By Adriana Ermter Remember the opening scene in the 1978…
Robust beards have officially hit the mainstream. Jamie Dornan, Andrew Garfield, even Stephen Colbert have ditched clean-shaven cheeks—and even stubble—for the woodsman manliness of the full beard. The ultimate litmus test? Awards season. While some beards were cropped closer than others, there was no doubt that in 2015 facial hair was the ultimate beauty trend for men.
But is the beard over?
Many, from The Guardian to the BBC , have suggested that the clean-shaven look is imminent. But we’ve yet to witness the proof. Instead we’ve seen more and more barber shops offering beard trims and an endless array of beard-grooming products and brands emerge. Not to mention countless popular DIY beard-oil blog posts.
However it plays out, we’re advocating for a more well-maintained, groomed beard— less Grizzly Adams, please. Products designed to improve the look of a robust beard, nourish the skin and offer a pleasing scent have become noteworthy—which is great for both the men sporting facial hair and anyone who sits beside them.
Natural, organic oils in scents like peppermint, lavender and eucalyptus ensure that whether or not you look like a mountain man, you’ll smell like the great outdoors.
Properly taking care of a beard is not as easy as simply using the same process you do for washing the hair on your head; beard hair is more coarse and because of it’s location—your face—you want to choose gentle, natural products. We spoke to Chris Edge of Urban Beard, who started his line of beard care products because he found that other products he tried made his beard dry and brittle.
“The biggest mistake that men make is that they grow their beard out as big as they can and never groom it,” says Edge, “they think just growing it out is enough, but your beard is the first thing people see and also what they are most likely to smell if you’re talking to them.”
Chris recommends washing, conditioning and trimming one’s beard regularly, and advocates using organic and natural ingredients. “Urban Beard products are made with organic, plant-based oils that keep your beard soft, healthy and smelling fresh without the use of harsh chemicals,” he says. Plus, products using essential oils smell earthy and woody—for example Edge’s beard oil is a mix of organic cedarwood and lavender oil and smells like “a stroll through a forest”.
For a DIY take on grooming your beard we spoke to Sarah Goldstein, a Holistic Nutritionist in Toronto, who makes her own beard oil for her boyfriend. “Dry beards look more unkept, but they’re also rough to the touch and can be quite irritating to the skin,” says Goldstein. “Using a beard oil helps to moisturize and soften the hair.”
Her beard oil recipe calls for 1/3 each of argon oil, sweet almond oil and jojoba oil; plus additional drops of essential oils for scent—she uses cedarwood and pine.
Whether you’re interested in upping the ante of your beard aesthetics, or want to eliminate the possibility of harboring bacteria (jojoba, tea-tree and pine oil are all anti-bacterial as well as nourishing), taking care of your beard is an essential part of any bearded man’s routine. The possibility of smelling like a lumberjack? That’s just a great bonus.