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Beard Grooming Kits (9)

How to Choose the Right Beard Grooming Kit

Beards are back in, and it’s about time. Over the past decade, facial hair has been at the forefront of men’s style, with everything from the precision-groomed chin-strap to the full on mountain-man mane adorning the faces of athletes and celebrities.

Growing a beard is one of the best ways to customize your look and really show off your personality. But while letting that face-fuzz fly might be a little less maintenance than a close daily shave, all beards big and small are going to require some TLC.

A quick Google on beard care can throw you enough information to make your stubbled jaw drop -- with combs and lotions, clippers and potions, where do you even start? Whether you’re going for a goatee or a Gandalf, our quick guide will help you to choose or assemble a beard grooming kit to suit your needs.

Beard Grooming Hardware:

Whether you’re buying one of the many pre-packaged kits out there or customizing your own toolkit, a good beard grooming kit will contain both gear for managing your beard and products to maintain it. Here are some of the most essential tools.

BEARD BRUSHES: If you’re planning to grow your beard longer than a couple of centimeters, a brush or comb will be an essential weapon in your grooming arsenal. Shorter or finer beards will do better with a comb, whereas a brush is ideal for a dry or bushy beard.

Not only will brushing or combing your beard remove any tangles, it can make your beard softer and even look longer. Brushing your beard brings your skin’s natural oils in contact with your facial hair, conditioning your whiskers in the process. Plus, it’s great to help remove the dreaded ‘beardruff’ (which is exactly what it sounds like -- dandruff for your beard) and reduce itching.

BEARD TRIMMERS

Even the longest beards need a little trim around the edges to keep those flyaway ends in shape, and a good electric beard trimmer is by far the quickest way to get the job done. Electric trimmers are particularly good for short beards -- while a barber’s scissors might be a good way to keep a Viking-inspired number in shape, trimming a closer beard by hand can be time-consuming.

You’ll need to do some research to find the right beard trimmer for you, but generally, the more length settings and accessories, the better. You never know when you might want to switch it up!

T-OUTLINER BLADE OR PRECISION TRIMMER:

T- outliner blades are a subspecies of beard trimmers, but they definitely deserve their own entry. A real must for those looking for well-manicured moustaches or goatees, the T-shape of the blade allows for very precise styling.

YOUR FAVOURITE RAZOR

It goes without saying that most men’s facial hair doesn’t quite follow a predetermined outline, and you’ll probably need to shave at least your neck and maybe some parts of your face. There are almost as many ways to shave as there are to grow a beard, but whether you prefer a high tech electric shaver or the dapper craftsmanship of a cutthroat, you’ll need a razor in your toolkit.

BARBER’S SCISSORS

Trimmer technology has come a long way, but in some scenarios only a good pair of scissors will do. Many men won’t trust the finer art of mustache styling to a machine, some trimmers will get clogged with longer hair, and if your hand tends to shake, you could lose half your beard in one second.

When selecting a scissors to do away with those split ends (which are a guaranteed path to a dry and wild beard), be sure to select for higher quality steel and a size you find easy to handle. You can generally go up as far as seven inches, with smaller sizes for moustache trimming, but five is a good size to start off with.

Product

Before we begin -- if you’re buying a pre-packaged beard grooming kit, pay attention to the fragrances and oils used in the product, particularly if you have sensitive skin. It doesn’t matter if the hardware is fantastic if the product sets your face aflame.

BEARD SHAMPOO: You wash the hair on your head, so why should your beard be any different? Ever seen those ads for carpet cleaner, where a microscopic zoom shows that that supposedly clean rug isn’t so clean at all?

Beards can trap whatever particles are floating around in the air around you. High pollen count? It’s in your beard now. Excessive air pollution or dust? Stuck in the beard, baby.

But why use a specialised beard shampoo? Most higher quality products will stop your beard looking oily or matted or smelling, but unlike regular shampoo, they won’t strip the oils out and leave your facial hair looking coarse or brittle.

This doesn’t mean you should skip out on a beard oil or balm, but you’ll definitely use less of those in the long run. Beard shampoos are available in both bar and liquid form. You should use them with the same frequency you would use normal shampoo -- every day to every second day.

BEARD OIL: Remember the dreaded beardruff? Flaky dead skin on the front of your shirt is not a good look, and beard oil is your best defence against that unsightly mess. If you’ve just started growing a beard, it won’t be long before you realise that it can itch like crazy as it comes in, and beard oil is great for soothing your skin, too.

A beard oil is a mixture of a carrier oil like coconut, argon or jojoba and essential oils like lemon, mint or sandalwood. If fragrances set off your sensitive skin, don’t worry -- there are plenty of specially formulated products on the market.

Work the oil in with your brush every couple of days for a softer, less itchy and less brittle beard.

BEARD BALM: Beard balm isn’t as popular a product as beard oil, but it really should be. Balm is super versatile, and great for conditioning and styling. Plus, it’s not nearly as messy as beard oil!

Beard balm is a combination of a natural wax (usually beeswax), natural butters like shea or cocoa butter, and essential oils to top in all off and give the product a nice, manly smell. The butter and oil conditions your beard, while the wax gives a subtle shape and hold.

Like the oil, beard balm can be applied every couple of days in conjunction with a comb, and it’s even better for combating itching. However, without careful combing, it can catch beardruff and other dirt particles -- this stuff can be sticky.

BEARD WAX: Ideal for more manicured styles, beard wax is a combination of beeswax and essential oils designed to hold those hairs in place. Unlike beard balm, it won’t condition your beard, and a little goes a long way.

How to Choose the Right Beard Grooming Kit

Beards are back in, and it’s about time. Over the past decade, facial hair has been at the forefront of men’s style, with everything from the precision-groomed chin-strap to the full on mountain-man mane adorning the faces of athletes and celebrities.

Growing a beard is one of the best ways to customize your look and really show off your personality. But while letting that face-fuzz fly might be a little less maintenance than a close daily shave, all beards big and small are going to require some TLC.

A quick Google on beard care can throw you enough information to make your stubbled jaw drop -- with combs and lotions, clippers and potions, where do you even start? Whether you’re going for a goatee or a Gandalf, our quick guide will help you to choose or assemble a beard grooming kit to suit your needs.

Beard Grooming Hardware:

Whether you’re buying one of the many pre-packaged kits out there or customizing your own toolkit, a good beard grooming kit will contain both gear for managing your beard and products to maintain it. Here are some of the most essential tools.

BEARD BRUSHES: If you’re planning to grow your beard longer than a couple of centimeters, a brush or comb will be an essential weapon in your grooming arsenal. Shorter or finer beards will do better with a comb, whereas a brush is ideal for a dry or bushy beard.

Not only will brushing or combing your beard remove any tangles, it can make your beard softer and even look longer. Brushing your beard brings your skin’s natural oils in contact with your facial hair, conditioning your whiskers in the process. Plus, it’s great to help remove the dreaded ‘beardruff’ (which is exactly what it sounds like -- dandruff for your beard) and reduce itching.

BEARD TRIMMERS

Even the longest beards need a little trim around the edges to keep those flyaway ends in shape, and a good electric beard trimmer is by far the quickest way to get the job done. Electric trimmers are particularly good for short beards -- while a barber’s scissors might be a good way to keep a Viking-inspired number in shape, trimming a closer beard by hand can be time-consuming.

You’ll need to do some research to find the right beard trimmer for you, but generally, the more length settings and accessories, the better. You never know when you might want to switch it up!

T-OUTLINER BLADE OR PRECISION TRIMMER:

T- outliner blades are a subspecies of beard trimmers, but they definitely deserve their own entry. A real must for those looking for well-manicured moustaches or goatees, the T-shape of the blade allows for very precise styling.

YOUR FAVOURITE RAZOR

It goes without saying that most men’s facial hair doesn’t quite follow a predetermined outline, and you’ll probably need to shave at least your neck and maybe some parts of your face. There are almost as many ways to shave as there are to grow a beard, but whether you prefer a high tech electric shaver or the dapper craftsmanship of a cutthroat, you’ll need a razor in your toolkit.

BARBER’S SCISSORS

Trimmer technology has come a long way, but in some scenarios only a good pair of scissors will do. Many men won’t trust the finer art of mustache styling to a machine, some trimmers will get clogged with longer hair, and if your hand tends to shake, you could lose half your beard in one second.

When selecting a scissors to do away with those split ends (which are a guaranteed path to a dry and wild beard), be sure to select for higher quality steel and a size you find easy to handle. You can generally go up as far as seven inches, with smaller sizes for moustache trimming, but five is a good size to start off with.

Product

Before we begin -- if you’re buying a pre-packaged beard grooming kit, pay attention to the fragrances and oils used in the product, particularly if you have sensitive skin. It doesn’t matter if the hardware is fantastic if the product sets your face aflame.

BEARD SHAMPOO: You wash the hair on your head, so why should your beard be any different? Ever seen those ads for carpet cleaner, where a microscopic zoom shows that that supposedly clean rug isn’t so clean at all?

Beards can trap whatever particles are floating around in the air around you. High pollen count? It’s in your beard now. Excessive air pollution or dust? Stuck in the beard, baby.

But why use a specialised beard shampoo? Most higher quality products will stop your beard looking oily or matted or smelling, but unlike regular shampoo, they won’t strip the oils out and leave your facial hair looking coarse or brittle.

This doesn’t mean you should skip out on a beard oil or balm, but you’ll definitely use less of those in the long run. Beard shampoos are available in both bar and liquid form. You should use them with the same frequency you would use normal shampoo -- every day to every second day.

BEARD OIL: Remember the dreaded beardruff? Flaky dead skin on the front of your shirt is not a good look, and beard oil is your best defence against that unsightly mess. If you’ve just started growing a beard, it won’t be long before you realise that it can itch like crazy as it comes in, and beard oil is great for soothing your skin, too.

A beard oil is a mixture of a carrier oil like coconut, argon or jojoba and essential oils like lemon, mint or sandalwood. If fragrances set off your sensitive skin, don’t worry -- there are plenty of specially formulated products on the market.

Work the oil in with your brush every couple of days for a softer, less itchy and less brittle beard.

BEARD BALM: Beard balm isn’t as popular a product as beard oil, but it really should be. Balm is super versatile, and great for conditioning and styling. Plus, it’s not nearly as messy as beard oil!

Beard balm is a combination of a natural wax (usually beeswax), natural butters like shea or cocoa butter, and essential oils to top in all off and give the product a nice, manly smell. The butter and oil conditions your beard, while the wax gives a subtle shape and hold.

Like the oil, beard balm can be applied every couple of days in conjunction with a comb, and it’s even better for combating itching. However, without careful combing, it can catch beardruff and other dirt particles -- this stuff can be sticky.

BEARD WAX: Ideal for more manicured styles, beard wax is a combination of beeswax and essential oils designed to hold those hairs in place. Unlike beard balm, it won’t condition your beard, and a little goes a long way.

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