Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland's Bearded Barber: Top 5 tips for the ultimate beard

The man bun may have had its moment, but the beard is here to stay and Northern Ireland's 'Bearded Barber' and all round cool guy, Garry Jackson, wants the beard-sporting men of Northern Ireland to look their best.

When it comes to the ultimate beard, some men have it nailed while others’ sculpting skills seem to be a bit… sparse. While it’s important a beard doesn’t look too groomed if you’re going for the effortless look, there is a certain amount of care required if you’re going to give Jake Gyllenhaal a run for his money.

As part of Bushmills Irish Whiskey's #AnswerTheCall series Master Barber Garry has been offering his top tips on maintaining the perfect beard.

1. From zero to hero

Start with fresh, clean skin to eliminate any underlying skin problems. Cleanse the face, exfoliate and treat any ingrown hairs with alcohol and tweezers. Once you have perfected your canvas, it’s time to create your artwork!

2. Patience

The most important tool for growing a beard is patience. There are several stages of beard growth so put away the tools and wait. Then wait some more. Eventually your beard will start to itch. The dreaded itch is no joke but ride it out and your face will eventually adjust to its newfound bearded status. Realistically, it’s going to be three months before your beard is fully grown.

3. Shape up or shift out

Don’t succumb to beard envy. Different face shapes suit different beard styles so what suits your mate won’t necessarily look right on you. Ideally you should get some advice from a professional barber. I’ll be at doing a pop-up barbershop at the Black Bush Block Party in the Filthy Quarter on Sunday 28th May so come down, have a Bushmills with some tasty street food from Pyke ‘N’ Pommes and we can chat about what will work for your face.

4. Tidy up

Eventually you’ll get to a point where your beard will start to look untidy. My advice would be regular check-ins with your barber but a weekly visit to the barbershop isn’t realistic for most of us. Invest in a good quality, no-mess beard trimmer to keep things in check between visits. The look we’re aiming for is effortless. Almost like you don’t have the time or inclination to be bothered with grooming. To achieve this look, a little trimming on the upper cheeks, neckline and moustache is all that’s needed. Think tidying rather than trimming. The last thing you want is to take too much off after all the hard work of the past few weeks. Wait at least a month before doing this.

5. Wear it with pride

Growing a beard is a full time job. You have to be ready to commit. Even when the initial growth is complete there is still much work to done. Regular visits to the barber and dedicated at-home maintenance will keep your man-hair looking manly. A beard is a badge of honour - provided you do it properly. Grow it with care, wear it with pride.

  • As part of the Bushmills Irish Whiskey #AnswerTheCall campaign, Garry will host a pop-up barbershop at the Black Bush Block Party taking place in The Filthy Quarter on Sunday, May 28 from 4pm.

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