We’re firm believers in growing a winter beard, for both practical and philosophical reasons. There’s no better time to start growing your winter beard than right now, in the midst of No-Shave November, when all that fresh facial hair can help raise awareness and money for cancer research. In an attempt to help you grow the best winter beard of your life, we tracked down Taylor Welden, the vice president of Austin Facial Hair Club and reigning U.S. National Beard Champion to discuss the art of the beard.
“It sounds simple, but the key to growing a great beard is to not shave,” Welden says. “Don’t shave for at least six months. Then you’ll really see what kind of beard you can grow.”
Welden competes in beard competitions regularly, and is known for his elaborately styled mustache and full beard, but insists that not everyone needs to go to such great lengths with their facial hair.
“All facial hair is valid,” Welden says. “A five o’clock shadow is equal to my beard in my eyes.”
With that egalitarian sentiment in mind, we asked Welden to pick his favorite products for grooming a beard. Here are his picks, in his own words.
Blind Barber Lemongrass Tea Shampoo ($24)
"I’m not crazy when it comes to grooming but I shampoo and condition my beard every two days."
Billy Jealousy Beard Control Balm ($20)
"Beard balm is great. Use it when you’re just out of the shower, then walk away and let it dry."
Bearded Bastard Woodsmen Beard Oil ($20)
"I was camping recently in the Grand Canyon, and it was really dry, so I touched up my beard with oil. Put a little in your hands and wipe it through to help moisturize the follicles."
Captain Fawcett Wild Boar Bristle Beard Brush ($20)
"A boars hair bristled brush helps straighten things out but doesn't grab and pull like a comb. I brush around six times a day."
Remington Beard Boss ($45)
"I'm against shaving, but I’ll occasionally trim off the split ends at the bottom of my beard, and keep it in a good shape. The Beard Boss is good for cleaning up the neck too."