The sun is setting earlier, the weather’s getting colder, and men all around the world are starting to grow all sorts of things (sometimes even a respectable moustache) on their faces. It must be Movember! It’s the time of year where men grow moustaches for a great cause. Here at Five Men Making Sh!t, we urge everyone to participate – whether it’s through growing one of your own or supporting someone who is. Just don’t forget to donate!
For some, your moustache and beard journeys won’t end on December 1st. Why? Quite simply because beards and moustaches are awesome! Don’t you want to be awesome too?!
This post will guide you through some of the most important things to know during your moustache and beard growing journeys, whether they last for a single month, or longer.
Or, you could skip to the beard oil and moustache wax recipes.
What type of beard or moustache do you want to grow?
There are many different types of beards and moustaches to choose from. Some take longer than others, some are more subdued, and some others really pop out. The fine people at johndyer.org put together a fairly comprehensive guide to facial hair types. You could pick one from this list or go for something more original; whatever you think suits your face best.
Just remember that some styles take much longer to grow than others and each requires a different amount of maintenance to keep presentable. A standard American moustache or copstache could take as little as a couple of weeks to grow and will require very little maintenance, while a handlebar moustache could take as much as six months to grow in properly. If you’re going for a Dali moustache, expect to spend most of your daily routine applying moustache wax!
Growing Your Facial Hair
This part should be easy… stop shaving!
People who don’t often keep a beard or other type of facial hair usually complain of itchy skin after reaching a certain length. This is typically caused by new hair growth that curls back and stabs you in the face (ouch!).
This uncomfortable stage is usually during week three or four, depending on how fast your hair grows, and will last one or two weeks. It’s also usually at this stage that your facial hair will look its worst, since it’s more than stubble, but not yet a true beard. Pro-tip: If you have a vacation coming up, try to plan for this stage to fall during your trip away from home; by the time you get back, you’ll be through the awkward phase.
At this point, tough it out and keep going. Apply some beard oil (recipe below) to keep your hairs soft, and wait until your hair grows longer. I’ve seen many a pitiful excuse for a man cave at this stage but trust me, you’ll thank me when you have a beautiful, luscious beard.
I also recommend investing in a good comb. During the growing phase (and afterwards), comb your hair on a daily basis. This will train the hair which way to grow. It’s especially important when growing a longer beard or moustache (like a handlebar).
Maintenance is Key
Just like the hair on the top of your head, the hair on your face needs to be cared for and maintained too.
Wash: You should wash it every day making sure the hair and the skin underneath are kept clean and free of dirt.
Oil it Up: Beard oil has a lot of benefits, from conditioning to giving your hair a nice smell and a nice feel. Applying oil on a daily basis will keep your hairs tame and feeling great.
Beard oils are generally made up of two different types of oil: carrier oils and essential oils. Carrier oils make up the bulk of the product and have various benefits, while essential oils give the product its invigorating scents.
Some common carrier and essential oils used in beard oil and their benefits are:
- Jojoba: This oil is very similar to the oil produced by your skin. This makes it a great moisturizer and conditioner.
- Argon: Moisturizes the skin and conditions the hair, making it softer and shinier. It also helps control frizzy hair and split ends.
- Castor: This oil is meant to help regrow and thicken hair.
- Almond: Helps with dry and itchy skin underneath your beard.
- Coconut: Great for moisturizing the skin under the hair and controlling dandruff.
- Pine: Smells like a pine tree… Shouldn’t your beard smell like a pine tree?
- Bergamot: Derived from the citrus fruit, this essential oil has a woody smell and goes well with pine. It can also help with hair growth and shine.
- Tea Tree: Can be used to treat oily hair.
- Myrrh: Good for dry hair and as a remedy for dandruff and dry skin.
- Cedarwood: Stimulates hair growth. Also, smells like a manly cedar hedge.
Wax and Style: If you find that even after using oil your whiskers can’t be tamed, or if you’re going for a particular style that requires some molding into place, you’ll want to use some wax. This product can be purchased at most decent barber shops or online. It’s also quite easy to make at home. In all natural formulas, the main ingredient is usually beeswax.
Keep it Natural: Similar to most traditional hair care products, beard oils and waxes can contain some rather nasty, hard-to-pronounce, and unpleasant-to-ingest ingredients. Because you’ll surely end up eating some of your wax and oil during the course of the day (yum!), we recommend going the natural route. Read the labels carefully. The only ingredients you need are oils and beeswax. If you’re like me, you probably don’t want to get petroleum in your mouth.
Some Easy, Homemade Recipes
You don’t need to spend and arm and a leg (or even a moustache whisker) on your facial hair care products. Most can be made at home with very few ingredients and steps. Here are our recipes for a Simple Pine-Bergamot Beard Oil and an Easy-Peasy Moustache Wax.
Simple Pine-Bergamot Beard Oil
Jojoba Oil (10 ml)
Argan Oil (10 ml)
Castor Oil (10 ml)
Pine Essential Oil (25 drops)
Bergamot Essential Oil (25 drops)
Mix all the ingredients together… That’s it!
Easy-Peasy Moustache Wax
Beeswax (20 ml)
Coconut Oil (5 ml)
Jojoba Oil (5 ml)
Step 1: Grate some beeswax and place it in a double-boiler (a bowl placed on top of a pot of boiling water) and let it melt fully.
Step 2: Once the wax is fully melted, add the oils, and mix together.
Step 3: Remove from heat and place in a small jar or container. Let cool.
This recipe yields a fairly un-scented wax which holds well but doesn’t get too hard. If you require a harder hold, try upping the amount of beeswax from 2/3 to 3/4 or more.