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Growing a beard can be an expression of freedom, but it’s also a commitment. Beards don't take care of themselves any more than your lawn or your nails. They need some upkeep. 

"If you don't pay any attention to your beard, pretty soon, you're going to look like a wanderer from the Alaskan wild," says Sandy Poirier, celebrity stylist and owner of Shag, a salon in Boston.

Whether you're just past the stubble stage or trying to tame a 2-foot mass, here are some beard care tips. 

Grow It Better

  • Fight through the itch. This is the point where the faint-hearted give up. If you stick with it, it gets better after a few weeks, Poirier says.
  • Let it grow. Wait a few months before trying to shape a beard. That’s even if you plan to keep it short and close to the face in the long run, Poirier says. Shaping and trimming a beard too early is a common rookie mistake -- a mistake that can take weeks or months to fix. "Let it get a little wild at first," Poirier says. "Once you have about an inch or an inch and a half, then you can start shaping it."
  • Know when to give up. It's a hard truth, but not all guys can grow a beard. It's just a matter of genetics, Poirier says. "If it's been two or three months, and it's still patchy and scraggly, it's not going to get better," Poirier says. "Let it go, shave it off, and move on."

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