It’s that time of year again.
Yes, summer is coming to an end, and you survived the hot and sweaty months while staying true to your beard. You have proven yourself a King among men!
As the weather begins to get cooler (or at least tries to), beard season is in full bloom. The dormant lumberjacks are stirring, and once-clean shaven fellas are wondering how they might look with some luscious facial hair.
If you fit into either of those categories, we wrote this Fall 2021 Beard Style and Survival Guide just for you. It'll help you get the most out of your beard for not only the next few months, but for as long as you want to keep it.
You’ve probably heard the saying that ‘Summer bodies are made in winter’? Well, winter beards are made in Fall. No-shave November is upon us, and for those that have thought about becoming a beardsman, now is the perfect time to put down that razor, slowly back away from it, and embrace the facial forest.
Having a beard isn’t just about looking good; a well-maintained facial forest can shield the skin on your face from the cold autumn air. The key words there are ‘well-maintained’; not taking proper care of your new growth can impact your beard’s quality, appearance and can contribute to itchy and flaky skin.
So here’s everything you need to know to get started on growing or maintaining a beard this Fall.
On The Journey to Beard Brilliance.
Beards have always been popular in every culture across the world, but the past 10 years have seen them become more widespread in our culture and every-day life.
Most men at some point have dreamt of growing a luscious, manly beard; it’s only later when they’re scratching their faces raw that they realize it’s no easy feat.
This Fall Beard Style Guide is a celebration of the different beard styles available and how to nurture your beard to greatness.
The journey to beard brilliance is different for everyone. For most, it's a little rough at first, so before we begin, let’s get down to the basics.
The Stages of Beard Growth
Our hair grows in a three-phase cycle that peaks in the early to mid-adult years.
- Anagen is the growing part of the cycle when your hair follicles begin to appear, breaking through the skin. The length of this phase of the cycle depends on the man, but some men have shorter growing periods.
- Catagen is the transitioning part of the cycle. It occurs when anagen slows down and often lasts around three weeks.
- Telogen is the resting part where no new growth occurs, and lasts around three months. This is when you start to notice that hair is falling out when you groom your beard. Don't worry, your beard will re-enter the anagen phase again soon.
Now that we’ve gone through the hair growth cycle, it’s time to prepare yourself for the stages of beard growth.
Stage one: The Itch Stage
This is the difficult part, and one that separates the boys from the men.
Many men will feel the pain of the itching stage.
Many will want to give up, driven mad by the inevitable itch that comes with the first stage of beard growth.
Don't give up! This is the crucible that men must go through if they want to have a manly beard.
This, my friend, is your testing ground. Will you come through on the other side victorious? Or will you crack under the strain and pick up a razor? The choice is yours!
As your hair follicles begin to break the skin, you'll find that this can cause itchiness, dryness, and in some cases, inflammation.
Never fear. There are products that can help you here.
Specifically, beard oil. Beard oil will help:
- To ensure that your skin is hydrated by providing a moisture barrier
- To deal with the inflammation that comes with your new beard growing in
Stage Two: The Patchy Stage
Unfortunately, some of you may struggle here; I personally despise this stage. Your inner fortitude will be tested in this stage every time you look in the mirror.
A lot of beards initially grow in uneven or patchy. It's as if the Titans of Olde are mocking us. I can hear them laughing as we strive to have a full and bushier beard.
As tempting as it is to take the nearest trimmer and try to even it out, try to avoid it; doing so can hinder your beard’s growth and even make the patchy stage last longer and appear worse.
Instead of trimming, you should wash, brush, and apply oil and beard butter, so you can keep your new facial hair hydrated and healthy.
If your beard is looking a little patchy, try using beard butter produced for this purpose.
Stage Three: The Trim Stage
Finally, you've made it to 8 to 10 weeks, and you're still going strong with your new beard routine! Congratulations on getting this far; it’s not for the faint-hearted.
You have a full beard, and you've (hopefully) been washing, brushing, and adding your oils and butters regularly.
Now you're at a crossroads. You can decide to trim it or let it grow unrestricted (whilst maintaining your grooming, of course).
What will you choose? If you decide to leave it untrimmed:
Stage Four: Full Beard Brilliance
You have a full beard, and you're noticing that hair is falling out when you groom it.
Don't panic! New hairs are growing, and your lovely mane will be as strong as ever. Keep to your washing, brushing, and oiling routine, and trust the process.
Best Beard Care Tips for fall Weather
Keeping your beard in tip-top shape is important, especially in this cool autumn season. Improper grooming can result in damaged beard hair, skin irritation, and an unkempt look that’s less Leonardo DiCaprio and more Leonardo DaVinci. The easiest way to avoid this is by maintaining a regular beard-care routine.
Here’s some tips for getting a softer, fuller beard during the Fall:
1. Make Sure To Wash Your Face Regularly
Washing your face regularly is the first step to maintaining your beard.
When thinking about beard maintenance, most men won’t think about washing their face; when you wash your beard, you’re washing your face too, right?
In this case, we’re talking about more than a cursory splash of water and then moving on. Not only does your beard need regular washing to clear out the dirt and grime that your lush facial hair now traps, but the rest of your face requires some love as well.
When Fall arrives, depending on the amount of sebum produced by your body, your skin will either dry out or become more oily. This suggests that you’re either going to just cleanse or cleanse and replenish . Whatever the case may be, you’ll have to give your beard and face a good scrubbing.
Let’s begin with the cleansing.
To avoid skin irritation, you should use a specifically designed bar soap to clean your skin, beard, and mustache.
Natural soap is made to gently clean your skin, remove dirt and grime, and retain your skin’s essential oils.
The first mistake a lot of people make is washing their face in the shower. While it might seem like the sensible, “I’m already here, so might as well” option, water used in showers is often mineral-rich and too hot for facial skin.
This can negate the benefits from your facial soap, and can even create irritation by stripping the skin’s natural oils and moisture barrier. As an alternative, wash your face in the sink or have your shower head set on lukewarm.
After washing your face, it’s time for replenishing your skin and get it hydrated to facilitate beard growth.
The combination of chilly weather and staying indoors most of the time with heaters running will dry out your beard and skin. To keep that from happening, you’ll have to be on top of your game when it comes to the moisturizer you’re using.
Not all moisturizers are created equal; the level of moisture that your skin needs to replace in Fall and Winter is often greater than that of Summer. Having a stockpile of different natural moisturizers can give specialized treatment to the areas that need it most.
Use them every day before leaving your home, during the day when your beard or skin begins to feel itchy or dry, and before going to sleep at night.
Be careful though: too many different kinds of skin care can actually have the opposite effect and end up irritating the skin and hindering your beard growth.
An alternative is to use a beard butter that can moisturize both your beard and skin.
If you’re thinking about moisturizing your luscious locks, here are some options for you to consider:
Beard oil conditions, and hydrates facial hair, as well as strengthening and nourishing the hair follicles. Truly, it’s the magical elixir that holds the secret to long (bearded) life.
Using beard oil also protects against other potential factors that may affect beard hair growth. It's good for your beard, good for your skin and good for the soul.
Prior to deciding which oil to use, make sure to test the scent of the product. There are hundreds of different scents available, so find one that’s perfect to you.
It’s also a good idea to make sure that the fragrance doesn’t irritate your skin, so make sure by doing a patch test first before committing to an entire bottle.
Keep reading to see our suggestions for choosing a Fall scent.
Much like beard oil, beard butter is designed to care for, condition, and soften facial hair.
Beard butter is a product that helps to nourish and provide moisture for facial hair and the skin under it. It is made from a mixture of natural oils, butters, and beeswax, so it smells amazing.
Some beardsmen use beard butter as a leave-in conditioner as well as a styling agent. Keep in mind that beard butter has limited holding ability. If you need something with a stronger hold for taming flyaway hairs, you should consider using beard balm instead.
Beard balms are more heavy duty than beard butters and oils. They are designed to control and tame unruly facial hair, along with hydrating it.
You don’t necessarily have to choose only one of the mentioned products. They all have different benefits, and a Fall beard survival routine can accommodate all of them.
With that being said, if you prefer to carry one while on the move, go for beard butter; it is hydrating, taming and smells delicious.
3. Oil Up
As we said above, an oiled beard is a happy beard; to ensure that your beard is healthy and strong, keep a natural beard oil readily available.
Beard oil can be used after eating, washing, on the move, and pretty much anywhere. Your beard will always be willing to oil up.
Depending on your usage, a 50ml bottle can get you through Fall, while a 100ml bottle will get you through winter and beyond.
You’ll notice that I’m going on about ‘natural’ products, and there’s a really good reason for it. Some chemicals in face creams and oils can irritate the skin and slow beard growth; to avoid this, make sure that you’re buying products free of things like sodium lauryl sulfate.
4. Fall Scents
While we are on the topic of beard products, scents are worth a mention. You don’t need to select scented beard butter, balm, or oil if you are an all-natural sort of guy. However, it’s always a change of pace to try a new fragrance, particularly as the perfect accessory to your new facial hair.
In the Fall, switching to a scent with hints of classic sandalwood and cedar wood as your seasonal scents is a great idea; richer and warmer fragrances usually fit the autumn season.
So as the weather cools, think woods, florals, and musks.
For Kingly Beardz, Apex (Refreshing Floral and Musk), Cognac Cream (Leather, Cedar wood, Lemon and Spicy Tobacco), and Gilded (Allspice, Nutmeg, and Vanilla) all make great fall scents due to their musk and outdoors/nature notes.
5. Keep Your Beard In Check & Nicely Trimmed
If you are exposed to the elements on a daily basis, chances are that your facial hair may get a little unruly. It’s important to maintain a tidy and neat cheek line.
Don't allow your beard hair to grow uncontrollably. It can soon look unkempt and scruffy, and unless you’re going for a ZZ Top aesthetic, this isn’t a good look for anybody.
To keep your beard orderly, it will need some trimming, and it’s best to do so before you need a whipper-snipper.
Maintaining a beard can be a hassle. Take a few minutes a week to keep your beard looking fresh and tidy.
Here are some easy things you can do to ensure your beard is looking neat:
- Shave any out-of-order hairs that are over your natural beard. Don’t tamper with your beard line; instead, focus on the hairs around your sideburns and on your cheeks.
Trim any stray hairs you see after brushing and washing. Only concentrate on the hairs that aren’t in line.
6. Have Essential Beard-Care Tools
There’s nothing like cold weather and the windy air of autumn to get your beard tangled up. Depending on the facial hair type you’re going for, you’ll have to invest in high-quality beard-care tools to maintain your beard.
Some of the essentials you’ll need during this chilly season are:
A Detangling Comb. This comb looks the same as the small pocket comb regularly used for head hair. Detangling combs are especially good to have if you’re going to be oiling your beard.
You should avoid cheaply made combs with rigid bristles and a rough edge, as these can damage hair follicles and slow beard growth.
Instead, go for quality steel options. Comb gently beginning with the ends, as yanking will worsen any knots or even snap the hair mid-shaft.
Finishing Comb. This is smaller and fine-toothed compared to a detangling comb. A finishing comb is used to align your facial foliage into the preferred shape. This comb leaves your beard looking more urban and polished.
Quality Safety Razor. To have a natural appearance, you’ll need to shape your beard at the neck, jaw, cheek. Use a quality razor that’s sharp to create a precise edge.
An Electric Trimmer. If you want a shorter beard, using scissors to trim can prove to be time-consuming and give uneven results. Instead, go for an electric trimmer with several blade guards. The guards will enable you to select the height you prefer to trim your beard.
7. Eat Right & Exercise
The hormones that determine the growth of your beard are dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and testosterone. Some men produce more DHT than others, and so are fortunate enough to grow long, lush facial hair without too much trouble.
If your beard hair is patchy, don’t fret! There are various strategies you can use to help your body create more DHT.
When your Mom told you to eat your vegetables, she wasn’t wrong. Exercising and having a healthy diet is not only good for your insides, but it also increases DHT concentration in the body and assists in growing a fuller beard.
You should lay the groundwork by eating a well-balanced diet full of foods such as:
Eggs: Eggs don’t just taste delicious; they are a nutritional powerhouse. The healthy fats and high protein content encourages fuller and healthier hair growth. Eggs also contain high levels of biotin, one of the key nutrients for strong, healthy hair.
Spinach: micronutrients are just as important as protein when it comes to beard growth. Spinach’s high concentrations of iron, magnesium and calcium encourage stronger strands for less shaft breakage during the day-to-day.
Sweet potatoes: sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, which acts as a precursor to vitamin A and helps facilitate cell growth in hair follicles.
Looking after your nutritional intake goes hand in hand with a regular exercise routine. As any gym junkie will happily tell you, resistance training is the best method of increasing DHT levels. Concentrate on major muscle groups by focusing your workouts around compound movements like bench presses, deadlifts, and squats.
The Best Fall 2021 Beard StylesI'm not here to judge. Just know that most fall styles range from short and scruffy, to long and shaggy, to that most popular of facial hair styles. If you're looking for something more groomed here are our top picks.
This style is relatively low maintenance, but still requires a little bit of grooming. Over the years, it has been combined with other looks, such as the Circle Beard and the Van Dyke to create new and interesting aesthetics.
It's easy to grow and even easier to shape; you can do it yourself, as it is grown on the chin and doesn't go any further than the length of the mouth. It's a perfect look for all year round.
The Circle Beard
A simple style that is well maintained, this second traditional look will never go out of style.
The Circle beard is a goatee on the chin and a carefully trimmed mustache connected by hair at each side of the mouth.
This look has been around for a long time and is one of the most common beard styles today. It's fairly easy to grow, groom, and maintain.
You don't have to look very far to see men walking around with this type of style all year round, and there’s a good reason for it!
This is a full beard shaped down, in which the tip of the beard is sculpted to resemble a duck's tail.
This is a simple look to maintain. However, you may want to go to a barber to get that distinct shape that it's known for, and then maintain it on your own.
Nevertheless, it's a good style for those looking for something to keep them warm during the season.
Possibly the most distinctive style on this list, mutton chops often start with a full beard.
It's then carefully groomed down to get rid of the extra hair that isn't needed leaving the carefully crafted beard attached to the sideburns and mustache.
This creates its distinct shape. While not popular among some crowds, it's still a great look for the season.
Big bushy beards are a thing. They have long been a symbol of masculinity, virility, and even wisdom. All the cool kids have them as well: Da Vinci, Tormund Giantsbane, Odin, and even Santa Claus!
In addition to looking badass, massive beards have a reputation for being associated with habitual shower avoiding.
If only there was a beard style that made the wearer look more polished, professional, and more hygienic.
Enter the faded beard.
Many consider the beard fade to be one of the coolest styles of beards for men; a suave, effortless look that seamlessly transitions from a low or high tapered haircut to a full beard can be created by lining up a tapered fade with a beard.
That style, particularly with a skin fade on the sides, has a strong and fashionable feel about it.
Named after the 17th century Flemish painter who made it famous, the original Van Dyke beard consists of a goatee underneath – but not connected to – a mustache.
More modern variations of this style take on the goatee, adding a classic mustache and a soul patch to make a completely new look.
Although some wearers keep the original length of the goatee, it’s common to see wider or narrower goatees depending on the wearer’s preference; you can personalize it to your own style.
While maintaining the Van Dyke is not as involved as some of the other styles above, grooming practices are fairly easy to maintain among wearers.
As the fall season begins to slowly creep towards us, we have certain things to look forward to. I'm talking about more than pumpkin spice EVERYTHING here. The leaves begin to change. Now is the perfect time to start or upgrade your beard journey.
If you choose to do so, remember there are plenty of people to help you along, so you can make an informed decision.
There are products available through beard grooming retailers that can not only help to make your grooming routine easier, as well as help you maintain a healthy beard but also allows you to have some of the coolest beard styles this fall season.