The Dos And Don’ts Of Facial Hair Care

Whether you’ve got a multistep routine or are just getting started, The AEDITION asked the experts to break down the need-to-know elements of caring for facial hair.
Written by Vivien Moon
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The Dos And Don’ts Of Facial Hair CareSHTTEFAN/Unsplash

Just like hair trends come and go for women, facial hair trends can also come in and out of favor. One thing that never goes out of style? Caring for your facial hair no matter the style. Whether you’re going for the Burt Reynolds full ‘stache or want the Jake Gyllenhaal level of scruff, there are go-to tips and tricks for taking care of facial hair — even with a mask on.

If COVID-19 stay-at-home orders have you taking on at-home grooming and maintenance for the first time or you are simply looking to up your facial hair care game, The AEDITION spoke with celebrity groomer Kumi Craig and Farhad Ardesh, MD, double board certified facial plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, to learn more about the dos and don’ts of caring for beards, mustaches, goatees, and everything in between.

Do: Practice Good Skincare

We’ve preached this before, but it bears repeating: a good skincare routine is the basis of good skin. With ingrown hairs and razor burns always looming for those who take a razor to their face, regular exfoliation can subside these pesky concerns and help them disappear. “Using a face wash with an exfoliant is a priority for caring for your facial hair,” Craig says. “I love the Fulton & Roark bar soap for this purpose. The natural oat flour in the formulation acts as a natural exfoliant. This soap is great to use for the body as well.”

While shaving can cause it’s own set of skin concerns, it generally acts as a means of regular exfoliation. “The more grooming that a man performs on their facial hair will act as an exfoliant which will improve the color, texture, and glow of their skin,” Dr. Ardesh says. For men with facial hair, exfoliating products (both chemical and physical) can increase cell turnover and lift the buildup of dead skin cells that leads to clogged pores and, in some cases, the flaking that’s dubbed beard dandruff.

Do: Diversify Your Tool Kit

Finding the right tools goes beyond having a good razor or great smelling beard oil, and Craig recommends upgrading your dopp kit to have a few more items on hand. “In my kit, I always carry the Wahl Peanut Trimmer,” she shares. “I also love the Kent brand of bristle hairbrushes, and their LR31 is the perfect size for a beard.” A well-rounded grooming collection means that even during the awkward phase of growing out a beard or in between barber appointments, you can keep yourself looking trim. “Other must-haves: a small pair of scissors, a bristle toothbrush, a liquid lotion or serum, and beard oil,“ Craig adds.

Do: Remember to Moisturize

Moisturizing your entire face — not just the visible skin — is the key to keeping the skin nourished. We’ve outlined the skincare ingredients that should be every guy’s routine, but, in the event of a skincare emergency, be resourceful. “Body moisturizer can also double as a beard cream,” Craig explains. When you’ve run out of beard products, Craig says a body emollient, like the Fulton & Roark Hand + Body Lotion, works because “shea butter and cocoa butter are just a couple of the ingredients that are great for facial hair, too.”

Don’t: Ignore Your Routine

You can own all the right tools and products, but, if you’re not using them routinely, they’re not doing you any good. “Getting into a daily routine and finding a couple of products that work for you are my key tips,” Craig says. Consistency is the impetus for results, so she recommends keeping a few things in mind:

  1. Money Matters: Decide what you’re comfortable spending and shop for products accordingly.
  2. Scent-sational: Fragrance isn’t just about cologne. From body wash to bead oil, find a scent that’ll make you look forward to using your products every day.
  3. Multitask: Two-in-one products can help keep a routine simple and efficient. Oh, and they’re good for the environment and wallet. “It’s cost-effective, and using fewer products overall equals less waste,” Craig says.

When establishing or, perhaps, adding to your routine, run through that checklist to keep yourself on the right track.

Don’t: Skip The Post-Shave Maintenance

Perhaps the most important part of your grooming team is what you do post-shave. Craig recommends utilizing an aftershave product that can keep you looking (and smelling) fresh all day long. She’s a fan of the Fulton & Roark Aftershave Cloths because of their versatility. “They work as a quick refresh mid-day; or if you’re riding your bike to work and need some reviving before happy hour; you can give your beard a quick refresh; as well as use on the back of your neck and hands,” she shares. But it’s not just about smelling good. “Sage, bergamot, and eucalyptus make these cloths smell amazing, and they have tea tree oil, which acts as a natural antibacterial,” Craig says.

What to Do If Hair Is Scarce

“Facial hair comes in all different styles and patterns,” Dr. Ardesh says. “Whether conscious or subconscious, many men choose to grow facial hair to give the appearance of a stronger and more defined jawline, which gives a more masculine appearance.” Not just a part of their personal aesthetic, facial hair offers men another visual benefit. “Facial hair can also be used to camouflage unwanted under chin fullness and fat, which creates a more youthful, athletic, and attractive look,” he adds.

Whether the result of aging, stress, or genetics, not everyone grows facial hair the same way, and those dealing with patchiness have options as well. “Men looking for a definitive increase in the density of their beard hair may be candidates for beard hair transplant surgery, which will provide permanent and real hair to their face,” Dr. Ardesh explains. Hair is usually harvested from the back of the head, lower neck, or body and transplanted to the desired area on the face and jawlines. “Hair transplantation surgery can be performed using a scarless follicular unit extraction (FUE) technique,” he adds. In fact, the procedure can be an effective way of covering facial markings. “Beard hair transplants are also a great way to cover traumatic scars,” Dr. Ardesh says.

But surgery isn’t the only option. Procedures like PRP and even oral and topical medications can improve hair growth. Read our complete guide to treating facial hair loss.

The Takeaway

Facial hair maintenance is more than just a trip to the barber — it needs to be a daily habit to keep both your hair and skin looking and feeling good. When building an at-home grooming routine, add what you need and subtract what you don’t. Regular exfoliation will prevent uncomfortable ingrown hairs and razor burns, while a good moisturizer can keep your hair silky smooth and dandruff free. So, no matter what facial hair style you opt for, get your tool kit ready.

All products featured are independently selected by our editors, however, AEDIT may receive a commission on items purchased through our links.

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VIVIEN MOONis a senior editor at AEDIT.

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