You have your sights set on #beardgoals but it’s just not happening.  You envy those modern lumberjacks in your Instagram feed with their full Gandalf beards, all shiny and fluffy and long.  While those guys make it look easy, growing a beard is actually hard work.  You need products, tools, and, most important of all, patience.  The good news is you’ll get the beard of your dreams if you take a new approach.  The not-so-good news is that you’ll need time and a little extra dough.

Moisturize Your Beard

It’s surprising how many guys think growing a beard means simply letting it grow and nothing more.  While it’s true that you need to let it grow, that’s one small part of the process.  You need beard oil in your medicine cabinet to keep your beard in great shape.  Beard oil is specially formulated to get to the depths of your follicles.

Your face and scalp are lined with sebaceous glands which produce sebum, your skin’s natural oil.  This oil keeps your skin soft with no problem.  But once you start growing a beard, those glands don’t grow or produce any additional oil.  You might notice a few problems pop up like that awful itchy feeling, beardruff (a.k.a. beard dandruff), and brittle hair.  Beard oil aids your glands by using essential oils and natural ingredients to moisturize your beard completely.  The results are invaluable.

Of course, you can avoid beardruff, itching and irritation.  But beard oil also encourages accelerated, healthy growth.  It even helps keep your beard hair untangled.  If you’re looking for a growth hack, beard oil is the answer.

Brush It Out

In the earliest stages of beard growth, usually the first 2-5 weeks, your hair will look like advanced stubble.  At this point, there won’t be much you can do to style it but you can control the growth.  A beard brush is soft enough to use on your face.  Use the brush to smooth out the existing beard hair and ensure it comes in nice and even.

Feed Your Beard

Ask any barber for advice on how to grow hair and he’ll talk to you about nutrition.  Considering this isn’t fitness advice, you’re probably scratching your head about the link between nutrition and beard hair.  However, they’re not unrelated.  You’ll probably get recommendations to up your keratin intake.  Keratin is a naturally occurring protein that protects your hair from damage.  You can find large doses of it in biotin supplements.  You can also try biotin-rich foods like sweet potatoes, carrots and mangoes.  However, avoid the beard vitamins.  These vitamins are nothing more than multivitamins repackaged as magic pills that won’t boost beard growth in any significant way.

Let It Grow

Try to avoid trimming your beard often in the beginning stages of growth.  You might be tempted to fix things up when you see patches or awkward growth patterns.  Just be patient and deal with it.  The sooner you let it grow, the nicer it’ll look.

Beard growth isn’t terribly complicated but it takes more than just waiting.  With the right products at your disposal, you can cultivate some Instagram-worthy whiskers.