Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Our 2nd Installment of Beardness!

Last week we presented the lazy man's beard care guide. Today we will do the intermediate level of beardcare and go over a few different beard products.

The medium/intermediate plan includes washing 2-3x a week and an in shower conditioner, we'll also go over balms instead of oils and using a beard comb.

Step 1: Washing the Beast

So ideally you'd actually wash your beard 2-3x a week in the shower. The Hudson's Made Beard and Shave soaps are beautiful, but so is Bluebeard's Beard Wash.

Bluebeards Beard Wash (comes in Unscented [8oz for $27.68], Original [4zo for $16.40] and Extra Conditioning [8oz for $27.68]: As per usual, this stuff is SLS and Petrochemical free. Bluebeards is made by ANOTHER competitive bearder and his wife. Their original scent is very citrusy, Bluebeards likes using citrus and ginger to cut the oils that can lead to "food smell" in the hair. Usually people believe it smells like fruit loops, which is fantastic. The washes are infused with green tea, aloe, honey and vitamin E. All of those are anti-aging, soothing and healing. With this wash you'll only need a tiny amount to work into your already wet beard, we again recommend doing this in the shower. If you're feeling lazy you can also use this to wash the hair on your head, though for fine hair types it might be a bit heavy. Of course you rinse afterwards.

Step 2: Condition the Beast

This is the new step! Everytime you wash your beard you should consider using a conditioner, this will help "close" the cuticles of the hair while infusing some extra strengthening and softening ingredients. You would do this after washing, put the conditioner in for a couple minutes and then rinse out the conditioner.

Bluebeard's Original Beard Conditioner (fresh mint $27.68): This lovely item smells like scotch mints and helps invigorate the skin, calm down itchiness and maintain a nicely scented beard. Full of strengthening panthenol, rice protein, and burdock and fenugreek extracts this is a powerhouse of nourishment to your hair and skin. We love it in the morning to help wake you up (or clear your sinuses). You apply this after washing, using just slightly more then shampoo you'll work it into your beard, leave for 2 minutes and then rinse out. Easy peasy!

Step 3: Beard Balm

So why balm instead oil? Balm is slightly heavier and therefore more taming. It's between a soft hold wax and soothing oil because it utilizes more butters and waxes. Balms usually come in a tin, you scrape a small amount out and then warm it up in the palms of your hands and wipe over your beard almost like pomade. So generally if you have curly or extra course hair we recommend you aim for a balm.

Brooklyn Grooming's Vegan Beard Balm (available in Commando (unscented), Williamsburg, Fort Greene and Red Hook, $30): This vegan balm contains no beeswax and is generally nut allergy friendly. Containing rich oils like hemp seed, argan and jojoba this balm will leave the driest skins happy and the toughest hairs silky. This balm also contains shea butter and a small amount of candelilla wax to help tame wiry hairs. A little goes a very long way with this, so start out light and find your balance. Brooklyn Grooming hand makes all their products in Brooklyn and sources organic ingredients when possible. It's recommended you apply this into a wet beard / after a light towelling.

Step 4: Combing
(or as Nikki so astutely said, "Comb yo self")

Why do you need a beard comb? It'll help keep your hairs extra neat and is ideal for even distribution of product. The main benefit of a comb over a brush is then you can easy wash a comb with dish soap and a dish brush, where a beard brush can fill with build up quite quickly. You can use a comb to help train the hairs to fall how you'd prefer as well as ask your partner to comb your beard which will result in a full on beard petting.

Kent Combs (2 Sizes, one comes with a leather carrying case and metal file $27.68, there's an even smaller one with handle $7.50) : These combs are handmade and saw-cut so there's no scratchy "seem" or edge to tear and irritate your skin. You would apply your product first by hand and then comb as a "finishing touch". You can use these with a hair dryer if trying to train a moustache or bed crumbled beard hairs.

Of course if you have any questions feel free to email, text, call or come by the shop and try out the products yourself!

Check out our 1st and 3rd guide or our Growing a Beard 101 guide!