“You look different,” they chorused.
And I knew what those cryptic words meant. I had seen the transformation in the mirror and, let’s just say, a beard is the glory of a man. I had lost it.
I cut my beard off because it had become too scruffy. Every product I applied made it scruffier. I had been with it for about four years and I thought I was ready to try being clean-shaven again. I was wrong. Now I have had an itchy face for two weeks and it is affecting my mood and productivity, negatively. Beard itch is the worst. But it has also sent me running around, doing research on how to care for a black man’s beard. Because I am never cutting it again.
So here are a few tips that are working for me so far:
Your hair naturally needs more oil, and the oil glands on your face will not generate enough moisture for both your skin AND your beard. If you want a great-looking beard, you are going to learn to keep a good hair spray in your possession. Even better, a good natural beard oil that will lock in that moisture. Black men’s beards thrive best from moisture, and a beard oil or beard balm will keep your beard hydrated and soft all day long.
Wash your beard
Facial hair grows best when the hair follicles and surrounding area is clean. Your beard needs to be thoroughly washed at least twice a week and even more often your ride a lot on bodaboda. “But I wash it every day when I bathe,” you say. Well, there is a difference between washing it while bathing and thoroughly washing the beard. The trick is to never use regular hair shampoo or bathing soap on your beard. That is like using soap to brush your teeth, apparently. Gross, right?
These regular products can strip your beard of all its natural oils and make it scruffy and unbearable. Use a beard wash because a good beard wash is specifically designed to clean and condition your beard at the same time. There are online shops in Kampala that sell these. Pricey but looking cool comes at a price, bro.
Use High-Quality Products for Your Beard
The biggest mistake we make is thinking that the beard can thrive on whatever product we apply on our faces. And for most men, that is regular vaseline or cream. Experts say these products will either clog your pores or strip them of the oils that are good for you. When it comes to taking care of black hair and skin, natural is ALWAYS better. So go out and shop for high-quality products, specifically crafted for beards.
The foods to eat
According to dieticians, the condition of your facial hair directly correlates to the health of your body. Omega 3 Fatty Acids (walnuts, salmon, flaxseed oil) will definitely boost hair growth. Protein (chicken, fish, eggs) is also essential for healthy hair growth. Foods that are rich in Vitamin A (spinach, squash, and sweet potatoes) will improve the skin underneath your beard. Now you know.
Hit the gym
This one came as a shock. But it is true. Working out increases testosterone, metabolism, and body recovery, which all trigger beard growth. Hit the gym and pay attention to how your beard responds.