After weeks of hiding in what felt like an eternal 5 o’clock shadow, you’ve finally reached a place where you’re comfortable calling that patch on your face a full fledged beard. And it’s definitely no secret that beard culture is rapidly expanding right alongside men’s grooming, while facial hair has evolved into it’s own work of art.

So knowing that your beard is the ultimate crown you get to wear right beneath your nose, it must be expertly cared for. And like most things, it’s a work in progress where true success takes time, especially if you’re in it for the long haul and want some length.

If you’re ready for your beard to look it’s best, there are a few tools that must become a part of your everyday grooming routine. Take note and add these items to your beard toolkit!

Shampoo + Conditioner

Washing Beard
Your hair type will determine the shampoo you use for your beard type, but you should always wash your beard! There are several brands of shampoos and conditioners geared specifically toward beards, but those aren’t always a requirement to keep it clean. Further, skin types affect your beard, so oily skin yields less frequent washings than other skin types. If you’d like to keep it clean without over-shampooing, then condition it on the off days. For dry skin/beards, beard oil is your friend.

Just Say NO To Towels

This is the anti-toolkit item. Avoid towel drying beards to save your beard. It’s a lint trap that’ll leave you frustrated and on the brink of shaving. Don’t do it! Towels can also tug at your beard hairs and make it a painful (and frizzy) experience to dry. Use a t-shirt or cloths that DO NOT produce lint. Even paper towels can work. Whatever you have to do, but be gentle when drying your beard, regardless of the approach.

Beard Oil

Man rubs beard oil into beard.
The gift of beard oil is that it stamps out unwanted frizz, but if you have oily skin, you may want to consider other options—like not growing a beard at all. It’s a sad reality to face (get it?), but certain skin types work better for beards than others. Pay attention to how your skin reacts to the new growth, then take a cue and make your decision from there.

Brush + Comb

The hair on your beard is much like the hair on your head: it requires a good brushing. Brushing and combing does more than provide the ideal look for your beard; it also serves to keep the hair on your beard healthy. Use a comb for your beard (depending on your hair type and beard length, the comb will vary) to remove any knots and tangles that can make your beard look bunchy and uneven. A brush (preferably one made of boar’s hair) will stimulate the oil glands in your face enough to keep the hair smooth. Make sure to comb your beard frequently and also give it a good brushing. Don’t go crazy with it because overstimulation of the oil glands may turn your beard oily, but just enough to look right.

A Good Barber

Your barber is responsible for keeping the area around your beard looking fresh. However, if you’ve got the skills, then we’ve got the razor and the trimmer for you.