I've been growing a beard now for a couple of years.
Through mostly trial and error, I have a pretty good product list and regiment I want to lay down for others...You won't NEED all of it, but I do use everything that I have. Of course, your needs my vary, I will just explain what I use and why. For brevity, I won't share everything I have/use, but what I would consider the essentials. You can share your experience here if you like. First, the shopping list...
Regardless of hair type, I think you will need at least 2 brushes. One for general grooming, and one to spread and distribute product.
I realize this is a $30 brush, but I wouldn't put it here if it wasn't worth it. I use both Balm and Oil, and if your beard isn't moisturized, you will have issues. I suppose you could use this double as a grooming brush, but I don't. The description of the brush will tell you why it's essential, and is a good baseline for other brushes.
1. Beard Oil/Balm Brush by Art of Shaving - http://ayhja.com/url/bbrush
This is a decent grooming brush. Something you can chuck in a bag and use in a pinch. Small, compact and versatile. Also, economical. :)
2. Evolve #511 - http://ayhja.com/url/gbrush
I have at least 3 or 4 different kinds of beard combs now. Wood. Steel. If I had to pick one, this would be it. Combs are important, since you ideally comb your beard a couple of times a day, if not more. The wrong kind of comb will break and shred your beard. This Kent comb works well for grooming and distributing product. Depending on your beard length and texture you may need to go bigger.
3. Kent Handmade Comb - https://ayhja.com/url/kcomb
Now that you have tools, you're going to need some product. Like I said, I've tried lots, this is what I'm using now and why. Also, I spend more money keeping and maintaining a beard than I ever did any kind of haircut. This shit is intense. From the beginning then...
One of the things I did wrong when I first started growing my beard was I washed it WAY too often. You don't want to treat your beard like the hair on your head. I usually wash and condition my beard once a week. You do not use hair shampoo on your beard, as it will strip away essential beard oils and make your beard brittle. You need a dedicated beard wash.
You will need at least 5 things from this website. I would suggest that you sign up with my little referral discount code and save some cake. It's costly, but actually worth more than they charge for it imo.
Save $6 - http://ayhja.com/url/maap
Beard Essentials Set by Maapilim - http://ayhja.com/url/mbe
Beard Softener - https://ayhja.com/url/bsoft
Beard Balm - https://ayhja.com/url/bbalm
I wash my beard in the shower usually on Tuesdays, since I get my haircut on Saturdays every two weeks. The stuff my barber puts in my beard is good too, so I usually let that marinate a few days before I wash it...At any rate, wash your beard with the wash, work it all the way in and then rinse. Then, while you're in the shower, apply the beard softener, which is a kind of conditioner. All the Maapilim (made in Israel) stuff smells awesome, the scent of both the wash and the conditioner are great. I wash my beard first and then leave the conditioner in my beard for the duration of my shower, rinsing it out last.
After you get out, I towel dry my beard as much as possible and then apply the beard serum. You use the nozzle to put the product directly onto the skin under your beard, I usually do 3 pumps, one for each jaw and one for the chin. Then using my fingers, I work it into the roots and then the strands. I continue toweling off to let the serum work, and some minutes after, I apply the beard oil.
Now is as good a time as any to point out that the beard oil is not really for your beard, but the skin under it. As your beard grows, it is not possible for the skin and strands to stay properly hydrated. The serum and the beard oil help this, which is why you need a good beard oil brush. I put a few drops of oil into my hands and work it through manually like the serum, and then put a few drops in the center of the beard oil brush and continue to work it into my beard.
You should have a really nice sheen on your beard now. It should also smell awesome. You're pretty set with your beard game at this point. I oil my beard at least once a day, usually at night after a shower, even if I don't wash it. Only use the serum and conditioner if you wash your beard. Beard oil is your daily driver. For me, I can usually tell if my beard is hydrated when I comb it.
If when you comb your beard, you notice hair breaking off into the sink or a pretty good bit of shedding, you could probably use more moisture in addition to the oil. This is where beard conditioners come in...
I use beard balm to SHAPE and CONDITION my beard. You can use your beard oil brush, which has that circular shape especially for balm tins to apply balm. Put the brush into the tin and give it a quarter turn, or put a little bit of balm in your palm, warm it up by rubbing your hands together, and then work the balm into your beard like you do the beard oil. Afterwards, you can use your grooming brush to angle and style your beard to your liking. More balm = more hold, but don't go nuts, the smell will be on your face all day. A little goes a long way...
Lastly, there are a few good beard butters and conditioners that you can use daily if you don't want to use a balm. I went to the Barber Spa and got hooked on this stuff. It has a texture like lotion and works great for me. On days when I have more hair in the sink then I'm supposed to, I use conditioner. I can tell when my beard is well taken care of when my beard hairs shed into my comb, not the sink. That's winning!
Moroccan oil Hydrating Styling Cream - http://ayhja.com/url/mcon
Grab some of this from Target if you're tired of me and all my saditty products
Shea Moisture Beard Detangler - http://ayhja.com/url/sheab
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