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Beard Care Advice from Members
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RECEIVED WISDOM ON BEARD CARE FROM MEMBERS OF THE BRITISH BEARD CLUB
TBBC news item logo GARETH FROM CAMBRIDGESHIRE
Gareth

“Tips on how to keep a beard out of soup etc.
My beard is now nearly a foot long and I either do 1 of 2 things when eating food that it is likely to dip into; I tie it in a sort of "top knot", that is put it in a pony tail band and then pull it through the band again, but only half way, making a kind of loop and leaving the beard neatly at half the length it was before, or for a quicker solution, I just tuck it into my shirt!

“As for the grooming front, having had my beard for a little over 2 years now and never trimmed it once, I find that the following works well; I never use soap or shower gels, they strip the natural oils from your beard (something to do with the foaming agent Sodium Laureth Sulphate), I use a conditioner and then apply a natural oil maybe 2-3 times a week. this really brings out the colour and volume of my beard and keeps it in as good condition as possible.”

TBBC news item logo HENRY FROM CHELMSFORD, ESSEX
Henry

“When it comes to split ends in beards, my beard is quite fine and soft. I suffer from split ends and the occasional dry crispyness of my beard. Through information from David, Charlie and Frazer, the way that works for me is to shampoo said beard in the daily shower routine and condition once a week. Occasionally trimming a couple of millimetres or biting-off if I'm bored just to remove the split bits. It doesn't hurt to use a bit of wax on the tips to keep them moist.

“As for getting gravy in the beard, my missus removes that the second it dribbles in. Tad annoying in a restaurant!
After all, babies have bibs and men have beards.”

TBBC news item logo FRAZER COPPIN FROM RIVENHALL, ESSEX
Frazer and Zoé

“When I was letting my beard grow to its terminal length for the 2007 World Championships, I use to plait it and wax the end to keep it together for work. For three years I had no problems with dry or split ends. The last couple of years I haven't plaited and waxed for work and I have lost about 1 1/2" (40mm) due to split ends. I do wash and condition my beard daily (Wash & Go brand). It does keep it soft but it does still split. Maybe not as much as it would if I did not use an all-in-one shampoo and conditioner. I think I need to go back to my old regime of 'Wash & Go , Plait & Wax' and see what happens.

“As for your beard dangling in your food (mine tends to find itself sitting in my beer), it depends on whether you have reached your terminal length or not. If you haven't, you are you are lucky, and this will only be a passing stage. If you have reached terminal length (like me) it's just one of those things you do have to put up with. I do have a good warning alarm, it is my daughter Zoé with 'Dad! You Have Food in Your Beard!'”

TBBC news item logo DAVID DADE FROM BRIGHTON, EAST SUSSEX
Gareth

“I use an 'ecological' separate shampoo and conditioner brand called Faith in Nature that also doesn't have Sodium Laureth Sulphate it, and I like the Jojoba oil flavour. You can buy this in some health-food shops and over the Internet. You can use also use pure Jojoba oil sparingly as a leave-in beard conditioner, but it can make your beard feel oily if you use too much.

“You can also use a simple 'beard wash' made from apple cider vinegar diluted in a ratio of 1 part of apple cider vinegar to 10 parts of distilled or purified water.

“Other beard-friendly conditioning products I recommend are: Mane 'n Tail Deep Moisturising Conditioner made by a company called Straight Arrow. You can use it as a rinse-out conditioner and also in small quantities as a leave-in treatment as well. It's actually a US product but you can sometimes get it over here on the Internet from Amazon.co.uk.

“The other product is Aussie Miracle Moist Conditioner, which you can buy at most pharmacies, supermarkets and styling supply shops.

“I also like Luster's Pink Light Oil Moisturiser, also usually available online. Just squeeze a small amount into the palm of one hand, rub your palms together for a few seconds then massage well into all of your beard. Keep massaging until the oiliness disappears, and then brush well with a natural Boar's Bristle brush. You will produce a wonderful shine and vitality, even on a greying beard!

Advice on growing a goatee beard: the main thing is NOT to keep trimming it - leave it to grow for at least for four to six weeks! So keep your beard growing - trim off any split ends carefully with scissors to one-eighth of an inch (3mm) above the split, and use good quality conditioner as above, and leave it in for at least 2 minutes before rinsing. In the shower I shampoo my scalp and beard first, rinse and apply conditioner. I leave the conditioner on, soap up and rinse off the rest of me, then rinse out the beard last.

“What's most important when you use any conditioner is to leave it in for several minutes to work, and then rinse, otherwise too-soon rinsing is the same as just pouring it down the plughole!

Growing for length: maximum attainable beard length depends on a number of factors, according to the consensus of knowledge of the "beard community". The main influence is genetic, which is probably what we least want to hear! I myself have aspired to a chest-, waist- or ideally floor-length beard, and although I have been growing my beard virtually untrimmed for over 25 years, just over 8" (203mm) at the chin currently is the longest I have managed. Compare this with several of our Club members who enjoy waist-length beards, achieved in a much shorter time span. The average man's growth rate for the beard is about 1/2" (12.7mm) a month, so my 8" beard represents about 18 months outgrowth, achieving "terminal length" after that period. You may aspire to a much more modest length, and that's absolutely fine too.

“Apart from genetics, it's generally advised that regular washing and conditioning of the beard with gentle shampoo and conditioning products helps to provide a healthy environment for maximum growth.

“No-trimming can also be difficult to achieve with the pressure from family and friends to comply with what most long-beard-aficionados consider to be an infringement of personal liberty! The other full-growth influence is to maintain a good and balanced diet, but that is of course entirely a matter than only you can affect.”