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When it comes to beard goals, a good healthy dose of realism is the key to success. If you've been to school or had a corporate job in the past twenty years, you've probably got the expression that goals should be S.M.A.R.T. emblazoned into your brain by now. As played out as that expression may be, there is quite a bit of truth to it.
One of the biggest Beard Confidence detractors is unmet expectations. If you've got unrealistic beard goals, you're going to find yourself in a constant state of frustration. Even with our awesome beard oil, no one's beard is going to grow a foot in a year. And you're really barking up the wrong tree if you think that your curly beard is going to magically become straight when it reaches a certain length. Use these tips to make sure your beard goals are realistic.
Achieve Habits, Not Milestones
You cannot control how fast or how long your beard grows in a certain period of time, but you can control your habits. Rather than making goals about length, center your goals on habits that promote healthy hair and length retention.
The rate at which new hair sprouts out of your chin is heavily influenced by genetics. Plus human hair only grows about a half-inch per month at best, and hair grows in a cycle. Every six or seven years, it goes through a phase where it doesn’t grow at all.
A beard goal of growing the length of your beard by six inches at the end of the year may be completely unrealistic depending on how fast your hair naturally grows. Another guy could reach that goal easily, just because of his genetics. Rather than getting mad because you didn’t win big in the genetic lottery, set a goal that is based on the choices you make. Instead of focusing on a certain amount of length, set the goal of not shaving for a year. Anyone can achieve that goal and be able to rock a nice yeard, no matter how long (or short) it may be.
Work Towards Length Retention
There is no tip, trick, or fix that’s going to make your beard grow faster than the rate at which your hair grows naturally. If you’re a half-inch a month man, that’s what you are. If you’re a quarter-inch per month kind of guy, that's what you are. Regardless of how fast your hair grows, you’ll only see visible growth if you achieve length retention.
Beard growth is a lot like a paycheck hitting your bank account. If you only earn enough to cover your bills, you’ll feel like you’re back at square one at the end of the month, even though you did earn a paycheck. If you earn more than it takes to pay your bills, you will see your balance grow each month. You’ve got to retain more hair than you grow if you want a visible difference. Otherwise that new half inch or so is just replacing what you lost. Even if you’d like a fuller beard rather than a longer one, retaining growth is a key.
Here are some habit-based goals that promote length retention:
Who Are Your Heroes?
We all love getting a little inspiration from the beardfluencers of the Internet. Although beards of all shapes, sizes and textures are wonderful, there are certain factors about our beards and faces that are difficult to change.
If you’re confidently embracing male pattern baldness, you may find yourself disappointed if all your beard heroes could also be in a hairband. If your beard is ultra-fine and needs salt, powder, and pomade just to not look limp, your beard hero doesn’t need to be a dude with very coarse hair.
It’s only natural to be disappointed when you’re constantly measuring yourself up against an image that is unrealistic for you. Beards are as unique as people, and there are a variety of beardfluencers. Find someone who portrays looks and goals that are reasonable for you to achieve.
Even if you’re not into social media, you should make sure you’re working towards achievable styles. If you’re not sure whether a look you’re going for is really reasonable, take a visit to your friendly neighborhood barber. A good barber understands facial lines, face shape, beard texture, and all of the other unique factors about your beard.
Be Beard Confident
Has negativity and self-hatred ever got you anywhere? Probably not. This may sound like mumbo-jumbo, but a little positivity goes a long way. Every now and then, write down three things you love about your beard. If you’re really bold, say them out loud while you’re standing in the mirror.
Your beard may not be perfect. It may not be where you want it to be just yet, but it’s yours. That makes it awesome! Beard Confidence is not about perfection. It's about embracing the man you are right now and being confident enough to love him where he’s at while still pushing him to be the best version of himself.
If you have a positive view of yourself and your beard, you’ll be more likely to make adjustments when needed on the path to achieving the beard of your dreams. If you’re beating yourself up about your beard, you’re far more likely to reach for the nearest can of shaving cream.
Your beard can be everything you wish it was, but give it time.