At the end of November, most of the men participating in No Shave November will dutifully take razor in hand and undo all the hard work they put into their beards. But there will be others who decide to keep their beards. Rather than shaving, they will begin the process of growing a great beard they can be proud of.

For the record, growing a great beard is not a matter of dumb luck or happenstance. Just like you can’t get a great looking hairdo without putting some work into it, a great beard requires some effort. Any man willing to put in the work can get great results in a relatively short amount of time. Here’s how you do it:

  • Trim Your Beard Regularly

A lot of men are surprised to discover that their beard grows faster on portions of the face and neck than others. There may be one patch this seems to grow before your very eyes while another patch moves along at a snail’s pace. This is why the first month or two of beard growth can leave a face looking like a patchwork of hair clumps that have all the appeal of a transplant gone wrong.

The solution is to trim the beard regularly. Even if your goal is to eventually have a long and flowing beard reminiscent of your favorite mountain man, you need to trim in the first month or two in order to keep the hair at an even length across your face and neck. Trimming takes care of unevenness that can make it look like you don’t really care about your personal appearance.

  • Avoid the Urge to Scratch

More than one man has endeavored to grow a beard only to quit within the first month or two because he can’t stand the itching. The number one rule for new beards is to avoid the urge to scratch. Yes, it does take some willpower, but most men find the itching goes away within the first month or so.

If you don’t avoid the urge to scratch you could end up with raw, irritated skin. And once that happens, you could easily become one of the previously mentioned men who simply shave because he can’t stand it anymore. Just hang in there and exercise a little willpower. You will be glad you did in the long run.

  • Use a Good Beard Oil

One way to soothe itchy skin and promote healthy beard hair at the same time is to use high-quality beard oil. Scruff beard and face oil from CRUDE is a good choice. All CRUDE products are created using organic, plant-based ingredients that work with the body instead of against it.

Beard oil conditions the hair and makes it softer and more pliable. This goes a long way toward reducing itchiness. The oil will also condition the underlying skin as well. You will feel better by applying just a couple of drops to your beard daily and combing it in.

  • Shape Your Beard…Eventually

Even though you should be trimming your beard right away, avoid shaping until five or six weeks out. You’ll need that much time for enough hair to grow to get an idea of what the shape of your face truly is. Somewhere around week five or six, you should be able to envision what you want the beard to look like. That’s the point to start shaping.

You can grow a great beard with a little perseverance and effort. Just follow the tips above. Oh, and good luck!