Beard Care

Last fall, I mentioned Ben Blair had grown his first beard. (He’s still wearing it now and I still LOVE it!) But I didn’t tell you why it was his first beard.

Once or twice over the years, I had asked him if he was interested in growing one, but he said that after a few days of beard growth, he was so itchy he just had to shave it. So what changed last fall? We finally asked for some good guidance on beard care. We inquired of our favorite French pharmacist, who happens to be bearded also, and got the skinny on itch prevention.

For those of you with men in your life dealing with itchy chins, here’s what Ben Blair learned about itch prevention and beard care.

1)  As it’s growing out, comb your beard often with a fine tooth comb. This will help keep dead skin cells moving on their way.

2)  Use conditioner on the beard, even when it’s just barely growing out. Leave on the conditioner for a couple of minutes before you rinse it off.

3) If your bearded skin develops some redness or bumps, use a soothing lotion. Our pharmacist gave us samples of this and it worked great.

And that’s it! Ben Blair is now long past the itchiness. These days he’s figuring out his preferred beard length, favorite trimming tools, and wondering if he’ll ever shave it off.

How about you? Do you have a bearded man in your life? Do they have to do much to maintain it? How long is too long in your opinion?

P.S. — I love how red the beard is in the second picture. When I married Ben Blair his whole head was that red!

40 thoughts on “Beard Care”

  1. I have two bearded men in my life – my hubby and my dad! I think anywhere from a little bit of stubble to a full on beard is just lovely. Although I find there’s an in-between length that feels a little scratchy and unpleasant when you get a bearded kiss. :)

  2. My man is very, very bearded. He brushes it, like your French pharmacist friend suggested, and I suspect he conditions it too, though he won’t confess to said attentions. :)

    The hilarious side effect is that his beard is the object of endless flirtatious advances – from both sexes! Especially in this country, where men are clean-shaven, tight-suited, and wear pointy leather shoes, the rugged lumberjack look is appealing.

  3. I am absolutely pro-beard. My BF started growing one before we dated (after I went on about how much I liked them — so cute!), and he hasn’t been without it since. It quickly became something he did just because he likes it too, of course; now I have a hard time remembering what he looks like without it!

    I don’t think itchiness was a problem for him, so much as that “in between” stage where it’s too short to be a beard, but too long to be stubble…for about a week there, it was a little scary. Heh. But he was a grad student spending lots of time studying at home anyway, so he didn’t have to worry about wearing it into the office like that. At least it his case, it’s definitely something better attempted over a vacation!

  4. Great advice! I’m forwarding this on to my husband right now :) He always complains about 5 days into beard growth that it’s too itchy. I think he looks so handsome with one though- he’s blond, but his beard is red like Ben Blairs- so cute!

  5. I, too, have a bearded husband. And a red headed husband, though his red is of the darker variety! I don’t think that at this point he does anything special with it, but he’s had it since I’ve known him. In fact, when I see pictures of him beardless, it’s… weird.

  6. My husband is entering the world of being bearded. When we first were married in our mid 20’s, he had very patchy facial hair growth. Even a goatee didn’t work because his upper lip was so light. Now, in his late 30’s, he decided to try again and once past that horrible itchy stage loved it. He shaved it off after a few months but as soon as he did regretted it and is now growing it back. I like it. So do the kids… in fact, they were quite upset when he shaved it off.

    Never though my husband would have a full beard, but he does and its great!

  7. i love beards, but my husband is too patchy to grow a full beard. just my luck. he can sport a good goatee, though, and has had that almost since we started dating. he shaved it once and i missed the facial hair so much i practically begged him to grow it back. ben blair’s beard looks great, and the tips are great. i still have a dream that someday my husband will magically get a hairier face and grow a great beard. we’ll see. :)

    also, gabby — do you remember where ben blair got that hat he’s sporting in these photos? my husband has always wanted one and although i’ve seen that style everywhere, there’s something about the shape and fit of the one ben’s wearing that seems “right.” plus i love the color.

    1. I do remember, Leslie, but it’s the most unhelpful answer. On market days, in addition to farmers, other vendors set up booths as well. And one of the booths here at the Argentan market sells hats. I picked this hat up for Ben Blair’s birthday.

      But the key on fit is knowing the right size. Next time you’re shopping with your husband at a department store or anywhere that sells sized hats, have him try on a bunch so you know his proper size. Then it’s easy to surprise him with a gift!

  8. I was a little girl in the 70s, and my father and uncles all had beards. To this day, I have a bias towards bearded men, and assume they all are as kind, smart and funny as my clansmen!

  9. After you posted about Ben Blair’s beard, I made my husband grow one too! He’s always had a Van Dyck (literally, since he could grow facial hair, so… age 14 or so) but I’d never seen him with a full beard. He grew it out and looked very handsome! He just shaved it off a couple of days ago – here in Indiana, we’ve had temps as high as 85 in the past week (ugh! It’s March!) and he was too hot, so he’s back to his standard goatee & mustache.

  10. My husband has had a beard on and off for four years. I’m not a fan. Probably because he usually shaves his head in conjunction w/ having the beard. Not my favorite combo, but he often gets complimented by other men which I find adorable.

  11. My husband had a goatee but about 4 years ago he had to shave for a no facial hair rule at his work – it’s that a strange rule?!

  12. My husband has a great beard! He used to be a copper red redhead but now his hair is more auburn. Thankfully his beard still comes in nice and red! I love it! He did grow it out last winter and I found I liked it in the moment but looking back at photos I can’t help but think, “why did I let him grow it that long?” My favourite style is trimmed up on the sides and longer on the chin. While we sit and watch movies I give him lots of good beard scratches. He loves it and I love it. We’re a happy bearded couple
    : )

  13. My dad, husband, and brother all wear beards, at least for the colder months! My hubby keeps a 1/4″ long beard just covering his chin, and just as wide as his mouth. I like it! It’s not so fun when it’s any longer though – just more to take care of.

  14. My husband rocked a beard for the first ten years of our relationship. Then he gained some new responsibilities that required a clean shave. It took quite a while for me to get used to his bare face. A year and a half later I still miss the beard.

  15. My husband grew a beard in tribute to his late dad who always wore a beard. I love it! Nearly as much as I love him! It’s funny to me how our youngest wouldn’t know her dad wthout a beard now. He wears it well, as does Ben Blair!

  16. Nellie Chapman

    Love red hair and red beards! Always have. My husband has both and i love the red furriness. I get really defensive when people are unkind about redheads so thank you for all the red bearded love….. Oh, his is going a little grey now and it looks even more charming.

  17. Yes, my husband has a beard now and I love it too. It’s not scratchy anymore now that’s it’s long and I think it looks so manly! It’s easy for him to maintain, so much better than shaving everyday. I was reading through the Laura Ingalls Wilder books lately and read where they were all so shocked that Pa may have shaved his “whiskers”. I don’t want him to grow it long, but I do think the extra poof is becoming to him.

  18. My husband has had an on and off affair with beards since we have been married. This past year we (wife and kids) have all loved his well manicured beard! He got a new job in the food industry where they make you wear a beard cover when you are on the production floor (kind of like a hair cover). He couldn’t stand trying to talk to people with that on his face, so he shaved his beard off. Funny thing is, he left in the morning before the kids were awake, and when he walked in the door that evening, they all looked at him like “who are you?!?”.

  19. My husband has kept a bear for several years now and I too love it. It has never given him any trouble but he leans towards having oily skin, so I am thinking that is probably the difference.
    Coincidentally he also wears hats like the one your husband has on in this picture and has thick framed glasses. I love the way it looks. Small world sometimes.

  20. Whenever my husband goes into the bathroom to trim his beard I also call after him, “not too much!” I love his beard. And he’s got a red one too!


  21. my husband who i have known since we were 12 has had a beard since highschool! I only saw his clean shaven face once since then. He just discovered a company called Bluebeards Original. All facial products specifically for bearded dudes. It’s awesome!! And smells great to.

  22. Beards must be in! My husband has had one for a few years. Sometimes he shaves it, but the clean shaven look never lasts more then a few days because his electric shaver hurts his face, and he works from home (most of the time.) so we both end up looking like bums (which is why some design mom is good for me) I love my guy’s beard! something so manly about it, isn’t there?

    btw definetly a good look on Ben Blair!!

  23. I never though I’d like beards before my Husband grew one! Now I can’t do without it! It’s such a bold move, nowadays, growing out a beards! The only thing is I wish I knew how to trim it right… I’m still perfecting on that one!

  24. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an very long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Regardless, just wanted to say superb blog!|

  25. Rachael Azulay

    My fiancé has been growing a beard for years now. When we first started dating he shaved everyday, causing him irritation because he has big time sensitive skin (oh the Irish). Now he has a full beard and maintains it by trimming and using his moisturizer. I can say that the beard will never leave us! I love it! It just makes him that much more attractive and manly in my opinion. Plus he enjoys getting his beard scratched ever so often as I’m sure all bearded men do!

  26. Rachael Azulay- have you ever had him try beard oil? I have been using some from and it made my beard much softer and more manageable. I like this company because they’re reasonably priced and my girlfriend really enjoys the scents.

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