Welcome, future Magisters Barbatus (Bearded Masters), if you recall in my last column, I discussed the merits of using beard oil. I hope you’ve tried it.  To those who have, congrats… and you’re welcome.

Today, now that you’ve gotten your beard oil, I’m pretty sure you’ve been sitting there waiting patiently for this article to attain the proper instructions for application.

The first thing you need to do is take a shower!  If you’re not taking a daily shower and washing your beard, then stop being a nasty body and take a daily shower…unless you’re a bearded operator somewhere in a dusty, dirty country then by all means, skip the shower.  Cold water bottle showers do more harm than good.  If you’ve been there, you know, if not here’s how a combat shower goes down.

You get yourself a few water bottles; take them to the “showers”. Showers range from HESCO barriers put around a pallet, to ponchos hung up with 550 cord, on some snazzier positions it’s a wooden structure with a gravity fed showerhead.  You’re going to get as clean as you can by poking holes in a water bottle and squeezing it to create pressure, fun times… You get just wet enough to cause the dirt to turn into mud and for the mud to streak, your hair gets just wet enough to be able to style your now mud coated hair into some war-hawk (a combat Mohawk), which when dried is an offensive weapon unto itself.  Ok, I’ve gotten off track.

Back to my point, you’re going to want to have a clean beard.  Do a little scrub-a-dub-dub on your viney locks, use a good soap/shampoo (sulphate-free soap reduces curls), and wash the soap out thoroughly.   As you’re drying off, be nice to your beard.  Pat it dry.

Here is where you can take two different paths, you can towel dry it, and skip to the application stage, or you can do the following…and here’s where I’m going to receive some opposition, but it works for me, and it might work for you.  It all depends on what works best for your beard.  Test both methods and let me know what you liked best.  Anyhow, continuing…

Grab a hair dryer.  Yes, you read correctly, get a hold of your hair dryer.  The first thing I’m going to hear is, “I don’t own a hair dryer, I’m a MAN!”  Well, my good sir, to you I say, “You are a bearded man, a modern man, a man of many talents and skills.  A pillar of the community, all other non-bearded men look to you for guidance, and women swoon at the very sight of your beautiful face shrubbery.”  Those same women have hair dryers, I guarantee it.  Borrow it, heck have the women help you out!  Beard care should be fun!  I’ve got some length to my beard and using this method helps keep my beard a bit straighter, which is why I use it.

Ok, we’ve got the hair dryer (if it makes you feel better call it the O2 Heat Propulsion Tool).  Now, grab a good comb or brush.

Now, holding the O2 Heat Propulsion Tool above your beard and, heating your beard in a downward motion, comb and dry your beard.  Not for too long – you just want to dry the surface, you don’t want to strip moisture from the inside of the hair. Now that it is lying nice and flat, hit the underside of your beard, this time drying straight up.  DO NOT GO SIDE TO SIDE, this will create weird curls and a poor shape to your cheek moss.  Hit the top down once more and comb flat again.  This will help keep the beard straight, if that’s what you’re after.  If you want a more natural look just towel dry and move the following step.

Now that your beard is somewhat dry, you’re going to grab your beard oil; here is where we all differ.  Some guys need 3 drops, some need 12, but we’ll work that out here in a second.

Apply some oil to palm of your hand.  Rub it between your hands and, going with the grain of your beard, place your hands up towards your sideburns. Work down to your chin -you’re basically petting your beard, stroking it, loving it.

Next work up from the bottom of your beard, basically fanning it out like a peacock, your glorious feathers glistening in the mirror; if you’re a selfie kinda guy, this is a perfect crazy beard selfie time.

Repeat the above actions once more, without adding any new oil.  Now look at your hands.  Do they still have a ton of oil on them?  Then you’re using too much.  Did your hands come back mostly dry?  Use a little more.  There should be a very light coating of oil on your hands; you can run this through your hair, over a tattoo, on your face, whatever.  Just keep it out of your eyes and mouth.

Going back to the comb, you want a good comb; not some cheap plastic comb, but a good comb.  I prefer a wooden comb, but any quality comb will do.  The wood absorbs the oil, helping it to glide smoothly through your beard; it also doesn’t irritate the skin or pull out your precious muzzle lashings.

Place the comb at an angle and comb in a downward motion.  This spreads the oil evenly throughout your beard and helps it get down to the root of the hair where it is most beneficial.  Now do the same thing working from the bottom up – again another crazy beard selfie time, if you’re so inclined.  Then start over from the top and brush down, and BAM!  Beard oil 101 complete.

Now that you’ve finished caring for your face garden, if you’re not dressed do so.  Now, you’re ready to present your radiant imperials to the world.  The well-groomed, manly face foliage you have so painstakingly cared for will impress all of those around you.  However, remain ever vigilant for those with beard envy, take them under your massive wing, and lead them, as I have led you.  Until next time, my bearded brothers, take care of yourselves, and your beards.  Beard On.

-The Admiral