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1. Let your hair go wild
Obtaining a solid beard takes at least a month, so shaving in mid-October should give you a full-figured fuzz to be proud of come November’s close. While we want you to look your best always, it’s highly recommended that you hold off any heavy-duty shaping or trimming for at least the first month. This way, you can understand how your hair naturally grows and get an idea of what kind of shapes your beard can take.
2. Skin comes first
Man to man: It’s okay to admit that you’ve never done this before. And while your follicles will become the star of the show, the base player—the skin underneath—has just as important a role. If you aren’t aware of your skin type (whether dry, oily or sensitive), Kellett suggests heading to your barber, who should be able to point you in the right direction.
3. Stay moisturized
Understanding your facial hair and having a barber who knows his stuff are two major keys to unlocking your beard’s potential. Moisturizing daily with the right stuff is key. There are millions of products out there, but Kellett has a favorite: “In my opinion, you can’t go better than coconut oil. It’s natural, it smells good, washes out, adds all the nutrients that you would need.” Any chump can be lazy enough to grow a beard, but maintaining a healthy face while you’re growing one will ensure that, if you decide to ditch the hirsuite covering, you won’t expose a follicular disaster area.
5. Shape it up
Once you’ve conquered a month of maintaining your skin, growing your hair and fighting the itch to shave it all off, you should have a perfect canvas with which to sculpt a facial masterpiece. “Some guys like to keep it sharp, others like to go natural,” Kellett says. “A lot of guys now are going for the full-beard look—a little bit more narrow on the cheeks, more angular towards the chin. It shapes the face a little differently.”
Of course, regular check-ins with your barber will help, but you’ll save time and money by putting in work at home, with nothing but a razor and a dream. “It takes a lot of time in front of the mirror to get it right,” says Kellett. “And if you mess it up, you’re always welcome to come in!”
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