Dream of a beard like Ranveer Singh's? Get yourself one with a few simple steps Image: Viral Bhayani
Indian men are fascinated by facial hair. Right from Rabindranath Tagore to Dadabhai Naoroji, these luminaries in Indian history had a look of pride, a certain smugness on their faces, which may have well resulted from the beards they had reared for years.
However, once Bollywood emerged as the pop culture determinant of India, bearded faces suddenly disappeared and the clean-shaven faces of Amitabh Bachchan and Rajesh Khanna became inspirational for Indian youths.
Cut to the present, and Indian men once again are back to loving their beard. Thanks to celebs such as Ranveer Singh, Varun Dhawan, Virat Kohli and rapper Badshah. Face fuzz — be it a full-grown beard or a designer stubble — has regained its place of glory.
But mind you, a beard isn’t just overgrown facial hair. And growing a good beard isn’t a cakewalk either. You need tremendous perseverance and patience to achieve this uphill task. You just don't grow a beard, you need to give it a lot of TLC (Tender Loving Care, duh).
But don’t worry, once you have a grown a beard, just think about the attention you will receive — and that alone should act as your motivation. Psst, recent surveys conducted by dating sites have found that more than 50 per cent women found men's facial hair attractive.
If you are serious about growing your beard the right way, here are some tips to make the task easier:
Before you start
"Growing a beard doesn’t mean you have to stay away from the razor for weeks. Rather, the first step is to shave and wait for stubble and then shave again," says Ankit Gera, celebrity hairstylist of Geetanjali Salon, Delhi. To pull off Hrithik Roshan's Agneepath look, you will need to undergo a tremendous boot camp routine. This continuous process of growing a stubble and shaving is called Stubble Cycle. Some men complain of not having beard in all spots. This will also help in filing those gaps.
Grow it right
"Grow your beard for 20-30 days. Your face will look a bit messy. Don’t trim your beard at all for a month. And then visit a neighbourhood salon. Ask the stylist to shape the beard along the lines of your cheekbones. He will work out a desired shape on your beard depending on your face type," says Gera.
Keep your face moisturised
"The growth phase is the tricky part. Always keep your face and your beard moisturised. Wash your beard often and use a good quality oil to hydrate it," says Ashutosh Valani and Priyank Shah, co-founders of Beardo, a beard grooming brand for men.
Look for a good beard wax to keep your beard in line and well-groomed.
Condition your beard
After your day's work, Shah suggests, wash your face with a good beard wash, in order to keep it soft and manageable.
Manage the tangles
Get yourself a quality wooden beard comb to detangle your beard and keep it in check, advises Valani.
Get your style correct
By the second month, your beard will be well settled. You need to continue trimming once every week. No need to rush to a salon, if you don’t have time. Instead, get yourself a good trimmer. Use it to lighten your beard near your Adam’s apple. In a salon, they call it blending. Make a straight line with a razor along the body of the Adam’s apple to make it look smarter.
Make sure there is no extra hair growing over the upper lip. It’s tacky and makes a man look like a creep.
How long should you grow your beard?
Well, as Gera points out, women hate tangled hair tickling them while being frenched. Just keep your rugged facial terrain uniform on all sides. A raised-up hair-end here will make things worse.
Your diet plays a super important role in your beard growing endeavour. Bump up your protein intake. Include meat, fish, eggs and nuts in your daily diet.