Trained in dentistry, Sree is currently studying lab sciences. She enjoys researching various health topics and writing about her findings.
While the clean-cut, clean-shaven boy-next-door classically defined the stereotypical gentleman for years, another fad has more and more sons of Adams jump with both feet into – the aggressive, manly look of bearded elegance.
The business of growing of beard has officially swept among men. Most claim that having and growing one is a form of statement. Now others may think this is a no-sweat affair, but whiskered dudes digress. It actually takes a lot of work and effort to achieve an acceptable look.
Beard growing is a serious business. It entails much work and maintenance to prevent the ultimate shame of all, well at least for serious whisker growers – the dry skin under beard.
It actually takes two to six years to grow a beard, depending on one's persistence and preference. One can only imagine the painstaking process men experience to reach the ultimate beard nirvana. Styling and grooming beards is another issue. Men buy special trimmers to achieve the right shape and thickness of their whiskers. Some even go to the salon for the help of a professional "beard stylist". Like it or not, some men even have to pay extra money to achieve the hot look of the season.
Interesting Facts about Beards
Whether growing a beard is brought by style of certain beliefs, growing a beard goes way back in the bygone days. Ancient Gaelic Celts from Ireland and Scotland believed that the lack of beard is a sign of shame.
The earliest records in Egyptian history indicate that the highest-ranking officials grew beards. The Mesopotamian civilizations exhibited great care in their facial hair, even designed tongs and curling irons to create elaborate ringlets in their beards.
Believe it or not, we can also trace the history of this beard business in the biblical sense. St. Clement of Alexandrine was known for saying that a beard is the mark of a man and removing it means desecrating the symbol of manhood. It can also be found in the bible that cutting of beard during that era was used as a sign of shame.
In the 1800s in America, facial hair was considered the ultimate expression of masculinity. Beard was considered signs of dignity and wisdom, especially for older men.
Today, it is also a symbol for strength and aggression. Men with beard are those whose masculinity cannot be questioned, and who, by standards, are capable of defending themselves and others.
Flaky and Dry Skin under Beard
Men grooming their beards are akin to women keeping their long manes healthy. It is all about the maintenance. Shape and texture are important. While the overall appearance of the beard is the point culminant, it is actually what is underneath that matters most.
Improper care of facial hair actually leads to dry skin under beard. Beard dandruff occurs when the natural oils of the skin dry up, causing flaking. It may also result in itchiness and irritation. Cold weather can also be a cause for flaky beard area. Skin hydration is a major issue at this time.
Another probable cause of dry facial skin on this area is the use of hair grooming products to the beard. These shampoos contain chemicals and waxes that clog the pores. This results in scaling of the skin, causing unsightly flakes. Use of body soap to cleanse the beard also causes dryness. After all, beards are still hair, and soaps may irritate the skin and even harden the hair itself.
Stress, according to doctors, may also lead to drying of skin, resulting to formation of crusts and flakes. Lack of sleep and unbalanced diet also lead to poor skin. The use of strong facial product, cleanser or astringent, also plays havoc to the sensitive areas of the face.
Preventing Beard Dandruff
Avoiding unappealing dandruffs in the beard may be done in a jiffy. There are several easy ways.
Constant washing of beard twice a day is a must, one in the morning and one at night. Clean whiskers are always better than dirty ones. Use cool water since hot H2O robs the skin of its natural oils. Exfoliating often also removes dead skin cells and avoids clog pores.
After washing, one may apply oil to hydrate the beard area. Jojoba and safflower oils are tried and tested go-to solutions by men. Adding of tea-tree oil may also be a nice touch due to its anti-bacterial agents. This can be done once or twice a week. Massaging oil gently may help avoiding dry skin under beard.
Splurging for a good shampoo and moisturizer specially designed for the beard is an obvious solution. There are many available brands in the market. If these are not on-hand, shampoos high in vitamins B and E may work. Dandruff shampoos are replete with these; hence, one may also use them for beard care. Creams that contain eucalyptus may also help the hair to grow quickly and maintain the moisture of the skin at the same time. Moisturized skin creates a better environment for the hair to grow properly and avoid ingrown hairs.
If there is a need to shave the beard, one has to take extra care to avoid nicks and cuts. These may get irritated, adding to the problems in flaking.
A healthy diet may also help in preventing dry skin under beard. Eating fruits and vegetables rich in beta carotene and antioxidant helps in maintaining the skin's natural glow and wellbeing.
Since stress plays a major role in skin problems, like in beard dandruffs, a fit lifestyle is also recommended. Getting enough sleep and exercise are doctor's orders to any ailment, skin or otherwise.
If any of these remedies do not work, it is best for bearded men with the said condition to get the help of a doctor. Extreme dryness of skin may be a manifestation of a more serious medical condition like hyperthyroidism and kidney disease.
While the overall looks and outer appearances are likely criteria for the most well-groomed beards, men should also take note of proper skin care to avoid dry and flaky skin. Dry and flaky skin under the beard is a no-no. Excellent beard shape and texture will all go down the drain if flecked with white unsightly dandruff. Men might as well sport a clean-cut appearance to avoid the shame.
If one is determined to grow a beard, however, there is no better step in achieving the "dignified and manly" look than dedication. Beard growing, after all, is a serious business.
Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on March 21, 2020:
Good article. Well elaborated.
Hezekiah from Japan on April 15, 2015:
This is a problem for me, especially in the dry winters. I end up having to go to the dermatologists.