Most principles of haircare also apply to beards: Before you condition and style, you first must wash. Cleansing your beard several times a week will remove oily build-up and grime, along with any debris like food or dead skin cells. This will enhance shine, help prevent breakouts, and fight irritation and itch. Mr. Natty’s shampoo features shea butter and peppermint oil, which restore luster and softness with an invigorating tingle.
Another haircare commandment that carries over to beards: Every good shampoo should be followed by conditioner. Perhaps the most crucial tool in any beardsman’s arsenal, oil gives hair a pliable texture that makes it soft to the touch (for both you and your partner). This formula from Blackbird features lightweight argan oil—which is rich in nutrients and won’t clog pores—along with an earthy, exotic scent made exclusively for Birchbox Man.
Now that you’ve laid the foundation, it’s time to start styling. You can do this with either a brush or a comb, but we recommend a beard comb for maximum portability. A daily combing session will train your hairs in a downward direction, while also distributing oils for more effective conditioning. This handcrafted comb from Baxter is both handsome and efficient, with a ultracompact design that fits in a shirt pocket with ease.
Combing will whip your beard into shape, but it isn’t an airtight solution to scraggly hairs and fly-aways. To ensure that every hair falls exactly where you want it, give you scruff a coating of lightweight styler, like this all-purpose balm from Jao. It uses beeswax to wrangle errant strands without affecting their texture, while rich essential oils—like grapefruit, fir, and patchouli—impart an earthy aroma that complements most beard oils.
It’s easy to forget that if you’re growing a luscious beard, you’re also growing a mustache. To keep it from looking messy, and to give it a sharp silhouette, use a medium-hold mustache wax to gently twizzle the tips. Our mustache wax of choice is made by the team at Beardbrand: It features a lighter hold for a more natural look (no matching monocle needed), along with a range of incredible scents that you won’t mind under your nose.