How to care for your beard at home: Dubai barber shares his top advice

If you already have a beard or are trying to grow one, here is how to get the best out of it

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 18: Jason Momoa poses at the Australian premiere of Aquaman on December 18, 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
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With self-isolation showing no signs of easing (at least for the next couple of weeks), there's no doubt some men out there are starting to wonder how they'll tame their growing beards. After all, there's a fine line between looking suavely shaggy or as if returning from an attempt at the North Pole.

These days, with a normal trip to the barber now off the agenda, we sought the help of expert barber Dan Mellor, who works at Chaps and Co in Dubai. With 11 years of experience under his belt (seven gleaned in the UAE), he gave us his expert tips on how to best to care for a beard at home.

(Original Caption) Portrait of Ernest Hemingway, who was among the arrivals on the "Liberte," November 2, 1959.
Writer Ernest Hemingway was famous for his short, well groomed beard, seen here in 1959.

First up, Mellor shares his go-to list of comprehensive products: "beard oil, or beard balm. Shampoo, conditioner and a beard brush or comb. Moisturiser, cordless clippers and detailer," he says.

He then offers a simple four step routine:

Step 1. Wash your beard with shampoo and conditioner

This may sound like basic advice, but its amazing how often this is overlooked. “Your beard hair should be treated the same way as the hair on top of your head” explains Mellor. “Use shampoo and conditioner at least twice a week.”

As with all hair, a beard needs some regular TLC to stop it looking greasy and lank, and keep it smelling sweet. With everyone in enforced confinement, there is no excuse for even the laziest man not to devote some time to his appearance. “The best part about this current situation we can spend time in the shower washing our beards and conditioning them.”

Editorial use only. No book cover usage.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Zade Rosenthal/20th Century Fox/Dreamworks/Kobal/Shutterstock (5883133v)
Tom Hanks
Cast Away - 2000
Director: Robert Zemeckis
20th Century Fox/Dreamworks
Scene Still
Seul au monde
This is the opposite of what a good beard should look like. Tom Hanks in 'Castaway'.

Step 2. Moisturise your skin and beard

If you want your beard to look good, says Mellor, then it is well worth putting in the effort. “After you have washed and conditioned your beard, towel it dry," he says. Having just stepped out of the shower, now is the time to lavish on some skin products for maximum result, because, as Mellor explains "the pores on your face are still open.”

He suggests massaging “a good face moisturiser or aftershave into your skin" which will hydrate and moisturize and of course, is vital to staving off the dreaded beardruft (dandruft of the beard). The skin under a beard can quickly become dry and flaky, which not only looks terrible, but will be itchy - and itchiness is the main reason men abandon growing a beard. By using a good quality moisturiser, and giving your beard a good scrub twice a week will go a long way to help prevent this.

Step 3. Oil and brush

“Once you have done that, use your beard oil or beard balm and massage it through your beard,” Mellor explains. Purpose made oils or balms are effective at making a beard look thick and healthy, and smell good too.

Next comes the grooming. Using a beard brush or comb, now its time to get creative. "Comb your beard thoroughly to your desired style," he says. "This will help stop your beard becoming tangled, and will also spread the oil or the balm evenly." .

Step 4. Trimming

Although this may sound counter intuitive, the best way to achieve an epic beard is to cut it. Facial hair rarely grows at the same rate all over, so a periodic trim will keep things looking symmetrical and balanced. "Trimming your beard helps it grow evenly," Mellor says. "You can also create your desired shape." With so many styles and shapes to choose from however, Mellor suggests searching online for tutorials , adding "there are many out there that can help you with trimming your beard yourself."

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 11:  Actor Ben Affleck attends the film premiere of "Live By Night" on January 11, 2017 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
 Although actor Ben Affleck grew a good shaped beard, seen here at the premier of "Live By Night, 2017, he didn't clean the hairs on the neck properly. Getty Images

He does however, advise to take it slowly, and that it is far better to take off a little length at a time, than have to try and correct a self inflicted bald patch. Finally, do not forget to clean up the straggling hairs on the neck if you want that sharp, man about town look.