Congratulations lads, you’ve done it. You’ve made it through the itching, the awkwardness, and the growing pains of letting your face mane fly to achieve the ultimate crown of Mother Nature’s affection. You’ve joined the ranks of lumberjacks, fishermen, and modern day dudes in a variety of tech-related fields. Taste triumph, or whatever remnants from lunch or your last goblet of whiskey still reside in your whiskers.

For some of you now bearded gentlemen, you’ve been counting down the days until you can shave yourself out of the natural life and back into the alien world of smooth skin living, but the rest of you have seen the light, experienced the glory, and are ready to enter into month two of bearding. Mazel tov and welcome to the good life.

Although beards celebrate a rugged sensibility and more freewheeling mindset than that of the clean shaved gentlemen, unmanaged follicle growth is not something to take lightly. Everyone assumes that beards are something that you just let fly and it’ll look awesome and while this might be the case for some lucky individuals, the rest of us have seen what happens when you let your man ivy overtake your face at it’s leisure. With that in mind, let’s talk strategy for keeping your new growth going strong into December.

Manage The Length


This is arguably the most crucial aspect of continuing on with your bearded journey. Believe it or not, one’s beard does not uniformly grow at the same rate from nose to Adam’s apple. Some might have facial hair that grows faster on their chin or cheeks or random patches across the board, but the key is figuring that out quickly and then managing it as need be. For example, the hair on my jaw line, especially as you head back towards my ears, grows much quicker than the rest and at times I gotta take my trimmer to those areas to ensure I maintain the prestigery that my beard blesses me with daily. It’s a burden, but someone’s gotta grow it, ya know?

Mind The Mustache


As some of you might notice in your growing journey, the mustache can be a tricky area to get used to. Unlike a beard, which doesn’t really get in the way of much, one’s upper-lip whiskers can deter you from effectively eating sandwiches, drinking smoothies, and getting, uh, intimate. Some alleviate this by keeping their mustache trimmed above their lip so it doesn’t interfere with anything attempting to enter your mouth, however, this can end up looking rather lopsided in relation to your unleashed beard. My suggestion to you all is let your mustache run wild. You might experience the unpleasant sensation of biting down on it at some point, but eventually it’ll outgrow that stage and rather than curl in towards your gob hole it’ll begin to arrange itself going outwards as it grows stronger.

Keep It Clean

dirty beard

Breaking news fellas: that jungled mass of hair sprouting from your face is just that, hair. And like all other hair, it must be cleaned from time to time, especially if you engage in any sort of sports or workout activities. As dudes, and really just as human beings, we sweat, especially those of us with more hair on our heads, faces, and bodies. Unfortunately that new beard of yours will begin to serve as a sponge for sweat from all corners of your head and will require some effort when it comes to keeping it looking superb. You can use the typical body wash or shampoo, but I find that without some quality beard-specific products, one’s follicular forest can become wiry and unpleasant to the touch, two things every man should avoid.

Invest In Some Products


Believe it or not, a whole niche industry focused on beard maintenance has popped up in the past few years as beards have become acceptable in the workplace and in the hearts of the fairer sex. Although it might seem silly to buy things to treat your beard, take a second and think about all of the elements that encounter your face throughout the day: food, drink, sweat, and, if you’re lucky, sawdust, paint, or dirt. To combat such things, I heavily recommend procuring some sort of combination of the following: beard wash, beard oil, beard conditioner, or beard cream (a more condensed version of the conditioner/oil). These products will keep your beard feeling, looking, and smelling good, each of which is increasingly important as your facial growth graduates from November into December.

Stroke Poignantly


Yes, it is finally time for that seemingly unobtainable satisfaction that we’ve all yearned for when deep in thought or attempting to crack some sort of Will Hunting-esque theorem: the beard stroke. Whether it’s determining what you want for lunch, the best way to respond to a nastygram email, or when trying to remember what else you’d seen what’s his name in from that one show before, the ability to actual stroke one’s beard from the jaw down to the chin is both satisfactory and effective. If nothing else, besides of course people congratulating you on your triumph and assuming you would no longer be the first dead in the Hunger Games arena, this sole experience should be enough for you to let your razor gather rust and let your face mane roam free.

Note: That last photo has nothing to do with stroking one’s beard, but this guy’s so epic he had to be shown twice.