This is a guest post by Chandler Sterling, who has written a very cool (and free) book guiding you through every step there is to your beard growth journey.
Chandler Sterling is the founder of California Beard Company. The company just released their first book for free as an E-Book, titled The Ultimate Guide to Beard Growing. Here is a story he shared with Bristlr about his experience as a beginner beard grower.
It was 2008 and the middle of my college years. It seemed that life couldn’t get any better than college. Parties every weekend, sleeping in every day, no Friday classes, tons of girls everywhere…
However, as I was growing into a man I felt there was something I hadn’t yet achieved- a full beard. I had seen bearded men in real life and in the movies. They are often viewed as powerful, confident men who command respect from those around them while living life on their terms. As a young man searching for an identity, well, this was an identity I could aspire to.
So, I decided to grow a beard, foregoing shaving for exactly 1 month. My strategy was simple: don’t shave and let father time do his part. Over time my beard hair will get longer and longer, resulting in a sweet beard in a short amount of time. However, I quickly realized after 2 weeks that my beard was nowhere close to the epic beards I had seen before. It was thin and patchy and hardly gained any length at all.
I had always been taught by my father that patience is a virtue. So I decided to try my hand at virtuosity and kept at this new bearded lifestyle for another month. Surely, after six weeks of growth, my beard will be epic, right? Well, sort of. After six weeks my beard was starting to fill in and gain some mass. My problem was still the length…it was still so much shorter than I expected!
And as my beard kept growing, more unpleasant symptoms arose, such as incredible itchiness, straw-like beard hair, and beard-dandruff flakes all over. At one point, my beard was so dry and itchy that it literally hurt my follicles to touch the hair. Not to mention, I looked like a huge scrub because I wasn’t shaving my neckline to help shape the beard. My beard was growing in every direction, itching like hell, and flaking dandruff on everyone.
Fuck that. I had enough. I had the patience to wait for a long, glorious beard but I didn’t have the discipline to live through beard itch, beard-dandruff, and a scrubby appearance. This was college, after all, and I’ll be damned if I spend it looking unkempt. I wanted to enjoy the social benefits of looking good and this beard was detrimental to that goal. Six weeks into the experiment I gave up and shaved the beard off.
Back to the clean-shaven life, the ridicule from my friends ceased, the attention from women increased, and life was back to good. But in the back of my mind, I had failed. I had not achieved what I set out to do.
If I had the resources to educate myself on how to properly grow and care for a beard, I would have confidently grown a beard and looked good doing it.
Now, almost 10 years later, I’ve lived the majority of my adult life with some form of a beard. I’ve learned the simple tricks to growing and caring for a beard. In the fall of 2017, I took it upon myself to combine all my knowledge into a self-help book.
The effort resulted in The Ultimate Guide to Beard Growing, a completely free E-Book. This book takes a science-based approach to explaining beards and how to care for them. This way, you know how to treat the underlying causes of beard-itch and beard-dandruff, and knowledge is power.
The book covers topics such as trimming your beard, caring for your beard, and reducing beard itch, dandruff, and ingrown hairs. I even put together a chart to help you choose a razor that’s right for you.
Click here to get the free book.
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