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How to Grow Your Beard for Competitive Bearding

September 29, 2019 6 min read

How to Grow Your Beard for Competitive Bearding

Naked Armor

Oktoberfest is just right around the corner and that means it’s beard and beer season again.

Published by Naked Armor

Every October, the whole world erupts with celebrations to highlight booze and hair. No longer confined to Germany, the event is an occasion for beer-guzzlers and beard afficionados to come crawling out of the woodwork and have fun partying.

In Munich, beer, music and costumes continue to be the highlights each Oktoberfest season but in other places around the world, organizers also include other events which showcase what may be Oktoberfest’s unofficial event accessory: the beard.

We’re talking about competitive bearding.

Yup, it’s a serious competition, one that has its very own beard leagues. Women may have beauty pageants to compare notes on, but among bearded men, the competitive bearding event is the goal.

History of Competitive Bearding
The Category is…
Prepping Your Beard Entry
How to Grow Your Beard for Competitive Bearding

History of Competitive Bearding

Organized facial hair competitions have been going on in Europe since the early 1970s, but the first modern event took place in 1990, hosted by the First Höfener Beard Club in Germany.

In 1995, it evolved into an international competition when European beard clubs got together to agree on holding it every other year, each with a new host city.

Here in America, the first home-grown world beard championships was organized in 2014. Ironically, this was an initiative by California beardsman Phil Olsen in order to break away from its Eurocentric origins.

At the core of their conflict was a difference in philosophy. According to a report by Jamie Hale at The Oregonian, the European founders wanted the “contests open to approved facial hair clubs, held every other year, and done for friendship and camaraderie, not for attention or financial gain.”

In contrast, Olsen wanted to democratize the sport by opening to anyone who can pay the contest admission fees. Hence, the American World Beard and Mustache Competition was born.

And the Category is…

In a bearding competition, there are a lot of categories that are designed to reward beards of all styles and shapes.

In 2009, when the US hosted the European WBMC in Anchorage, Alaska, an American got the top prize. It was the first time that the US overthrew perennial winner Germany. Beard Team USA member David Traver memorably won the overall championship title in the freestyle full beard category by styling his beard in a shape of an Alaska snowshoe.

The next time America played competition host was in 2017. Held in Austin, Texas, it was the largest WMBC gathering to date, with guests from 33 countries, 738 competitors, and 27 categories and more than 3k in audience. It was during this time that WBMC first opened the Creative/Fantasy and Realistic categories for men and women. In this event, contestants compete to create the best facial beard style out of a variety of crafting items.

Prepping Your Beard Entry

Similar to professional athletes, a lot of preparation is done by these beardsmen before entering the competition.

Jack Passion, a two-time winner in the full beard category of the World Beard and Moustache Championships, follows a strict regimen. In an interview, he said that he sleeps with his beard in braids and often performs hot oil treatments on his beard before showering. Afterwards, he airdries the locks, brushing them before trimming his mustache and any split ends.

One popular category in the world championships is the Freestyle category. Here, competitors are allowed to use aids to twist and shape their beard into elaborate sculptures. In past competitions, beards have been teased and moulded into everything—from an intricately woven snowshoe to a pastoral scene complete with a moose grazing by a tree.

For Chad Richards, an extra strength hairspray and a hairdryer is crucial for setting the hairstyle in place.

“There's a level of maintenance involved with competitive bearding. A regimen of conditioning and overall good health keep your facial hair growing well and looking good.”, said the IT professional in an interview with Network World.

When trimming a beard, use a high quality straight razor. These cut-throats are perfect for this type of grooming because it only has a single narrow blade that allows you to maneuver it easily. It will allow you to carve the lines so that your beard lines are very sharp and neat.

— Derek Dodds, Naked Armor Founder

How to Grow Your Beard for the Competition

While growing a competition-ready beard is easy for those born with the genes for it, not everyone carries the hair growth gene. For the follicular-challenged, growing your beard even for a category like Freestyle might take longer than usual.

Still, if you’re hellbent in joining, here are some tips on how to grow your beard and make it competition-worthy.

Tip 1: Drink Some Vitamins

Like bodybuilding, supplementing your diet with the proper vitamins can help with beard growth. There’s actually such a thing as a facial vitamin on the market, which attests to the growing popularity of competitive bearding. But if you’re not sure about those, you can always just take Vitamin B because its natural and it contains biotin which is good for hair growth.

Tip 2: Go on a Protein-rich Diet

Go easy on carbs and sweets, it’ll make your hair limp and weak.

Instead, eat lots of protein since hair is basically protein wrapped in fat. Lots of fat is very important. To keep your body optimum for cell and hair growth, you need to have healthy testosterone levels and those are aided by saturated fat. Eggs and animal fat are great, as long as they’re grass-fed or organic.

Tip 3: Work Out

Lift some weights and engage in a full body exercise routine. All that work out is guaranteed to keep your testosterone in healthy levels which is good for beard growth. Plus, it ensures that your blood keeps circulating so that it’s able to bring the vitamins and all that protein you’re eating into your skin and hair cells.

Tip 4: Get Regular Amounts of Sleep

Sleep is beneficial for the body. It allows it to recover and regenerate. A healthy person is someone who’s been sleeping well. Your hair will become lustrous and healthy as long as you’re getting proper sleep.

Tip 5: Clean Your Facial Hair Regularly

Shampoo your beard regularly. Use a light organic shampoo because it doesn’t have artificial ingredients that will strip the hair of its oils. After showering, rub some beard oil to replenish the skin moisture and to also protect the hair.

Tip 6: Trim Your Beard

Just because you’re growing out your hair doesn’t mean you’ll leave them stray along the edges. You still need to trim them so that it looks decent and groomed.

One way to do this is to map out your edges. Put lather on your beard and use your finger to define the lines. Then use a straight razor to carefully and slowly shave along the lines so you get a nice clean edge to your beard. Remember to pull your skin in the other direction so that you can shave the beard line smoothly and precisely without accidentally going into the beard zone.

Once you have shaved all the mapped out areas on your face and neck, rinse the face with cold water and finish with an aftershave.

Tip 7: Use a Straight Razor

When trimming a beard, use a high quality straight razor. These cut-throats are perfect for this type of grooming because it only has a single narrow blade that allows you to maneuver it easily. It will allow you to carve the lines so that your beard lines are very sharp and neat.

Here at Naked Armor, we have a world-class beard grooming kit which contains everything you need to get your beard ready for the competition. This kit comes with a shavette straight razor, hemp and argan beard oil, beard balm, barber-grade scissors, beard brush, beard comb, and a beard style tool—all inside a beautiful gift box. Not only will they make your grooming routine easy and comfortable, it’ll make your shaving experience feel luxurious.

We also have world-class straight razors made from Japanese steel and expensive hardwood. What’s really unique about our blades is that they’re designed between a full and half hollow grind which makes the blade even more versatile for your every shaving needs. It’s really the perfect tool to get your beard competition-ready in any category. It’ll help you win the top prize.

Check out our inventory to see more.

 

More Shaving Tips with Naked Armor

 

How To Trim a Beard with a Straight Razor
Why A Wet Shave Is Best For Your Sensitive Skin
Hair Shaving Myths

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