop.  Simply select the appropriate guard for your desired length and run it through your beard against the grain. 

Electric Razors

If you want a safer option than a beard trimmer, go for an electric razor.  It’s a safer option than a beard trimmer for maintaining your neck and cheek lines.  While some (like myself) prefer to go old-school and maintain beard lines with a traditional razor blade, this also increases the chances of butchering your beard. The short hairs on your neck and cheeks will easily thread themselves through the foil of an electric razor, decreasing the likelihood of accidentally cutting longer beard hairs. 

Shaving Brushes

Pro tip?  A good shaving brush (like our Rascal Madera Badger brush) is a great way to occasionally exfoliate your face when your beard is longer. This can be a great addition to regular beard washes, helping to remove beard flakes and massage the skin. This works particularly well if you have sensitive skin. 

Hair Dryers, too!

A hair dryer is great for straightening an unruly beard, heating the beard oil into the hair, and taming long mustaches.  It’s a valuable tool for straightening your beard when it is starting to grow. Simply apply your beard oil and then hold the dryer a few inches away from your beard and run a comb through it. This technique won’t work well with long beards, but it will make your shorter beard look incredibly well-groomed.  

As we noted above, once you get a routine down, it shouldn’t take you more than five minutes on beard care during a single day. It’s really about experimenting and finding what products work best for you. Good luck!

Any tools you would add to this list?  Tell us in the comments below.

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