Some of us have a hard time starting and maintaining good facial hair. That’s just how it works sometimes. That doesn’t mean you can’t be proactive about it and take steps to successfully grow the beard you deserve. To help you grow and nurture the perfect beard, follow these tips and watch just how quickly you can go from “Patches” to the ambassador of #BeardGang in no time.

Get Rid of Dead Skin

First things first: exfoliate. Removing unwanted layers of dead skin on your face not only gives your beard hair a clean, uncluttered place to flourish, but it also greatly reduces the risk of ingrown hairs making your beard grow in unevenly.

Keep it Hydrated

The way shampoo and conditioner helps to clean and nourish hair, a good beard balm can help to maintain that hydration, as well as provide beard hair with the necessary nutrients to assist it in growing out nicely. This is a step that most would overlook, but definitely shouldn’t be slept on…

Trim Away Patchiness

There’s a simple trick you can use the next time you go to trim your beard in training: instead of going for a clean shave, grab your trusted beard trimmer and gradually increase the height of the guard over time. This allows you to trim down the longer whiskers of your beard while still being able to preserve its overall fullness as it grows.

Train Your Hairline

You may be tempted to opt for razor-sharp edges and neckline, but a naturally shaped beard is going to look better in the long run, unless you absolutely have the face and jawline for it.

Although it’s typically more work to achieve a naturally tapered line than one your barber can hook you up with, it’ll look more organic in the end, like your hair just, you know, grows like that. Just make sure you’re trimming regularly to maintain that natural look and eventually your beard will start growing the way you want it, naturally.

Comb it Out

If you’re not doing it already, combing (or brushing, if your beard’s still in the beginning phase) out your hair is a great way to keep things in check. Much if your beard hair is going to be thick and curly, causing it to grow back into your skin.

Combing it regularly will keep ingrown hairs from making things worse while encouraging your beard hair to grow away from your face and even distribute your skin’s natural oils.

Ask a Professional

Sometimes there’s only so much list of tips on the Internet can do. If you’ve read all the way to this point and are still at a loss on how to get things started, don’t be afraid to talk to your barber. Make an appointment and talk to them about the best ways to train and take care of your beard so you can put your best face forward this season.