Beards aren’t for everybody. If that group includes your romantic partner, well, you don’t need to grab that razor quite yet. Depending on the problem, you might be able to change their mind! Here are a few reasons why your winter beard might be leaving them cold, and how you can help your whiskers win them over.
Growing a beard is easy. Maintaining a beard? Well, that takes work. If you have random hairs jutting out from your chin 90 degrees away from the rest of your beard, or if certain hairs are twice the length of others, or your partner can’t look at your upper lip without seeing the remnants of lunch on it, you’ve got to take action.
Depending on the length, you should trim your beard with your clippers about once a week to maintain its shape and keep all your whiskers even. This is also the time to use your razor to make sure your cheek lines and neck lines are even and sharp. You can use clippers on the bushiest of mustaches, but for the rest of us, using a pair of facial hair scissors is the best way to keep your upper lip looking good and keep your mustache out of your mouth. Then use those scissors to snip away any other errant hairs your trimmer might have missed.
However, even if your mustache is appropriately trimmed, head to the bathroom immediately after eating to give your beard a quick rinse to remove any remaining food particles. Consider it as essential as washing your hands after using the toilet — it’s a small price to pay for winning your partner over and keeping your facial hair from looking like a hairy buffet table.
Grooming is about more than keeping your beard trimmed. If you aren’t keeping your beard moisturized, then the cold weather is inevitably drying out your facial hair and making it hard and bristly, so your partner might as well be snuggling up to a scouring pad on those long winter nights.
To get your beard as soft and smooth as possible, start with a warm shower — not hot, as the heat will remove your skin and hairs’ natural oils, leaving them harder and stiffer than they were originally. Shampoo, being a cleanser, does the same thing, but chances are your partner’s not going to like a dirty beard, either, so split the difference by only washing your beard once or twice per week.
The most important thing to do is actually use a moisturizer. It also helps to use conditioner in the shower or beard oil once you’re out — these won’t just help your facial hair, but the skin underneath.
It Looks Bad
Again, beards aren’t for everybody. If yours is patchy, thin, wispy, or other unfortunate adjectives, there’s not much you can do as all your hair, from head to toe, is a matter of genetics. However, there are a few techniques that might help. First, let your beard grow for a month or more before you throw in the towel; sometimes those patchy spots will fill in a bit if you just give your hair enough time. Second, you could start eating better, exercising more, and getting some decent sleep, because improving your overall health makes your hair healthier, too.
If that doesn’t work, or if your partner just hates beards in general, your best course of action is to either pick up a razor or pick a new partner. We deeply recommend the former, but we’re just (razor-selling) romantics at heart.