how to grow a long beard

Growing a long beard is completely different from just playing around with a short or medium length beard.

What I mean by a long beard is a true, wizardly big beard of more than 10-inches in length and usually at least 6 months or more of growth.

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Taming and taking care of a beard of that size takes time, it takes effort, and like said, it differs greatly from the usual stuff you do with a normal-sized 1 to 8-inch beard that most beardsmen grow and stick with.

Just getting there and actually growing out a big beard is its own struggle, filled with many possible pitfalls. And once you become part of the real long beard club, it’s almost as if you need to reinvent your whole beard care routine.

If you think you have the mental toughness, patience, and thick enough beard growth to embark on the journey of growing a long beard, then please let us help you in teaching you everything there is to know about how to grow a big, long, bushy man mane and mustache.

Let’s go. ↓

How to Properly Grow a Long Beard

1. Resist the Urge to Trim Beard and the Neckline

long beard neckline

This is the most important thing you need to master in order to grow a good looking long beard.

Do not trim it early.

I would even go as far as saying that you should not even try shaping it before you reach about 10-inches in length.

“The worst mistake is trimming your neckline.”

When you grow a shorter beard style, it’s perfectly fine to go ahead and clean up your beard’s neckline, and in most cases, it will make your facial hair look much better.

But when you’re growing a long beard, the bulk of the actual volume at the bottom comes from those long neck hairs.

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And if you go ahead and maintain your neckline too high – or maintain it at all – what will end up happening is that your beard will look good from the front, but really weird when looked at from the side.

untrimmed stubble
It’s extremely tempting to clean up an untrimmed neckline, but when growing out a bigger beard, you simply should not do it.

That’s because there will be a gap between the neck and the beard, and having a hollow section in-between the beard, looks downright weird.

Sure, the internet is full of trimming advice from people with short to medium length beards, and they all tell you about the importance of maintaining a clean neckline.

This can easily make you think that it’s something you should also be doing when growing out a bigger beard.

But if you look at the advice from guys with big beards they will all tell you to stop playing around with the neckline and just lay down the trimmer completely.

2. Brush it Real Good

brushing a long beard

Big beards trap in all kinds of dirt and debris, and on the surface of the skin, it will be harder and harder for the dead skin cells to be naturally removed when there’s lots of hair blocking the way.

This is where a beard brush comes in handy, as it can help you clean your beard (without having to wash it constantly) and it helps you gently exfoliate the beard skin (without needing to use beard scrub).

Some “grooming experts” will also claim that you can use a beard brush to train the beard, but in reality, there is no evidence that hair or facial hair could be trained to grow in any direction other than its natural growth pattern dictates.

What you can do though is to use the beard brush for a temporary styling benefit, as brushing with the help of beard balm or beard wax can certainly make your beard appear “trained” and tamed.

Just please remember that no matter how much you brush the beard, you will not be changing the shape of the hair follicle or the tightness of the keratin-bonds within the cortex of the facial hairs (the things that ultimately dictate what direction your beard hairs grow in).

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For anyone with a long, thick, big beard I recommend the Seven Potions First-Cut Stiff Boar Bristle Brush specifically. It’s very stiff (so stiff that it’s useless for short and patchy beards) but perfect for big thicker beards.

3. Get a Good Beard Comb (or Two)

combing long beard

In my previous article titled beard brush vs. beard comb, I made a claim that men with shorter beards really don’t need to own beard combs.

However, for anyone with a beard reaching more than 10″ in length, combs are an essential tool for taming the mane and solving knots and tangles.

I would recommend that you either get two combs; one with fine teething like this, and another with wide teething such as this one.

Or…

You could also get a beard comb that has two-sides (like this popular design) or a longer Kent comb like this which has two different teeth widths laid out on the same stretch.

Regardless of what comb you end up getting, you will more than likely find that it will be in use a lot once your beard gets longer.

4. Long Beards Need More Oil and Moisture

big beard and beard oil bottle

I have a love-hate relationship with beard oils.

On the one side, they can be very beneficial in replenishing natural oils that you lose while showering, for prevention of beard dandruff, and of course to ward of the beard itch.

But on the other side, beard oils are really just not that special (just a few basic carrier oils and some essential oils for scent) and the costs are astronomically high compared to just making your own DIY beard oils or buying some cheap beard oil substitutes like baby oil or pure jojoba oil.

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cost of diy vs premade beard oils

This is especially true for anyone who is looking to grow out a long beard, as the big beards soak up a lot of oil, and the already astronomically high beard oil price will soar up to even further up when you’re going through them at almost a bottle per month rate.

But the fact still remains that your sebaceous glands can only produce finite amounts of natural sebum oils, and big bearded dudes should be getting that extra moisture from somewhere…

So what should you use to moisturize a long beard with?

I think the best solution is to make your own homemade beard oil. It’s extremely easy, you get to choose the formulations and scents yourself, and over the years you will be saving thousands of dollars by doing so.

beard oil vs diy beard oil substitute

Below is my go-to recipe that is both cheap and high-quality, and makes for a perfect unscented base for you to test different essential oils on.

Here you go:

Unscented DIY Beard Oil Recipe & Instructions

  1. Pour the carrier oils into a small measuring cup.
  2. Use a small funnel to pour them into a dark glass bottle.
  3. Shake the bottle well and close the dropper-cap.
  4. You are done. If you want some scents, use this as the base.

5. Learn to Safely Blow-Dry a Big Beard

barber blow drying a mans beard

The longer you grow your beard out, the harder it will be to maintain with just beard balms, waxes, and brushing.

This is where blow-drying the beard can help. And if you’ve been around places like YouTube watching those videos from the truly long-bearded guys, you’ll notice that almost all of them utilize a blow-dryer in their beard care routines.

The longer your beard gets, the curlier it tends to become, and things like “bed beard”, etc become more and more common.

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Blow-drying is a fantastic way to solve those issues, but the drawback is that when done incorrectly, you can absolutely mess up and damage your facial hair with it.

The wrong way to blow-dry a beard is to use high heat on a completely wet beard from close proximity and without moving the dryer around.

This results in significant damage to the outer layer of your beard hairs (the cuticles) and literally boils the water that has soaked up inside the facial hair cortex, causing immense pressure and protein-loss damage within the fibers.

In dry hair, thermal treatments cause chemical damage and some structural damage. However, in wet hair, thermal treatments cause the same chemical damage, but considerably more structural damage, which causes significant changes in the physical properties of the hair. It is likely that the rapid evaporation of water from the hair is the main causal factor. Dr. Christian et al.

Does this mean that you should completely avoid blow-drying your long beard and just let it be a curly mess?

No.

According to a Korean study, blow-drying is less damaging than letting your beard air-dry from 100% wet to completely dry (that means no toweling, no drying).

This is because the hair fibers soak up a lot of water which expands them and causes structural damage within.

If you slowly let your beard dry of without toweling or blow-drying, this expansion will go on for a long period of time, causing more and more damage.

The right way to blow dry a beard is like this:

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  1. Gently dampen your beard with a towel.
  2. Let it air-dry for roughly 10 minutes.
  3. Apply some coconut oil to the beard (heat-shield).
  4. Blow-dry with lowest heat setting or cold air.

If you utilize the steps above, you can safely use a blow-dryer on your beard, even on a daily basis without causing any major heat damage, breakage, or beard split-ends, which allows your beard to grow longer, thicker, and healthier as a result.

6. Beard Straighteners Can Come in Handy

heated beard brush

Even faster alternative to taming your bushy beard with the blow-drying method, would be a beard straightener – more specifically; a heated beard brush.

It takes just a couple of minutes to go through your beard with one, and the results are often far more impressive than what you could get by just blow-drying.

The drawback again is that there are high temperatures associated with using the straighteners, and the chances of damaging your beard – especially when used often – are high.

Should you still utilize a beard heat brush from time to time when growing out a long beard?

In my opinion, absolutely.

Even though the heat will be more direct and hotter than what you get with just a blow-dryer, you also have to remember that your beard will be dry when you straighten it with this method…

So the outermost cuticle will get slightly damaged over time, but there’s no boiling of water inside your beard hairs at least.

I wouldn’t tame a big beard with straighteners daily, but for something special like a date-night or anything like that, it’s a handy tool that gets very good results.

What straightener should you get though?

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I would avoid the cheapest comb-type straighteners. They’re ineffective and you can easily accidentally burn a bigger beard as the guard parts are flimsy.

I don’t like the $100 Kuschelbär either, which is sometimes called the “flagship” of the beard straighteners. IMO it’s not the best one out there, it’s very expensive, and the tines are so short that it isn’t the optimal choice for long and big wizardly beards.

The best choice would be these sturdy and simple heat brushes within the 30-60 dollar range. My favorites are the Aberlite Heat Brush and this Tame the Wild Heat Brush.

7. Don’t Use a Chemical Beard Relaxer (Ever!)

beard relaxer

Easily the most effective and long-lasting method of making your big bushy facial hair completely straight and flat would be the beard relaxing cream.

You should not use it, however, as it can destroy your hard-grown beard.

I’m not joking around here. If you’ve grown your whiskers for months, and then end up testing out a beard relaxer, you will be beating your beard into submission and killing it from the inside.

Your beard will be straight and even for sure, but it will also lose its elasticity and become limp and unstylable, as the chemicals in the relaxers work to breakdown the keratin-bonds that hold the facial hair fibers together and give them their “body”.

So when growing out a long beard and mustache, you may blow-dry it, you may even use heated beard tools, but thou shalt never apply beard relaxing creams!

Here’s what one of the World’s leading hair experts has to say about chemical relaxing agents:

Black women that relax their hair straight from the age of 20 to 40 will lose 50% of their hair strands, the result of long term chemical use is that the follicle will not produce new hair, causing premature baldness, and having to turn to the use of wigs, weaves and braiding.Dr. W. Morrow

There’s also a study that looked at the protein levels within the hair fibers before and after relaxer use and found that indeed, using chemical relaxers causes the fibers to lose volume as the levels of the structural proteins are depleted.

Conclusion

Growing out a beard requires patience.

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But growing out a long big beard requires immense amounts of patience, ability to hold back from trimming, and a completely different beard care routine that involves things like making your own beard oils (if you don’t want to go broke), using blow-dryer and straighteners, and mastering the art of combing and brushing the man mane.

Think you have what it takes to grow a long beard? Well, then I hope our seven tips and tricks above helped you out.

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Ali is a published author and a beard grooming expert from Finland. To this date, his articles have been read more than 15-million times on various sites, and he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and grow thicker. His work has been featured and cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.

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