If spring is when you're supposed to change up your skin-care routine, it only follows that it's the time to rethink your relationship with your beard, too. So we checked in with London-based barber Matt Raine (he recently partnered with Birchbox to bring his grooming line Mr. Natty to the U.S.) on how to help your facial follicles thrive in the warm-up to summer. Whether your look is close and cropped or lush and feral, we've got timely tips on how to keep those whiskers in check.
Take it down a notch.
Spring is the ideal time "to tame your beard and make it a little bit tighter," says Raine, who's a believer in taking matters into your own hands, quite literally, with a pair of scissors. Comb out your beard first and snip slowly and deliberately, as if you're edging a shrub. Just resist the urge to whip out the clippers. "Gentlemen can go in too quickly and take too much out," he cautions.
Make sense of your scents.
There's good reason experts switch up their scents with the seasons. Many rich, base-note heavy fragrances come across as overpowering when temps start soaring. Likewise, lighter notes easily go unnoticed when it's frigid out. As you would update your wardrobe for spring, update your fragrance—including the one you're applying on your beard. Raine's pick is Mr. Natty's Bring Me Sunshine Frank's Beard Elixir, which has bright, uplifting notes of citrus and vetiver.
Go beyond the beard.
"Don't forget your skin," Raine says. Winter's extreme cold can parch skin to the point at which it needs continued care, even weeks after spring has sprung. Besides upping your daily water intake, he recommends using a two-in-one product like Bluebeards Original Beard Saver, which softens skin underneath and around your beard. Pamper the rest of your face with a little spring cleaning by whisking away any errant hairs on the cheeks with a razor and gently trimming brows to open up your face.
And if you want to keep your beard big…
If you prefer a full, long, and bushy beard, a couple of easy steps will keep you looking naturally handsome. In the morning, Raine recommends brushing your beard with a cavalry brush, which was "originally invented for horses during the Crimean War." The short, super-firm bristles are ideal for smoothing out bigger beards and preventing unsightly mats. Then apply a few drops of Mr. Natty's Beard Elixir from roots to tip.
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