What to do if you’ve got a patchy beard

May 21st, 2015 § 0

For those of you who desperately want a thick beard, but can only muster a patchy beard instead, confidence can sometimes be eroded. The inevitable “what do I do next?” questions start swirling in your minds, and confusion sets in. Do you just suck it up and go clean-shaven, even though it’s neither wanted or suits you, or do you put up with patches in your beard?

While there are no guaranteed ways to instantly turn your patchy beard into something more substantial, there are steps you can take to help it along the way.

Facial Hair

Time is your friend

The reason why patchy beards occur is because of the uneven spread of hormones, particularly testosterone, in your face. This imbalance causes hair follicles to grow at different speeds, so hair will grow earlier and faster in some areas, while it may take a few more years and grow slower in other areas. In the short term the best course of action is to simply let your beard grow out as much as possible. Give it 5-6 months and see how it looks; you may be surprised how well those patches fill in when given the time to grow. In the long term, as you age you are more likely to grow in fuller and more evenly. As your hair follicles mature in the patchy areas of your face, they will grow just as thickly and quickly as the more mature areas. While this may not be the answer you’ve been searching for, the fact is patience is the key to growing out those patchy areas.

Take a chill pill

No, we don’t have a magic pill you can take to fill out your patchy beard. However there is a direct link between the levels of stress you endure on a daily basis, and the amount of hair you lose across your body. To assist your hair growing goals, particularly when it comes to your patchy beard, try and rid any stressful situations from your life. High stress jobs or unemployment, high maintenance family and friends, financial problems and recurring health issues are just some of the stresses we are exposed to throughout our lives. Whatever you can do to alleviate stress in your life will not only help with your patchy beard, but can also lead to a far happier life in general.

Fill up the tank with proper fuel

By eating the right foods you’ll not only give those hair follicles an almighty push, but you’ll also feel much better anyway. Hair follicles are made from proteins, and filling the dormant follicles in your face with extra protein may give them the push they need to speed up the growing process. So add more lean meats, fish, eggs, beans and nuts to your diet so your body is full of wonderful natural protein. In addition, vitamins B6, C and E are also recommended for hair growth, so supplement your new high protein diet with some of these as well.

Get creative

OK, so you can’t grow a full and bushy beard right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have awesome facial hair. Experiment with different styles and see what works. For example, if the hair on your cheeks is patchy, shave it off and grow an awesome goatee or chinstrap beard. If your moustache doesn’t connect to the beard, shave the beard off and go for a monumental handlebar moustache instead. The idea is to embrace what you’ve got, experiment with various styles, and own your new look. By really owning your new facial hairstyle your confidence will be sky high, and you never know, you may just discover a style you never thought would look great on you but does.

We do not recommend Minoxidil

If you’ve been researching ways to help your patchy beard, chances are you’ve come across recommendations for Minoxidil. This product was developed to treat high blood pressure, but during the testing phase they discovered it stimulated hair growth. However, the fact is this product was not developed for hair growth and can have side effects. If you use Minoxidil you could experience a sudden loss of blood pressure, which is what it was developed to do, and if you’ve had no blood pressure issues in the past, this can cause real problems. Our advice: steer clear of Minoxidil and try natural remedies instead.

shaving brush, DE and bowl

Embrace your baby face

Not everyone can have perfect beard growing genes, and this may be the case for you. It’s not something you may want to hear, but it is something you may have to accept. If you’re not willing to wait until the maturity of the dormant hair follicles have caught up with your more active facial hair, or don’t want to experiment with beard styles that exclude those patchy areas, then shave it all off and concentrate on improving other areas of your personal look. Buy a kickass wardrobe, smell great at all times, hit the gym, or concentrate on a daily moisturizing program.

There is no easy fix for a patchy beard. Without going down the unnatural and dangerous route of taking Minoxidil, your best chance of success is eating a healthy diet, removing as many stressful situations from your life as you can, and patience. Not only will incorporating these into your regular life encourage hair growth, you’ll also experience a much healthy and more satisfactory quality of life as well. In the mean time, experiment with various facial hair styles that don’t use the patchy areas and have some fun with your new creations.

10 best beards in movie history

May 15th, 2015 § 0

Hollywood has always led the way when it comes to beard fashion. Well before hipsters started dominating the men’s facial hair movement, movie characters have been pushing beard boundaries through every generation.

Why do beards play such an important role in so many famous movies? Because they set the tone of the character, so much so they’re almost a separate character in themselves! They give a man maturity and depth, and let’s face it, if the character requires scenes where they’re deep in thought, they simply must have a beard.

Here are our 10 best beards in the history of the silver screen, but we’re sure you’ll think we’ve missed a few:

Steve Zissou (Bill Murray, The Life Aquatic)

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, 2004

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, 2004

Do you really think Steve Zissou could have fought off dozens of pirates with just a little red hat and a single pistol if he didn’t have a manly beard? Or bring himself to spare the ‘jaguar shark’ that killed his best friend after searching the oceans and tracking it down, unless he had the wisdom that comes with such a manly beard?

Pai Mei (Gordon Liu, Kill Bill: Vol. 2)

Kill Bill: Vol. 2, 2004

Kill Bill: Vol. 2, 2004

Not only is this guy a kick-ass ninja who has mastered the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique, but he’s also got an insane beard with matching eyebrows! There have been quite a few similar beard/eyebrow combinations in movie history from our South-East Asian thespians, but none come close to the magnificence of Pai Mei (which actually means ‘white eyebrow’….we think).

Gandalf (Sir Ian McKellen, Lord of the Rings)

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, 2001

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, 2001

Could this be the best white beard in the history of movies? Coupled with that magnificent long, thick white hair, you could probably ask Gandalf any question on Earth and he would have the answer – he is that wise! Still, if you’re 2,000 years old, you really should be able to grow an awesome beard and hair combo, right?

Jeffrey ‘El Duderino’ Lebowski (Jeff Bridges, The Big Lebowski)

The Big Lebowski, 1998

The Big Lebowski, 1998

Arguably the most laid back character in movie history, The Dude’s goatee beard is a sight to behold. Granted it’s not the most well kept face rug of all time, but how could it be when he keeps spilling his White Russians through it every time he takes a swig! The point is it suits the character perfectly, which is why this gnarly looking goatee makes the list.

RJ MacReady (Kurt Russell, The Thing)

The Thing, 1982

The Thing, 1982

Kurt Russell sporting this big and bushy beard really was a no-brainer given the arctic conditions his character found himself in during the movie. It may look like it’s just some huge, thick pile of hair sticking as close to his face as possible, but the reality are these styles need to be nurtured and looked after on a daily basis. If man really is ‘the warmest place to hide’ as the movie tagline suggests, then Kurt Russell is clearly warmer than all other men thanks to his luscious beard.

Serpico (Al Pacino, Serpico)

Serpico, 1973

Serpico, 1973

If you want to learn how to grow an awesome beard, just watch Serpico. Over the course of 12 years you’ll see Al Pacino start with a little moustache that evolves into a handlebar, then moves onto a full beard, which eventually grows out to the masterpiece that seems apt given the quality of acting. It just wouldn’t work if Pacino’s beard didn’t match his performance. If you like watching men grow beards, make sure you watch Serpico.

Rubeus Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane, Harry Potter)

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, 2001

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, 2001

Seriously, it’s no wonder poor old Hagrid lives alone. His beard is so wild and out there, it looks like he saw an old homeless man in a backstreet near Hogwarts and said ‘yep, that’s the look for me’! But in its own strange way, Hagrid’s beard is incredibly impressive, and deserves to be revered by all men as an example of what can be achieved. And if you fancy being a bachelor for the rest of your life, you should try and grow one for yourself…just for fun!

Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks, Castaway)

Cast Away, 2000

Cast Away, 2000

When it comes to growing a beard and getting nominated for an Oscar, Tom Hanks has the formula nailed. The secret to growing a beard like this is literally to forget you own a pair of scissors or trimmers, throw every grooming product you have out the window, talk to a volley ball with a face painted on it for four years, then ‘voila’, you’ve got yourself a Chuck Noland.

Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks, Forrest Gump)

Forrest Gump, 1994

Forrest Gump, 1994

How is it possible that Forrest Gump’s beard is the only one on this list to take home an Academy Award? It seems crazy given the importance a great beard plays in setting the scene for a movie. And to think Gump’s beard is actually inhibitive for a guy who’s running back and forth across America a couple of times (too hot, too wind resistant, likely to attract nesting birds, etc.). It just goes to show, even with this holding Hanks back, he went on to win the Oscar…what an actor!

Alan (Zach Galifianakis, The Hangover)

The Hangover, 2009

Alan

When you’re a one-man wolf pack, you’ve really got to have the beard to match. Zach Galifianakis’ beard is superb and coupled with his shaggy hair, it’s not a stretch to imagine that he is exactly what a one-man wolf pack would look like. But what sets Galifianakis apart from everyone else is he’s brought beard comedy back. Normally a beard is associated with wise, elderly men, but Alan is definitely not that smart.

Seriously, these are just 10 awesome movie beards we picked for this article, but there are hundreds more that could have got the nod – Sylvester Stallone (Nighthawk), Sean Connery (The Hunt For Red October), George Clooney (Syriana), Lou Ferrigno (Hercules), Harrison Ford (The Fugitive), Brad Pitt (Legends of the Fall), just to name a few. If you were going to create a Hall of Fame for Hollywood beards, who would you induct and why?

All images are the property of their creators.

How to get rid of beard itch

May 8th, 2015 § 0

Ask any man why they gave up growing a beard and almost every one of them will give you the same answer – beard itch. Never mind the awesome beard that’s awaiting them, they just couldn’t stand the irritation for those few uncomfortable days. If you’ve grown a beard before, you’ll understand what it’s like for someone new to get through it. However, you’ll also understand that the rewards are well worth the momentary period of discomfort.

Have you got it? Set your beard up right.

Have you got it? Set your beard up right.

WHY DO BEARDS ITCH?

As you grow your beard, the ends curl and either start growing back towards your face, or lay down on your skin. The ends of your whiskers are sharp and pointy thanks to your razor cutting them at an angle. The discomfort you feel is when those ends make it back and start poking you in the face, causing you to scratch. Excessive scratching can turn your face red, even into a rash for some, and it’s at this point that some men head straight for the bathroom and shave the growth off. However, with a little patience and willpower, those ends will soften and become dull as the beard grows out.

WHAT CAN I DO DURING THIS UNCOMFORTABLE PERIOD?

 Long gone are the days when you just had to ride it out like our forefathers. We’ve come a long way, and there are many beard growing and maintenance products that ensure we can grow the best beard possible. It’s vital we take the time to understand how we not only grow a great beard, but keep it healthy and vibrant as well.

Clean your beard

Beards are robust, but still need a little TLC every day. They are at the forefront of many daily activities, resulting in foreign and natural objects becoming trapped within. These objects, such as dead skin cells, rogue hairs, daily grime, and body oils can cause irritation to the skin if left to move about and fester. To take care of your beard and keep it clean, you’ll need proper soap and shampoo designed especially for beards. Hair on your head is different to hair on your face, and regular shampoo can dry your skin and clog your pores. So don’t use it – it’ll do more damage than good.

Replace the nutrients

Moisture and nutrients can be lost during the cleaning process, no matter what products you use. Proper beard soaps and shampoos will minimise this loss, but you’ll need a beard conditioner to replenish and invigorate the hair. Again, don’t use head hair conditioner for the same reasons you shouldn’t use head hair shampoos. Beard conditioner will make your beard soft again, reducing the impact of those pointy hairs poking at your skin, and your beard is less likely to tangle when it becomes longer and fuller.

Use beard oil or beard balm to moisturise

Applying beard oil is the best way to moisturise your beard. It will add weight, give it a lovely scent, and a nice sheen. Alternatively, using a beard balm is another excellent option, and the only way you’ll know which one is best for you is trying them for yourself during your daily routine. Moisturising is a non-negotiable; it simply must be done, no excuses.

MY BEARD STILL ITCHES!!!

 To maintain a clean and healthy beard, you should follow the above steps even after you’ve grown it to the desired length. However, for some men beard itch is still a concern even after they’ve grown it out. If this is the case for you, there are a couple steps you can take to relieve the irritation.

Remove ingrown hairs

Ingrown hairs are a common issue, even if you’ve gone to great lengths to maintain a healthy beard during the growing phase. Use a good pair of tweezers to remove the hairs, and if you don’t have a steady hand to do it yourself, ask someone to do it for you.

There are many like it, but this one is mine.

There are many like it, but this one is mine.

Brush your beard

This should go without saying, but make sure you brush your beard hair regularly. As soon as you’ve got any sort of length in your beard hair, you should brush it regularly using a top quality beard brush or comb. This will train your hairs to grow in the desired direction, and provide it with some shape and style, reducing the risk of ingrown hairs and whiskers poking you in the face. As an added bonus, brushing your beard feels absolutely incredible!

STAY STRONG!

If you’re growing your beard and going through this irritating period, stay strong and ride it out. Just remember there are many men going through exactly the same discomfort, so don’t be one of those who shave it off if you really want to grow a beard. Most men are so happy once they get through this period, while others regret shaving it off as soon as they do it. Like most things in life, great rewards come after a little hard work, and beards are no different.

Shaving a coarse beard with sensitive skin

January 12th, 2015 § 0

CoarseBeardSensitiveSkin

A common issue with a lot of men who have a coarse beard is they also have sensitive skin. Hacking away at your beard with the wrong blade will either irritate your skin as you slice through the hairs, or waste time as you make pass after pass while virtually making no progress!

So what do you do, go with a really sharp blade to shave the hair, that almost guarantees skin irritation? For instance a brand new Feather blade will cut through the coarse beard effortlessly, but you are bound to nick or cut yourself. Or do you go with a milder blade that doesn’t shave the hair as well, but is less likely to irritate the skin? » Read the rest of this entry «

10 great Christmas gifts for the man in your life

December 6th, 2014 § 0

It’s that time of year again, Christmas is just around the corner and you need to start thinking about gifts for the men in your life. Instead of fighting your way through shopping mall crowds, trying to find a bargain for your husband/brother/uncle/son, etc., we thought we’d do the legwork for you. After throwing ideas at each other here at Fendrihan HQ, we came up with a list of 10 gifts we think any man would love.

10_Christmas_Gifts » Read the rest of this entry «

How to make the perfect shaving soap lather in 5 steps

November 5th, 2014 § 0

Wet shaving takes a time to master, but with patience and practice you can enhance what is already a fantastic shaving experience even further with these simple steps.

A well-crafted, rich and full lather will add another dimension to your morning or evening ritual, so the team here at Fendrihan HQ thoroughly recommend you make the effort to learn the skills outlined below to produce the optimum soapy blend.

Jacks_shave_soap3

Our good friends at Jack’s Soap weren’t happy with the information that was out there on how to produce the best lather possible, so they came up with these five simple instructions. We like them, and we’re sure you’ll like them too. » Read the rest of this entry «

How to shave using a straight razor

October 23rd, 2014 § 0

Until safety razors were invented in the 1900s, men used the straight razor for their shaving needs. Well, recently the straight razor has made a big comeback not only because you can get a good shave with this method, but the ritual is just as rewarding as the results. Also, facial hair has made a comeback, but men like to make sure it’s groomed and maintained properly. As such a straight razor is used to ensure the lines separating areas of facial here and smooth skin are well defined, and the contrast is as great as it can be.

Young man holding straight razorThe transition from using a safety razor to a straight razor can be tricky. Initially you may find your shaves are of a poorer quality than with a safety razor, and you will probably cut yourself at least once. But stick to it, because with practice you’ll be able to give yourself a far smoother shave than you can now. You’ll have complete control over the entire shaving experience, from preparing your razor and beard, to the actual shave itself. You’ll feel a million dollars from the moment you start the prep work until you’ve splashed on your favourite aftershave at the end. Follow this guide to get your straight razor career underway… » Read the rest of this entry «

I want to start using a straight razor, what should I do?

October 10th, 2014 § 0

cut throat razorWe get lots of questions from our customers wanting to know which straight razor they should start with, and what other products they need to sharpen and maintain the blade. So our straight razor department here at Fendrihan HQ (i.e. me), decided to put this fact sheet together to give you a little more information. » Read the rest of this entry «

Kent Brushes: Handcrafted Hair Brushes and Shaving Brushes

March 6th, 2014 § 0

Kent Brushes began with GB Kent and Sons and it’s now the oldest known hair brush maker in the world. The company started making their prestigious handcrafted brushes over 236 years ago in 1777 during the reign of King George III, and continues to be one of the oldest and most venerable companies in Britain.

The high regard of these luxury brushes has ensured that Kent has received the Royal Warrant which allows the company to bear the royal coat of arms. This means the company supplies its wares to the either the sovereign or a member of the royal family.

This is a proud tradition which has carried through many royal monarchical reigns in the United Kingdom. » Read the rest of this entry «

Razor blades differences: choose the right razor blade

February 7th, 2014 § 0

As not all safety razors are the same, safety razor blades the are also not the same. However, as safety razor usage has increased and become more popular, the available models and types of razor blades have also significantly increased. You can now buy razor blades from all over the globe that will satisfy your needs.

Getting the best clean, close shave without irritation such as razor burn is actually a matter of trial and error. The reason is that every man’s face is different and has a specific skin type. » Read the rest of this entry «