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IN PURSUIT OF BEING HIRSUTE Optimise your facial features with these top tips for growing, maintaining and styling the perfect beard. G rowing a beard isn’t rocket science. However, there are now so many grooming products and facial hair ‘trends’ out there that knowing where to begin can seem an arduous feat. We get it. You’re late for work, the kids need lunches packing, and the last thing you want to do is sift through a bunch of online blogs to figure out how to tame that ever-growing mass of face fur. The good news is that you can make any ‘look’ work as long as you observe the fundamentals of beard styling and maintenance. And there’s nothing too time-consuming about it. You just make a few small adjustments to your daily grooming routine and away you go. So start applying these tips today and reap the rewards with a rugged new style you can ‘wear’ anywhere.  Be patient If you’re starting completely from scratch, get ready to play the long game. Hold your horses, put down the scissors, and allow a good week of growth before you go tampering with the shape or length.  Exfoliate Throughout this ‘limbo’ period, it’s vital that you keep the skin beneath in tip top condition. Look after it by using a decent facial scrub to slough away dead skin cells and remove any dirt and grime from the area.  Wash and condition Facial hair can be a hotbed for bacteria to spread and cause acne. Washing your beard with a specially- formulated beard shampoo several times a week will cleanse it of any grime or debris. Not to mention keep 54 FQ it looking clean and smelling fresh. Your missus will thank you.  Comb daily Once your beard reaches the desired length, maintenance begins to come into play. Invest in a beard comb and give it a regular once-over to remove any knots or tangles. An even consistency is key even if you want the “scruffy” look.  Use quality oil Apply a conditioning beard oil to your facial hair and the skin underneath to moisturise, nourish and protect the beard as it grows, taking care to massage into the skin to avoid dryness. Remember, in order to grow a healthy piece of facial fuzz, you have to start at the source.  Trim regularly Invest in a specially-designed pair of beard and moustache scissors. You can pick them up pretty cheap, and they’ll be crucial for maintaining an even length. To trim, comb your beard through to untangle and snip away any protruding hairs, working your way down the beard and over the cheekbones and sideburns until a neater finish is achieved.  Tidy those edges For sharper edges, a cut-throat razor is an essential tool, as it allows you to really get in close to the target area without the bulk of a standard razor head getting in the way. But to keep things really slick, a monthly visit to the barber for a tidy-up is highly recommended. ■