Beards have gone high fashion over the past few years, with men of all walks of life sporting impressive examples of face hair. But how can you grow the beard you've always wanted? Here are some tips for top beard growing:
Start a month ahead of schedule
It will take at least a month for your beard to take shape, so if you've got a particular event in mind when you want to look your beardy best, give yourself a good head start. Lay off all but the most necessary of trimming or shaping for the first month too, to give your beard time to really establish itself. This also gives you a chance to see how your facial hair grows, which will give you an idea of what sort of beard would work best for you.
Keep it clean
If you want to grow a truly great beard, you need to look after your skin and your hair. You might find the skin beneath the beard is a bit itchy to start with, so make sure you moisturise regularly and use shampoo and conditioner to keep the beard itself clean. Once your beard settles in the itchiness should dissipate.
Choose your style
You might want to visit a barber for help with this one, at least at first. Once the beard growth is properly established, it's time to think about what style suits you best. Do you want to go for a full, bushy beard, or is a goatee more your thing? Upkeep is a key consideration here – if you can't cope with regular trimming and shaving then a goatee's probably not for you.
And if all else fails... beard transplant
Let's face it, some men just can't grow a beard – facial hair might grow in patches, or not at all. If that's you, and you're not prepared to just drop your dreams of flowing facial hair, you might want to consider a beard transplant
That's right: beard transplants are a real thing, and they're growing in popularity. Like in a more conventional hair transplant procedure, hair is taken from a donor site – often at the back of the head, although chest hair can be used if the scalp is lacking in follicles – and transplanted to the face.
The great thing about this is that you can pre-select your beard style – if you want a goatee, all you have to do is ask the surgeon and s/he'll make sure the hair is only transplanted to the area where you need it.
Results from a beard transplant are immediate but will continue to improve over time.